“Is it really worth it?”
It’s a question that every client has to ask themselves when trying to decide if they want to go through with a certain outdoor project. Not only is there a question of how happy they’ll be after completing a project, but there’s also the question of its value when it comes to selling the house down the road.
The 2023 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features by the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Landscape Professionals explores the increased happiness once an upgrade is completed and the estimated cost recovery of lawn and landscape enhancements.
This report covers the typical cost of 11 outdoor residential projects as estimated by members of NALP. The costs were calculated by averaging responses from anonymous survey data. It also shares how much Realtors estimate homeowners can recover on the cost of an outdoor residential project if they choose to sell the home. These projects feature the Joy Score consumers have with the finished project as well.
Cost Recovery and Joy Score
The 11 outdoor features in the report include a fire feature, an in-ground pool addition, an irrigation system installation, landscape lighting, landscape maintenance, a new patio, a new wood deck, an outdoor kitchen, an overall landscape upgrade, tree care, and standard lawn care service.
Ranked on a scale of 1-10, the report found that consumers rated all 11 outdoor projects highly, with Joy Scores at 9 or above. Among the features, the highest Joy Scores were for an in-ground pool addition (10), landscape lighting (10) and a new patio (9.9). Slightly lower Joy Scores were provided for an outdoor kitchen (9), tree care (9.3), standard lawn care service (9.4) and an irrigation system installation (9.4).
Notably, the least expensive project, standard lawn care service, estimated to cost $415, had the highest cost recovery at 217 percent, followed by landscape maintenance (104 percent), an overall landscape upgrade (100 percent) and an outdoor kitchen (100 percent), according to Realtors.
While the in-ground pool, fire features and landscape lighting had high Joy Scores, they had the lowest cost recovery in the 56 to 59 percent range.
According to the report, 68 percent of owners have a greater desire to be in their homes after remodeling. Sixty percent reported having increased enjoyment in their home. Fifty-two percent feel happy and 45 percent feel satisfied when they see their completed project.
The single most important result of the project was beauty and aesthetics for 37 percent of respondents. Twenty-nine percent said better functionality and livability and 11 percent said durable and long-lasting results and materials mattered the most.
Reasons for Remodeling
The main reasons why consumers said they remodel are to add features and improve livability (35 percent), to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes and materials (24 percent) and because it is time for a change (18 change).
The report also looked at COVID-19’s influence on consumers’ desire to take on certain projects and the increased demand for outdoor features during the pandemic. Ninety-two percent of landscape professionals cited increased demand for contracting outdoor features during the pandemic. Another 79 percent said the project scope increased in size as well.
The outdoor projects for which landscape professionals saw the most increased demand included an overall landscape upgrade (61 percent), landscape maintenance (58 percent) and a new patio (55 percent). Conversely, they saw the least increased demand for a new wood deck (15 percent), an in-ground pool addition (25 percent) and tree care (29 percent).
Some of the outdoor features consumers would have undertaken regardless of the pandemic, like tree care (93 percent) and an irrigation system installation (97 percent) while only 78 percent would have added a fire feature, regardless of the pandemic.
Creating Curb Appeal
Improving curb appeal is highly recommended by 92 percent of Realtors before listing a home for sale.
In line with their majority recommendation to improve curb appeal, landscaping-related projects most Realtors recommended pursuing included landscape maintenance (74 percent), standard lawn care service (53 percent) and tree care (44 percent). The shares of Realtor recommendations were the lowest for an in-ground pool addition (1 percent), an outdoor kitchen (1 percent) and an irrigation system installation (2 percent).
“It’s no surprise that nearly all Realtors and most homeowners place a high value on the curb appeal of a well-maintained yard,” says Britt Wood, NALP CEO. “Healthy outdoor living and green spaces help the environment, increase home values, make communities more desirable, and improve people’s mental and physical health.”
You can view the full report here.