Outdoor Home Upgrades That Add Value to Your San Diego Home

Outdoor Home Upgrades That Add Value to Your San Diego Home

January 9, 2023
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door
outdoor home upgrade in san diego house

San Diegans are blessed with fantastic year-round weather that allows for weekend hikes, days at the beach, and enjoying other outdoor activities any month of the year. The sun, sand, and warm weather are the main draws for many of us who choose to call San Diego home, so it’s no surprise that homeowners in this area put such a strong emphasis on outdoor living.

Whether around town, at the beach, or visiting one of our many local attractions, most of us like to be outside as much as possible, and there is no reason for this to an end when we get home. Most detached homes in San Diego have some sort of outdoor living area, although many of these spaces consist of little more than a patio and lawn installed in the backyard. This is a great start and does allow for some enjoyment of the property outside of the home, but having just these features puts some serious limits on how much a homeowner can use their yard as additional living space.

Attached homes, condominiums, and apartment complexes generally also have some sort of common outdoor areas, which often include a swimming pool, barbecue areas, or a playground, but landlords and homeowners associations can significantly increase interest in their properties if they choose to include outdoor amenities. In addition, adding to the curb appeal, such window installation San Diego or a new front entry door, can improve the home’s value. 

While this post focuses primarily on backyard improvements that can increase the homeowner’s enjoyment of their yard and the value of their home, any of the outdoor home ideas listed below can also be added to rental properties to increase their curb appeal and make them more attractive to potential renters.

Install a New Front Door

Replacing the entryway door to your home specifically will make the house more attractive to buyers. This is especially true if your old door was weather-beaten, damaged, or didn’t match the aesthetic of the house — but making the house more stylish is not the only reason buyers will be attracted. They might also consider energy efficiency and security.

If you buy a high-quality replacement door, the new modern materials are sure to form tighter seals that keep warmth inside in winter and cool air inside in summer. The new door will also increase home security, especially if you opt for a steel door rather than a fiberglass one.

Decades ago, most front doors were made of wood. Wooden doors are still popular, given their elegance and durability, but wooden entry doors require regular maintenance to ensure they continue to look good year after year. Today, steel and fiberglass doors are low-maintenance options that each have their own advantages.

Fiberglass entry doors have the edge over steel when it comes to looks. They are made of composite materials inside a fiberglass panel that resembles wood, with smooth finishes that can be painted to match the home or stained. These doors are available in various design options, and you can get them in many sizes and finishes, as well as with or without decorative glass inserts. They cost more than steel doors.

new sliding patio door installation in home

Steel doors are built for safety and durability. You can find doors with different gauge levels of steel, a factor that impacts the life span of the door. Steel doors don’t look steely or metallic; the steel is covered with a baked enamel finish available in a range of colors and styles. On the other hand, the epoxy-coated galvanized steel covers the door and the frame, making them tougher than any other door material. Wood can splinter, and fiberglass can crack. If someone tries to bash in a steel door, the steel may dent, but it won’t break or warp. The option also provides greater security from the elements.

Additionally, consider adding San Diego Window Installation to build on your home's curb appeal and aesthetics. 

Consider an Outdoor Kitchen

These options are for homeowners who want to take their outdoor living spaces to the next level and provide truly functional features to their backyards.

Any of these amenities immediately expand your home’s living space with usable square footage that can increase your home’s value and will definitely increase the enjoyment you get from your yard.

If you plan to do much outdoor entertaining, at minimum, you should consider installing a built-in barbecue, which adds a level of luxury that can’t be reached with a portable grill on wheels.

Of course, an outdoor kitchen is an even better option for personal enjoyment and home value if your budget allows for this project.

If you plan to include an outdoor kitchen in your landscape design, an outdoor bar is an easy addition that you should explore with your landscape designer.

When you add an outdoor kitchen to your home, it makes entertaining easy, looks fantastic, and your guests will also adore it. Another added benefit? An outdoor kitchen can increase the value of your home. If you’re in the market for a gorgeous, custom outdoor kitchen that you and your family will enjoy for years to come, you might be bumping up your home’s value. 

Outdoor kitchens are another way to utilize your outdoor space, especially if you can use that space all year. Barbecues, birthday parties, and shindigs will be much more delightful if you can head outdoors with your party, cook a meal in your amazing outdoor kitchen, and keep up with your friends and families the whole time you’re creating your dinnertime masterpiece.

Everyone wants their home to ‘look nice.’ An outdoor kitchen, although it takes some work, is one of those rooms that could sway your buyers. Think of it like a pool. Although it may not be #1 on everyone’s priority list, a well-built and maintained pool, like an outdoor kitchen, can generate a lot of positive appeals – and catch the attention of neighbors, visitors, and friends.

To prospective buyers, an outdoor kitchen will look incredibly attractive. It might even be the tipping point for purchase! Maybe other houses don’t have an outdoor kitchen, but yours does, which may be valuable for some buyers – especially those who are avid grillers.

Improve Your Landscape

Landscaping can have a big impact on the impression a home makes. The front lawn leading to your door is usually what a visitor notices first; the view out the back can enhance the aura of interior rooms.

A landscape design project takes a bit of strategy if you want to increase your home’s property value. That being said, you shouldn’t fill your entire yard with various plantings and landscape design elements just for the sake of adding them to your yard.

A landscaping professional will help you achieve a uniform look with just the right amount of shrubs and perennials – with just enough diversity to keep it interesting but not so little that your landscape is plain and boring.

