Most of us spend a lot of time inside. On average, someone living in the U.S. will spend 93% of their time inside. That is a lot.
Getting outside isn’t just a nice idea, it can also be good for us. Breathing fresh air and enjoying a little slice of nature can clear the mind and help you feel more relaxed and happy overall.
It’s not always possible to drive out for a hike or swim in a secluded lake, though. Fortunately, we don’t need to go far to get the benefits of being outside. We can find it right at home – literally right in our own backyards.
Designing the perfect backyard can have immense benefits not just for your home, but for your life and overall happiness. You don’t need to do a massive, expensive overhaul to get these benefits, either. It can be as simple as planting a garden or as complex and adding a brand new patio to your backyard.
Check out these eight tips for how you can get the perfect backyard for your home, budget, and needs.
1. Choose Trees Carefully
Trees can be a wonderful addition to your backyard. They can provide beauty, shade, maybe even fruit.
They do require some care and maintenance, however. Trees can quickly grow out of control and maybe even threaten structures on your property such as your home or a shed or pool. If you have trees, especially big trees, you will need to do some regular maintenance to keep them under control.
Tree pruning doesn’t need to be an arduous task if you keep up with it regularly. It can be very rewarding and help you curate the perfect backyard for your home.
You will likely need some tools to do your own trimming and pruning. Also with something to cut foliage with, you may also find you need a stepladder to reach the higher branches.
When selecting trees for the perfect backyard, look into how large those trees tend to get. How far do the roots spread? Will that be a problem for anything else on the property, such as a pool? If so, you can select trees that don’t grow quite so big.
Perhaps you’re just inheriting trees, though. You might not even know what is living in your backyard until those trees start growing out of control.
In this case, you might consider hiring a tree care service. This service can not only trim trees that are large or out of reach, they may also be able to tell you what kind of trees you have. This can allow you to plan for the future. You can know what you’re in for in the long term by finding out which trees you have in your backyard.
2. Plant a Garden
You don’t need to stop your landscaping with just trees, though. You could consider having a garden as well in your backyard.
Gardens can be ongoing projects that bring joy and interest all year round. Because they are living things, they will change with the seasons and over time. Perhaps you’ll want to start out simple with just some seasonal plants, but over time you might find your garden gets more complex and takes on a personality of its own.Your garden can help you create the perfect backyard. You can even add in things that aren’t plants, such as walkways and statues or fountains. You can use a variety of landscaping material to build this kind of garden, as well. There’s no need to stick to the traditional. Let your imagination run wild.
One of the biggest benefits of adding a garden to your backyard is that it is so versatile and customizable, but isn’t particularly expensive. Sure, you can get fancy with elaborate lighting and walkways, but you don’t have to. It can really be as simple as a few plants you like.
Plus, the maintenance is very simple when it comes to gardens. Depending on where you live, you might need to water or prune more or less often, but in general, gardens don’t require a ton of work unless you get very elaborate with your set up.
If you are intimidated or don’t know where to start, it’s fine to begin with some simple seasonal plants and just see what happens. You may discover your green thumb over time!
3. Take Care of the Lawn
Your grass is another type of plant that’s part of the perfect backyard. It requires attention and maintenance like anything else in your backyard.
If you ignore your lawn, it can die. This is not only unappealing aesthetically, but it can also make your backyard less pleasant. No one wants to hang out on dry, dead, brown grass. No one wants to play or barbecue on a lawn that looks like it’s withered to a crisp.
A healthy lawn can contribute to the perfect backyard by providing gathering space. That soft green carpet is a place where people will stand, sit, gather, and just be together so it’s important to maintain.
Fortunately, maintaining your lawn doesn’t take anything fancy. If you have weeds, you can get a simple weed killer and spread it around to take care of the problem. If you don’t, watering during hot months is most of what you’ll need to do.
Look into garden sprinkler services if you want to ensure your lawn is watered automatically. These kinds of services can ensure your lawn is always healthy for minimal effort on your part. Some are even programmable so you can customize when your lawn is watered and how much.
Of course, you’ll also need to mow and trim. A lawn that grows out of control isn’t exactly ideal for the perfect backyard. Plus, your neighbors might not be too thrilled about your overgrown lawn if you aren’t taking care of it and it becomes an eyesore.
4. Add a Patio
That’s enough about maintenance. What can you do to transform your green areas into the perfect backyard?
