Many backyards start out as featureless swaths of grass with no personality or protection from the elements. The backyard can be so much more, however, with a little investment, proper planning, and thorough follow-through. These eight easy steps will help you renovate your yard into a featureful and delightful place to enjoy time alone or spend quality time with family and friends.
Step One: Decide the functions of your space. A backyard can be many things to many people: a children’s playground, a barbecue-centered eating area, a flourishing garden with banks of flowers and cozy nooks or rows of vegetables for the dining table, or a combination of these and more. Ensure that a multi-function backyard has the right ratios to fit your needs.
Step two: Understand your limitations. Local rules can put a halter on runaway dreams of fine details if you do not take into account such factors as the rules and regulations of home owner associations. Building codes and zoning may also apply to your property plans.
Step three: Doodle different drafts of ideas until you find the right one. There are free online landscape design planners that do not require downloading for those who prefer not to draw plans by hand. The options are boundless.
Step four: Plan your plants appropriately. It is important to avoid invasive species that are considered nuisances in your area. The same site also lauds landscaping as good for amenity and aesthetics, air quality, habitat creation, biodiversity, climate modification, and water management. This is only truly effective with a variety of the proper plants.
In addition to choosing local plants or plants that thrive in a similar climate to yours, keep appearances in mind. The right planning will provide a space that is appealing to the senses through all four seasons. Choose and balance plants that flower or change colors at different times, and utilize evergreens to keep things from being too stark in leafless months.
Step five: Plan your budget. Once you have your goals, understand the stages and costs of the renovation itself. The Huffington Post advises using a professional landscaper when required and following this advice can take a lot of stress from the renovation as a whole. Even without the reports of a professional, budgeting can be done by calling around to different suppliers, sources, and, if necessary, other experts such as plumbers or carpenters. It might be wise to draw the renovation out over several years to fit the bills into your current budget.
Step six: Gather your supplies. Buying in bulk tends to save on money, so be sure to get all you need in the first effort. Call around to find the best deals on your lumber, paving supplies, and desired plants. If you wish a water element, obtain such things as basins and fountains and be sure to get a plumber’s advice if trying to install it yourself.
Step seven: Start working. Whether you’re hiring a professional or managing it all DIY style, it is now time to establish your game plan and stick to it. Lay down pathways and pave patios. Plant your gardens, first building raised beds if you desire for visual interest and ease of tending. Make sure plants are given enough room for their full size. Keep in mind the varying height of plants when they are full-grown and don’t crowd seating areas too much with taller specimens. Again, this process can take place over years, but make your plan, with some flexibility in case of mishaps, and execute it.
Step eight: Decorate and furnish. Set up your patio furniture, playground equipment, seating arrangements, and grill. Use pots and planters in unused corners to fill up space and delight the eye. Consider small statuary or trellises to highlight various areas. Keep lighting in mind as well.
With these eight simple steps, an ideal backyard renovation is easily possible. The main thing is to do your homework, set your imagination free, pare it down to the bounds of possibility, and stick to a practical plan. Don’t try to overexert yourself and do everything at once. Take the time to enjoy the process, making memories for when you finally get to experience your dream backyard.