What Summer Amenities Can Boost Your Home

by Rana WaxmanAugust 7, 2018

Summer amenities are all about al fresco dining, keeping cool in the shade, and taking advantage of glorious sunshine in as many ways as possible. It is also a perfect time to think about home renovation, and there are many season-friendly comforts that can boost home value. While you may have to ‘spend some to make some’ you could also get a great return on your investment.

These 7 Summer Amenities Can Boost Your Home Value

While you may have to ‘spend some to make some’ you could also get a great return on your investment from these summer amenities.

#1 Central Air


Central air is one often called an ‘invisible upgrade’ and certainly lacks the flash of an in-ground pool however it does modernize a home with window units.

  • Pro: Per the Nest, 60% of buyers say central air is “very important” and will pay an extra $2,520.00 for it. Also, if you don’t sell right away, you get to chill out in comfort.
  • Con: Many buyers just take for granted or expect air conditioning so they may not want to cough up extra for it.
  • Cost: $3,734 or more depending on the size of your home and project.
  • Value: Expect to recoup 35-50% of the initial cost of a new system in your sales price.
  • Tip: If you do want to bite it off, look for a system that is energy efficient. The greener the better.

#2 Wood Deck


Rock your summer social life with a wooden deck. Nothing says ‘kick back and relax’ like flights with friends.

  • PRO: Per Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs Value report, 2018 national averages show that 82% of the cost is recouped
  • Con: You need the space for it and the work could be expensive
  • Cost: About $10,950.00
  • Value: Resale value listed at $9,065.00
  • Tip: Get the most out of pressure-treated lumber with an application of stain or wood preservative and add lighting.

#3 Fire Pit

If space is too tight for a full-on wood deck, an outdoor fire pit and simple seating might still deliver a win. Just think, campfire stories, s’mores, roasted marshmallows and good times with friends and family. We found that outdoor fire pits are the most popular in Indiana, where it is included in 7.2% of listings.

  • Pro: Very on-trend, fun, and brings people together
  • Con: Definitely check local city permissions. A potential fire hazard in wrong conditions.
  • Cost: Average of about $700
  • Value: 25% premium on home value
  • Tip: A true fire pit has a concrete base, brick and mortar installed by hand and weep holes inside the walls to enable moisture to drain, so even though pre-made is cheaper, it may not be built to last

#4 Outdoor Kitchen or BBQ


via Home Depot

Nothing says summer more than throwing something on the grill so it’s no surprise that of the hottest (and coolest) summer amenities today is the outdoor kitchen.

  • Pro: According to Realtor.com, homes with BBQs or grilling stations can cost about 26% more than those without except in Utah where the mere mention of a BBQ on your listing could garner 58% more per sqft. Plus you could eat healthier.
  • Con: To do it right, you need some space and it may be easier to accomplish in a new build
  • Cost: Per the Landscaping Network an outdoor kitchen could range from $2000 (basic) $100,000 (luxury).
  • Value: Absolute Outdoor Kitchens reports that outdoor kitchens nationally return 100% to 200% of the improvement cost.
  • Tip: Don’t spend your whole budget on the BBQ. A top-of-the-line grill surrounded by sub-par counters looks out of place, but do keep the BBQ as the center of attention.

#5 Pergola


For those who crave a little shade with their sunshine, a pergola, also called a patio cover, archway, or extended roof, creates an outdoor oasis for lounging with that perfect summer novel or entertaining guests.

  • Pro: Many hardware stores carry pre-made pergolas, but these can also be a great DIY if it is a small-scale project.
  • Con: Larger scale projects with top-notch materials requires a contractor and may get costly
  • Cost: Determined by materials, design complexity, location, and add-ons. A wood pergola could roughly cost 442 to $80 per sqft whereas a vinyl DIY kit might ring in at $6 per sqft.
  • Value: ROI depends on your location. Per Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs Value report, 2018 a backyard patio has an ROI of 47.6%
  • Tip: If building, make sure to consult building codes in your region

#6 Backyard Patio


A backyard flagstone patio is the outdoor equal to a living room. It can max a view, and in larger homes, could include other amenities such as an outdoor kitchen, cedar pergola, and fire pit. Some of the more gawk-worthy patios extend out of the home seamlessly through lift and slide glass doors and come fully-loaded with gas and electrical connections.

  • Pro: Increased resale value
  • Con: Some home buyers prefer a larger backyard for kids and pets
  • Cost: For a stunning set-up you might need about $54,130 which is based on national averages.
  • Value: Per Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs Value report, 2018 a backyard patio could come with a resale value of $25,769
  • Tip: Add furniture, but maintain the spacious feeling. Overcrowded patios can be a buzz kill.

#7 Outdoor Shower


via Pinterest

Create a spa vibe and turn a muggy day upside-down with that next step in luxury amenities -the outdoor shower. Great way to pamper yourself, rinse off playful pets, and fun for kids too. Make it as glamorous or rustic as the setting calls for, then amp up these qualities with power words like ‘al-fresco’ and ‘luxurious’ in your property listing.

  • Pro: Refreshing. Adds a sense of being at a spa or on holiday
  • Con: Need privacy and HAS to be kept clean. Also needs to be in a place that is secure (safe).
  • Cost: You don’t want to skimp on plumbing and parts, as they could corrode. Houzz lists a range of pricing options. A simple shower with hot and cold running water can cost less than $1,000 to install. For more of a posh or elaborate set-up, think anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000, or $4,000 to $8,000 plus.
  • Value: Depends on what part of the country. In New York state, homes with an outdoor shower are listed for 256% more per square foot than other residences for sale in the state.

Boosting Home Value with Summer Amenities

Outdoor amenities could help you make the most of your summer AND help prospective buyers dream about the fun they could have if your place was theirs. Any unique feature that accomplishes this could increase property value and may be a great way to distinguish your home from the competition.

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About The Author
Rana Waxman
Rana Waxman parlays years of work experience in several fields into web content creation aligned with client needs. Rana's versatile voice is supported by a zest for research, a passion for photography, and desire to provide clients with a purposeful presence online. In her non-writing hours, Rana is a happy yogini, constant walker, avid reader, and sometimes swimmer.