Are you wondering how to improve your backyard? Does your backyard need a fresh look or update? Maybe you recently purchased or built a new home, or maybe it’s time to take a bland and boring backyard and bring some color and life to it. How do you go about improving your backyard when there are so many choices and options available to homeowners?

I believe to have a successful project you need to start with a vision. Maybe your vision is to have a backyard to entertain quests and have a beautiful outdoor kitchen. Maybe it’s a nice water feature and a flower garden that is breathtaking and awe-inspiring. Or maybe it’s time for a nice lush lawn and a nice shed for potting and storage. Whatever your vision and dream make sure it reflects you!

To begin planning your project tap into the many resources available online. Sites like Houzz, Pinterest and HGTV Gardens are great places to start. If you would like to hire a professional make sure it’s a reputable business with great reviews. Develop a budget and pursue financing options if needed. Whether your budget is $200 or $28,000 this is the beginning to your dream backyard.

As an example let’s say we want to build a potting shed, improve the look of our lawn, and create a nice flower garden feature. Break down each part of the project into chunks and begin working on step one of how to improve your backyard.

  1. Transform your lawn from brown and weeds to green and lush. Take a soil sample and send to your local laboratory that specializes in soil and water testing. Use those results to determine how much fertilizer and lime is needed to improve the growing conditions. There are great products on the market that will help eliminate the weeds and begin transforming your backyard. If you need more specifics on having a healthy lawn, contact your local landscaper.
  2. Determine where your new potting shed would fit into your backyard. Measure to see how much space is available and figure out how you want to utilize your new shed. Normally you want to choose a size larger than what you think you’ll use. It’s amazing how quickly a shed can fill up. Also decide what style you want. You can match your home or maybe go with a design that fits your style. It may range from a nice cottage or craftsman shed to a rustic cabin. Determine what features you will need as well. Things like windows, lofts, shelves, and siding styles can make a storage solution a fun piece of your backyard. Begin by preparing your site with 4” of #57 limestone. This will give you a nice solid base that will keep your shed level for years to come. If you would like to build on a hillside consider having a post platform installed and then your shed built on top. Make sure you spend time in choosing colors that will compliment your backyard and style. Choosing who will build your shed can also be a daunting task. Look for builders that use only premium grade lumber, heavy duty flooring, cdx plywood and soffit and ridge vent. It’s worth paying a little more for a shed that will last as long as your home and is aesthetically pleasing.
  3. Building a breathtaking flower garden feature. Imagine walking through a garden with the smell of roses, the buzzing of bees and gorgeous colors surrounding you. Imagine if you could do this every day in your backyard! This could easily become the highlight of your backyard that helps you relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Choosing the right flowers and bushes will help the environment and attract beautiful birds, which you normally enjoy at the park, into your backyard. Choose a layout that fits and begin designing the feature. There are so many choices and options available and it comes down to what you want. You can use stone or nice landscaping blocks as your border. If you want a raised garden bed, build it with cedar or a composite product. Choose flowers, shrubs and trees that are hardy in your zone. Visit your local garden center or nursery to get started. Trees like an ornamental crabapple, weeping redbud or dogwood are great flowering bushes. Add a Japanese Maple for some great color into the mix.

Learning how to improve your backyard can be difficult. There are so many different choices and opportunities that improving your backyard can look overwhelming! If you have a vision and start with what makes sense for you, it will soon turn a daunting task into something exciting and you won’t know where to stop! If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer there are great small businesses that specialize in turning your dreams into a reality. Remember, your backyard should reflect you and be a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of life!