22 Awesome Backyard Improvements That Add Value to Your Home - Backyard Boss
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22 Awesome Backyard Improvements That Add Value to Your Home

Even if you’re not ready to sell a home any time soon, adding some upgrades to your outdoor space now is a great investment of money and time, especially when it’s an upgrade you can enjoy with the family in the meantime.

Even in a seller’s market, curb appeal is critical for drawing the attention and keeping it of potential buyers. Often, when people visit a house, they assess its appeal within minutes. If they’re looking online? Even more important. Those pictures of unique features will get them to call a real estate agent and set up a showing.

How Much Are These Improvements Worth?

The University of Michigan did a study on home value. They discovered that properties with landscaping increased resale value by 11.3% over homes with poorly landscaped homes. Adding features like a fire pit, outdoor kitchen, swimming pool, outbuildings like gazebos and sheds, and similar larger additions often see a return of investment of between 80% and 200%.

Smaller upgrades and improvements like rose gardens and game zones won’t recoup as much as the big-ticket items. However, they usually increase resale value by a reasonable percentage of what you invest. They can also easily be that one thing that sets apart your home from another.

Here are some top upgrades you can make, from some simple DIY to extensive landscaping projects. You’re bound to find something doable today on your budget.

A Dedicated Rose Garden

orange rose still on bush
Image credits: Capri23auto via Pixabay

You may already have a lovely flower garden planted out back, but having a dedicated rose garden space could be a unique and beautiful way to really up that flower game, even in smaller square foot areas. There are many different ideas out there for making the garden unique and perfect for your taste.

A Zen Garden

stones stacked in a zen garden
Image credits: TanteTati via Pixabay

For some added peace and realignment for your day, a Zen garden is the way to make life better while also upping the value of your home. Check out these amazing small Zen garden ideas you could do at your home.

A Backyard Gym

woman rock climbing
Image credits: Taylor Burnett via Pixabay

You don’t have to have a gym membership to perform a great workout. Instead, consider adding a backyard gym to your outdoor living space. You can add climbing walls, battle ropes, bodyweight station, chin-up bars, and so much more for that full-body workout.


gazebo, fence, and other wooden structures lit up with Christmas lights
Image credits: Vincent Ciro via Pixabay

There’s nothing quite like a gazebo to add some beauty and shelter to the backyard. You can find many different types of gazebos out there, too, from DIY to pre-built gazebos that can make that space out back pop. Ideally build it near – but not under – mature trees for additional shelter and aesthetic appeal.

Vertical Gardens

plants growing on fence
Image credits: Pawel Czerwinski via Unsplash

If your gardening space is on the smaller side, you could add some value with vertical gardening. You can upcycle materials, build your system, or find some premade options for a gorgeous and useful setup that easily adds some unique backyard improvements.

Family Game Zone

croquet set leaning against garden bench with tea on table and jacket draped on bench
Image credits: Philip Hutchens via Pixabay

Outdoor play is important, so why not consider a game zone for the kids? Set up a croquet setcornhole game, or a collection of outdoor games the whole family can enjoy in a dedicated gameplay space.

Playset or Swing Sets

slide and swing set in backyard
Image credits: Ashley Hajimirsadeghi via Unsplash

If you’ve got kids bouncing around the house, you might want to add a playground or swing set to that backyard landscape. It will help the kids burn lots of energy off while you chill and add some value to the home for a better sale price when that time comes.

Water Fountains

large water fountain with evergreens in background
Image credits: Tom Wheatley via Unsplash

water fountain is a reasonably simple perfect touch for upgrading the looks of the yard. They add a gorgeous touch of elegance and comfort as well, with that sparkling, running water known to help ease stress and reduce anxiety.

In-Ground or Above Ground Pool

woman leaning over edge of swimming pool
Image credits: icsilviu via Pixabay

What house wouldn’t be improved by a pool? If you’re not sure about having an in-ground pool, you can add an above-ground pool instead. They add a huge value to the house for sure, and they’re incredibly enjoyable for the whole family. Don’t forget the outdoor lighting so the pool can be enjoyed in both the daytime and evening hours.

