Home Improvement

6 Backyard Upgrades That Will Increase the Value of Your Home

Story Highlights
  • 1. Plant a tree
  • 2. Light up the landscape
  • 3. Install a water feature
  • 4. Add some privacy
  • 5. Keep the sun out
  • 6. Create a playground

If you’re looking to up the value of your home, the backyard is an ideal candidate for some major useful overhauls.

There’s a lot of room to work with and you have tons of upgrades at your disposal – and in the end, these backyard upgrades are great for increasing your home value.

If you’re looking for a few ideas, here are some that are definitely worth taking into consideration:

1. Plant a tree

There are very few assets in your garden that can appreciate over time. Normally, you would consider something that’s older as a drawback, but not when it comes to trees. They get better over time and add value to your home. 

Needless to say, trees provide quite a few benefits to your home and garden. For one, they’re very attractive. Nothing sets the stage for a comfy garden like a tree does. They provide you with convenient and natural shade. The bigger they get, the more shade you get to enjoy throughout the day. Plus, they cool off the air around them, giving you even more reason to spend time under one during the summer. 

The type of tree you choose can be especially helpful. Pick a flowering tree and you’ll get to enjoy a colorful display every single Spring. If you choose something that blooms more often, it might not just be limited to Spring, either.

Many flowering trees also have nice-smelling flowers that produce attractive scents.
It’s hard to argue against getting a tree when it gives you the full cozy backyard experience.

2. Light up the landscape

Most of the time, you’ll be enjoying the view of your backyard during the day. When the sun is out and shining, why not spend a little time outside? It’s part of the charm of having a backyard. With all the birds chirping and sounds of sprinklers, it gets pretty cozy. Once it gets dark out, the view diminishes and you’re left with a mostly pitch-black backdrop. 

Who’s to say you can’t enjoy your backyard view twenty-four-seven? Heck, wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy your backyard and garden at night?

Well, that’s definitely something you can do with the right setup. Adding lighting for your backyard isn’t an easy task. You need to pick something that can endure the weather and still provide you with efficient and safe lighting.

The good news is that such a thing already exists – it’s called Malibu lighting (you know: those decorative solar pathway lights). These lights are water-proof and run on solar power, so you don’t have to worry about getting shocked or ruining anything with cables.

You can just plant the lights in the right places and enjoy the view all day and night. Get some long-lasting LED light versions and you’ll hardly ever have to replace them.

3. Install a water feature

Running water has always been an attractive sight. People love their riverside views and lush fountains. This isn’t something that’s limited to nature’s whims or major installations either. You can create a perfectly good water feature in your own garden, and make them look spectacular.

If you want to start with something light, you can always go for a pond. It’s a relatively simple detail to install, but it gives you a big payoff. You can make it as big as you want, and it’s going to provide a host of benefits.

For one, your local wildlife will love it. The birds will come chirping and you’ll enjoy seeing the occasional frog or squirrel come over. It’s also a great way to add some cooling to your backyard.

Fountains might seem like complex art details that belong in fancy mansions, but they’re actually pretty easy to install. All you really need is a water pump and some stones and you’re good to go. A source of water would also be helpful, but that’s already implied. You can make it as fancy as you like, by getting an actual fountain to spew water.

With even a small fountain, you can turn your backyard into a luxurious oasis worthy of envy. 

4. Add some privacy

Your backyard should your own personal sanctuary. However, due to its outside nature, this isn’t something you can easily achieve.

There’s hardly any privacy in an open backyard unless your home is out in the middle of nowhere. Who’s going to stop your neighbors from peeking into your backyard?

If it’s oriented towards a nearby street, there’s no reason why passersby wouldn’t have a peek too. If you want to create something a little more private, you need covering.

Installing a fence in your backyard is a bit impractical, especially if you want to add one to increase privacy. It would have to be fairly large and difficult to see through. This would just make your backyard look like a prison and ruin the backdrop.

Luckily, there are other ways to add privacy to your backyard: nature comes to the rescue with some green solutions.

You can always plant some tall trees or shrubs to block the line of sight from the outside of your yard. Arborvitae are excellent choices for this, as they’re fairly tall and look gorgeous. Not only do you get an attractive plant in your backyard, but you also get to block any unwanted views from the outside.

Plus, it doesn’t look very conspicuous. They’re natural and blend well with just about every garden and backyard design. And yes, the extra privacy is just a nice bonus.

5. Keep the sun out

Being able to spend time outside the biggest appeal of backyards and gardens. You get to enjoy the fresh air and warm sun throughout spring and summer. However, there’s such a thing as a little too much sunlight. When it starts getting hot around those Summer months, the sun becomes a mitigating factor for outside fun. 

It’s crucial that you protect yourself from the sun in the most critical times of the day.
Around noon and afterward, you’re going to find that the sun does more than just warm you up slightly. You can get some serious sunburns and even get heatstroke when it gets a little too hot.

Getting in the shade is important, but what if your backyard has very little shade available? This is definitely something worth changing. Adding a few convenient shade structures should do the trick just fine.

Whether you want to install a pergola over your deck or add some parasols around the garden, any kind of shade will do. Consider going for something that can be adjusted or moved with ease. This will allow you to enjoy the sun when it’s not unbearable and shade yourself when it gets too hot. 

6. Create a playground

Playgrounds are a fun addition to any backyard. Having a sandbox and some slides in the backyard is the dream of many parents who have kids.

Adding a playground will not only make the backyard itself fun, but it will also be an attractive addition to potential home buyers.

You can include lots of things in your backyard playground. Make a seesaw of any size and multiple kids can play at the same time. If you want a bigger slide, go for it! Make sure it’s not a little too big, as kids are clumsy. Anything you want goes, as long as it adds to the fun factor of the playground.


Increasing the value of your home requires some major upgrades. Your backyard can provide you with a basis for these upgrades and also help you create the ideal outdoor oasis.

If you apply some of these ideas to your backyard, you’ll increase your home’s value substantially and moreover, you’ll enjoy these benefits on a regular basis.

About the author: Patrick Adams is a freelance writer and rock-blues fan. When he is not writing about home improvement, he loves to play chess, watch basketball, and play his guitar. More than anything, he loves to spend his time in his garage, repairing appliances and creating stuff from wood.

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