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Outdoor Home Improvements

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What can I do to improve my outdoor living and why?

The benefits of outdoor home improvements can greatly benefit the valuation of your property if you are looking to sell. Potential buyers look for new homes with neat, practical outdoor areas. The last thing they want to do after moving is ripping out unsightly lawn and shrubs. Whether or not selling is your plan, increasing the potential of your home gives many other benefits depending on your layout. You can design the areas to suit your lifestyle, needs or desires. Six outdoor home improvement ideas are:

  1. Make more room for outdoor activities like fitness, running around, play areas for children.

    Open up your outdoor area by lining the fences with the garden and flowers, leaving the middle open to lawn for backyard cricket or a trampoline, outdoor fitness, lazing in the sun. This can give you an opportunity to add another shed in the back corner for garden tools or the hubby’s tool shed. Add play equipment for the children, maybe a cubby house or sand pit. The difference an open backyard will make on first impressions when people walk through the house will justify the effort. It’s a little trick sellers do as it makes the block seem large and very attractive to buyers when selling your home. Real estate agents can also give you their experience on what sells well.

  2. Entertaining areas can be designed to feel like another room in your home.

    Large rear patios, verandahs and timber decks can feel like the house has another room. The covered area can be used for entertaining in any weather if done right with an outdoor heater or fan. Instead of having a dinner party inside where it can feel cramped, move it outdoors with a nice BBQ area, bar and a large glass door can also help bring the outside in. Lattice and screens can help enclose the area but maintain air flow, plastic blinds are ideal to block the wind and rain but allow light in. Alternative materials used could be…

    • Shade sails, polycarbonate sheeting and shade cloth for roofing,
    • Paving; concrete or brick pavers instead of timber decking,
    • Open fire place or gas fire place in lieu of electric heaters.

    Speak to a licensed carpenter near you, who can help you design and build the outdoor deck and entertainment area your desire.

  3. Garden areas in the shape, needs and locations which benefit your requirements.

    If you have an odd shaped block or a significant tree that dominates the yard, turn that into a feature. Rainwater tanks that you want to keep or an ugly shed, can be screened to hide them from view and makes the garden more attractive to potential buyers. Un used garden locations such as down the side of the house, against the fence can benefit from planting creepers or hedging plants. Paving to high traffic locations from the house to the shed or clothes line, down the side of the house will also enhance the look of your garden while making it practical; saving worn areas appearing.

  4. More car parking space

    The front or rear of the house can have an extra car park added depending on the size and shape available. The more off street parking you can obtain the better! If you have a garage down the side of your home, maybe an extra carport or garage could be added. If you can add a whole new double garage, then that would be more desirable along with the addition of an extra concrete or paved driveway and car park for an extra vehicle. Make sure you use a licensed concreter when laying concrete to your driveway to avoid cracking, or licensed paving contractor when laying pavers to avoid movement and lifting later.

  5. Better storm water usage to a new tank and plumbed to help water the garden and lawn.

    Better use of storm water and rainwater runoff will benefit your whole property. This can be achieved by adding more down pipes to rainwater tanks, replacing old guttering. The addition of a rainwater tank plumbed to the garden or a toilet will be beneficial dollar wise as well. Overflow to the street to prevent flooding and sufficient sub surface drains for water pooling will keep your outdoors less hazardous during wet days and will benefit the house foundations from dampness due to poor water disposal.

  6. Pools and spas

    With the addition of a pool or spa to your outdoor area, you will add a fun and relaxing atmosphere to your home along with the benefits of lazing around the pool on a warm summers day. Out door spas can be just as fun at night, even during winter. Prospective buyers love the option of a pool or spa already established in the yard when buying, the cost to add a pool or spa will add double that to the price of your property. Complementary landscaping can also be added to finish the pool or spa area such as:

    • Paving, tiling or a nice exposed aggregate concrete around the pool or spa,
    • Nice pool fencing like frame less glass or steel posts,
    • Outdoor resort style shaded area with BBQ,
    • Waterfall or fountains,
    • Outdoor lighting.

Whatever your budget, yard size and shape, there are options for you to improve your outdoor living areas. It takes just a bit of imagination and creativity to achieve a practical and saleable garden. Licensed professional landscapers, carpenters, plumbers and pool/spa builders are available for ideas and advice and can be found locally near you on Trades Check NZ.

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