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Outdoor spaces designed to add value

Industry experts attest that a smartly planned and executed backyard can add 20 to 30 per cent on resale value. 

In addition, an inviting outdoor area improves our quality of life, particularly with summer in the air.

Given the importance of backyards in Australian and New Zealand cultures, it is only natural for buyers to visualise and create an appealing outdoor space for their home. 

The first step in designing a functional, affordable and aspirational backyard is to develop a space that is low-maintenance and well presented. 

Young families and time-poor professionals are increasingly shunning weekend lawn-mowing and gardening duties in favour of outdoor zones designed for relaxation and entertainment.

But just how much improvement should you make to help reap the financial rewards when selling? 

The 5 must-haves for your great outdoors

According to research, there are a handful of qualities that homeowners (and renters) covet in their backyards. 

When these elements are well designed and offer instant appeal, they are also certain to boost property values. 

—1. Outdoor entertaining/dining area: Immediate visualisation of owners/buyers placing themselves in the picture is the main aim for backyard renovations. If this is done effectively, it increases the chances of forging an emotional connection with the property. The entertaining and dining area is a great place to start because it adds a new dimension to how you can entertain while enhancing the appeal of your home. 

—2. Outside kitchen: An outdoor kitchen is aspirational, yet easy to achieve. Various options include having hot and cold running water and a temperature-controlled wine fridge. Creating the perfect base for a benchtop with courtyard blocks offers affordable quality. They provide a DIY solution to creating functional, individualised outdoor kitchens for backyards of any size. 

—3. Garden/vegetable patch: A vegetable patch complements an outdoor kitchen and dining area, and adds a feeling of home to potential buyers. Gardens are also easy to build. By using concrete blocks, the perimeter will never rot. 

—4. Swimming pool/spa: Pools can provide an excellent return on investment. A safely fenced pool area where you can relax, cool off and entertain family and friends provides immeasurable value and creates lasting memories. For slip-resistant surfaces around the pool, a wide range of pavers offer different aesthetics to enhance any style. These include smooth, European slate and textured stone looks. 

—5. Water feature: Make the backyard a sanctuary by installing a water feature. Coupled with a quiet place to rest, reflect and reset, it can become the ultimate getaway in your backyard. 

For assistance with your outdoor makeovers, consult landscape gardeners or seek products and services from hardware, masonry, gardening and homewares outlets.