Looking for ways to improve the resale value of your Pennsylvania home? Consider designing an outdoor living space! For the past 8 years, residential architects have ranked outdoor living areas as the most desired “special function” room among consumers, according to the American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey. With additions like outdoor kitchens, living areas, lighting, and even audio you can improve the chances of not only selling your home for more but also in some cases faster. Here are our top tips for increasing the value of your home with outdoor living features.

Go Green

In this day and age, living large also means living smart. Potential buyers are willing to pay more upfront for features that will save them money in the long term. Many of the latest backyard trends take a page from the larger movement toward sustainability and embracing nature. Natural landscapes can include a babbling brook flowing through your garden, a hidden alcove among the trees, or simply a lovely vista to gaze on while relaxing. And to highlight the beauty of your landscape at night energy-efficient LED lighting. The latest technology can change your lighting as the evening wears on, dimming some lights, making others brighter, turning others off, thereby creating different scenes. There is even an option to change light colors for holiday themes. The best part: they are hands-off on your end.

Create a Room

Living rooms are not just for indoors anymore. Unlike decks or patios, an outdoor living room is sheltered from the elements by a covered structure, which means it’s a far less expensive way to add an extra room. What sets it apart from other outdoor dining or lounge areas is that it’s attached to the home, facilitating the connection between indoors and out. Add some comfortable lounge furniture and even outdoor audio and video and you have all your creature comforts without being relegated to the indoors.

Get Cooking

Outdoor kitchens have become very popular and are often a family staple in the summer. Homes with outdoor kitchens can potentially see an ROI ranging between 100% and 200%. An outdoor kitchen can include everything (including the kitchen sink!) made of granite, pavers, and durable outdoor materials. They can feature pizza ovens, counters, bar area, refrigerator… the sky is the limit. Or they can upgrade the basic with a built-in grill and al fresco dining area. There are many options to fit every size, space, purpose, and price range.

Light it Up

A natural extension of the outdoor living trend is equipping these landscapes with creative and functional lighting and technological enhancements. Everything from dramatic and boldly colored lights to soft twinkling accent lighting along walkways can provide an elegant ambiance. But don’t stop there, backyard Wi-Fi and audio/video installations are a must. For the ultimate entertainment space, consider outdoor speakers that can be used to play music or be hooked up to an outdoor screen for your whole party to enjoy movies.

And Remember to Keep it Up

An outdoor living space is not only a great feature to enjoy while you live in your home, but it can also attract buyers when and if you’re ready to sell. With additions like patios, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, and even swimming pools, you can improve the chances of selling your home for more and oftentimes quicker. As it is with all things exposed to Mother Nature, outdoor living features can over time, get dirty, discolor, or can require repairs. Regular maintenance on your outdoor living investment will maximize its lifespan and make sure it looks beautiful for your family’s enjoyment and even the next one.

Ready to increase the value of your home? If so, let us help design and build your outdoor living space. Just remember, whether taking on small projects like added lighting or bigger projects like an outdoor kitchen, working on your yard appeal will always add value and beauty to your home.