6 Ideas for Improving your Home Outdoor Living Experience

Backyard-6Now that Winter is in full retreat, it is time to get your backyard ready for all Spring, Summer and Fall. And recent surveys indicate that remodeling your outdoor living area can be a good investment.
Every year Remodeling Magazine publishes a Cost vs. Value Report. This year the magazine covered the backyard. so for example adding a patio costing approximately $6000 could recover 102 percent of its value, a $4000-$5000 fire pit might recover 78% and an outdoor gas fireplace costing $13000 could recover 60% of the homeowners cost.

Over the years outdoor living has become central to home ownership and our experience as real estate agents has been that often the backyard amenities can make a sale or the lack thereof can break a sale.

Some tips when considering a backyard Kitchen/entertainment area are as follows:
1. Location–Placement of an outdoor Kitchen should be such that shading for the grill and the dining table is available–hence a patio cover or Gazebo is ideal.
1. Keep the Kitchen close–The outdoor kitchen should be close to the main kitchen so that if dishes, utensils, etc. are needed you are not walking through the entire yard to get them.
3. Investing in Appliances–Minimize the number of outdoor appliances. They are expensive to buy and expensive to run outdoors in the summer. For example a outdoor refrigerator will run constantly in the summer.
$. A outdoor kitchen sink is a necessity as well as lighting for those evening BBQ’s.
6. Consider the cost of natural Gas runs, electric lines and plumbing lines as you plan your outdoor Kitchen area. Additionally don’t forget that they require a building permit.

The bottom line is that the outdoor living/entertainment area has become an extension of many homes and figures prominently into buyer decisions. And as is the case in so many of our daily activities, planning well will pay off in getting what you want both in terms of enjoyment, functionality and eventual return on your investment.

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