How your outdoor space can increase the value of your home

By Carson Arthur

Are you planning to sell your property in the next few years and cash in big on the real estate market? Well, you’re not alone!
 
All investors want to know that they will get top dollar for their house when it’s time to sell. One of the best ways to ensure this happens is to create a space that meets your buyer’s needs. The backyard is the perfect spot to create an extra room.
 
Outdoor entertaining has replaced the "party room" in the basement as the location to hold dinner parties, brunches or even just drinks with friends. But you can’t assume that if you have a deck or a patio, you have an outdoor room.

Here are the key elements that you need to create the perfect outdoor room:

1. Flooring

Just like any indoor room, your outdoor space needs a good floor. Decks are a fantastic choice because they hold their value and give you a versatile platform (literally) for entertaining. When choosing the best floor for your outdoor space, budget is always important.

MicroPro Sienna is a new type of pressure-treated wood with a beautiful brown tone that rivals the look of cedar. It has quickly become my favourite choice for outdoor building because it’s both affordable, durable, and it looks phenomenal.

Once you’ve got the perfect surface, you can also consider adding an outdoor area rug. A well-placed rug can define a space, introduce a colour scheme or even create a focal point.
 
2. Roof

Not just for blocking the sun, an outdoor roof defines the room. My favourite option will always be the pergola and I love that you can use the same material that you used to build your deck to create one seamless look.

Great for growing vines, creating ambience, even for hanging outdoor lights, the pergola makes any outdoor space feel welcoming and intimate. Some may think a pergola is purely decorative, but to me, when I walk into an outdoor room with a roof, it just feels right.
 
3. Walls

Outdoor walls are not just for hanging pots. The walls around your outdoor room are also very important to creating privacy. Whenever I mention outdoor walls, people always assume that I’m referring to the fences around the property line.

To me, the fence defines a boundary, whereas the walls around an outdoor room create intimacy and keep your guests from feeling like they are on display.

Sit in your space and take a look at which neighbours can see you. These are the lines of sight that need outdoor walls!
 
Every renovation we make to our homes not only has to meet our needs as homeowners, it should also increase the home’s value. This idea of return on investment, particularly for investors, has arguably become the most important factor influencing how we spend our renovation budgets.

If you can create a home that works for you and at the same time know that it’s the type of home a future buyer wants, then it’s a win-win in my books.
 
Carson Arthur is a landscape design expert and host of TV programs such as 'Green Force' and 'Room to Grow.' He can be reached at www.carsonarthur.com.
 

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