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Top 10 outdoor remodeling projects

You've probably heard that outdoor remodeling projects can improve the resale value of your home, but do you know which ones are the most highly recommended by Realtors? A recent report by the National Association of Realtors ranked the most valuable outdoor features in terms of cost and return on investment.

Here's a look at their top picks in order of their appeal to buyers:

  1. Basic Lawn Care -- 303 percent ROI with an estimated cost of $330 for six applications of fertilizer and weed control
  2. Overall Landscape Upgrade -- 105 percent ROI with an estimated cost of $4,750 for a 30-foot flagstone walkway, two 6-foot stone planters, five flowering shrubs, one deciduous 15-foot tree and mulch
  3. New Patio -- 102 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $6,400
  4. New Wood Deck -- 106 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $9,450
  5. Softscape Upgrade -- 100 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $7,000 for five trees, 25 shrubs, 60 perennials, edging and boulders
  6. Sod Lawn -- 143 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $700 for 1,000 feet
  7. Seed Lawn -- 417 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $120 for 1,000 feet
  8. Fire Pit -- 78 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $4,500 for dry stacked natural stone kits and a gas burner with 10-foot-diameter flagstone patio
  9. Fireplace -- 60 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $13,300 for veneered masonry stone, gas starter, chimney and wood mantel
  10. New Pool -- 50 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $50,000

HouseLogic, a homeownership site, surveyed consumers about their last remodeling project and calculated a "joy score" from 1 to 10 based on their satisfaction with the completed work. While a pool came in last in terms of its buyer appeal and ROI, it received the highest joy score, a perfect 10.

Other top joy-scoring projects included an overall landscape upgrade (9.8), a new wood deck (9.7), a new patio (9.6) and a softscape upgrade (9.6).

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