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Investing Outside: Big Projects to Make Your Yard the Summer Hangout

Posted by Cindy Davis on July 7, 2015 at 2:09 PM

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What does your dream home look like?

Home-BackyardFor many people, it looks like the type of place where you can enjoy entertaining friends and family throughout the year.

In the summertime, that space tends to flow outdoors.

Whether you are looking for a new home or thinking about upgrading your current residence, your outdoor spaces are some of the best places to invest if you want to really enjoy the fruits of your labor.  

With that thought in mind, and a little inspiration from Jimmy Buffet and Zac Brown, here are five popular ways to make a significant investment in your yard to create the perfect summer hangout.

License to Chill: The Party Deck

Just about every great outdoor space is built around a deck or patio. Which option you go with and how you design it will really be a combination of personal preference and working with the space you have.

This is the place where your guests will congregate outside, so you want to make sure it’s comfortable. Patio furniture comes in a ton of different varieties, so you will want to check out all of your options before making any commitments.

As with most big projects, this might not be something that you want to take on yourself. Even if you think a contractor’s price is too high, they might still be cheaper just because their expertise will prevent them from making mistakes.  

Great decks and patios tend to add a ton of value to a property and are one of the best investments you can make outside.

Cheeseburger in Paradise: The Outdoor Kitchen

While decks and patios are a great investment, outdoor kitchens don’t always return their value. However, they can definitely return value when you put them to use during the summer months!


Having a custom outdoor kitchen makes every cookout more enjoyable for the hosts and makes the cooking for these events a breeze. You won’t believe how functional it is to have a sink and a refrigerator right next to the grill!

One really cool feature that you might want to consider here is adding a wood-fired pizza oven. Yum!

Knee Deep: The Pool Party

If you want your back yard to be the place where the kids hang out, then putting in a pool might be the best place to invest outside your house.

Of course, you will also want to do your research on what it is going to cost to maintain your pool too. Factor in the added energy costs, chemicals, routine maintenance, and insurance costs when figuring out your budget.

As far as adding value to the house, with pools it really depends on the buyer. Some people will pay a premium for a great pool, and others will want to avoid the extra maintenance.

Take the Weather with You: Gazebos, Pergolas, and Awnings

If you’ve ever bought one of those cheap patio tents from your local home improvement store, you know two things: they’re easy to ruin, but great while they last.


Another way to invest in your outdoor space is to create a permanent solution for days where the weather doesn’t cooperate.

This could mean a roof or gazebo to keep you dry on rainy days, or installing a pergola or retractable awning to keep your deck or patio in the shade all day.

If you’re going to invest in your outdoor space, you want to make sure it will be comfortable for you and your guests.

Where the Boat Leaves From: Docks & Boats

If your home happens to be located on the water, you have probably been giving plenty of thought to the idea of building a dock already. This project is a serious undertaking, but can be a real dream come true.

For the most part, building a standard dock is not a very complicated process. But building one that can withstand the weather all year round might take some clever engineering.

Once your dock is built, the next question is what kind of boat are you going to keep tied up there?

These projects might sound pretty ambitious, but once you find the home of your dreams there is nothing wrong with planning to invest in making it perfect.

It might take you a long time to save for these types of projects, but once they are finished all of your effort will be worth it.

Topics: Seller Resources

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