How Much Does an Outdoor Living Space Cost?

The national average cost of an outdoor living space is about $7,670, with a typical range between $4,150 and $11,185. The cost of a specific project can range from $300 for a simple hot tub to $18,000 for a green house. Other popular outdoor improvements include a covered patio and kitchen with a fire place. The cost of a covered patio is between $5,000 and $25,000, while an outdoor kitchen with a fire place costs between $4,500 and $21,000.

Updated February 22, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

These projects help turn your outdoor living space into a safe, comfortable place to have fun, especially during the winter months. The variety of possible projects is the main reason for such a wide cost range. It’s also why you need to think about how you want to use your outdoor space before you talk to a contractor. This approach will help you turn your current back yard into the paradise you want.

Select your Outdoor Living project

new deck on upper level of house overlooking trees
Build a Deck
(16,224 projects)
$7,732 Average National Cost
A wooden patio with nice furniture and lots of plants
Install a Patio or Pathway
(14,680 projects)
$4,159 Average National Cost
Person measuring to repair a deck
Repair a Deck
(11,774 projects)
$1,895 Average National Cost
asphalt paved driveway in front of garage
Install Asphalt Paving
(9,309 projects)
$4,949 Average National Cost
sealing a wooden deck with a paintbrush
Seal or Waterproof a Deck
(8,414 projects)
$906 Average National Cost
A couple cooking together
Install or Repair Gas Pipes
(7,886 projects)
$552 Average National Cost
professional servicing swimming pool during maintenance visit
Maintain a Swimming Pool
(7,539 projects)
$227 Average National Cost
concrete sealant being applied with roller
Coat Concrete With Epoxy
(6,354 projects)
$2,320 Average National Cost
asphalt paving being repaired in front of home
Repair Asphalt Paving
(3,035 projects)
$2,326 Average National Cost
outdoor hot tub installed into backyard deck
Install a Hot Tub
(2,997 projects)
$340 Average National Cost
remodeling a home swimming pool
Remodel a Swimming Pool
(2,777 projects)
$9,257 Average National Cost
Awning-over-backyard-balcony
Install an Awning
(2,477 projects)
$2,796 Average National Cost
professional repairing outdoor hot tub
Repair a Hot Tub
(2,441 projects)
$325 Average National Cost
A modern house with glazed arbor
Build a Patio Enclosure
(2,409 projects)
$17,054 Average National Cost
professional repairing a brick patio pathway
Repair a Patio or Pathway
(1,442 projects)
$1,438 Average National Cost
View of pool of luxury home
Install, Repair or Replace a Vinyl Swimming Pool Liner
(1,381 projects)
$2,326 Average National Cost
swimming pool heater next to pool
Repair a Swimming Pool Heater
(1,279 projects)
$458 Average National Cost
concrete being removed with jackhammer
Remove Concrete
(1,158 projects)
$1,080 Average National Cost
Swimming pool outside home
Build a Swimming Pool
(1,111 projects)
$22,365 Average National Cost
new swimming pool heating system
Install a Swimming Pool Heater
(820 projects)
$2,863 Average National Cost
large luxury house with inground pool in yard
Install an In-ground Pool - Cost Guide Task Page
(728 projects)
$55,209 Average National Cost
pergola built over a deck in backyard of house
Build a Pergola
(606 projects)
$3,965 Average National Cost
modern home with retractable canvas awning
Repair an Awning
(445 projects)
$695 Average National Cost
professional delivering concrete to jobsite
Deliver Concrete
(310 projects)
$5,096 Average National Cost
wooden playset with slide installed in backyard of house
Install a Playground or Swing Set
(272 projects)
$486 Average National Cost
built-in outdoor kitchen with grill and sink
Build an Outdoor Kitchen
(206 projects)
$13,795 Average National Cost
an above ground pool installed in backyard with deck
Install an Above Ground Pool
(202 projects)
$3,158 Average National Cost
A covered boat tied up at a boat dock
Repair a Boat Dock
(193 projects)
$2,262 Average National Cost
swimming pool with pool cover installed
Install Swimming Pool Covers & Accessories
(189 projects)
$1,505 Average National Cost
wooden gazebo built in large backyard with landscaping
Repair a Gazebo
(170 projects)
$1,165 Average National Cost
wooden gazebo recently built in backyard garden
Build a Gazebo
(138 projects)
$5,748 Average National Cost
natural gas grill installed on backyard deck of house
Install a Natural Gas BBQ
(117 projects)
$259 Average National Cost
small dock with a boat on a lake
Build a Dock
(94 projects)
$17,350 Average National Cost
an outdoor misting system next to garden plants
Install an Outdoor Misting System
(82 projects)
$2,728 Average National Cost
newly built swimming pool enclosure
Build a Swimming Pool Enclosure
(72 projects)
$10,409 Average National Cost
fiberglass pool with wooden deck in backyard
Install a Fiberglass Pool
(61 projects)
$29,178 Average National Cost
An outdoor misting system in a house’s front porch
Repair an Outdoor Misting System
(56 projects)
$533 Average National Cost
newly resurfaced home tennis court
Build or Resurface a Tennis Court
(32 projects)
$11,831 Average National Cost
neon sign installed on storefront
Make and Install Signs
(27 projects)
$430 Average National Cost
worker repairing and repainting playground equipment
Repair Playground Equipment
(19 projects)
$415 Average National Cost
A professional repairing tennis court
Repair a Tennis Court
(18 projects)
$5,598 Average National Cost
handyman on a ladder repairing the roof of a greenhouse
Repair a Greenhouse
(11 projects)
$1,381 Average National Cost
greenhouse full of plants built in backyard garden
Build a Greenhouse
(10 projects)
$9,146 Average National Cost

