Summer is here! Your backyard can be the ultimate hang-out spot if you know how to use the space effectively. Luckily, you have us to show you the way! Big or small, your backyard can turn into the entertainment spot of your dreams.
A well-maintained backyard has many benefits for homeowners, too, such as:
- More space for activities
- Increased property value
- A safe place for your pets
- Room for a hot tub
- Better mental health
- Space for gardening
- Open area for kids
- Place to relax
- Space for entertaining friends and family
The possibilities are nearly endless with a backyard space. But what kind of homeowner are you? Are you a do-it-yourselfer looking to expand your abilities? Or do you want to hire a professional to take care of business?
Let’s break it down before we get started on ideas and plans.
Do It Yourself!
A backyard landscaping project is a fabulous way to pick up new skills and learn what it takes to create the backyard living space of your dreams. Before you begin, you should look at your backyard and come up with an overall vision of what you are looking to gain by utilizing that space.
Do you want a garden? Are the kids looking for a place to play? Do you love to entertain? Consider these things before you drive to your favorite local home center or home improvement store and spend too much money.
Once you have your vision, start taking stock of your landscaping tools. Here are a few tools you should consider purchasing:
- Flat shovel
- Regular shovel
- Hedge clipper or trimmer
- Post hole digger
- Gardening gloves
- Weed trimmer
These tools should provide the basics to help maintain your yard at its base level. You can spend as much or as little as necessary to get your backyard into top shape. A flat shovel, regular shovel and rake alone will be plenty to move dirt and get a garden going.
Hire a Professional
Sometimes you don’t have enough time or effort to make your backyard vision a reality. A landscaping professional can take your ideas, make them work within the confines of the space and budget, and turn your backyard into something that should be in Better Homes and Gardens.
Keep in mind, though – a professional won’t come cheap. Think of it this way: you are paying for a professional’s experience and their time on the job.
Here are a few things to consider if you opt for a professional to work in your backyard:
- Reviews from other customers
- Vision and overall plan
- Maintenance plans
- Types of materials used
- Greenery and plants
- Grass seed and maintenance
Make sure you research here to find the professional who can complete your vision with a budget, time, and quality, all at the top of your mind.
Don’t be afraid to have multiple landscaping companies come to your home and give you a quote. Ultimately, you want a perfect cross of budget-consciousness and quality work.
Once you have decided on doing the work on your own or hiring a professional, you can start coming up with how you want your backyard to look. First, let’s go over some ideas to consider!
Start a Garden
Do you have a green thumb or an itch to try and see if you have one? A garden in your backyard is a wonderful way to start. But what kind of garden do you want? You can grow a garden of beautiful flowers and trees, or you can grow a garden for food and vegetables.
A food and vegetable garden is a fantastic way to save a few bucks considering food prices these days. A flower garden can be great for your overall mental health as flowers have a way of brightening the day.
Starting a garden also requires a bit of planning on your part. You can choose to plant one in the ground or invest in raised planting beds. Planting requires digging, or you can purchase a garden tiller to help ease the process. Raised beds are in style these days – especially ones made of cedar – and can be moved around the yard until you find the perfect space.
Work on the Grass and Shrubbery
When you think of a yard, you most likely think of a lush, green lawn that will make your dad blush. Luckily, you have options when it comes to grass. However, with water consumption an issue in some parts of the country dealing with droughts, you may have to opt for artificial turf.
Artificial turf means less maintenance throughout the year and much less water consumption. If you can plant grass seeds, research what type of grass grows best in your state.
Don’t forget the shrubbery and greenery, either! Bushes, shrubs, or trees are another way to make your backyard stand out. Locate your nearby nursery and pick the brains of those who work there to find out what types of bushes and shrubs require little maintenance throughout the year.
Create a Backyard Kitchen
Nothing brings people together better than food. Pair food with an outdoor living space, and you have a recipe for a party! An outdoor kitchen has become a fabulous way to utilize outdoor space.
We don’t have to say it, but the outdoor cooking industry is booming these days with people learning how to cook with kettle grills, smokers, and flat-top griddles. Consider creating a patio with pavers to park any of your outdoor cooking equipment and a space to eat.
Construct a Fire Pit
A fire pit is another way to create an entertainment spot for your backyard. Fire pits create an instant heat and light source in a dark area. Your local home center sells fire pits made of metal with easy assembly.
You can also dig a hole, buy bricks, and construct a pit with plans online. This feature can wow anyone and provide warmth during those cool months.
Don’t Forget the Lighting!
With string lights exploding in popularity over the past few years, backyard enthusiasts have found incredible ways of illuminating small areas. String lights are a fantastic way to create a unique space in your backyard.
One trend these days is to buy large pots, 8-foot 4x4s, and bags of concrete to construct stands to hang string lights. Place the 4×4 in the middle of the pot, level it out, and fill it about 2/3rds of the way with concrete. Buy hooks, and you will be able to hang your string lights from the top of the 4×4.
Other landscaping lights, like path lights and rope lights, can create a warm, inviting environment for a party or relaxation after a long day at work.
Enhance Your Landscape with a Gazebo, Pergola or Arbor
Outdoor structures like gazebos, arbors and pergolas are awe-inspiring ways to create a head-turning feature for your backyard. A pergola mixed with patio pavers or a poured concrete pad will be an excellent entertainment spot for you and your family or friends. Cover the pergola with a sun shade or an awning, and you have a comfortable space that can serve as another living or dining space.
An arbor can serve as a beautiful entryway to your garden or backyard. These can be purchased or constructed based on plans online. You can also cover arbors in vines to create the kind of entryway that looks like something out of the Secret Garden.
Build a Privacy Fence
A privacy fence serves many purposes for a backyard space. However, the most significant factor here is to help establish a wall for your property line.
You will want to go through your city’s zoning department to discover where your property starts and stops. Once property lines are established, you can hire a contractor to build a fence if you have a larger backyard or build one yourself.
Once erected, you will have established a large area to help keep your kids and pets safe.
Buy a Hot Tub or Pool
If you have a fenced-off backyard, a pool or a hot tub is a spectacular addition to any backyard. Once again, you will want to check with your city’s zoning department or homeowners’ association to see if you can even build a pool.
The addition of a pool and/or hot tub can offer the following benefits:
- Improved backyard space
- Boost in home value
- Spend more time with family
- Disconnect from technology
- Invest in low-impact exercise
- Ease stress and enjoy relaxation
- Improve sleep patterns
- Reduce aches, pains and tension
Can’t decide between a hot tub and swimming pool? Why not consider the addition of a swim spa! Often described as the perfect combination of a hot tub and swimming pool, swim spas offer the benefits and features of both water systems, but fits perfectly into most outdoor spaces.
Playground Equipment for Kids
If you have children, a backyard can keep them off electronics for a few hours. However, you cannot toss them in the backyard without something to do back there.
Depending on your space, you can buy a high-quality playground kit with a sandbox, swing sets, and a playhouse. Your kids will love this extra space to play and use their imaginations, or they will find a stick to play with in the yard. Kids, right?
Turning your backyard into a summer oasis is just one way to extend the joy and staggering responsibility of being a homeowner. You don’t even have to be an outside person to enjoy the benefits of having a well-landscaped and planned backyard!
All it takes to create a personalized outdoor living space is a plan and funding to make it happen. With all these suggestions, you are sure to have a few ideas germinating in your mind.