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Homes & Land Blog > How To Choose Your Next Home Improvement Project

How To Choose Your Next Home Improvement Project

By Melissa Rolland, originally found here 

While the opportunities for evening barbecues on the deck, dips in the pool, and badminton in the backyard may be ending, it's never too early to think about future backyard fun in the sun.

If you're looking for ideas on what outdoor projects to plan next, look no further than the "2018 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features," released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the National Association of Landscape 


Along with a listing of the top outdoor residential features - ranked either by the projects' appeal to buyers or the projects likely impact on the value of the home - it offers and in-depth look at why homeowners complete outdoor remodeling projects in the first place, the value of taking on lawn and landscape upgrades and improvements, and the increased happiness (what's called the "Joy Score") experienced by homeowners once a particular project is completed.

Homeowners upgrade and improve their home for the simple fact that it gives them a greater desire to be there. According to those surveyed in the NAR report, top newly completed projects that keep homeowners at home include a new pool (92 percent), statement landscaping (87 percent), a landscape upgrade (82 percent), and a new patio (84 percent).

Ranked from high to low, here are how projects appeal to potential buyers of a home: Standard lawn care service, landscape maintenance, overall landscape upgrade, tree care, new wood deck, new patio, landscape lighting, fire feature, irrigation system installation, statement landscape, outdoor kitchen, new pool, and water features.

Here's the ranking, from high to low, of the projects likely added value to home for resale: landscape maintenance, overall landscape upgrade, standard lawn care service, new patio, new wood deck, tree care, landscape lighting, statement landscape, irrigation system installation, outdoor kitchen, fire feature, water features, and a new pool.

Standard lawn care service was ranked as the No. 1 project that appeals to buyers. It was also estimated that lawn care would recover 267 percent of the cost. Landscape maintenance and tree care recover 100 percent of the costs at the time of the sale.

The report shares the results of a survey conducted by homeownership site HouseLogic.com last spring, revealing a project's "Joy Score."

Consumers were surveyed about the last outdoor project that they undertook, with 4,079 responding. The Joy Score was calculated by combining the share who were happy and those who were satisfied when seeing their completed project and then dividing the share by 10, to create a ranking of one and 10. Higher Joy Scores indicate a greater joy from the project.

Consumers gave a fire feature addition and an irrigation system a perfect "10" on the Joy Score. A new wood deck, water feature, statement landscape, and a new patio all received Joy Scores of 9.7.

Melissa Rolland is a real estate salesperson and Realtor, accredited home stager, and author of the book 'Straight from the Kitchen Table: Every Day Real Estate.' She lives in Tolland with her husband, Todd, an associate broker and Realtor.

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