Pond Waterfalls

Pond waterfall made of stone
Image credits: pablomaxim  via Pixabay

Another water feature you should consider is adding a pond waterfall to your existing pond, or adding a new pond. There are tons of different ideas for what kind of waterfall to add, too, whether you want something natural looking like a deep forest pool or something more like a chic modern aquascape.


Backyard pond with plants all around
Image credits: smltd via Pixabay

Backyard ponds come in all sizes and shapes, natural-looking or modern and precise in shape. You can surround them with gorgeous pond plants, fill them with intriguing fish, or leave them pristine and clear for less upkeep.

Chicken Coop

chickens in foreground with attractive chicken coop in background
Image credits: Dani Millington via Unsplash

If you’re into keeping critters and collecting your eggs, then adding a chicken coop might be the upgrade you’re looking for in your backyard. You can go traditional with simple A-frame coops and tractors or build one that looks like a giant dollhouse. Whatever best fits your personality!

Other Water Features

pond split by a walking path
Image credits: Vije Vijendranath via Unsplash

There are also a ton of other water features out there that you could add. Think miniature creek, bird spas, vernal ponds, bridges over figure eight gardens, and so much more.

Unique and Attractive Garden Fences

White garden fence with white flowers climbing center section
Image credits: Tracy Adams via Unsplash

Sometimes, an attractively unique garden fence is all you need to change things up and add some value to that backyard. Of course, choosing the right one can be a challenge, so perusing a list o garden fence ideas might help you out there.

Gorgeous Dog Kennels

Dog sitting in dog kennel
Image credits: Jana Shnipelson via Unsplash

Pet lovers will find dog kennels gorgeous and effective addition that will improve their backyard space. There are tons of tutorials on how to build one, as well as great options for the less handy to buy. You will be able to find one that suits your dog’s needs and your aesthetic desires.

Butterfly Garden

Orange butterflies on orange flowers in garden
Image credits: Sarah Brown via Unsplash

Another type of garden that can improve your backyard is a butterfly garden. The stunning, fragrant flowers attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and other lovely creatures. It is what can change your garden significantly. 

Barbecue Zone

Three adults cooking around an outdoor BBQ with mountains in the background
Image credits: Michael Kilcoyne via Unsplash

You can have a grill, and then you can have a BBQ zone. To up the value of your home, while also giving yourself an amazing place to entertain, a full-on BBQ zone would do it. A built-in pit, a gorgeous dining set – whatever you want. They’ll make that yard an oasis in good weather.

Outdoor Kitchen

outdoor kitchen with tap
Image credits: toddpharistx via Pixabay

If you want to up that outdoor cooking game, build yourself a full-on outdoor kitchen. There are tons of kits, ready-made grills, countertops, outdoor refrigerators, and so much more that you can use to create the cooking area and beautiful designs and ideas for creating exactly your dream outdoor kitchen space.

Outdoor Pizza Oven

Brick outdoor pizza oven
Image credits: Erik Mclean via Unsplash

If you’re not ready for a full-on kitchen, you could opt for an outdoor pizza oven. Build your own or purchase a ready-made kit for a reasonably easy install and an instant upgrade to that yard.


firepit with skyline in background
Image credits: Datingscout via Unsplash

Another option for your backyard is adding a firepit for any season. Consider the differences between natural gas, propane, or woodfire pits and install in time for Autumn. Your yard will be the envy of the neighborhood.

All-Weather Entertainment Area

Outdoor TV room
Image credits: Jonathan Guloyan via Pixabay

If you’ve got a bit more space and budget, add a beautiful all-weather outdoor entertaining space. Add an outdoor TV watching area, some patio heaters, a bar, or, well, pretty much anything you want, and you’ll have the perfect spot for entertaining all year long.

Hot Tub Enclosure

wooden hot tub with fence and steps
Image credits: Pezibear via Pixabay

You could also consider adding a hot tub enclosure to the backyard. Find the right hot tub for your needs and build up that beautiful enclosure so you can enjoy the hot tub year-round.

Whatever Your Space, There are Amazing Ideas Out There

Whether you’ve got a small or a big yard, any of these ideas will automatically add at least a little value to your resale value. The larger improvements, like ponds, pools, outdoor entertainment spaces, or outdoor kitchens, of course, will add the most value. But even the smaller things like a butterfly garden or vertical garden can still make all the difference in someone’s interest in your home when the resale time comes.