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Want Your Dream Outdoor Space? Here’s How to Budget & Plan For It

First things first: there is no one-trick pony answer to budgeting for your outdoor living space. Why? Because everyone’s ideas, income, and abilities are different. Only you and your family are privy to how much you are able to spend to create your ideal hardscape. However, to help guide you toward making the best decisions, here are a few rules of thumb to follow. 

What’s your home worth? 

A good place to start is knowing the current value of your home. For example, if your home is worth $350,000, it’s smart not to spend more than around $35,000 on installing an outdoor living space (about 10% of your property value). Anything higher means you’re gambling with overspending and not seeing an ROI from your investment. 

How much space do you have? 

You may have dreams of a coy pond, a little waterfall, natural stone grotto, and pergola with a dining area underneath, but if you’re only working with a small space, you may have to cut those dreams down to scale. 

If you aren’t sure what the square footage of your yard is, measure that first so you know what you’re working with. From there, get estimates on how big all the additions you’d like to install will be so you know how much space will be needed. You may discover your yard can house a patio with a pergola over it, but would become too cramped if you added a small pond or a vegetable garden, kitchen, or bar. 

Once you know your space, it’s time to decide the things you absolutely must have and eliminate those that are not as important. This way you can keep your yard functional and beautiful. Nothing is worse than spending money on a hardscape to find you now have almost no room left in your yard to breathe. 

Do you have to do it all now? 

No one likes to put off projects, especially when it’s something you really want. However, if you aren’t willing to cut out certain outdoor space features, you can break up your action plan to install the most important parts first, then save during winter and start fresh again in the spring. 

Making a solid plan for when to install things will help you get the look you want without breaking the bank. Spreading out the process may not be as fun, but, in the end, it’s a small price to pay to achieve the outdoor living space you want. 

Do you have to have it all? 

So, you really want that outdoor kitchen, but you’re not sure if you can afford all the bells and whistles, scaling down is the best way to get what you want, and what you atually will use. For example, an outdoor kitchen may need a cooktop, a sink, and counter space, but adding a wood burning stove or a pizza oven, while very cool, aren’t necessary and will drive costs way up. 

Beyond price, they may actually hinder your home sale in the future. Some people may not want to spend more money on things they’ll never use. 

When it comes to additional hardscape features, like that beloved coy pond, deciding to eliminate this and just go with a garden area will keep you on budget and help you get the most important parts of your outdoor living space. 

Adding hardscapes are a fun and creative way to add property value and enjoy your yard more comfortably. If you’re ready to start designing your space and need a partner to help you budget and plan, let us know. We’re ready to get creative with you.