Spending time outside with our kids is probably one of my favorite family activities. A lot of the time this means going hiking with the dogs, or visiting our local state park. But, sometimes we have too much going on to fit in a day trip. On those days we still like to get outside and creating a great backyard is a good way to make this outdoor time enjoyable!
Creating a Great Backyard and Enjoying Your Outdoor Space
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Why Should I Put Effort Into My Backyard?
There are a lot of projects and things to take care of when you own your own home. In fact, the ‘to do’ list can sometimes seem a bit too long for comfort and the back yard might slip through the cracks! The work might seem never-ending but the satisfaction you get from making a place truly your own is well worth it.
Putting effort into your back yard, no matter how big or small it might be, has many advantages. It’s a well-known fact that landscaping adds a great deal of value to your home. This is just as true for your back yard as it is for the curb appeal of your front yard. However, the backyard has the added value of also being a place for you and your family to bond and enjoy your time outdoors. While a great looking front yard is a good way to leave a good impression on those around you, the back yard should be your own personal paradise. A place to relax, have fun and bond.
Putting money into improving your front yard is a great way to add value to your home – but putting the same thought into your back yard not only improves the value of your home but is also an investment in your personal family.
What Are Some Good Ways to Improve a Backyard?
Create an Outdoor Living Space
Having a place where you can enjoy sitting and spending extended time outdoors is a great way to not only get some fresh air but expand the size of your home. Adding a deck is like adding a ‘room’ to your home at a fraction of the cost that a fully enclosed expansion would be!
Adding a deck to your home can be a big project and might be a bit beyond the comfort level of your average homeowner. If this is the sort of DIY project that you don’t feel comfortable taking on then I highly suggest looking into local professionals that can help you out. If you have the room and the desire for a deck then this is a really great start in creating a great backyard.
The Brazilian Wood Depot is one such company! Located in Atlanta GA they stock a variety of Brazilian hardwoods for decking, siding, and flooring. These species are some of the hardest in the world and are all naturally resistant to rot, decay, insect attack, fire, and mold. All of these traits make them a perfect fit for a long-lasting outdoor deck.
Since our family also feels that it’s very important to support and protect the natural world we were also happy to learn that wood sold from the Brazilian Wood Depot is 100% natural with no added chemicals or treatments that can be harmful to the atmosphere and environment. Eco-friendly Ipe decking seems like it would be the perfect fit for any reasons, included but not limited to :
- Incredible durability and longevity
- The color and contrasting grain patterns
- Long term cost-effectiveness
Add Some Color
Color is a great way to influence the atmosphere of the space when creating a great backyard. Bright pops of color make us feel happier, while calmer tones can make spaces feel soothing and restful.
No matter what type of atmosphere you want your backyard to represent adding a bit of color is a great way to achieve it. Adding color to your backyard can take many forms. You can do this by planting colorful garden plants (or hangers and garden boxes if you have a small amount of space). Another option is to introduce bright cushions to your patio furniture or if you want to take thigs a bit further you might consider colorful wall hangings or a fence mural.
No one wants to spend time in a bare yard. Fields might be great for letting your dogs run around, but they don’t lend themselves well to quality time! Picking the type of entertainment to add to your backyard is highly personal and should be individual to every family.
If you enjoy cooking then an outdoor kitchen or grill might be a nice choice, if your family enjoys camping then many backyards are suitable to firepits as well – just make sure to follow any local ordinances. A vegetable garden might be a nice touch if you want to try your hand at growing your own food and herbs!
Young kids are often overjoyed with the addition of a playhouse, swing set or a tree swing. As a parent keeping the kids occupied outside is a great asset and a wonderful way to run off some of that boundless energy that we all wish we had!
If your family enjoys nature then you might consider adding some bird feeders, birdhouses or even a koi pond which can help entice some more of the local wildlife to hang around. Shade trees are, of course, also a greatly beneficial addition to almost any yard. Not only does planting trees help reduce your home’s cooling and heating costs of placed appropriately but they are a great way to make your outdoor time more comfortable during the hotter months.
What Should You Keep in Mind?
When looking into creating a great back yard there are a lot of things to keep in mind! If you have young children then you will want a family-friendly space that everyone can enjoy. If you work in a stressful environment then you might prefer an outdoor space where relaxation is key. No matter what type of space you want there are a few key things to keep in mind!
- Budget – Every family has a budget and while this might mean you have to be a bit creative with your choices this shouldn’t stop you from trying to improve your back yard. Look into alternative sourcing or solutions for what you want to accomplish, nursing clearance plants back to life or growing plants from cuttings is a great way to start a budget-friendly garden. Consider expanding your DIY skills to save money on labor fees and hunt through yard sales or end of season sales for patio furniture that might suit.
- Space – Your yard is only so big! This might mean that larger projects are impractical but even a balcony can be made personal and rewarding with a bit of care. Garden boxes, outdoor bonsai trees, and bird feeders can add a nice natural touch to a smaller balcony. Privacy screening and a patio table with a few chairs help to give you more personal space.
- Local Ordinances – It doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment building, a housing development or a home in a neighborhood, there are likely rules and regulations that everyone has to follow. These can be zoning laws, city rules or rules created by a homeowners association. It’s always important to look into these rules before you start designing your outdoor space. there is nothing worse than spending time and money to create an outdoor paradise only to have to rip it down when someone complains.
Enjoy The Entire Process
Creating a great backyard doesn’t have to be one big project, especially if you are working on a budget! Thinking about it as an ongoing project and doing it in smaller steps can be a rewarding bonding experience for the whole family.
While it might seem overwhelming to redo an entire yard it will be worth it in the end and every little project is a great excuse to be creative and spend some time together. Don’t be afraid to save up for the bigger aspects of your project while working on the smaller things whenever you can. Above all – enjoy the process and embrace spending time outside with your family and nature!