Outdoor Room Costs

The cost of building outdoor rooms ranges from $4,000 to $16,400, making them some of the more expensive projects for outdoor living projects. The average costs of these projects are as follows:

ProjectCost
Deck$7,700
Patio$3,900
Walkways$300
Patio Enclosure$16,400
Pergola, Trellis or Arbor$3,900
Gazebo$6,200

Deck or Patio

The average cost of a deck is $7,700, while the average cost of a patio is $3,900. Seating is one of the greatest cost factors for these structures. For example, a chat set consisting of four chairs and a low table costs $350, while a sofa, chairs and some end tables cost about $4,000.

Walkway & Steps

The cost of building a walkway or steps is between $6 and $30 per square foot, including materials and labor. The material is the biggest cost, with a concrete walkway being the least expensive. Flagstones are the most expensive material, although you can reduce this cost by using an open pattern with space between the stones.

Patio Cover, Pergola, Gazebo or Arbor

The average cost of a patio enclosure is $16,400, making it the most expensive of these features. A pergola, arbor and trellis all cost about $3,900, as the construction of these structures is fairly similar. A gazebo costs about $6,200.

Cost of an Outdoor Entertaining Area

The average cost of an outdoor entertaining area is between $700 and $13,200, depending on the area’s specific purpose. These activities include the following:

ProjectCost
Kitchen$13,200
Fire Pit$700
Home Theater$550
Misting System$2,700
Swimming Pool$22,100
Hot Tub$6,200
Pool House$9,600

Outdoor Kitchen with Fireplace, Grill and/or Bar

The average cost of an outdoor kitchen is $13,200, with a typical range between $5,400 and $22,000. The wide range of this cost is due to the possible add-ons that an outdoor kitchen may have, including the cost of a fireplace, the cost of a grill and the cost to build a bar. Luxury kitchens with multiple add-ons can greatly exceed these costs.

Fire Pit

The average cost of installing a fire pit is $700, with a range of $300 to $1,400. Choosing between an in-ground pit and a pre-made unit is one of the most important decisions you need to make with this feature. An in-ground pit has a concrete base with walls made of brick and mortar that has holes to drain moisture. A premade model has a metal bottom that can rust, so it may not last as long as a true fire pit.

Outdoor TV or Home Theatre

The cost of an outdoor home theater system starts at about $550, which includes the projector, projector screen and speakers. This system typically allows you to play movies directly from a device such as a smartphone, computer or DVD player, depending on the connections available. An outdoor screen should have a diagonal measurement of at least 90 inches and brightness of 1,200 lumens, much more than an indoor system. An outdoor system also needs to be weather resistant, especially if it’s a permanent installation.

Misting Systems

The average cost of an outdoor misting system is $2,700, with a typical range between $2,000 and $3,300. The cost of the system itself is between $600 and $3,200, for an average cost of $1,900. The installation is usually between $200 and $700, depending on the size of the system. The most common uses of an outdoor misting system include cooling, irrigation and mosquito control.

Swimming Pools & Hot Tubs

The cost of an above-ground pool is between $700 and $3,600, while the in-ground pools cost between $36,750 and $66,500. However, custom pools can cost up to $100,000. The cost of a hot tub is between $650 and $6,100, with an average of $3,400. Inflatable, above-ground models are the least expensive options, while built-in and custom designs are the most expensive.

A 700-square-foot pool enclosure costs an average of $9,570, with a range between $5,100 and $14,100 for a new pool enclosure. More expensive design options include a glass enclosure for $38,500 or more and a retractable model for $70,000 and up. A swimming pool is a major addition to your home that can greatly increase the enjoyment of your property. However, you should also prepare for the cost of significant maintenance unlike other outdoor living features.

Pool or Guest House

A 300-square foot detached pool house costs between $48,000 and $180,000, or $114,000 on average, depending on the style and type. A modular 600-square foot guest house costs $55,000 on average, and from $45,000 to $65,000 including when factoring in materials, building permits and installation. However, you could pay $100,000 or more depending on size and where you live.

