We live in an area that is temperate throughout the year. There is no better time in the Lowcountry than spring and residents here do it right when it comes to decorating the home for those perfectly warm days and cooler spring nights. Spring is just around the corner.

Whether you’re buying, selling or just want to make your home more valuable – in terms of resale or sheer enjoyment – creating a nice outdoor space is crucial.

According to a 2018 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features by the National Association of REALTORS®, homeowners have an “increased happiness” once an outdoor upgrade is completed. The study, which listed a number of outdoor projects, also rated projects on a “Joy Score.”

Take a look at the table below comparing the projects that appeal to buyers and the projects likely to add value.


Source: 2018 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features

According to the same study, sprucing up your curb appeal if you’re selling is vitally important. A whopping 99 percent of NAR members think it’s a must-do before putting your house on the market. In fact, it’s something we all should be doing – landscape maintenance on a regular basis – before we even attempt to sell.

Here’s a few of those “joy” projects, the average costs to do them and how happy it makes us once we do.

• Annual mulch application of 2,835 square feet, mowing, pruning and planting about 60 perennials or annuals. Cost: $3,000. Percent of value recovered: 100 percent. Joy Score: 9.5.

• Standard lawn care -- six fertilizer applications and weed control on 2,835 square feet of lawn. Cost: $375. Percent of value recovered: 267 percent. Joy Score: 9.0.

• Overall landscape upgrades and projects (installing a front walkway, adding shrubs and trees, mulching, etc.). Cost: $5-$6,000. Percent of value recovered: 83 percent. Joy Score: 9.6.

• Patio installation – 18’ x 16’ concrete paver patio. Cost: $7,200. Percent of value recovered: 69 percent. Joy Score: 9.7.

• Wood Deck – 14’ deep x 18’ wide attached to the house; decking, railing and stair treads with cedar lumber and sealed with deck sealer. Cost: $10,000. Percent of value recovered: 80 percent. Joy Score: 9.8.

• Fire Feature – dry stacked natural stone kits, gas burner with 10-foot diameter flagstone patio. Cost: $6,000. Percent of value recovered: 67 percent. Joy Score: 10.

Get the best of the Post and Courier's Real Estate news, handpicked and delivered to your inbox each Saturday.

• New Pool – 18’ x 36’ inground pool with gunite walls; 3’ x 7’ depth, standard filtration system and 3’ x 4” thick concrete perimeter surround. Cost: $57,500. Joy Score: 8.8.

The project costs were estimated by members of the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP). Homeowners (4,079 of them) who completed outdoor projects were surveyed by HouseLogic.com in March and April of 2018. The “Joy Score” was determined by the respondents who were happy and those who were satisfied after their projects were completed – dividing it by 10 to create a ranking between 1 and 10.

The top four projects that made residents want to stay home the most after completion were:

1. Pool

2. Statement Landscape

3. Landscape Upgrade

4. New Patio

The bottom line is no matter if it’s a freshly-mowed lawn or an elaborate serenity space for meditation or outdoor yoga, we and our homes are happier when we spruce them up in the springtime.