Creating a singular style and sticking to it is one of the best ways to increase the value of your home. When a modern-style home is combined with a Mediterranean-style landscape design, there are too many chances for design clashing, which decreases the home’s value.

You’re much better off creating a versatile landscape that can be adapted to any style of home when your tastes change or you decide to sell your home. Try creating a more modern landscape by relying on plenty of greenery, perennials, and manicured planters that fit the curves and edges of your property.

outdoor kitchen and backyard in modern home with huge sliding door.

Edging your lawn makes a yard look manicured and well-maintained and often gives the illusion of lower maintenance, which is a high selling point.

Edging your lawn along driveways, sidewalks, and garden beds shows prospective buyers how meticulous your property’s upkeep is and that the rest of your property must be in pristine condition, too. Use a sharp spade or edge to create a neat separation between your lawn and garden bed or walkways. Add a barrier between your lawn and walkways, such as timber, brick, or stone.

Create a Backyard Patio

The backyard is often a key component that helps decide your home’s market value. Whether intended to be used for parties, a playground for children or pets, or a place to store your “toys,” there are various reasons why you should adapt your backyard and help raise the price of your estate.

If your home does not already have a patio, this should be the first project on your list when considering possible backyard improvements. A beautiful patio or deck provides a space where you can grill with your family, read a book, enjoy your morning coffee or entertain guests under the stars.

This versatile outdoor space is a must for any backyard and is the perfect place to start when designing your landscaping. It can also increase the value of your property and may lead to a significant increase in value, depending on the design you choose and the materials used.

For example, an elaborate paving stone patio with sitting walls, a built-in grill, an outdoor kitchen, or a fireplace will provide a stunning improvement to your backyard that will immediately increase your home’s appeal to buyers or provide a comfortable space for your family to enjoy.

If your budget will not allow you to bring in a professional to design and install a patio or deck, a simple patio is still an option since most somewhat-handy homeowners can take on a basic patio as a DIY project.

If you plan to make other improvements to your backyard, consider this when designing your patio, deck, or courtyard to ensure a cohesive look and the best use of your space. They have the potential to raise property values in some locales.

Besides instantly raising the value of your property with minimal investment, a functional outdoor deck will also allow you and future owners to:

  • Spend more time outdoors under the sun.
  • Host outdoor parties and celebrations with a convenient place to stay at.
  • Eat, drink, and chill outside rather than within the four walls.

Investing in a basic patio space rather than all the luxury outdoor home upgrades is the way to go if ROI is your top priority. Attract buyers with a feature high on their wish list, then let them outfit the space to their liking once they’re the owners.

Add Artificial Grass

For homeowners with children or pets, lawns or grassy areas are unnecessary. Unfortunately, Southern California’s dry, arid climate is not conducive to a naturally grassy yard.

The amount of maintenance and water required to keep a conventional lawn green and lush is turning many Southern Californians off and encouraging them to look into lawn alternatives or artificial grass.

outdoor home improvement ideas

This is particularly true for dog lovers who do not like the brown spots that can’t be avoided in any natural lawn used as a pet restroom or homeowners who need an option that can stand up to traffic.

These are just a few reasons for synthetic turf’s growing popularity, which is the perfect choice for any homeowner who wants grassy areas in their yard without the maintenance and water required for natural grass.

Incorporate Shade Structures 

Once you have installed a must-have patio and decided whether or not you need grassy areas in your yard, the next step is ensuring proper protection from sun and rain.

A covered patio is always a good idea, particularly if you plan to put your patio to use as an outdoor dining room, kitchen, or regular hangout. There’s no reason not to extend your living space to the outdoors in San Diego. 

However, a patio is not the only place to create shade and add visual interest to your yard.

Other seating areas, dog runs, and playgrounds should all have some shade structure or cover protecting them from the sun, which can also make these areas usable in rainy weather.

Gazebos and pergolas are perfect choices for those who want to create shaded areas in the most attractive way possible.

Either of these options can immediately transform your backyard into a more appealing paradise.

Install Fire Pits and Outdoor Fireplaces

If you have spent much time looking at real estate or home improvement ideas online, you have probably noticed that fire pits are quickly becoming an expected, must-have feature in Southern California homes.

This is a feature that San Diego buyers look for in single-family homes, but even homeowners who never plan to sell will get years of enjoyment from a fire pit.

outdoor terrace with fireplace

Fire pits, whether put together from a DIY kit or professionally designed with elegant paving stones, are an easy feature to add to your yard and do not require much space, so this is one amenity you should consider when making improvements to your backyard.

An outdoor fireplace is a more expensive option. Still, it is a more upscale choice that adds to a patio and instantly upgrades a regular seating area to a luxury outdoor living space.

Choose US Window and Door 

Entertaining and living outdoors are part of the reason to live here, so it is no surprise that attractive, functional outdoor living areas are incredibly important in San Diego homes.

From simple additions – like fire pits – to more luxury options – like outdoor kitchens – backyard improvements are the perfect way to expand your home’s usable space and more fully enjoy your home.

Whether it is to enhance your enjoyment of your home or to position your home better to sell, outdoor living spaces are an absolute necessity in Southern California. If you want to maximize your space and use your yard to its full potential, adding outdoor spaces for living and entertaining should be at the top of your home improvement project list.

US Window and Door is the go-to installer for window and door replacement. Check out our trendy and timeless designs, colors, and materials. Schedule a free in-home estimate to see how we can help you with your outdoor home upgrades.