Garden Improvements

5 Garden Improvements to Increase the Value of Your Rental Property

A decent rental rate is not enough to attract high-quality tenants. As far as market trends go, changing the landscape is right up there with energy efficiency. Garden improvements allow property investors to maximize their tenants’ entertainment and living area in a cost-efficient manner that delivers great ROI.

But, if you are not careful, you’ll end up with a costly venture. Make sure to use outdoor upgrades to your advantage. Here are some garden projects that are worthwhile in the long run.

Making the Most of Backyard Ground Space

A barren space of plain grass or dirt is not a joy to look at. Sprucing it up a bit doesn’t cost much, but can go a long way.

When it comes to huge backyard ground space, maintaining grass can be hard and expensive. There are more cost-effective ways to make sure your yard looks attractive and well-maintained.

Lamium and thyme are great alternatives to grass. They can deliver the lovely green look, but don’t require much effort to maintain.

To make your ground space more appealing, you can use paving stones. Recycled paving stones should do the trick as well. They can have the same effect, but cost much less. They will make your yard look unique when compared to others.

Gravel is also a solid option as it can make a large ground space look more finished. To match the vibe you wish to provide to your tenants, choose the right gravel mixture.

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Add Trees and Flowers

Even though it seems obvious, there’s more to it. Meticulously choosing flowers and trees requires some extra thought. For instance, perennials make a great addition to your property’s exterior. The reason? They require minimum maintenance and many will flower throughout most of the year.

Even though they are more expensive up front, they are a one time buy. Great perennial options include:

  • Delphinium
  • Lavender
  • Russian Sage
  • Coral Bells
  • Daylilies

Adding trees is a potentially expensive upgrade. To make sure it’s worth your while:

  • Include “shade trees.” To help tenants save money on heating and cooling bills, strategically place them near the exterior of the property.
  • Use fast-growing varieties that are young. They are much more affordable than full-grown trees.
  • Add Evergreens. They are great at blocking the wind.
  • Give your trees the best chance of survival. Shop around at the right time of the year.
  • Choose species native to the local climate. Preferably ones that do not require much maintenance.

Indoor Vibes in an Outdoor Setting

Bringing the indoors outside is an excellent way to pique people’s interest. When it comes to tenants, an outdoor kitchen paired with a functional sitting area is one of the most popular amenities. That includes patio furniture, counter, stovetop, outdoor grill, barstool island, and perhaps even a fire pit.

A nice and durable deck is also a worthy addition. Decks or patios are an excellent way to add to your tenants’ enjoyment of your rental property. For most tenants, being able to host many friends and family members is a huge selling point.

Finding such rentals can be hard. High-quality tenants that like such outdoor amenities are more likely to lease from you longer.

To cover the deck dining area, you can add a pergola. It is an archway with a wooden slatted roof. Pergolas come with a few nice perks, including protection against bugs and more opportunities for lighting and shade.

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Outdoor Lighting

This is a sure way to ramp up the curb appeal of your property. Think low-voltage landscape solutions and motion lights. The right lighting creates a magical ambiance.

Perhaps more importantly – installing high-end outdoor lights is sure to deter burglars and intruders. However, outdoor lighting can cost up to $5,000. You can expect to recoup 50% of your investment, according to NAR and NALP.


A lot of repair requests that come from tenants and property managers have to do with damaged or broken fences. When it comes to fencing, the choice you make can have a big impact on your ROI.

There’s no question that proper fencing will add value to your property. The real question is, which option will you go with? You must evaluate every material. The fence has to match the look of the neighborhood and property terrain. Wooden fences are an American classic, but require a lot of maintenance.

If the maintenance falls on you, a wooden fence will deliver continuous blows to your budget. However, wood is still the most popular material. It’s especially attractive to families with children and pets.

On the other hand, a brick and stone fence is sure to be very secure and will last for decades. Minor chips and cracks are usually the only threat. Even though it’s pricey, It’s safe to say it’s a one-time investment. It’s excellent for tenants that strive for privacy.


While aesthetics and convenience cannot be easily expressed in figures, these numbers may paint a better picture. Here are some ROI stats may help you decide what upgrades are worth your while:

  • Landscaping: +28% home value
  • Deck addition: 73% ROI
  • Paving or gravel: 50% ROI
  • Outdoor lighting: 50% ROI
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Guest Author:

Kevin Jefferson is a thirty-something single dad in the middle of renovating his home. Having decided to finally tackle the project of a lifetime last year, he’s had all manner of adventures around the place and finally decided to start writing on his blog Plain Help to share his adventures in tinkering around the house with the world.

Posted on Dec 13, 2019

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