One suggestion is to add a patio. A patio can be a great addition if you are looking to enhance your backyard. It offers a place to hang out in all types of weather. Some simple patio furniture can protect people from rain. You might even get used of it in cold months if you have a firepit installed.
A patio can really enhance the utility of your backyard, but you will also need a patio door that connects to your house. This can be a very simple sliding door – perhaps even a door that is already in place if you plan to attach your patio to an existing structure.
However, patios can also stand alone. A freestanding structure will need its own doors and such as well. This can be a nice option for a patio that is completely covered. If you live in a place with frequent cold weather or rain, a completely covered patio might be the best option for the perfect backyard.
This can also be a good time to fix what already exists on your property. If you are connecting a patio to your home, for example, now might be a nice time for things like screen repair. That screen door will soon lead out to your patio and the perfect backyard, so you want to ensure it is in good condition.
5. Maybe a Shed, Too
You don’t need to stop at a patio. You can also add things like sheds that can make your backyard more functional as well as more enjoyable.
A shed can be an invaluable addition for folks who have a lot of space or equipment. Maybe you have a pool and need to store pool supplies and toys. Or perhaps you are really into gardening and want to keep things like soil, feed and tools close at hand. A shed is great for accommodating these kinds of needs.
If you are thinking of adding a shed to make the perfect backyard, consider all the things that go along with it. You might need a landscaper to help with planning where the shed will sit. Or you might want to talk to a roofing company about what kind of roof the shed will have. These are important considerations when adding any kind of structure to your backyard.
6. Get Rid of Unwanted Guests
While you are adding all kinds of upgrades and additions, make sure you aren’t inviting in unwanted guests. Pests like bees, ants, and other bugs can make their homes in your backyard. That isn’t fun for anyone.
If you add a shed, make sure spiders aren’t making their homes inside. Clean regularly to knock down webs and consider using cleaning products with lemon that can repel and discourage them.
If you feel like a patio is the thing you need to have the perfect backyard, be careful about food. A patio can be a great place for family meals or large gatherings and parties, but that opens up the potential for food waste and garbage. These kinds of items can attract ants and other pests who you might not even notice until it’s far too late and you need an exterminator.
You also need to watch out for bees and wasps. They can build nests in places like trees or the peaks of roofs. While bumblebees and honey bees may not be a big concern, if you found wasps on your property, you would want to discourage them from sticking around.
If you find wasps, hornets or other nasty stingers, contact a bee control professional to see how you can get rid of the nests and keep them away.
7. Don’t Forget About the Garage
Having the perfect backyard is about more than just the backyard itself. If you have a garage, that may be part of the equation.
Sure, typically your garage is going to be on the other side of the house, but if you don’t have a shed of some sort, it may be a vital player in how you maintain your backyard. Things like mowers, soil, toys, and tools will get stored in your garage. These are the things keeping your backyard healthy and welcoming.
See what your garage can accommodate while you consider upgrading your backyard. If you don’t have a garage and can’t store things like gardening tools, going that path might not be the right idea. You can’t get the perfect backyard if you can’t maintain the perfect backyard.
You’ll also need to maintain the garage itself. If you need garage door repair or something like that, that should be part of your planning for the perfect backyard. All of these kinds of systems are interdependent for your home, so don’t overlook one to enhance the other.
8. Budget for Upgrades
Finally, we can’t talk about all these upgrades for the perfect backyard without considering the cold reality of needing to fund them. Gardens, shed, patios, and tools all require money. When you are imagining changing your backyard, factor in how much money it will cost.
Some upgrades truly are cost-efficient. You shouldn’t need a private loan just to add in a garden. You can buy whatever plants are available nearby, perhaps even at a grocery store, and plant them with simple, affordable tools that you may already own.
However, there are things that will require careful budgeting. You can’t just throw a pool or patio into your backyard, for example. Both of those things can be major expenses that you need to plan around.
There’s no use having the perfect backyard if you are too stressed about paying for it to enjoy it. Figure out what your budget can accommodate and plan around that.
It’s also perfectly fine to put off some upgrades and improvements for now. You don’t have to build that shed right now if it’s going to be a financial burden. Your backyard isn’t going to pick up and move out. It is with you for the long haul. Know when it’s right to put off an upgrade for later when you will be better able to afford it.
Getting the perfect backyard doesn’t need to be arduous and budget breaking. You can start small even while dreaming big and work on projects over time until you truly have the perfect backyard.