How Hardscapes Can Add Value to Your Home

Outdoor hardscape projects add resale value to a home and bring extra enjoyment to the homeowners who are living there, according to the Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).

The report confirms that investing in landscaping and hardscaping is a win-win, whether you plan to stay in your home or prepare it for market.

"This report validates that outdoor remodeling and landscaping improvements are a necessity when it comes to improving your home's resale value," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NALP. "Homeowners working with a landscape professional to embark on renovations—whether that means enhancing their turf and growing a lush lawn, overhauling their entire landscape, or incorporating new features like patios or exterior fireplaces—can rest assured that they are making a smart, worthwhile investment."

Here are four ways hardscaping can add value to your home:

Boosts Your Curb Appeal: Real estate agents suggest that a home's first impression is paramount when preparing it for sale. Simple updates such as adding retaining-wall units or paving stone edging around gardens can add value and curb appeal. More ambitious projects like a front-paving stone entrance with a patio and one or two seat walls can add major curb appeal, plus there's the enjoyment factor from adding a beautiful, functional front yard.

Varying hardscape colors and textures in the front outdoor living space creates maximum visual appeal. Hardscapes can also make routine maintenance easier; for example, create a tree ring from retaining-wall units then surround it with pavers to reduce the need for trimming after mowing.

Makes Unusable Space Usable: Retaining-wall systems like the VERSA-LOK Standard system can help retain the soil excavated from creating an outdoor living space.

Prevents Erosion: Damage to your property can devalue a home plus create major headaches. Retaining-wall systems are essential in preventing erosion, controlling grade changes in a yard, and preventing damage to the landscape and, in certain environments, even damage to your home.

Provides Safety and Privacy: Seat walls can add a measure of privacy and protection against the elements, and energy-efficient landscape lighting can be installed along patios, paver walkways, and under retaining-wall caps for nighttime ambiance and functionality. Landscape professionals can suggest how adding these and other hardscape elements can increase value and offer measures of safety and privacy.

In the end, investing in your home's landscape with hardscapes is a long-term win-win, no matter whether you are staying in your home or preparing it for sale. Says Henriksen: "Further, that investment is coupled with the immediate happiness received by beautiful landscaping and the long-term enjoyment of outdoor living spaces, which are priceless."