The concept of outdoor living was a strange one to most people a few years ago. Today, it’s becoming the standard for homeowners wanting to add value to their property and for those who want to spend more quality time at home with their families. Home improvement doesn’t just mean refinishing that basement filled with old junk anymore. People are extending their living spaces to the backyard, they are enhancing the curb appeal of their homes and the rewards are more than just aesthetic.
In days gone by, the backyard was little more than the place for a kiddie pool, doggie doo, and Dad’s domain when he was trying to light that old charcoal grill. That charcoal hibachi is now an electric gill with a fridge and a wet bar, the kiddie pool is replaced with a tranquil koi pond and waterfall, there’s a fire pit as well, and the dogs even have their own landscaped run. Savvy homeowners today know that they can increase the useable square footage of their homes as well as the resale value by considering their backyards an extension of their living space. The backyard is now the ultimate hip destination for people who want to throw intimate parties or just spend more quality time at home rather than sitting in front of the TV or computer. Gazebos, patios, decks, terraces, and spas are replacing the family room as the hang out spot for families to meet and talk about the events of their day. Greenhouses and gardens are a healthy and economical option for those who want to eat healthier and spend a little time communing with nature as well.
The front yard is just as important, if not more so, in increasing the value of one’s property. Curb appeal sells homes. Buyers are drawn to the details that make a house stand out and an oil-stained, cracked concrete driveway doesn’t cut the mustard anymore. What good is painting the exterior of your home a new color or adding those new shutters when the view is obstructed by a tree that was a sapling when Methuselah was a baby or there are weeds and shrubs that look like they’re going to overtake the house? Having one’s front yard professionally landscaped and hardscaped says to the neighborhood that your house is the standard to which everyone else should strive to meet. It’s the ultimate “WELCOME” sign when guests arrive and the moment they step out of their car they are met with a gorgeous walkway with pavers or stones in warm and inviting colors, a garden of exotic flowers and grasses, and a porch with a quaint rocker that’s calling for someone to sit and sip a cool glass of lemonade while watching the sun set.
Whether you’re accenting your home with an elegant lawn for future resale or creating an outdoor space to relax and unwind from the stresses of daily living, it’s the outdoors that’s making the most impact. It’s certainly not your father’s backyard anymore.