Every year, homeowners and renters alike look for ways to improve the look and function of their backyards. When it comes to makeovers, some projects are easier than others and can cost you a little or could break the bank. The following suggestions include a variety of items that are relatively easy to acquire and/or build. With a bit of imagination and some elbow grease, you can transform your backyard from a space connected to your backdoor into a part of your home that family and friends will want to enjoy.
1. Add A Deck, Patio, Or Porch
A great place to start with your backyard improvements is with one of these structures. Adding a patio provides an even walking area adjacent to your home, and can include built-in steps from the back doorway, food/drink areas, as well as hot tubs.
Decks provide a platform similar to a patio but is usually built off of the ground and is comprised of treated wood. The wood can be painted or stained to match other components in your yard’s landscaping, but will not be as durable as the concrete or stone used for many patio projects.
These projects can be built uncovered, but adding a cover may increase your enjoyment, especially in warm climates.
2. Add Some Furniture To Your Yard
Often, the goal of improving your backyard is to encourage yourself and others to enjoy it more. One way to get family and friends to enjoy the yard is by adding furniture to sit and lounge upon. Adding a bench or table for eating will allow everyone to enjoy meals outdoors. Placing chairs and stools on an existing deck or patio will create a relaxing environment that encourages socializing.
A swinging bench or chair attached to a tree or support beams on a patio is also a great way to relax and pass some time. Placing a hammock in the yard might create a relaxing space to retreat to, along with adding padding and pillowed areas to sit on.
3. Bring The Indoors Outside
Some of the best projects you can build that will bring more activity into the backyard include those that mirror indoor setups. A portable bar is a great way to get adult family members and neighbors to stay longer than the time it takes to eat at the barbeque.
While we’re talking about food, a stationary grill or outdoor kitchen will allow you to create meals ranging from standard outdoor grilling to more complicated dishes beyond the grill. This type of setup allows everyone to stay together instead of having guests on the deck while one of more people work inside the kitchen.
In addition, adding an outdoor fire pit is a fun way to enjoy your backyard at night when it’s cooler. Not to mention. everyone loves a nice, relaxing summer night by the fire.
4. Entertain The Kids
Most parents will agree that the backyard is safer than the front of the house when it comes to children. Most backyards are fenced, providing privacy and safety for younger family members. Projects designed to keep a child’s interest need to include features that stimulate imaginative play. A traditional backyard children’s object would be a tire swing. Additional playing options can be added with a swing set or jungle gym.
Another backyard project for kids is a tree-house. Variations of traditional designs allow parents to create ground structures that can be used as a clubhouse or fort.
A sandbox is a fun play area, especially for younger children. Remember, a storage area for outdoor toys will help to keep your yard de-cluttered when the kids are busy elsewhere or during the winter months.
5. Games For The Whole Family
Why should the kids have all of the fun? There are plenty of games designed for kids of any age that will add quality time to everyone’s backyard experience. Bocce ball and croquet are family yard games that can still create hours of fun.
Setting up dedicated spaces for activities like cornhole or horseshoes are cheap and easy projects. Even temporary displays for ladder ball or net games like volleyball will keep your guests active and entertained.
Don’t forget those tables in the backyard. They make great surfaces for the board and card games sitting in the closet. In warmer climates, you can take advantage of a covered patio by adding a foosball or ping pong table.
6. Other Entertainment
A popular backyard project has always been the addition of a swimming pool. While a permanent structure is nice, temporary pools that can be taken down when summer is over are often designed for smaller spaces and can be moved when needed.
In recent years, many homeowners have built outdoor electronic entertainment stations. An outdoor stereo or theater system is great for those who live in warm climates or for during the summer months. Outdoor equipment will help to get the party started, and will keep it going longer than most other projects on this list.
Speaking of keeping things going, adding backyard lighting will provide access to the yard after the sun goes down.
7. Fence Decorations And Landscaping
Wooden fencing will need general maintenance, including replacement of broken slates or outdoor treatments. Performing these projects annually or bi-annually will improve the look of your yard. Painting a mural on your side of the fence is a great activity for the artist inside of you. It can also be a project that is shared between all of the family members. Drilling holes into the fence and filling them with colored marbles will create interesting colors when the sun hits them.
Of course, adding flower or vegetable gardens is a great way to enjoy your backyard and improve its look. These gardens can be traditional in structure, as well as raised beds or container gardens. Many indoor plants can be placed outdoors during warm months, or all year long in warm climates, and will add distinct looks to your yard.