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If you’re thinking about doing some home improvement projects, you’re not alone. From 2017-2019, homeowners spent roughly $522 billion on home improvement projects. With the arrival of quarantines, lockdowns, and other safety precautions surrounding COVID-19, that number is only expected to increase.
For many, the role of the home has begun to morph in their lives with long periods spent indoors over the last 18 months. Working from home is now a permanent reality in many jobs, and predictions show that remote work will likely continue as a workforce trend.
So what’s the best way to transform your space to reflect all these new lifestyle changes? Your interior may need some sprucing up, but don’t forget to consider your exterior space too.
With all the time that you may be now spending looking at the interior of your home, have you considered the outside? Exterior home improvement projects can be just as fun as interior, and like the inside, you can start with either big or small changes.
Even if you are a little more homebound than before, it’s likely that you still own a vehicle. What sort of driveway is your vehicle driving on – and driving out of – everyday?
You may think of driveways as a fairly ho-hum area of your home’s exterior, but a carefully curated driveway can literally pave the way for a welcoming first impression of your home. If your driveway is worn, cracked, and/or stained from use, you may want to think about an upgrade to help create a more pleasing appearance to your home.
And although most driveways in the United States are made of asphalt or concrete, you’re not necessarily limited to those mediums. Driveways made of gravel, brick, cobblestone, or crushed stone are great options, and they add a bit of a unique factor too.
Adding colorful plants is a great idea for your yard, front and back. Plants give the illusion of a lush green space and also help a yard look inviting, kept, and cozy. Plants are a great idea too because of their versatility – they come in many shapes and sizes. Adding bushes and hedges, for example, will help create a private, closed-in feeling, or lining your driveway with colorful flower types will be more aesthetically pleasing.
In the case that you’re a novice to outdoor plants, look to add hardier, easy-to-grow types first before moving on to the more finicky strains. For flowers and flowering shrubs, try planting marigolds, hydrangea, or a hardy geranium. If you’re thinking of planting a tree, consider a smoke or hawthorn tree. Juniper and liriope and also good options for low-lying shrubs.
Adding a lounging area is a must when upgrading any residential exterior. Entertaining outside has become a more popular option than ever, and besides, when you do finish improving the outside of your home, you’ll probably want a comfortable place to sit and enjoy the view!
Any outside space will need the basics of a table and chairs. Consider investing in a patio furniture set that also allows for outdoor wining and dining options. When thinking of what type of furniture to get, consider your lifestyle. If you are creating an entertaining area, bar stools give you seating that is easy to maneuver around, but still be comfortable with.
Who doesn’t love a relaxing dip in the pool or hot tub? If you have (or frequently entertain) kids, then you can bet a pool will be a hit upgrade with them too. And depending on what climate you live in, installing a pool can actually increase your home value.
Still not crazy about the idea of keeping up with a pool, or maybe have a backyard too small to add one? Trying installing a hot tub instead. The space you’ll need is much smaller, and as an added bonus hot tubs can be used year-round. Plus, they can always be used as small swimming pools too in the summer months.
Decks are one of the most popular outdoor home additions, and for good reason. They’re extremely versatile, can be used on one or multi-story homes, and can come in any size.
Decks give you the advantage of creating an outdoor space that can look slightly more polished than a regular lawn. Costs will vary depending on the size and material you use, but adding a deck to your home can be a fantastic investment. Some estimates place the upgrade between 50-75% ROI in terms of home resale value.
Gravel, flowerbeds, patio furniture, and bigger installs are all great, but one thing you should consider when renovating your home’s exterior space is hiring a professional landscaping company.
You may not immediately think of this as a good option, especially if you’re the DIY type (or maybe you just like saving money where you can). But hiring and consulting with a professional landscape service can bring several benefits.
First, if you outsource to a good company, you’ll be dealing with professionals who will stand behind their work, so you can rest assured that even in the event a project doesn’t turn out as anticipated, the company will most likely be able to correct it. Professional landscaping companies will also have the advantage of being highly knowledgeable in the subject, and may be able to offer insights and advice that you may not have had access to otherwise.
Whatever it is that you decide to do to improve the exterior of your home, settle first on how much you want to spend, and then move into what actually needs to be done first rather than what you’d like to do first. Putting in a pool can be fun and make a big splash, but smaller changes such as repairing or renovating your driveway, or adding a few colorful plants, can go a long way towards improving your home’s overall look.
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