With warmer weather on the horizon, many homeowners are gearing up for outdoor home improvements. With thousands of dollars on the line, prioritizing potential remodeling projects is essential, asserts Jack Sweeney, West Chester-based EXP Realty Realtor.
Based on perspectives, feedback and costs from homeowners, real estate professionals and landscape professionals, Jack points to interesting considerations from The 2023 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features issued by the National Association of REALTORS Research Group.
To analyze the remodeling projects that may yield the most monetary return, the new report evaluated the following 11 outdoor remodeling projects, which vary in size and scope, with costs ranging from $415 to $90,000 for each project.
1. In-ground Pool Addition: Install an 18-foot-by-36-foot in-ground pool with Gunite walls, 3-foot to 7-foot depth, and a standard filtration system, including a thick concrete perimeter surrounding it.
2. Landscape Lighting: Installing standard transformer and LED lights.
3. New Patio: Install a backyard 18-foot-by-16-foot concrete paver patio, dry set over compacted gravel and sand base, with paving material estimated at $7 to $10 per square foot.
4. New Wood Deck: Build a 14-foot-deep-by-18-foot-wide wood deck attached to the house with a ledger. Decking, railing, stair treads and open risers to be constructed with cedar lumber, with a clear deck sealer. The lower structure can be covered with pine or fir lattice.
5. Fire Feature: Install a dry stacked natural stone kit and gas burner with a 10-foot diameter flagstone patio.
6. Overall Landscape Upgrade: Install a front walkway of natural flagstone with stone planters. Install flowering shrubs and one deciduous tree. Mulch with landscaping bark.
7. Landscape Maintenance: Annual mulch application, mowing lawn, pruning of shrubs and planting perennials or annuals.
8. Irrigation System Installation: Installing and managing an irrigation system for a lawn.
9. Standard Lawn Care Service: Apply seasonal fertilizer and/or weed control applications.
10. Tree Care: Apply tree fertilizer, regular spraying, trimming, and pruning, as well as removing any dead trees.
11. Outdoor Kitchen: Add inset grill, stainless steel drawers, ice chest, sink, and concrete countertop, made from veneered masonry stone.
Of these 11 remodeling projects, Jack suggests the following three as his top recommendations for the best return on investment when homeowners are thinking about selling their properties: overall landscape upgrades, new patio and lawn care.
For the local, 2023 Pennsylvanian housing market, Jack also would suggest a few other remodeling options, such as replacing garage doors to give a home a major boost in curb appeal or switching out the front door to create an impressive entryway that sets the tone for the rest of the house. Fixing a house's facade is actually one of the most cost-effective ways to improve a home's value, he adds.
"I'm happy to discuss further details of these remodeling endeavors, as well as others we typically assess," Jack says, adding that he maintains a thorough database of dependable contractors and vendors who can assist with various remodeling projects.
Jack has lived in Chester County with his family for 20-plus years. He's been a full-time Realtor for more than five years, and says in addition to buyers and sellers, he also works with investors to locate cash-flow properties for them.