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Building a Better Backyard: 5 Things You Need to Know

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Building a new home from the ground up is often the culmination of years of hard work and determination. But you would be remiss if all you cared about is the house itself. Designing the perfect home for you and your family also means you have to consider the outdoor environment. If you include plans to make better use of your backyard, you can use your outdoor spaces for recreation and relaxation.

Your backyard deserves as much attention as your home’s interior. It requires proper planning and design so that you can get the best possible outdoor space. Just think of the possibilities: barbecue parties with your friends, afternoons spent gardening, playtime with your children. However, building a backyard can overwhelm even the best among us, and there are lots of things you need to consider.

Here are a few pointers that will help you build your dream outdoor space.

1. Start with a plan

First things first, you need to have a proper plan before you do anything major. Spend some time thinking about what you want for your backyard and draw a rough sketch of your outdoor space. It doesn’t have to look professional. You need a preliminary plan for your backyard project.

Think about where you want to put the outdoor seating. Do you want privacy fencing along the perimeter? If you like to garden, then make sure to leave space for plant beds, shrubs, and trees.

If you’re not sure where to begin, it helps to consult with an expert. They will be able to provide valuable advice that can make you the right design choices. Don’t rush the process. Field ideas from your family, and soon enough, your outdoor project will take off without a hitch.

2. Set a budget

Cost overruns aren’t uncommon in home construction, and outdoor projects are no exception. If you’re working with a contractor, you need to establish a ceiling for how much you can afford to spend on a backyard. Otherwise, you’re going to see that number rise until it becomes untenable. Your budget should determine what you can do, not the other way around.

3. Make the most of vertical space

Many homeowners think horizontally when planning a backyard. The idea is to fill up the footprint so that every square inch of land is utilized. But a space becomes fully alive when you consider both the horizontal and vertical elements. Our eyes are drawn to things that move upwards, such as church spires and skyscrapers. You can apply the same elements when designing your backyard.

For instance, you can cover the aluminum fence with climbing plants and vines. You can also hang small planter boxes behind your garden beds to introduce a sense of scale. Experiment with planter boxes of different heights for visual variety. A sculpture can also serve as a natural focal point. Finally, consider painting a mural on an outdoor wall.

4. Add an outdoor kitchen

One of the most popular outdoor upgrades is the outdoor kitchen. If you enjoy throwing parties and have room to spare, an outdoor kitchen can make entertaining easier and more fun. Not only does it make your outdoor space more functional, but it also adds a rustic charm to any home. Best of all, an outdoor kitchen adds value to your home, something to think about if you plan on selling in the future.

But you need to make sure an outdoor kitchen makes sense for your situation. If you live in an area with cold weather, an outdoor kitchen can be a worthwhile addition to your home. You get to use your outdoor space, even if it’s cold out. Don’t forget to invest in heating and waterproofing to protect your investment.

5. Choose the right plants

Poor plant planning can result in a drab-looking backyard. Even if you’ve spent a lot of time on the placement of trees, shrubs, and plant beds, if you choose the wrong species, then all your hard work could be wasted. For starters, make sure to choose plants that are suited to the climate of your area. Choose a mix of annuals and perennials so your garden will look alive all year round.

These things will help you design and build a better backyard. While there are aspects of a backyard project that you can do yourself, it’s best to hire a professional to maximize your chances of success. Ask your neighbors for referrals or search online for experts in your area. As with anything, don’t rush the process and take some time to look at different proposals and plans.