Indoor-outdoor living is all the rage, but not every outdoor space is beautiful and functional enough to welcome guests. Before you start buying luxurious outdoor furniture or planning your first backyard party, you need to put some time and effort into improving the look and feel of your patio and yard. Fortunately, outdoor projects are immensely DIY-able, so if you have the time and enthusiasm for a few home projects, you can keep the costs of your backyard updates low.
If you have mastered the hot glue gun and are looking for a bigger challenge to test your DIY skills, the following outdoor projects will be perfect for you.
Create a Paver Patio
Sure, you could pour a concrete patio over the course of an afternoon and have a hardscaped outdoor space by the next day — but concrete is not as attractive as paver stones. Pavers make an excellent patio foundation because they offer a variety in color and texture that tends to be more pleasing to the eye. You can lay a paver patio yourself, but it could take you several weekends to accomplish. You will need to dig and grade the space for your pavers, compact a layer of gravel or sand and place the pavers individually to create an even and level surface.
Refinish Your Deck
Wooden decks need maintenance every year to prevent rot and decay, but over time, they need to be completely refinished to ensure they look attractive. If you enjoy the “satisfying” genre of internet video, you might find great satisfaction in refinishing your old deck. The process will involve power washing the deck of dirt and debris — which in itself is an enjoyable exercise. Next, you will need to sand away the roughness of the boards, especially those that are especially sun- and water-weathered. Finally, you need to apply a stain to your deck and seal the wood after the stain has dried.
Construct Raised Garden Beds (With a Trellis!)
Gardening traditionally involves quite a lot of digging, but you can avoid the worst of this by constructing a raised bed. Essentially large garden boxes that you fill with dirt, raised beds can be a shortcut to healthy soil and luscious plants. You can make as many raised beds as you like in essentially any shape — though you will need to line the wooden frames of your beds with a barrier that prevents grass and weeds from growing up through your garden. For extra flair, you might build a trellis archway to connect your beds to give your backyard a fairytale garden feature.
Install a Swing Set
Hang an Outdoor Ceiling Fan
If you already have a covered patio in your backyard, you can radically increase the comfort of the space during the warm seasons by installing an outdoor ceiling fan. You can find all manner of modern ceiling fans rated for outdoor use, so the fan should match your outdoor décor perfectly. Hanging the fan could be as easy as replacing a ceiling light with a fan mounting box, but if your patio does not have overhead lights already, you may need to run wires into the patio cover where you want to hang your fan.
Build a Fire Ring
There is nothing quite as comforting as a crackling fire on a chilly evening. You can give your backyard the cozy feeling of a campfire by building a stone or brick fire ring into the landscape. For safety, your fire ring should be located at least 10 feet from anything flammable, which includes both your patio cover and overhead tree branches. This is one of the easier DIY projects on this list, as you can find bricks specially shaped for use in fire rings at your local home improvement store. Assembling the bricks together with a specially made adhesive should take an afternoon.
Put Green and Play
Install a Rain Barrel
If you are looking for backyard projects that improve your property’s sustainability, you might consider installing a rain barrel. Attached to your roof’s gutter system, a rain barrel will capture and store runoff, which you can then use in your irrigation. Rain barrels allow you to make use of your environment’s natural resources, and they will cut down on your utility bills. You must choose a barrel of a size appropriate to the amount of rain your area regularly receives, and then the process is as simple as channeling your gutters’ downspout into the barrel.
You don’t have to pay contractor prices and wait weeks to transform your backyard into a livable space. With a few key DIY projects, you can make your backyard the beautiful indoor-outdoor oasis of your dreams.