Outdoor Upgrades and Renovations: 3 Valuable Takeaways

The Research

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) has released the “2023 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features.” Read the whole report by clicking the link.

Based on a survey of 1,891 NAR Realtor® members, the report provides insights into the perceived value of outdoor home improvement projects. The February 2023 survey asked Realtors® to consider a 2,500 square foot house with a 14,000 square foot lot, which is the average size according to U.S. Census data, built after 1978 with no hidden issues. The report also takes into consideration a survey completed by HouseLogic.com in February 2023, which surveyed consumers, and a January 2023 survey completed by the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

Here are 3 takeaways from the report.

Consumers Remodel for Different Reasons

Primarily, the survey found that consumers remodel to improve livability, but other reasons included a desire to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes, and materials or because it was time for a change.

Forty percent of consumers DIYed the project from start to finish, whereas 10% of consumers hired professional assistance with labor while purchasing the materials themselves. Thirty-seven percent of consumers hired professionals to take the job from start to finish.

Lawn and Landscape Recovers Cost Plus

Cost recovery is based on materials, design, home age, location and condition, and the preferences of the homeowner. Survey respondents were asked to consider a standard quality of materials, or occasionally “better quality” materials.

With these factors in mind, respondents indicated that standard lawn care services returned 217% of their cost and landscape maintenance returned 104% of cost. Landscape upgrade and outdoor kitchens were deemed cost-neutral.

For prospective home sellers, lawn care and landscape maintenance should take priority for maximizing return on investment with the sale of the home, based on the survey results.

Pools and Landscape Lighting Maximize Enjoyment

The Joy Score reported by consumers was ranked 10 out of 10 for both the addition of an in-ground pool and the addition of landscape lighting. Eighty-nine percent of consumers reported a greater desire to be home and 90% reported an increased sense of enjoyment since installing the an in-ground pool. In-ground pools better meet the needs of homeowners. Sixty-one percent of consumers reported a greater desire to be home and 55% have an increased sense of enjoyment being home since installing landscape lighting.

Based on the results of the survey, for homeowners looking to maximize livability and property enjoyment, installing an in-ground pool and outdoor lighting is recommended.

Front Of House With Lawn

Renovating Based on Your Plans

If you’re intending to sell your home this spring, your focus will naturally be different than if you’re intending to maintain your current homeownership status. Every homeowner’s situation is different though, based on the location, age and condition of the home, etc.

To understand what’s best for your home, speak with a Realtor®, your local real estate expert. They’re knowledgeable about recent, local area home sales and understand what buyers expect when they’re viewing your for-sale property. Realtors® are also knowledgeable about home renovations, including the cost of labor and goods, and can help you to anticipate how your home value will be impacted by whatever outdoor features you choose to improve.


Copyright ©2023 “2023 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features.” National Association of Realtors®. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. March 31, 2023. https://cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2023-03-remodeling-impact-outdoor-features-03-17-2023.pdf