All of us have our favorite part of the house. Some enjoy cooking in the kitchen, while others spend hours in their den or living room. A few may even have special rooms for their collectibles, whatever that may be. But none is as important as the backyard. It’s our own little patch of open land, and it allows us to spend time outdoors without having to leave our homes. There are things we can do to make our backyards more functional while retaining the open element.
Everyone benefits from more functional spaces. For instance, you can plant a vegetable garden if you want to grow your own produce. A playground also comes in handy if you have children. There are a million different ways to make a backyard your own. And even if you don’t spend much time outdoors, a decked-out backyard is more attractive to prospective buyers, should you decide to sell your home.
That said, you’ll need time and money if you want to give your backyard a makeover. Just because you’re dealing with an open space doesn’t mean the work is less difficult. You’ll need to hire a designer and a contractor if you want to do things right. Backyard design requires careful thought and consideration to ensure the maximum balance between space and utility.
1. Make it weatherproof
Weather is the number one factor limiting how often and for how long we can use our backyard. Just think about all the backyard parties that were cut short by a sudden change in weather. Investing in weatherproofing allows you to get more use out of your backyard. For instance, if you live in a hot area, you may want to buy shades and awnings to keep the sun out.
Just be careful when choosing materials. Weatherproofing only works if the materials used are durable. It wouldn’t make much financial sense if you had to pay for repairs or replacements every other season. Waterproof decking systems are a must if it often rains in your area. You may want to use strong materials such as metal and stone for any upgrades you have planned.
2. Build around a theme
The best backyards are centered around a central theme. Some people spend hours cultivating a flower garden, while others add in a swimming pool and a guest house. It all boils down to what your interests are and how you spend your time. A theme also acts as a restraint on what you can do. An unfocused backyard will look and feel more disorganized. In trying to appeal to everyone’s tastes, you end up pleasing no one.
For instance, if you want to build an outdoor entertainment area, you don’t want to place fragile flower beds next to the playground. A trampoline will also look out of place if you’re designing a space for meditation. Narrow your focus and edit your idea as you go. A singular vision is stronger and more effective.
3. Use the right fixtures
So you’ve chosen a central theme, and you have a general idea of what you want to accomplish. The only thing left to do is to make it happen. But before you start construction, you need to make sure you’ve chosen the right fixtures for your backyard. Let’s say you want to add a swimming pool to your backyard. With all the moisture in the area, you might want to stay away from furniture made of wood.
You’ll never go wrong with metal and plastic when shopping for backyard furniture. Plastic is virtually resistant to corrosion, rot, and pest damage. While it may yellow with repeated exposure to the elements, it’s nothing that a deep clean can’t fix. Meanwhile, metal fixtures can last for a long time. Just make sure to retouch the paint or finish once in a while to minimize corrosion.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use wood. Many homeowners still prefer wood over plastic or metal, and that’s understandable. You need to know where to place them. You can place wooden furniture in covered decks and partially open spaces.
The bottom line
Turning a bare patch of land into a functional space for you and your family is no small feat. These three tips will help you transform your backyard space and make it more comfortable and fun. Focus on smaller changes and work your way up.
For instance, investing in weatherproofing allows you to make use of your backyard even during inclement weather. Next, choose a theme that will help clarify the purpose of your backyard. Finally, pick the right fixtures for your new entertainment space.