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According to the 2019 Adbri Masonry Great Australian Backyard Survey, 52 per cent of respondents said they intended to live in their current property for 10 to 20 years, with 77 per cent saying they intend to remain in their property and 68.3 per cent were planning to add to, or renovate in, outdoor spaces in 2019.
Despite being focused on owner-occupiers, the survey revealed that there is a taste for residents to have a backyard with the ability to add or change elements.
This means for investors that when selling, making sure the backyard can be changed by a future owner should be a priority.
Jason Hodges, landscape designer and Adbri Masonry brand ambassador, said that people do not just live in one place but they “grow with us”, and it is important to be able to provide a backyard that can grow with its future residents.
“A backyard that is perfect for your family today is unlikely to meet your needs in 10 or 15 years’ time; it must evolve as the family’s lifestyle does,” he said.
“Outdoor projects represent great investments – not only do they provide you with a brilliant asset at sale, but these areas give back to the family every day.”
Investors looking to provide a backyard for tenants can also find that doing an outdoor project that can appeal to them can rely on a low lifetime cost due to outdoor materials made to last for the long term.
Mr Hodges also provided his three tips on renovating outdoor spaces:
1. Do it once, do it well
While indoor areas such as kitchens and bathrooms are areas typically targeted for renovations, these projects might need to be renovated multiple times over the lifetime of a property. However, an outdoor area can last a lot longer – possibly requiring only a single renovation over the life of the property.
“Like any project, there is an obvious upfront cost, but when you consider the whole-of-life cost, the investment in hard-wearing materials stacks up. Long after the price is forgotten, the quality remains, so consider concrete pavers, by design they are thicker, stronger and built to last outside,” Mr Hodges said.
When thinking about how a future owner or tenants will see your outdoor area, take into consideration that their needs are likely to evolve over time.
As example, Mr Hodges suggested to make sure the backyard does not block off sections of the yard, as future residents may want to add in a pool or a barbecue area.
3. Think transitionally
While also future-proofing the backyard area, providing areas that can be altered over time is another smart decision, according to Mr Hodges.
An example of this is providing a sandpit for children. Once they grow up, it can be converted into a little garden to grow vegetables and then later on potentially into an entertainment space with a fire pit.