Study: Outdoor remodeling projects add value, happiness

September 28, 2016 -  By

logo-NALP-Primary-COLORThe National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) partnered with the National Association of Realtors on the “2016 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features,” a study to determine why homeowners complete outdoor remodeling projects and the value, both financially and emotionally, the finished projects bring to the homeowner.

According to the report, not only can outdoor remodeling projects add value to a home on resale, but they also can bring increased happiness to homeowners planning to stay in their homes. Looking at the outdoor projects that produce the largest financial windfalls at resale, real estate agents ranked seeding lawns the highest, recovering 417 percent of the project cost at resale. Seeding lawns is followed by implementing a standard lawn care program, with 303 percent of cost recovered, and updating a landscape with a sod lawn, with 143 percent recovered, as the most cost-effective projects.

Pools create joy, but not resale value

When it comes to the enjoyment homeowners gain from these projects, a new pool comes in at No. 1, receiving a perfect “joy score” of 10 (“joy scores” range between one and 10 and higher figures indicate greater joy from the project). Ninety-five percent of homeowners who completed a pool project said they have a greater desire to be at home, 90 percent feel a major sense of accomplishment and 80 percent have an increased sense of enjoyment when they are at home. However, real estate agents estimate that homeowners will only recoup 50 percent of the costs on resale, making it one of the least profitable projects in the report.

The next most appealing project is an overall landscape upgrade, with a “joy score” of 9.8, followed by a new wood deck, with a “joy score” of 9.7.

When asked why homeowners took on these projects, the most common answer was to add features to their home and improve livability, the report said.

“This report validates that outdoor remodeling and landscaping improvements are a necessity when it comes to improving your home’s resale value,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NALP. “Homeowners working with a landscape professional to embark on renovations—whether that means enhancing their turf and growing a lush lawn, rehauling their entire landscape or incorporating new features like patios and exterior fireplaces—can rest assured that they are making a smart, worthwhile investment. Further, that investment is coupled with the immediate happiness received by beautiful landscaping and the long-term enjoyment of outdoor living spaces, which are priceless.”

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