In Praise of Fire Pits!

Authored by: 
Rob Navarre Thursday, September 11, 2014

A study shows landscaping can bring returns of up to 150%
A new study by RealEstate.com challenges common-held assumptions regarding what's tops in home improvement projects, especially where value is concerned. According to the research, landscaping and hardscaping beat kitchen and bathroom updates when it comes to increasing the resale value of a home -- bringing in a return on investment of as much as 150%. "When I bring a buyer to a home that features state-of-the-art landscaping and elements like a fire pit and high-end pavers, there's an immediate assumption that the inside of the house will be as spectacular as the outside," said John Duffy of Duffy Real Estate. "Now we have research that shows that homebuyers will pay a premium for a nicely landscaped property, particularly one that features elements like an outdoor fireplace." Of all the things a homeowner can do in this category, a few types of projects and additions are shaping up to be the crowd pleasers: outdoor fireplaces, covered outdoor kitchen spaces, fire pits, patio pavers and sitting walls. All signs point to an increasing favoritism for outdoor living accommodations, allowing Americans to take many of their favorite indoors activities to their backyards. The American Institute of Architects found that 70% of architects have noted this trend. A recent survey from Houzz found that more than half of U.S. homeowners are planning to remodel within the next two years to boost their home value.