If you are like most homeowners, there is never a shortage of options when it comes to projects around the house. But studies have shown that some of the highest return on household improvements can come from those on the outside, not the inside.
A primary reason is that outside investments can produce "curb appeal," which is especially important if you are planning to sell your home. Those same improvements can enhance the enjoyment factor if you and your family plan to stay in your home.
For example, one national industry resource – the National Association of Realtors – reported recently their experience shows a new wood deck produces the second highest return on home improvement investment of any common addition, remodel or replacement project.
However projects don't have to be big to add value or enjoyment, according to Jimmy Rane, president of Great Southern Wood Preserving, the leading producer of pressure-treated lumber products and maker of YellaWood® brand products.
In addition to a deck, six other popular outside improvement construction projects that increase the curb appeal or value of a home are:
Adirondack Chairs: Uniquely-American classic outdoor furniture is made entirely of wood and has a straight back and seat, which were set at a slant to sit comfortably on a hillside or mountain incline, but still be comfortable at any angle.
Gazebo: A gazebo can be freestanding or attached to a garden wall, roofed and open on all sizes to provide shade or shelter.
Planters and Window Boxes: Planters have become popular because they are both functional and ornamental. Additionally, some can be moved frequently to account for seasonal weather or just to create a change in scenery.
Picnic Table: Picnic tables go well on a patio or a deck, but equally as well on the grass or under a tree in the yard. A traditional picnic table is all in one piece so that it wears well without a lot of maintenance.
Trellis: A trellis can function as a unique sunscreen or it can be the framework for an outdoor hanging garden. Building it with pressure treated lumber can add life by minimizing rotting and other threats.
Trash Can Corral or Compost Bin: While many outdoor projects tend to be cosmetic in nature, here are two ideas that are both practical and pretty. With a trash can corral, you can hide unsightly trashcans and with a compost bin, you can reduce your own "carbon footprint" in a way that doesn't take away from the visual appeal of the place.
Great Southern Wood offers free plans and instructions for projects like these and more at http://www.greatsouthernwood.com/projects.