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The great outdoors: Increasing the value of your home through your backyard

By Andrew Bell

One thing most Australians can agree on is that a welcoming outdoor space is an integral part of any home. From borders and shrubs in the front yard to add curb appeal to a patio and pool in the backyard for entertaining, long Australian summers make outdoor space a major selling point for homebuyers.

In 2017, Houzz surveyed homeowners from Australia and around the world to find out how important outdoor space was to homebuyers and homeowners. The results showed that our balmy weather means we’re one of the most likely countries to put time, money, and effort into our outdoor spaces.

Trends in outdoor living
According to the report, nearly three quarters of Australian homeowners who renovate their outdoor space focus on their backyard. In many cases, renovators have an eye toward extending their main living space outdoors seamlessly. If you’re starting a major project on your backyard, consider an all-purpose space that flows from the inside of the home out like a lounge area. If you’re feeling more ambitious, outdoor kitchens are incredibly popular.

“Homeowners are looking to make better use of their outdoor space, primarily, as a place to entertain and enjoy our incredible climate,” celebrity landscaper Jason Hodges explained to Homes to Love. “Consider how people get from the indoors out and match your outdoor space to that of your indoor style to ensure seamless transition with bi-fold doors that make a design statement. You may also choose to use the same size and format concrete pavers outside as you have tiles inside to continue the look and feel.”

Many homeowners are seeking to reduce their carbon footprint.

As homeowners look to reduce their carbon footprint – as well as their monthly electricity bill – investing in green options for outdoor materials and lighting are incredibly popular. LED lights are not only energy efficient, but many Australians are opting for a smart system that allows them to be controlled from a mobile device. This not only allows you to turn lights on or off without getting up, but also control the ambience of your entire yard with the touch of a button. Gardens where you can grow your own vegetables and herbs are perfect for providing fresh, healthy food for your family, teaching your kids the art and science of gardening, and reducing your food bill.

Year-round comfort
Sure, Australians can boast some of the warmest climates in the world, but we still see winter each year. But that doesn’t mean you need to close your outdoor space for several months.
One popular choice is the installation of a fire pit. While it can be used year-round for roasting marshmallows and as a natural gathering place for guests, in the winter it provides light and warmth when both are needed so you can enjoy your backyard throughout the year.

Of course, fire pits aren’t right for every yard and every family. Whether it’s because you have small children to mind or a lack of space and ventilation that a fire requires, you’re not out of luck. Consider investing in gas patio heaters or radiant heaters. Be sure to find the option that is right for you by considering whether these heaters will be under a roof or out in the open, as well as what the most practical power source for your backyard set up is.

Whether you’re going to tackle outdoor renovations yourself or bring in the professionals, a well-designed yard will not only provide many days and nights enjoying your space, but can provide a great return on investment as well.

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