Five Easy Backyard Updates
Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner, so right now is the perfect time to spruce up your yard. We find that neatening the outside area around your home, and possibly taking on a few updates, is a must at the start of each season. This is especially true if you are planning to host some sort of party later in the season (think graduation, Fourth of July, fifth birthday, etc.), or if you’re simply looking to spend more time enjoying your home as the warm weather sets in. Getting into the habit of keeping your property pristine will also help down the road if you put your home on the market.
Whether you’re looking to spend a minimal amount of money or are considering a larger investment, there are plenty of ways to give your yard a makeover. Here are a few of our ideas:
- · Plan and plant a garden — Even if you don’t have much room in your yard, the greenery of a garden will do tremendous things for your property’s aesthetics. You could do something as simple as adding a row of Impatiens — a hardy flowering plant that does will in direct and indirect sunlight. With pink, red, white, purples and more available, you can select a shade that compliments your home and plant around the edge of your house. Create a border with stones and you’ll have a great pop of color. Hanging baskets are also low-maintenance and relatively inexpensive. If you’re unsure of how to make the most out of your space, stop by your local nursery. There you’ll be able to speak to someone about your particular property and budget before getting some personalized recommendations. If you are looking to beautify a larger space and have the funds for a larger project, you may want to consult and hire a landscaper. Of course a vegetable garden is another endeavor. We recommend narrowing down the space you have available and then doing some research on space and sun/shade requirements for different crops. We love vegetable gardens because you’ll get to enjoy and taste the products of your hard work, from sweet strawberries to refreshing cucumbers to juicy, plump tomatoes. And the vegetable garden is a terrific place for kids to explore and learn, just as described in this article. Just remember that once the hard work of preparing the soil and planting is done, a garden takes maintenance. If you’re planning to be out of town on vacation, you’ll have to arrange a system for watering. This could be as simple as having a neighbor pop over and give the flowers a drank once a day when you are gone.
- · Replace the deck/patio area – Are the stones in your patio walkway crumbling? Does the deck look weathered? If your deck or patio is several years old, your likely seeing normal signs of wear and tear. If a replacement is needed, you can complete the project DIY style with laminate wood tiles that simply snap together, or with patio pavers and step stones. You can learn more about the latter here, which is a more time consuming job.
- · Add something new and exciting — Maybe you’re in the mood to make a major change to the outdoor area of your home. If that’s the case, you have a lot of choices! From outdoor kitchens to pergolas, pavilions, gazebos and retractable awnings, creating outdoor rooms and outdoor spaces is all the rage right now. And with gorgeous, high quality products available to fit a range of style preferences and areas, we know this trend is here to stay. If you and your spouse love to cook, an outdoor kitchen island is definitely worth exploring. Ours come in different shapes and sizes, with tons of customization options. If you’d rather focus on creating a warm and inviting space for small gatherings or even solo relaxation, we recommend exploring the world of pergolas, pavilions (like the one shown below) and gazebos. Any of these structures will give your yard an elegant feel, while allowing you to add some comfy outdoor furniture, or even another dining area. If you are simply in the market for more shade, a retractable awning is the way to go. In fact, if position in front of a large window or a sliding door, an awning will even help to reduce the temperate in your house. Finally, if you just love sitting around a fire on summer nights, there’s no reason you can’t make that a regular reality. A fire pit gives you all the fun of a campfire without even having to leave the house. Today’s selection includes the choice between natural gas for convenience and wood-burning for the more traditional flame. Any of these additions to your backyard will truly wow your friends and family, so no matter which you choose, you can’t go wrong.
- · Add some tunes — If you’re a music lover, the outdoor part of your home just isn’t complete without a sound system of some sort. You can make this a reality in a number of ways, whether you opt for an old-school but reliable portable radio/boom box for anywhere between $50 and $200. If you don’t mind spending a bit more, sound systems in the $500 to $1200 price range typically offer Internet stations and the capability to connect your smart phone or tablet. Like the boom box, this would be something you bring outside when you’re heading outdoors and then back inside afterward. If you already have a stereo components, you could simply invest in some wall-mount outdoor/all-weather speakers for a few hundred dollars.
- · Make a few minor changes — A simple wind chime looks good and sounds beautiful, and the same is true for a pretty birdhouse. You can find tons of varieties online or at your local gardening center. You may even want to make one yourself if you’re the artistic type. Bird feeders and birdbaths are nice too. They’ll likely draw a colorful flock right to your yard, close enough for you to enjoy. Other small additions could also include new lounge seating, such as bright Adirondack chairs. Even changing the cushions on your existing chairs to an updated fabric, or giving your wooden picnic table a fresh coat of paint, will help give your property a bit of a face lift.