TipsLarge back yard with grass.

Giving your backyard a makeover comes with the added benefits of a more welcoming environment for friends and family, a bit of neighborly envy, and can even increase home sale value up to 14%. Depending on the scope of your project you can opt for small adjustments or completely transform your outdoor space.

1. Install an Outdoor Fire Feature

Whether you opt for a traditional fire pit or go for a fire bowl instead, outdoor fire features add functionality that is aesthetically pleasing. You have plenty of options when it comes to installing an outdoor fire pit in your backyard. The style and size are completely customizable, which makes finding a fire feature that’s the right fit for you a breeze. Here’s a few types to pick from:

  • Fire columns
  • Chimineas
  • Outdoor fireplaces
  • Fire tables
  • Fire bowls
  • Fire pits

If you need more inspiration, check out how these fire pits add the finishing touches on a cozy backyard space:

2. Construct an Outdoor Kitchen

If you’re one to entertain and host guests, an outdoor kitchen would be a smart investment for your yard. With the help of professionals, you can design a space that’s as unique as the family recipes you’ll be cooking up once the construction is complete.

Before starting your project, take into consideration your must-haves. Do you want a simple spot or a kitchen with all the bells and whistles? Common features to consider include:

  • Outdoor refrigerator
  • Built-in grill
  • Island
  • Bar center
  • Pizza oven
  • Cabinets and storage

As you’re planning, remember all new features in your backyard space will co-exist. Take into consideration the flow of your backyard space when combining multiple features to pull together an entertainment space that will make your neighbors green with envy.

Not sure how to lay out your space? Pull inspiration from these gorgeous outdoor designs:

3. Add Ambiance with Lighting

Lighting can entirely change the mood of an area or alter the way it’s perceived. Give your outside space a facelift with strategic lighting. Consider whether you’re using lighting to enhance your landscape or using the features as a decorative adornment. Lighting is most often used for enhancing only, meaning you should be looking where the light shines instead of where it shines from. However: your yard, your rules. There are plenty of decorative lighting options to pick from when planning the landscaping of your renovated backyard.

Common lighting types to pick from include:

  • String lights
  • Step lights
  • Hanging lanterns
  • Well lights
  • Postmount lights
  • Hardscape lights

These landscapes took lighting seriously, and it paid off in a major way. Check them out:

4. Replace Outdated Edging with Durable Concrete Edging

Concrete offers an edging option that is safe, durable, and customizable. There are plenty of options and designs that you can pick from. Beyond this, a curbing company will be able to design your concrete curbing to look as natural as you’d like, even mimicking real stone. Unlike stone, however, concrete does not have sharp edges that will need to be cut down. Concrete edging is also a low maintenance option. Because it is made in one complete piece there is no place for grass to sprout through.

Can’t picture how your yard would look with concrete edging? See how these homeowners transformed their yard with one simple change:

5. Plant a Garden

If you want a more hands-on feature for your backyard, you can opt for a garden. Gardens can be as extensive or as simple as you can manage. While gardens aren’t traditionally thought of as beautifying for your outdoor space, they are a good fit for someone who is looking for a functional addition to their yard.

Some common backyard gardens to try out include:

  • Container
  • In-ground
  • Windowbox
  • Raised-bed

The best part? You get to eat anything you grow in your backyard garden. See how these homeowners implemented gardens into their backyards:

6. Create a Walkway for Functional Beauty

Walkways might be an afterthought in your backyard design. But a simple change can make a huge difference in adding to the aesthetic of your space. Walkways are functional design pieces that can be styled to fit the style of your space, whether you’re aiming for a romantic feel or a contemporary look.

Common walkway styles include:

  • Crushed rock
  • Stepping stones
  • Brick
  • Palleted wood
  • Stamped concrete
  • Pavers

Consider these backyard walkways for inspiration as you transform your own space:

7. Build a Pond or Waterfall

No other outdoor feature plays off all your senses quite like water features. Installing a pond or waterfall might seem daunting at first. But the initial effort to get it set up in your yard will result in years of enjoyment by friends and family.

Water features do come with added maintenance due to the nature of how they’re created. If you have a koi pond, not only are you caring for the structure, you also have to care for the fish that inhabit it. More basic water feature care to keep in mind includes:

  • Full cleaning every six months
  • Seasonal pump maintenance
  • Winter preparation in cold climates
  • Algae reducing water treatments

Water features can include everything from ponds and waterfalls to birdbaths and water walls. Take a look at these water feature setups for inspiration with your own yard:

8. Add Shade with a Pergola

Is your backyard hit with direct sunlight most hours of the day? During summer months this can make enjoying your yard space difficult. Pergolas can be used to correct this problem.

Unlike with shade structures that feature solid siding, pergolas allow for airflow while also protecting from the sun’s direct rays. This is achieved by a lattice roof.

Can’t picture how to incorporate this structure? Consider these as best practices:

9. Update Your Patio Design with New Concrete

Whether you’re ready to shift away from a wood patio or are entertaining a change from your current concrete design, concrete patios offer unlimited customization options and are a low-maintenance option.

You can have your concrete patio stained, stamped, or both, depending on your style preference. The design can be customized to complement the house color and the surrounding landscape elements.

Staining allows for a variety of color options which can be mixed to offer you complete customization. Add custom graphics or acid staining to further enhance your options.

Stamping can achieve the look of real stone without the sticker shock. Because concrete can be poured into any shape or design desired, the customization options are endless. You can request designs that imitate stone, brick, and even wood-grain.

Try these creative patio design ideas for a transformed patio:

Concrete patios are much more durable than wooden plank patios. While it does require occasional cleaning, it is generally a low-maintenance choice for outdoor material. This makes it a great option for busy homeowners who don’t have the time to put into the maintenance of a wood patio.

With concrete patios you won’t have to worry about:

  • Grass sprouts through cracks as with pavers
  • Rotting and warping, a common problem for wood
  • Not withstanding harsh weather
  • Restaining as concrete holds its color

10. Refresh Your Patio Furniture

Chances are you want to transform your backyard in order to spend more time enjoying it. Patio furniture will give you and your guests a comfortable place to enjoy each other’s company and the backyard you’ve constructed.

Either replace your furniture, rearrange the setup of your seating, or replace the cushions. If you’re struggling for patio furniture inspiration, check out these backyard arrangements:

11. Perform Regular Landscape Maintenance

New installations only go so far when designing a backyard space your friends and family will love. Perform regular landscape maintenance to keep your space in shape. Landscaping can be done yourself or with the help of a team of professionals.

Regular landscaping maintenance will result in a backyard oasis you’ll be proud of. Take these delicately groomed yards for example:

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