OUTDOOR ROOMS: A cheap way to UP your home value? We’ve done the digging

When it comes to selling, it’s no secret that making small improvements such as a coat of paint, new flooring or other cosmetic updates, can really boost your end sale price.

But what about the bigger stuff?

‘Garden rooms’ – or backyard studios, outdoor offices, gyms and work sheds – have become an increasingly popular addition to Australian backyards since the onset of Covid, as a result of homeowners wanting to create more useable hobby and work-from-home spaces – or of course, optimising their home environment for as long as possible as a low-cost alternative to moving.

So what defines a ‘garden room’?

Unlike the traditional habitable and rentable granny flat, garden rooms are typically a standalone room pre-crafted as a ‘kit’, and delivered and installed at the property.

Given that it’s acceptable to build non-habitable rooms or minor structures without council approval in NSW, it’s entirely possible to add a garden room as an exempt development without the headache of going through council. This of course depends on your local council requirements (which you should first seek), but generally the conditions needing to be met are around the size, freestanding position, use of the room and other items that you may require such as plumbing. 

How much do they cost?

Outdoor rooms have gained popularity because they don’t break the bank, and some companies such as Inoutside, Aarons Outdoor, Backyard Pods and Greenspan offer backyard studio kits starting from as low as $10,000. As with any home upgrade or addition, there are many options that come at a cost like adding paint, decking, lighting or flooring – but it’s possible to avoid all of these extra costs by tackling them yourself. 

Can they really add value?

Given that most potential buyers will look at outdoor upgrades as an asset, especially one that adds significant living space, it’s safe to say that outdoor rooms can really improve your property value. Of course any guarantee of this lies with the right buyer; but it can be said that despite an outdoor room not being sold as a habitable room (without council approval), their growing desirability is certainly having them being perceived as one in the market.

Homes with a backyard studio attached typically create more buyer interest, and can lead to a quicker and more competitive sale in the end… as to how much depends entirely on the property – and the market perception at the time.

The information and content provided here is not intended to constitute legal advice, is general in nature and should be used for informational purposes only. Readers should conduct their own research and seek professional advice prior to making a decision.

Prudential Real Estate Macquarie Fields |  (02) 9605 5333 | [email protected]

Prudential Real Estate Narellan | (02) 4624 4400 | [email protected]