Springtime Beckons. So Does Your Backyard.

patioWho was the real estate poet who came up with the line about how, in the spring, a homeowner’s fancy turns to thoughts of building a backyard deck or patio? Maybe the poem was worded a bit differently (with apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson), but the sentiment is clear: There’s no better time than the spring to step outdoors, breathe deep, and make better use of the green space that’s available to you.

Even more so if you’re looking to sell your home. Well-developed outdoor space adds significant value to your home and attracts buyers like bears to honey. In fact, a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders found that 84 percent of homebuyers want a patio in their new place.

With springtime right around the corner, now is a good time to start planning those backyard improvements. The HouseLogic website recently identified seven ways to turn your outdoor space into the most popular part of your home:

MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE: Don’t settle for flimsy lawn furniture; you want seating that’s every bit as comfortable as your indoors chairs and lounges. And outdoor rugs win out over bare decks any day of the week.

WI-FI? WHY NOT? Set up outdoor Wi-Fi antennas, solar USB charging stations, and wireless speakers so buyers can see how easy it is to stay connected while relaxing outdoors.

SEAMLESS FLOW, INDOORS AND OUT: Replace a standard door with sliding glass or French doors to minimize the barrier between inside and outside.Use weatherproof flooring such as stone tile or scored concrete for both the room leading to the backyard and the backyard itself.

MOOD LIGHTING: Proper lighting makes your outdoor space accessible all hours of the day, and it helps set the mood, too. Consider sconces, pendant lights, solar lighting along pathways, and overhead strings of lights.

BE CREATIVE: Add a personal, creative touch to your backyard. Maybe a walkways paved with colored glass or bricks? Outdoor art? Possibly a handmade chandelier, wind chime, or light catcher. How about a pizza oven?

ADD OUTDOOR FEATURES: Fireplaces and fire pits are among the most popular outdoor amenities today. For children, add a playhouse. For your pets, consider a dog run.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE ELEMENTS: Install an awning, canopy, or pergola and stay outdoors regardless of Mother Nature’s squalls. Look for products with polycarbonate panels, which block UV rays. Add windscreens to keep barbecue fires burning. Consider adding screening to your porch or deck to truly make the space a year-round feature.

And get outdoors and enjoy the spring weather ahead!

(Image: Flickr/Jeff Sandquist)