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6 Outdoor Projects to Transform Your Yard into a Place You Want to Be

The backyard is probably one of the most versatile spaces of a home. It offers all kinds of additional livable square footage for entertaining or relaxing that a lot of homeowners simply don’t take advantage of. Not to mention, many improvements to your outdoor space can boost your home’s value big time.


So instead of spending this summer cooped up inside, here are six outdoor projects to turn your yard into the ultimate hub of your home.

  1. Fire Pit
    The best thing about an outdoor firepit is that it makes being outside more comfortable when the chilly seasons arrive, which means you can spend more time enjoying your backyard. Building a firepit yourself can be a fun and rewarding project, but if you’re not interested in DIY, installing a $6,000 – $8,000 custom fire pit will on average increase your home’s ROI by 60-70%. In addition to all the great smores and good times you’ll get out of it, that sounds worth it to us!

    If you don’t have the space to build a permanent structure, a portable fire pit set up can certainly do the trick! That way you can bring it out and put it away whenever those chilly nights call for some long fireside snuggles.

  2. A Patio or Deck
    Adding a patio or deck off the back of your home literally creates an extension of it. It will increase your livable outdoor space while adding the perfect canvas for a boatload of other great outdoor additions as well — from an outdoor bar, grill, lounge chairs, sound system, and even a whole kitchen (which we’ll touch on next). Tiered or multi-level decks are also very popular right now, adding interest and more value to your backyard experience.

    But before you start planning the first BBQ, there’s a few things you’ll have to do first when adding a deck. Check with your local ordinances to see what is required by the municipality’s code to build a deck. And then hire a professional engineer to ensure the joists are properly spaced and there are enough footings.

  3. Outdoor Kitchen
    We don’t know about you, but it seems pretty unfair that while everyone else is out enjoying the sunshine, the chef of the party is stuck inside preparing the food. The surging popularity of outdoor kitchens is allowing homeowners to bring the best parts of their home outside! Many homeowners are choosing to make their spaces stand out with built-in grills and L-shaped islands with sinks and ice chests. Prepping areas and undercounter refrigerators are popular, as well as roofs with ceiling fans or heaters to keep things comfortable throughout any season. Truly functional outdoor kitchens can help a home truly stand out with up to a 200% ROI — and an even higher ROE (return on enjoyment).


If you’re not interested in a full kitchen, consider a wood-fire pizza oven, built-in grill with workspace, or even a patio bar. When you can spend more time outside than inside cooking, everyone wins.

  1. Privacy/Shade Structures
    If you have a large backyard without a lot of trees or shaded areas, it’s hard to enjoy it on those hot summer days. A pergola is a great addition to any open space with multiple additions that can increase your comfort — and your home’s value — even more. Install electrical outlets to add lights or even a roof with ceiling fan to improve functionality. Throw in a rug, some cushioned furniture, and container planting to create the perfect space for any mood. Kick back with a good book, host a game night, enjoy a delicious meal — any of your favorite indoor activities can move outside!
  2. Privacy Fencing
    Privacy is becoming more and more important to a lot of homeowners. They want to feel just as comfortable outside as they do inside closed doors. Homes that can offer more seclusion and solitude will stand out from others on the market and make using your backyard that much more enjoyable. If you don’t have the budget to put up a full-height fence, consider using greenery. Trellises, potted plants, or hedges can add a colorful backdrop that obstructs views of neighbors or the street. You can also try panels or sunscreens. The more private your outdoor space is, the more it will feel like your own personal retreat — and you deserve that!
  3. A Pool
    We know, we know — a pool is a major investment. But the added value has multiple layers. While it may not necessarily recover as much as you spend, it does provide a huge selling point if you ever sell your home. This is different from in the past where many home buyers wouldn’t buy a property with a pool. But now, as many people have adjusted to working and spending more time at home, the perspective has changed, and there’s a big demand. This one really comes down to whether it’s something your family will benefit from as long as you’re living in your home. If you can enjoy it for many years and make your home that much more desirable when it is time to sell, then it can definitely be worth it.

    If you’re looking for more inspiration on how to turn your home’s outdoor space into another awesome living space, or simply upgrade your exterior surroundings, contact the home experts at Madsen today.