Your new backyard is a great place to create a spot for open-air dining, trying out plants you’ve always wanted to grow and building yourself a getaway. Consider the eight elements described below when you’re in the process of coming up with the best backyard layout for you and your family.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to step right out of your home onto a beautiful deck loaded with amenities for cooking, relaxing and enjoying the weather? The first step is to figure out what size you want the deck to be. According to Keystone Custom Decks , when determining the size of your deck, you want to create a design that flows with your house and is based around what features you want your deck to have. Do you want multiple levels for conversation, or will you need a particular railing to keep your grandchildren safe?
A Comfy Seating Area
Your deck will be an ideal spot for a dining table and chairs. You can also add colorful and comfortable benches to create a spot where you can enjoy a conversation or read for a bit. When laying out your deck, pay special attention to where the sunlight will fall. Do you plan to enjoy your morning coffee on the deck, or will you just be there for dinner? The addition of a retractable awning will keep you cooler if your deck is on the west side of your home.
An Outdoor Kitchen
The options for an outdoor kitchen run the gamut. From a stone construction on top of your concrete patio to a spot to roll the grill, you can build your outdoor kitchen into anything you want. If you’re just in the planning stages on your new home, carefully review where you can run things like a natural gas line for a grill and water for a quick washup sink.
Additionally, according to Compact Appliance , it’s a good idea to consider what winter might do to your outdoor kitchen. For example, if your region gets extremely cold in the winter, you may need to be able to disconnect and blow out your water lines to avoid a rupture or other form of damage to your outdoor sink.
If you’ve got multiple layers planned for your deck, consider adding a lighting strip or other wired feature along the steps to avoid trips and falls. According to Lights.com , you can also use solar-powered lights to string along fences for an eye-catching feature that will require little maintenance when it’s up. Also, review paths in your yard and consider adding solar lights to brighten the edges. If you can’t add lights to your garden paths, line them with crushed white stone for a natural, reflective walking space after dark.
Finally, look for light fixtures you can add to the corner posts of your deck. This is a lovely option to define the space and reduce the risk that someone will miss a step in the dark. Additionally, this ambient lighting can give you extra security as it will be easy to see if anyone is crossing the deck after dark.
A She-Shed or Man-Cave
Everyone needs a break from the business of the world. The addition of a she-shed or man-cave to your space doesn’t have to cost a lot. In fact, according to Morning Chores , you can build a simple shed from scrap wood and pallets to get started. If you’re new to carpentry, consider building an open-sided structure where you can store your lawnmower and basic garden tools. As your skills grow, you can build a bigger shed.
You don’t need a foundation for your first shed, but you will need posts. If you’re not ready to dig large holes in your new yard, consider using spiked fence posts for your shed supports. Make sure you call your utility company before you sink the spikes to get features such as phone and gas lines marked.
A backyard is a great place to grow some vegetables. You don’t need a huge yard or even a rototiller to create a place for fresh cucumbers, zucchini or tomatoes. Large flower pots will look terrific with a lush summer squash or zucchini plant filling the container. Zucchini plants feature a beautiful yellow flower before the vegetable sets.
Another edible plant that’s actually quite pretty in the landscape is the eggplant. Like the beautiful purple skin of the vegetable, the flower of an eggplant is purple as well. Tomatoes can be easily grown in pots and can even be suspended upside down for easy picking of cherry tomatoes.
A Place for Pets
If you’ve got dogs, consider creating a running space to keep them healthy and strong. Talk with your veterinarian about pests you need to watch for in your region. ProFlowers suggests using companion plantings such as lemon balm and lavender that will repel mosquitoes and keep your pets safer and healthier. You can install special fencing that keeps cats safely in the yard or a designated area of it. While you’re making a spot for your family pets, consider adding a spot for clover in your backyard. If you’ve got the room, this plant will create a lush place for walking barefoot and will create a haven for the bees.
A Secret Garden
While you’re working on a space for family and guests to enjoy, consider creating a small spot just for you and your loved ones to linger. With a simple arbor construction and some time, you can create a private oasis under a wisteria vine or climbing grapevine that will give you a spot to enjoy a beverage and the company of a special person. Add comfy chairs and a small table just for your use.
Your perfect backyard will be like your perfect home. It will never be completely done. However, as with a dream house, putting your imagination to work on the features you’ll most enjoy will be a labor of love.
If you want to create the perfect, eco-friendly home, schedule a home tour to see what we can build for you!
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H&H Home Builders have constructed Energy Star Compliant homes since we burst onto the building landscape in 1995 as ‘North Liberty’s Premier Builder’. Since then, Energy Star Guidelines have evolved into what we consider today as the pinnacle of efficiency and we, as builders of ‘green’ homes, have kept pace with those guidelines and have adapted them into each home that we build. H&H Home Builders will build you what is known today as a ‘green’ home, but what has always been lesser known as a ‘sustainable’ home. Sustainable homes are quality built so that they last not just decades, but are built to maintain value, encouraging pride of ownership for generations to come. An H&H ‘green’ Home uses raw materials in a responsible way, using fewer resources, resulting in the use of less energy.