In Canada, we love our backyards. No matter where we live, when the weather gets warm, we get outside and we stay there until the very last moment possible, either barbecuing, playing with the kids or just relaxing with a good book.

It shouldn’t be a surprise then, that enhancing your back- or front-yard can be a major value add for your home. If you’re ready to tackle your outdoor space, consider some of these upgrades.

Build or Repair a Deck
According to HGTV, a deck can bring in 75 per cent return on investment (ROI) or more! That’s likely because it’s a perfect place to entertain, barbecue, socialize or relax. However, keep in mind that to achieve maximum value, the cost, materials and style should be in-line with the rest of your home. A small yard and an older bungalow won’t benefit much from an elaborate and luxurious deck that breaks the bank. Not sure about the size? A good rule of thumb is to build one part deck to five parts backyard.

Basic Landscaping
This is a tricky one because beautiful landscaping really does catch the eye of buyers. However, landscaping that’s too complex or lavish can put buyers off if it seems like it might be too much work to maintain. Some simple shrubs and trees, along with a freshly-mowed lawn and well-maintained pathways, can go a long way. Trees, in particular, are a great way to increase value, provided you don’t plant one that overshadows the house.

Install a Fence
A simple but well-constructed fence can be very popular with buyers. Not only do they provide a sense of privacy, but families with very young children or those with pets will be very appreciative of this. It can also be a way of adding an extra element of style, especially in a newly-built subdivision or a neighbourhood where custom fences aren’t common. You can increase the ROI associated with fence construction by asking a neighbour—or a group of neighbours—if they are interested in splitting the cost.

Giving your backyard an edge is a great way to increase value, especially if you’re about to put your home on the market. Upgrading an outdoor space doesn’t even need to be expensive, it just takes a bit of effort in the right places.