5 Backyard Patio Ideas – WTOP News

Backyard patios can add great value and comfort to your home, whether you’re getting ready for backyard entertaining or creating…

Backyard patios can add great value and comfort to your home, whether you’re getting ready for backyard entertaining or creating the perfect lounging space for you and your family. Having a nice backyard patio is also a big plus for many homebuyers and one of the best ways to add value to your home. Here’s what you should know about sprucing up your backyard patio to enjoy year-round and boost your home’s curb appeal.

— How much value can an attractive backyard add to the home?

— Backyard patio ideas.

— Backyard patio do’s and don’ts.

— Can your HOA affect what you’re able to do to your backyard patio?

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How Much Value Can an Attractive Backyard Add to the Home?

“Generally, outdoor projects are some of the best investments homeowners can make,” says Rupa Mehta, outdoor care expert at internet services company Angi. “Nearly every outdoor addition can add resale value to your home as long as it’s designed well for the space.”

For example, Mehta says that homeowners with green lawns can expect a 25% return on investment compared to brown or unmanicured lawns. Decks and patios can give homeowners more than an 80% ROI and patios can add more than $5,000 value to a home.

Having a well-maintained backyard patio can also help you sell your home more quickly. Even minor improvements to your patio can make a big difference.

Backyard Patio Ideas

Consider these ideas to transform your patio into an attractive and enjoyable place to spend time:

1. Get a fire pit.

2. Consider an outdoor kitchen.

3. Brighten up the space with outdoor lighting.

4. Create an outdoor living space.

5. Add some greenery.

Get a Fire Pit

Fire pits can be enjoyed during every season and have gained popularity in recent years. Not only do they keep mosquitoes away and give a warm and cozy feeling, but they create a focal point for your backyard patio space. According to Mehta, fire pits have a high ROI — up to 80%.

Before adding a fire pit to your backyard patio, be aware of the potential risks involved and your local codes and regulations. The National Association of Landscape Professionals advises that a fire pit should be at least 10 feet away from the house or other combustible structures or surfaces. Depending on where you live, some fuel types, like traditional logs, may not be permitted. The fire pit should also be built on a non-flammable surface and you may need permits if your fire pit requires electrical, gas or plumbing work.

The cost of a fire pit depends on the material and whether it’s permanent or mobile. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to build a fire pit is $850 but most people spend between $200 and $3,000. However, you could spend as much as $5,000 if you need gas or electrical work.

Consider an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens can add a touch of luxury to your backyard patio with a 55% ROI, Mehta says. However, they often come with a higher price tag. Homeowners should expect to pay between $5,577 and $22,683, with the average homeowner paying $14,050, according to HomeAdvisor. In some cases, an outdoor kitchen with luxurious additions and materials can cost as much as $100,000, the home improvement network and information resource says.

This is a wide price range, but the total cost depends on which features and amenities you decide to add. A simple outdoor kitchen could include a built-in grill and countertop, or you could go with the full package including all the bells and whistles such as an oven, sink, cabinets and storage, an island with seating, appliances and more.

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Brighten Up the Space With Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting boosts your home’s curb appeal, but it can also light up the area and increase safety, deter criminals and enhance outdoor living spaces.

Your backyard patio will need sufficient lighting for everyone to move around safely, but not so much that it ruins the ambiance. Consider overhead ceiling lights on a covered patio as well as outdoor table lamps and path lights or step lights for safety. You can also add string lights along railings or even lanterns for softer lighting.

The type of light fixtures you choose is one of the biggest cost factors. The national average cost to install outdoor lighting is around $4,000 with the typical range between $2,000 and $6,000 to complete the project, HomeAdvisor says.

Create an Outdoor Living Space

If you have a patio, it’s important to make it a livable space. Think about how the backyard will be used and picture where you see yourself dining or lounging. Make a list of your patio furniture needs, and opt for comfortable seating and easy-care furniture and covers to minimize upkeep. Add outdoor rugs for a little bit of color and comfort and match colors to your decor.

An inviting outdoor living space can make a big difference to buyers and possibly raise your home’s value. You can also add a patio cover or retractable awning to protect you and your guests from the elements.

The cost of patio furniture ranges from a small table and chairs for several hundred dollars to a large dining table, outdoor sofa, hammocks and more for several thousand dollars. A permanent patio cover can cost between $3,000 to $10,000 while a retractable awning typically costs between $2,000 and $3,500, according to Angi.

Add Some Greenery

Plants and flowers can make a big impact on your backyard’s living space. “Trees are another great value add since, when placed strategically, they can provide shade and privacy while simultaneously helping lower heating and cooling bills,” Mehta explains.

You can add trees, shrubs, climbing plants and other greenery around your patio to make the space feel more secluded and add some shade. Make sure not to plant trees too close to your house, as the roots can damage your foundation.

According to Bob Vila, the cost to plant a tree ranges from $150 and $3,000, depending on the size of the tree, the species, the age of the tree, the number of trees being planted and labor costs.

Backyard Patio Do’s and Don’ts

Do consider hiring a landscape designer. “Backyards and outdoor spaces should be functional for you and your lifestyle,” Mehta says. “Hiring a landscape designer can help you get a better idea of how you envision using your outdoor space and can help make recommendations on everything from layout to materials.”

Do seek out sustainable materials. Mehta also advises using environmentally friendly materials and landscaping. “You can find sustainable materials with a low carbon impact that come from responsibly managed forests or recycled materials,” Mehta says. “Additionally, lawn alternatives like ground covers, gravel and mulch are low maintenance and can help reduce your water bill.”

Don’t add water features without research. Mehta says that in-ground pools, hot tubs and other water features can be a great addition, but buyers tend to stay away. Water features can be costly to maintain and repair, as well as a possible danger for families with pets or small children. “If you live in a place that’s hot year-round, they could boost your home’s resale value, but otherwise it won’t. You can still add in those water features as long as you’re aware it could be harder to sell your home down the line,” Mehta explains.

[Read: How Much Does It Cost to Add a Screened-In Deck or Porch to Your House?]

Can Your HOA Affect What You’re Able to Do to Your Backyard Patio?

Your homeowners association could possibly affect what you do to your backyard patio. However, Mehta says that this depends on your HOA’s policies and what was included in the agreement you signed when you purchased your home. Contact your HOA before making any changes to your backyard patio if you’re unsure.

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5 Backyard Patio Ideas originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 08/16/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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