Make Your Neighbors Jealous With These Yard Improvements

Make Your Neighbors Jealous With These Yard Improvements

Every proud homeowner wants a yard that’s the envy of the neighborhood. However, opinions differ on what to include. When it comes to yard improvements from your home, there are endless options.

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Nevertheless, a few upgrades nearly guarantee a nice ROI when you sell. These additions have wide-reaching appeal. They delight multiple family members and make your property more enjoyable. Here are five yard improvements that will make your neighbors jealous. 

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1. An Outdoor Kitchen

Eating nurtures your health, as does spending more time outdoors. Combining them is a one-two punch of daily goodness. It can balance the muck you slog through between commuting and tight deadlines. Let the sunshine lift your collective moods outside. Enjoy a meal on the patio, courtesy of your outdoor kitchen. 

A fully equipped outdoor kitchen can cost about $2,700 to $10,000 from start to finish. However, there’s no need to complete everything at once. You might start with little more than a grill and a seating area. You can gradually expand to a brick oven for fabulous pizza. Consider an herb garden wall, a kegerator — whatever appeals to you. 

2. A Prepper’s Garden 

You’ve likely noticed that grocery prices are up there. Those near a farmers market can often find fresh, organic produce on the cheap. However, there’s nothing better than a tomato just plucked from the vine. 

Many people spend a small fortune getting their garden started. However, you can use inexpensive shortcuts. One of the best is compost. You can transform organic scraps into rich soil, eliminating the need for fertilizer. Banana peels and eggshells create methane when added to landfills. However, oxygen makes the necessary magic to keep the life cycle flowing. 

Smart planting further eliminates the need for fertilizer and reduces pesticide needs. Natural means can control most invaders. They keep your garden free of chemicals that throw off natural systems’ balance. For example: 

  • Opt for natural pesticides, such as soapy water, ladybugs or diatomaceous earth. They control pests like aphids and nematodes. 
  • Learn about your plants, including which ones enjoy full sun, shade or both. Determine what will flourish in your soil type and regions.
Every proud homeowner wants a yard that’s the envy of the neighborhood. However, opinions differ on what to include. 

3. A California Room 

Does the sound of an outdoor movie night delight you? You may be concerned about how the elements affect your electronics. A California room provides the best of both worlds. It protects your speakers and television with full roof covering and at least two walls. The others remain open, creating a hybrid between indoor and outdoor living. 

California rooms allow space for your creativity. You might opt to keep one wall open to the outdoors. You can install outdoor shades for privacy when needed. 

Alternatively, use windows and screens to invite the outdoors in on sunny days. Expand your California room to all four seasons. For example, you could install a small wood stove in your work corner. Stay cozy on winter days as you telecommute while the snow falls. 

4. A Backyard Retreat 

A backyard retreat can take multiple forms. It’s a unit that gives you a private space outside your main home. You can go there when you feel overstimulated and overwhelmed. It’s also an ideal place to practice your favorite hobbies. 

Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing: 

  • A game barn or shed devoted to video or arcade games, pool or darts
  • A crafts room for your hobbies 
  • A pretty gazebo surrounded by a garden for yoga and meditation 
  • A separate dwelling space for adult children, aging parents, Airbnb or long-term rental 

You must adhere to certain rules to use this space as a dwelling. For example, a bathroom in a game shed is a convenience. However, it’s necessary if you want to rent it out for income. Your kids might use it as a starter home while they save for the real deal. 

Backyard upgrades you will want!

5. Zone and Xeriscape

What do you use your backyard for? You might respond, “for pushing a mower once a week.” However, you aren’t maximizing your ROI or taking advantage of the space. Is there room for entertaining? Exercise? For your kids and pets to play? 

Xeriscaping refers to implementing native plants and other features, like fences and rock rivers. It beautifies your landscape while minimizing maintenance and water needs. It pairs naturally with a zone approach. You can create various spaces for play, gardens, relaxation and entertainment. 

You may still include a small portion of lawn. Perhaps you need a dog run or grass beneath a child’s playset. Other zones might contain flower or vegetable gardens. You might even separate your patio into zones. Consider a small outdoor exercise space on the patio. Add comfy, luxurious seating beneath an adjacent covered deck. Dividing the area lets you make room for everything you need. 

Rose Morrison
Rose Morrison

Rose Morrison is a home living writer with over five years experience. She is the managing editor of, a home living site where she loves to cover home renovations and decor to inspire everyone to live their best DIY life. When she isn't writing, you'll find her baking something to satisfy her never-ending sweet tooth. For more articles from Rose, you can follow her on Twitter or check out her portfolio.

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