Outdoor Home Renovations? Think Budget and Scope
Outdoor Home Renovations
Before you dive into an outdoor improvement, take these key considerations into account to help you stay on budget and ensure that your project is successful.
Match Plan to Budget
The 2016 Houzz Landscaping & Garden Trends Study, conducted among registered users of the residential remodeling website, found that 88% of respondents had done or planned to do substantial renovations or complete overhauls, while only 12% had done or planned to do minor updates. Knowing the scope of your plans in the beginning will help you get a basic sense of what the project will cost you.
In the Houzz study, 9 out of 10 homeowners working on minor updates spent or planned to spend less than $5,000, but substantial updates called for bigger budgets — more than 2 in 5 homeowners working on a complete overhaul spent or planned to spend $20,000 or more.
Having a general understanding of the projects that are most popular among outdoor renovators can also be helpful as you develop your budget and scope. Across all outdoor projects reported in the study, many homeowners were updating outdoor systems such as irrigation and lighting (82%), beds and borders (80%), and structural elements such as patios, terraces and gazebos (72%).
The costs of these projects vary significantly based on a number of factors, such as project nature, scope and professional involvement. For example, while most standard outdoor systems such as irrigation or lighting in medium to small yards can be upgraded for less than $2,000, updates to beds and borders can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. Renovation of outdoor structures is typically quite expensive and can easily start at a few thousand dollars and go up based on the type of structure and the extent of upgrades.
Looking for some cash to finance home renovations?
Pick your Priorities
If outdoor living is top of your mind, you might concentrate on adding outdoor furniture, a fire pit or cooking features to enhance comfort. If a low-maintenance space is a top priority, you might focus on adding plants that require little care and are resistant to cold, drought and wildlife.
When it comes to design, outdoor renovators most valued one that complements the style of their home (46%), promotes outdoor living (45%) and is stylish and beautiful (43%).
In terms of function, a space that's easy to maintain ranked highest for homeowners (80%), followed by an area suitable for group gatherings and entertainment (49%).
Beyond creating an outdoor space that is aesthetically pleasing and easy to spend time in, many homeowners tackled specific challenges during their projects. Top issues included drainage troubles, lack of privacy, and drought or water shortages. Identifying your outdoor pet peeves or pressing concerns should make it easier to set project scope and budget. This will help you avoid project-scope creep.
Hiring a Professional
Once you determine your budget, scope and top priorities, consider meeting with a professional for an initial consultation to discuss what you have in mind for your project. Finding the right landscape contractor or landscape architect can make an entire project come alive. You may be surprised at how reasonable the professionals' fees are compared with their contributions to the project and the quality of the final outcome.
An outdoor makeover can make an enormous difference in how you and your family enjoy your time at home. In fact, after the completion of their outdoor project, 75% of homeowners reported resting and relaxing more often in their yards, 64% did more gardening, and 55% entertained more frequently in their outdoor areas. Keeping these tips in mind will help ensure that you not only complete your project without damaging your finances but also achieve an ideal outdoor space that you and your family will enjoy for years to come.
Nino Sitchinava is principal economist at Houzz, a residential remodeling and design platform and community. This article originally appeared on NerdWallet. Used with Permission.