5 Backyard Remodel Ideas to Make Your Backyard More Functional and Attractive

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Whether you’re an introvert who relishes quiet time in nature or a social butterfly who loves hosting backyard parties, your backyard should reflect your lifestyle and be livable. These backyard remodel ideas will help make your outdoor space more functional and attractive.

A well-designed landscape includes focal points that draw the eye and create a sense of order. These include paths that lead to destinations, a garden bench or a seating area, and plant combinations that add color and interest.

Adding a Pool

Adding a pool can be a big project that requires a lot of planning. It’s best to incorporate it into your construction plans as much as possible to avoid extra costs down the line.

In a smaller backyard, a pool needs to work hard to be a feature and fit in with the landscape. This small pool is surrounded by plants to blend in with the surrounding garden.

Adding a Bar Cart

A bar cart allows you to store bottles of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, glassware, and cocktail-making tools. Choose a classic wood option, like the one Erin Wheeler chose, or find a more contemporary metal piece.

Style your bar cart with a theme in mind, as Amy Littleson did with her mermaid-inspired setup. You can also fill your cart with stylish non-breakable picnicware, like paper straws and wooden ombre cutlery.

Adding a Fire Pit

Backyard fire pits add ambiance and a gathering spot. If you have the space, a seating area with built-in benches or Adirondack chairs makes the scene even cozier and more user friendly.

Start with a footing made of firebricks split and mortared together with refractory cement. Lay a layer of curved pieces of garden edging on top. This will help with drainage and create an attractive finish.

Adding a Pergola

A pergola adds an attractive focal point to any garden. It also acts as a trellis for climbing and creeping plants such as wisteria, honeysuckle, and roses.

If you choose to build a pergola yourself, consult with experts about the best materials for your area. Be sure to call before digging to mark any buried cables or gas lines. Pergolas can be built close to the house or freestanding.

Adding a Waterfall

If you have a pool, a waterfall can provide a great ambiance. It can also help with water circulation and aeration, as well as reduce the overall water temperature.

You can use anything from pipes to old ceramic pots to make a backyard waterfall. You can even make a waterfall out of a metal fence, but that would require more work.

You can even add lighting around your backyard waterfall for some dramatic visuals at night.

Adding a Deck

A deck gives you a platform to add other structures, like a pergola, gazebo or even an outdoor kitchen. It can elevate your backyard to a new level of entertaining and relaxation.

Keep in mind that a deck will increase your property taxes, but this is usually not a huge problem when it comes to increasing resale value. Decorate it with paint and accessories that complement your home’s color.

Adding a Patio

Defining a dining area, outdoor kitchen or shady lounging spot with a patio adds value to a backyard. This $10,000 design keeps things simple, limiting excavation and material costs by using gravel instead of pavers.

Before you begin digging, contact your local utility company to have them locate and mark buried lines. Roll out weed block fabric over the ground.

Adding a Fireplace

Fireplaces create a focal point for your backyard and encourage people to gather there. A fireplace also adds value to your home and is less smokey than a fire pit.

Plus, it’s a great way to keep bugs away. Just be sure to check zoning regulations before adding one. It may require a permit. You’ll also need a place to store the logs.

Adding a Seating Area

A seating area can transform a backyard into a cozy, inviting space for entertaining and relaxing. Seating areas can also serve as focal points in a garden. Consider the planting surrounding a seating area, too, as it can have a significant impact on its function and ambiance. Adding trees and shrubs to block wind, filter light, and break sight lines can make all the difference.

Adding a Shed

Adding a shed is an easy way to clear your backyard of clutter and create additional storage space. Sheds can be used to store lawn equipment, tools, patio furniture cushions and kids’ toys.

Larger sheds that are being used for a workshop, playroom or cabana will need to follow zoning regulations and may require a building permit. Consult with an Architect to ensure you have a legal and permanent structure.