Average Cost of Other Outdoor Living Areas

The average cost of outdoor entertaining areas is between $500 and $17,000, depending on the area’s specific purpose. These activities include the following:

ProjectCost
Playground$500
Tennis Court$7,900
Basketball Court$76,000
Putting Green$4,300
Greenhouse$17,250
Conservatory$30,000
Boat House$14,750

Playgrounds

The average cost of a playground is about $500, with a range between $350 and $675. The primary cost factor is the type of equipment, but the installation may also require leveling and surfacing. Basic landscape leveling and surfacing costs $1.30 to $1.60 per square foot. Swings are the most common playground equipment, although many other options are also available.

Tennis or Basketball Court

The average cost of a tennis court is about $7,900, with a range between $4,800 and $11,050. The total expense for an outdoor basketball court measuring 94 by 50 feet averages about $35,000 and has a range between $11,000 and $76,000. The cost per square foot is thus between $3.50 and $17. Common places to install a sport court include your backyard or detached addition.

Putting Green

The cost of installing a putting green with an area of 100 square feet is about $2,500. A medium putting green of 200 square foot feet is about $4,300, and a large one of 500 square feet costs at least $9,000. The cost of converting a lawn into a putting green is between $18 and $25 per square foot, although the price per square foot drops as the size increases. These prices don’t include the cost of leveling the land, which is often necessary for a putting green.

Greenhouse or Conservatory

The average cost of installing a greenhouse is $17,300, with a range between $7,400 and $28,370. A conservatory typically costs about $30,000, but can range between $10,000 and $80,000. The main reason for this difference in cost is that a conservatory is a complete building, especially for the high end. However modular kits for detached garden rooms are available at a much lower cost.

Boat Dock

The cost of building a boat dock about $14,800 on average, with a typical range between $3,300 and $26,600. Piers usually cost $100 per linear foot or $15 to $40 per square foot. The most inexpensive docks are prefabricated models, while the most expensive ones are high-quality permanent installations that can cost as much as $75,000. Other cost factors include materials, which are usually wood and concrete or aluminum.

Labor Costs to Build an Outdoor Living Space

The labor cost of installing a concrete patio is $4 to $7 per square foot, including excavation, site preparation and pouring concrete. The labor cost of installing a wooden deck is between $8 and $22 per square foot for carpentry work such as installing the decking, railing, posts, joists and ledger boards. Hardscaping includes the hard elements of a landscaping project such as gazebos, fountains and decorative rocks, which cost $7 to $22 per square foot.

Other Cost Factors

General contractors charge an average of $50 per hour, although it can range from $30 to $85 per hour. This work includes many types of unspecialized tasks that are common to many outdoor living projects, including excavation, grading and site cleanup. The cost of permits depends on factors such as the location, size of the project and whether it includes load-bearing structures. Plan on spending $500 to get the permits for a large, load-bearing structure like a deck.

DIY vs. Hiring Outdoor Living Space Contractors

The choice between doing some of this work yourself and hiring a patio contractor in your area often comes down to the skill required for a particular task. Site preparation and cleanup may be hard work, but they rarely require a great degree of skill. On the other hand, you should hire a pro such as a designer or architect to develop a landscape plan. Not only does this task require specialized skills, but it also ensures the individual elements form a cohesive whole.

Building Outdoor Living Spaces on a Budget

Developing an outdoor living space on a budget typically requires you to complete additional tasks, depending on your experience as a DIYer. These jobs could include landscaping, pouring concrete and carpentry. You can also reduce costs by buying prefabricated structures, which also require less skill than permanent structures.

FAQs

What is an outdoor living area?

An outdoor living area is generally any area outside your house where people will spend some of their time. Patios, decks and pathways are some of the most traditional outdoor living areas. This term hasn’t historically included fully enclosed permanent structures, but that distinction is becoming blurred with options like covered patios.

How do you design a great outdoor living space?

Designing a greater outdoor living space involves selecting and arranging individual elements that come together to make a single statement. These choices often center around an outdoor kitchen, which usually attracts the greatest number of people. Additional elements common to most outdoor living spaces include pathways, water elements and heat sources.

How much does an outdoor kitchen add to a home’s value?

An outdoor kitchen does add to a home’s value, but not enough to justify the expense from a purely economic standpoint. The typical return on investment (ROI) for this outdoor living space is 5%, meaning you can expect to recoup slightly more than half of what you spend on it when you sell your home.

Does a screened-in porch or patio add value to a home?

A screened-in porch or patio adds value to a home, generally 70 to 75% of its cost.

How much does a deck add to home resale value?

A deck adds resale value to your home, depending on the material. The ROI averages 74% for composite materials and 87% for wood.

Do pergolas add value to a house?

Pergolas add about 55% of their cost onto the value of your home when you sell it.