Hardscaping return on investment is a smart way to prioritize home improvement projects. Find out which projects are the money makers and how much they cost. We will also touch on which are the best loans to finance a hardscape installation.
Do you have a few hardscaping projects in mind for your back yard? If so, you probably know it’s easy to get carried away with all of the features you can add.
You may start with planning a deck, then a pathway, and before you know it you have an outdoor kitchen, a koi pond, statues, and a pergola sketched out.
Before getting in too deep, a good place to start is looking at the average return on investment of hardscaping.
Tonya Bruin, Owner of To Do Done handyman service, says, “The average return on investment from a hardscaping project is around 20-30%.” But it “strongly depends on the nature of the projects completed,” adds Deemer Cass, a landscaping expert for Fantastic Gardeners.
With this in mind, let’s look at which hardscaping projects offer the highest and lowest ROI.
Highest hardscaping return on investment (ROI)
“Hardscapes that deliver the best financial ROI increase livable, usable space like patios, decks, and walkways that flow well,” says Cassy Aoyagi, president of Form LA Landscaping. She adds, “Of course, you’ll want to protect the deck investment with weather-proofing.”
Hardscapes that deliver the best financial ROI increase livable, usable space like patios, decks, and walkways that flow well.”
Owner of Decking Hero, Tom O’Rourke, has similar advice, saying, “Generally, we find that garden decking is one of those projects with a fantastic ROI as it can really add to the value of your property – provided you do it right,”
He adds, “If you install the decking as an attachment to the house with doors leading outside, it can help to extend the home outdoors. This is a real unique selling point for many properties, especially those in warm climates.
Decking helps to make a house a home, it’s a very sociable feature, and it can help prospective buyers visualize themselves living in the home. All these factors add to the value of your property.”
The 2017 report from Remodeling is in alignment with O’Rourke and Aoyagi. With a 71.5% average ROI, a wood deck addition ranks 7th for cost recovered on midrange home improvement projects. Backyard patios came in 17th, offering a 54.9% average ROI.
Bruin points out another hardscaping project that helps increase usable space, “The highest return on investment comes from outdoor kitchens in warm-climate areas. Make sure you use durable materials so that, by the time you are ready to sell, you don’t need to spend money on costly repairs.”
Lastly, for additions, Cass says the most profitable include the following, “Fence building, composite decking, and artificial grass laying with base and masonry. Note: it might sound odd that artificial grass with base is hardscaping. But since it’s artificial and we use sand, glue and boards it is technically hardscaping.”
Aside from new additions, Aoyagi advises, “Shade from established trees and foliage deliver high ROI. Tree protection not only raises the value of one residence but that of its neighbors as well. Protecting these elements by not over-hardscaping can also reduce operating costs for a home or building.”
Lowest hardscaping return on investment
Next up are the projects with the lowest ROI.
“The lowest return on investment comes from pools. They are considered by most people to be a maintenance chore so it will reduce your list of potential buyers. In a best case scenario, one where the pool is less than three years old and well-maintained, it may add 10% to the value of your home,” says Bruin.
Cass adds fence replacement, patio repairs, and shed installation to the list.
Now that you know which projects will be most profitable, and which won’t, here are some tips to maximize ROI no matter which type of hardscaping you choose.
Maximize your hardscaping ROI
“Much of getting a good return on your investment is getting a good deal in the first place,” says O’Rourke.
He adds, “Those who search around for three or more quotes for their project are likely to save up to a third on their overall costs. This is a huge amount and one that could be the difference between getting a return on your project or losing money.”
So, once you know which project you want to pursue, the first step is to find quality contractors with good track records.
HomeAdvisor ProFinder is a helpful resource for this step. When you find the right contractor at the right price, it’s time to decide how you’ll pay.
Not paying cash? Again, you’ll need to do some homework to find the most cost-effective financing solution. Popular routes include credit cards, personal loans, or borrowing against your home equity.
Of the three, personal loans offer a good balance of affordability, accessibility, and convenience. And there are dozens of online personal loan lenders competing against each other, so check out what the best personal loans are to ensure that you choose the best option for you.
In fact, it can be difficult to figure out which one will offer you the best deal without putting in hours of research.
That’s why SuperMoney offers this loan pre-qualification tool. Answer a few quick questions, and you’ll receive personalized loan offers within minutes from leading lenders. This will cause zero harm to your credit.
You can then compare all of the lenders apples-to-apples to make sure you choose the best deal.
By investing in the right hardscaping projects, getting a good deal on the construction, and minimizing the financing costs, you can enjoy your new addition while getting a better-than-average ROI. Hard to beat that!
Jessica Walrack is a personal finance writer at SuperMoney, The Simple Dollar, Interest.com, Commonbond, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Guardian, Personalloans.org and many others. She specializes in taking personal finance topics like loans, credit cards, and budgeting, and making them accessible and fun.