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Outdoor Upgrades to Increase the Value of Your Home

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Today's homeowners spend more time entertaining family and friends at home, and as a result, customized outdoor living spaces have become increasingly popular. According to Realtor.com, homeowners are willing to pay a premium for a home with an outdoor living space. Instead of updating your home's exterior with amenities you'll enjoy today, invest in upgrades that will increase the resale value of your home and appeal to potential buyers.

The product experts at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery and members of Ferguson's Loyalty Club share their best outdoor renovation tips to increase a home's value.

Create a Seamless Look

The style of your outdoor living area should be influenced by the architecture of your home and the natural elements of your backyard.

"Bring the natural stone materials used on the front of the home to the exterior portion as well. This covered terrace will create a cozy spot to hide from the sun when the weather gets too warm!"
- Candace White, The WhiteHouse Collection, Portland, OR

"Don't be afraid to mix mediums outside. Instead of pouring a solid sidewalk of concrete, use pavers or small concrete slabs and surround them with gravel or grass. It breaks up the monotony of the concrete and creates another realm of visual interest."
- Sharon Thomas, Wayne Harbin Builder, Williamsburg, VA

Sliding doors are one of the best ways to extend your house and raise resale value.

"Add retractable screens to enjoy year-round entertaining free of unwanted pests."
- Maria Barcelona, Maria Barcelona Interiors, New Orleans, LA

Illuminate the Great Outdoors

LED lighting provides one of the best ways to extend the comforts of your indoor space to the outside areas of your home. Emitting less heat than florescent bulbs, LED lighting attracts significantly fewer bugs. Longer life span is another feature of LEDs since they typically last between 25,000 and 50,000 hours. With nightly usage of 8 hours, your exterior lights could burn up to 16 years without having to be replaced.

For increased functionality, task lighting near a grill or outdoor kitchen is essential during the evening hours. As well, general lighting near the main seating area is important; make sure it's a warm hue and a similar brightness to your indoor lighting. Lamps and chandeliers specifically made for outdoor use are a popular decorative accent to outdoor porches, pools, cabanas and other covered outdoor spaces.

Today's landscape lighting goes well beyond the functionality of safety and security. To understand the 13 elements of a well-designed lighting plan, check out the landscape lighting guide by Hinkley Lighting.

Create an Outdoor Great Room

Create a multifunctional outdoor space that allows you and guests to enjoy quiet time and entertaining. To make the area more comfortable, create integrated zones for conversation and activities.

"The patio is really an outdoor great room where people can cook, dine, socialize, relax, watch TV and smell the flowers. Comfortable seating is key to the success of this beautiful space."
- Susan Hersker, ASID & Elaine Ryckman, Allied ASID, Design Directives, LLC, Scottsdale, AZ

The style of the outdoor kitchen should complement the design of your interior spaces and landscaping. But don't isolate the cook! Keep the location of the outdoor kitchen close to other entertaining areas. Just like with an indoor kitchen, group functional zones nearby: cold areas (refrigeration), hot areas (grills and cooktops), wet areas (sinks) and dry areas (prep counters and storage).

"When combining cooking with seating spaces, be sure to plan enough space to accommodate both the chef and the guests comfortably. In our award-winning Street of Dreams home, we built an outdoor area large enough for seating around a masonry fireplace, cooking on the grill and the wood burning pizza oven!"
- Candace White, The WhiteHouse Collection, Portland, OR

Above all, leave enough space for people AND nature! Space to cook, eat and relax in a natural setting will provide a seamless and inviting living experience in the great outdoors.

How will you enhance your outdoor space?

You don't have to implement all of these tips to increase the value of your home. Whether you start planning for a complete patio renovation or simply begin with outdoor lighting upgrades, updating your outdoor living space is a solid investment in increasing your home's value and appeal.

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