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Get outdoors and add value to your home this summer

Summer is the season of the outdoors, backyard barbecues, picnics and pool parties, evenings around a campfire and nights out under the stars. With summer finally arriving, now is a good time to tackle a few easy home DIY projects that can help you take advantage of the space around your home. Improvements to your deck, patio and backyard will not only encourage your family to spend more time outdoors, but can also increase the value of your home.

Build a deck

Adding a deck to your backyard is one of the best outdoor house projects to add value to your home. The costs and benefits vary depending on a lot of factors, including the size of the deck and how many bells and whistles you decide to add—like multiple levels and built-in seating—but overall, a deck is a great long-term investment. A deck creates an immediate focal point for your outdoor gatherings, and can also become a perfect blank slate for future improvements, like an outdoor kitchen or grilling area.

Add a pool

Besides providing a fun way to cool off in summer, a swimming pool can also add value to your home, though it’s important to remember that not all pools are created equal. As Julie Sturgeon of Houselogic pointed out, adding a pool to your backyard has the greatest potential to increase home value if:

  • Your house is in a neighborhood where other homes have pools, and your pool is a similar style to those of your neighbors.
  • You live in a region with a warm climate.
  • After installing a pool, you still have enough backyard space left over for gardening, outdoor play and other activities.

Install a fire pit

A roaring campfire and everything that goes with it—s’mores, ghost stories and singalongs included—resides fondly in many of our childhood memories. A fire pit in your own backyard lets you recreate those experiences with your friends and family whenever you want.

The most common types of fire pits are essentially metal bowls with legs that rest on a flat surface like a stone patio or deck. These models are convenient, but don’t add home value since they are not a permanent part of the property. Based on your budget and landscaping goals, you can build an above-ground or in-ground fire pit. In-ground fire pits work well if they are built with a drain. For more long-term value, a permanent fire pit or outdoor fireplace made of brick or stone is a better investment. Just remember to build your fire pit in a safe place away from trees and buildings, and check local regulations regarding where you can build a fire pit and how big it can be.

Build an outdoor kitchen

Maybe you want to host the perfect backyard barbecue, or you fancy yourself a grill master but don’t have all the necessary tools. An outdoor kitchen is a great solution for families who frequently cook and dine outdoors. This home DIY project can be as simple or extravagant as you choose to make it, but elements like a high-quality grill, flat countertop for preparing food and storage space for kitchen tools are essential. Many outdoor kitchens also include luxuries like a sink, a refrigerator and side burners separate from the grill.

Plant a tree

One of the simplest and easiest outdoor home improvements is also one of the most rewarding and long-lasting. Planting trees in your backyard is not only great for the environment, it also makes your property look great and increases its value as the trees grow. Playing in the dirt and planting a few trees is also a great outdoor activity for families.

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