American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) suggests that homeowners invest 10% of their home’s value in landscaping. One of the best ways to invest this money is by creating an outdoor living space with a hardscaping feature. This sort of investment can be a bit pricy so it is important to (1) create a space you will actually love and use  & (2) choose functional hardscaping features with high return on investment (ROI).

The key to receiving a high ROI from an outdoor living space is functionality. If a buyer can picture themselves enjoying the outdoor space you have created they will be more likely to pay more for your home. Also, buyers will be turned off by anything that involves extra maintenance costs or work. Most hardscape designs that involve a pool or outdoor kitchen will be less likely to generate high ROI. Only consider these sort of features if you believe the non-monetary ROI of the space (how much you/your family love and use the space) exceeds the cost.

Here is a list of functional hardscaping features with high ROI:

If your backyard is completely bare upgrade from a beach chair in the yard to a patio with nice cushioned chairs and an outdoor dining table. A patio is much more low maintenance than a porch which needs to be sanded and stained almost every year.

A stone seating wall is a beautiful and functional way to separate a patio from a yard and truly suggest a separate space or room. If you have a raised patio or terrace it may be smart to install a seating wall for safety purposes. Another bonus is that seating walls are easy to integrate with other features such as a fire pit.

One of the most “homey” feelings is sitting by a warm fire with family and friends. There is a bit of maintenance that comes along with this installation but it is one that will inspire thoughts of future get-togethers in the heads of your potential buyers.

If you are looking to cook more than marshmallows outdoors consider creating a covered area with a built-in grill. A complete outdoor kitchen is a bit over the top and way too high maintenance but a grill is a home essential.

Another home essential is an attractive front entrance. Many realtors recommend putting a fresh coat of paint on the front door to make a good first impression. We recommend going the extra mile and installing a stone walkway that will impress guests and future buyers before they even get to the front door.

6) Pergola

Similar to a seating wall, a pergola is another great way to create a defined outdoor living space. Most pergolas have simple beams across the top which provide a roof-like structure. These beams provide a bit of shade and can even be used for growing plants.

If you are interested hardscaping features with high ROI, you are probably pretty responsible with where you put your money. Avoid costly rework due to lack of planning by anticipating how a hardscaping project will fit into your long-range plans for the rest of your landscape. At Landscaping Unlimited we can help you design this “Master Plan”, which is your blueprint for current and future projects around your home. We can help you plan a landscape design for the whole area.

If you have a smaller budget check out: Up Curb Appeal with these Simple Landscaping Fixes (with High ROI)