Let’s face it: some home improvement projects are better investments than others. When you compare cost to value, the clear winners are smaller projects that have a larger impact on visual appeal, says Remodeling Magazine in their Cost vs. Value Report for 2020. According to their data, projects with grand vision and scale (with a high price tag to match) such as an upscale master suite addition, are less likely to leave homeowners recouping their cash when it comes time to sell. And that’s a lot of cash: the average cost for that particular big-ticket renovation is $260,462 in the Southeast.
Outdoor Home Reno Projects are a Better Value
Smaller projects, on the other hand, that ring in at a much lower cost than the master suite of your dreams, but which have large aesthetic appeal, make the best investments. So, you’re thinking, what would that be? Well, if you look at the data, its projects involving the exterior of your home and your yard. In fact, 8 out of the top 10 best investments for homes in the South Atlantic are outdoor projects, according to the study.
One reason the big master suite and bathroom renovations appear low on the list is that these types of projects tend to be very individualized. There are hundreds of small decisions the homeowners have to make, resulting in what might look beautiful to them, but which don’t actually have broad appeal or lasting value. There are wide ranges of personal taste out there so one person’s minimalist dream kitchen is another’s boring, sterile disaster.
The classic, lasting beauty of a stone wall, a fire pit, or an outdoor kitchen on a stone patio appeals to all kinds of homeowners with all kinds of tastes. With stone, you truly can’t improve on nature, right? Hardscaping projects slide easily into the aesthetic theme of any home, from traditional to modern, Italianate to rustic and everything in between.
But hardscaping isn’t limited to stone projects. There are other materials used in hardscaping that result in lasting, cost-effective improvements to your property. Take pergolas, for example. A pergola is not only beautiful but it’s also a cost-effective way to instantly turn your back yard into an oasis. They also provide some shading, which will be important once the harsh rays of the North Carolina summer sun start to heat up your yard.
The best thing about a pergola is that while it blocks the sun, it also allows for the cooling effect of a breeze to pass through. And when you’re sitting beneath your new pergola enjoying life, it nicely frames the view beyond. Whether your pergola faces a water feature, the ocean, a glittering skyline, or a blossoming garden, a picture-perfect view is guaranteed.
Finally, you can combine hardscaping materials for a structured look in your outdoor space. Imagine an outdoor kitchen under a wooden pergola, for example. It’s a classic look that will add lasting value to your home, no matter how tastes and styles change over the years.