Generation X continues to break away from their parents, especially when it comes to the outdoors. Boomers, in the 70’s and 80’s, filled their outdoor spaces with gardens and lawns. They dedicated large areas for hobbies and as spots for the kids to play. Now that these kids have grown up and are having kids of their own, we are seeing a move away from grass and plants in the backyard. Generation X is spending money outdoors to create luxury escapes. Some experts feel that this need for an outdoor oasis is replacing the desire to have a second weekend home for a lot of families. The idea of being able to come home at the end of a long day and being able to relax in a resort-like space in your own home is very appealing. It also helps that more information is now available online about the financial benefits to home value for these types of renovations. Thinking about doing this in your own space? Be prepared for the sticker shock. It is very common for landscape companies to turn away clients without a minimum of $30,000 for their outdoor renovations. Most backyard escapes average closer to $65,000 with several of my clients investing upwards of $200,000 in pools, patios and outdoor kitchens.
Constantly, these types of spaces pair wood with stone and lots of glitzy technology. But don’t worry; there are several ways that you can still have a beautiful backyard without breaking the bank. Here are some of the ways I help my clients get their budgets down.
Choose man-made pavers for patio and wall construction instead of natural stone
Man-made options are less expensive when it comes to the initial cost and because they are easier to install than natural products, the labour prices go down as well. When choosing these stones though, stay conservative in the colours and shapes. Traditional colours and patterns hold their value longer as they don’t go out of style and with an expectant lifespan of more than 25 years, you want your patio to be worth some money when you’re ready to sell.
Cedar prices continue to climb, making a backyard staple unaffordable
Instead, we are seeing more pre-stained and treated woods like Sienna taking over the outdoor construction aisles at the box stores. By combining the look of cedar with new environmentally approved preservation techniques, these options are an amazing way to get that expensive look for less and be safer for your family and the environment at the same time.
Solar technology is also making big leaps in the luxury-for less market
With stunning chrome or wood finishes, having the flexibility to put gorgeous light where you need it without the cost of running wires or needing an electrician works for everyone’s budget. When choosing the right fixtures for you, look for ones with timers or with solar panels that can be tucked away in a sunnier space. Both of these options will increase your enjoyment and impress your guests with their ease of use and customization.
I recommend keeping the overall cost below 10% of your home’s value when pricing out your own backyard patio renovation
Even with several online sources quoting gains in excess of 12-15% (realestate.com), the price tag for an outdoor escape can easily exceed those numbers for the average home. Why spend a lot of money that you won’t see a return on?
Carson Arther specialistCarson Arthur is an international landscape designer with a focus on environmentally friendly design. His HGTV series, Critical Listing, teaches homeowners how to raise the value of their homes through outdoor renovations.