Don’t be overwhelmed by all that goes into creating your dream backyard – just take it one step at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying your fruits of your labor. Even if it takes a year to bring it all together, transforming your backyard is so rewarding and such a worthwhile addition to your home that will boost your backyard living for many years to come.
To get you going on the right path and give you the motivation to get started, The DIY Backyard Planning team put together a checklist that addresses the key 5 steps that apply to most backyard projects.
STEP 1: DEFINE THE PURPOSE OF YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE
- Will the space be mostly used for relaxing, entertaining, cooking, or a combination of these?
- How many people will the space typically accommodate?
- Think about how often you will be entertaining larger groups.
STEP 2: DETERMINE THE SPACE AVAILABLE
- Measure out the useable space you have to work with.
- What would you like to keep and what you like to change?
- Consider expanding the designated patio area if the space isn’t sufficient for all your plans even if that means coming into your grass or landscaping area.
STEP 3: DECIDED ON YOUR LAYOUT
- Sketch out your layout- graph paper is helpful for this.
- Space out the different features into separate areas to create zones.
- Position an eye-catching feature such as a fire or waterfall as the focal point.
- Consider the views that will be most seen from the main seating area.
- Place cooking and eating areas with convenience, function and comfort in mind.
- Consider the need for electrical, gas, and water when you are deciding on placement for your fixed structures.
- What do you want to incorporate into your backyard – a pergola, gazebo, outdoor kitchen, outdoor TV, fire pit, water feature, swing, deck, hot tub, landscaping?
STEP 4: SEEK OUT A PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTOR OR DO-IT-YOURSELF
- Back-breaking and time consuming demolition or installation of new hardscaping in most cases is best suited for a professional crew.
- Projects that involve water, gas or electric lines can be complicated and your safe bet is to hire a licensed professional.
- Taking a DIY approach on the actual construction can be really gratifying and will save you thousands of dollars.
- Designing the main features such as pergolas, gazebos, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, and TV cabinets can become costly if you take on a professional designer. To streamline the design stage while saving money you can consider purchasing already created plans for these projects.
STEP 5: COMPLETE YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE WITH THE FINISHING TOUCHES
- Set the mood with lighting to enhance pathways, flower beds and water features.
- Top off your beautiful backyard with cozy outdoor furniture’s and a colorful umbrella.
- Hang art work on the walls & fences
- Heat lamps, misters & fans are essential adders to spending time year round outside