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6 DIY Backyard Updates to Boost ROI

by Abigail Golder, abigail@zogmedia.com

It’s not too late in the summer for a great backyard update

With the warm weather firmly impacting each day, many people are outdoors to soak up all that sunshine and get the wiggles out before school starts up again. And if you have a pool in your backyard, brace yourself for all the friends and family that will invite themselves over. But how can you create a backyard experience that is sure to turn heads? Homeowners spend a great deal of time in their backyards, so keeping it fresh and updated is a must. If you’re looking to sell your home sometime in the future, these potential changes can make or break the sale. So to get the best return on investment for your property, here are some stellar DIY backyard update ideas that you should consider.

Updated Furniture

While this updated furniture might not end up being included in the final sale of your home, it showcases the backyard immensely by letting others visualize its potential. In the meantime, having nice outdoor furniture will also benefit you and all of your guests. Outdated plastic lawn chairs and cheap metal tables can be an eyesore, and can ultimately make your backyard look unappealing. With some cheap wood pallets you can create just about anything from shabby chic outdoor tables to gorgeous lounge chairs. The projects are endless! Investing in a nice seating and dining area will make for a pleasant outdoor experience while helping you get a better profit in the long run.

One piece of furniture that could add great value to your home is a stationary shed or covered carport. If your home doesn’t have a garage, this addition might attract prospective buyer that might have otherwise turned away. Plus, this is a great way to store your items and protect your car from the elements.

Backyard Paradise

Turn your backyard into a summer paradise by adding one simple component: water. Anything that contains water immediately appeals to homebuyers and homeowners alike. Things like pools, fountains, and low maintenance ponds can instantly enhance the appearance and overall vibe of a backyard. However, it’s important to also properly sustain them. Just like getting our bodies swimsuit ready during the summer season, we should aim to do the same with our backyard apparatus. If you own a pool, consider giving it a makeover by installing LED lights or adding an inner backsplash. Don’t have a pool? Build your very own pond with a budget of only $50-$150 dollars. A few simple touches can really make a difference.

Outdoor Kitchen

6 diy backyard updates to boost roiAdding an outdoor kitchen is probably the greatest way to get a high return on investment. If you invest in quality materials and kitchen appliances that are durable in all kinds of weather, you will be able to sell your home a lot faster versus a home without one. Outdoor kitchens are on the rise, and can transform a backyard into an outdoor living area. Start by creating your cooking area with a custom built island that has an attached grill. This will come in handy when cooking big meals that need lots of countertop space. Finish it off with a granite top to make your island look more high-end. You can also use wood pallets to build an outdoor bar, equipped with a mini fridge, that will accommodate all of your guest’s needs for a cold and refreshing beverage on a hot summer day.


Nice landscaping both in the front and the backyard are essential for selling a home with good return on investment. If you plan on selling your home in 3-5 years, you might want to think about planting a few trees. Trees are one of the biggest investments that don’t depreciate in value, but rather appreciate over time. They supply shade, privacy, help you save on your energy bills, and make your property stand out. Hedges are also extremely popular and are cheap and easy to plant.


Besides adding LED lights to your pool, there are several ways that lighting can make your backyard stand out and set the mood for a great night every night. Outlining a pathway can be great for aesthetic purposes as well as safety purposes when the sun goes down. You can buy solar powered lights just about anywhere, and the installment is as easy as sticking it right into the ground. Adding accent lights to the back, and all around, the house is also an eye catcher that makes a home look professionally highlighted. If artificial lighting doesn’t appeal to you, a beautiful fire pit is the next best thing. You can purchase a pre-made pit or build one yourself to your liking. There’s nothing better than gathering around a fire while chatting with your friends, singing songs, or making s’mores.

Less Grass

While this may sound silly to some, keep in mind that the more grass you have, the more maintenance your home needs. Having a barefoot-friendly floor can not only make your backyard look more upscale, but also get rid of that weekly yard work chore that everyone dreads: mowing the lawn. While your entire backyard doesn’t need to be completely covered, over time you will save a lot of time, money, and energy for having to maintain a smaller plot of grass. This covered portion would be perfect for your outdoor kitchen or seating area as well.

The best way to get a great return on investment with a nice backyard is simply to plan ahead and make sure you have more than enough time for each project. The decision to update something is ultimately up to you, but if you follow some of our tips, hopefully it will guide you in the right direction. Whether you’re planning to sell your home or just want to update your backyard for yourself, just remember to be safe and hire a professional if you need any help. Good luck!



Abigail is a senior studying journalism at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. She plans to graduate in May 2018 from the Cronkite School and Barrett, The Honors College. Originally from Colorado, Abigail grew up in a small town called Montrose and she still spends much of her free time in the mountains hiking and skiing.