Nothing ruins a sunny day faster than a backyard that's too ugly to enjoy. Plus, a gnarly yard dings your home value, making it a double bummer.
Here are seven backyard before-and-afters to show how yards can become chock full of sunny-day delight — and home value.
#1 Go for a Total Yard Makeover
Image: LandCrafters, Milwaukee, WI
Whoa. A total landscape makeover takes this home from "The Brady Bunch"-ugly to Insta-lovely.
Landscaping an entire yard is pricey, but you'll likely get all (or more) of the money back when you sell, says the from the National Association of REALTORS®.
And . . . you'll get a fabulous yard to love right now.
#2 Dump a Dying Deck for a Pretty Patio
Decks are great. But when they need more repair than maintenance, it's time for plan B. This flagstone patio is set-it-and-forget-it, a classic look you'll still love when you're eligible for AARP membership. Plus, you'll recoup the cost if you sell before your membership kicks in.
#3 Swap Dying Grass for an Outdoor Room
Yes, grass adds value. But if mowing and seeding aren't your thing, it'll turn more gross than green. An attractive mix of hardscape and low-maintenance plants is money in the bank (returning around 100% — or more — of their cost) and gives you more living time, too. Fewer hours mowing mean more hours sipping cocktails on that fab patio.
Bonus: You can sell your lawnmower when the lawn is gone.
#4 Turn a Tiny Condo Yard Into a Mini Escape
A) A patch of dirt
B) A serenity spot
Yes, exactly. It doesn't matter if Zen is your aesthetic; the point is you can transform a small yard by building the right features on it. This pint-sized yard lives large with the addition of a water feature, deck, and stone planter.
#5 Clear the Bramble and Make a Yard
Buyers LOVE well-cared-for lawns. An au naturale backyard meadow? Not so much. Because a lawn is like an outdoor carpet — perfect to pair with a patio. The raised beds off to the side make gardening an option without overtaking the yard (and are easily dismantled if you want even more lawn).
#6 Upgrade Your Pool Patio
The rule of pools is that they're all about love; they don't generally add home value. But let your pool turn into an abandoned waterhole surrounded by overgrowth, and it totally can affect home value — in the wrong direction. A savvy upgrade includes a built-in fire pit and a gorgeous patio, which both have legit ROI.
#7 Plant a Petite Patio in a Flower Bed
Image: Lovely Indeed
A master gardener would replant that dead flower bed. A master relaxer turns it into a budget-friendly patio with concrete stones and tidy brick edgers. It's money well-spent because patios almost always pay for themselves when you sell, so you'll feel even better about relaxing with a beer instead of tending to peonies.