How Do You Build a Simple Backyard?

Homeowners with a backyard space often stare at it wondering what to do with it. Sure, there are lots of options. Deciding which one is the best is something that can be challenging. 

What is the best way to create a simple backyard? You follow basic principles of design and add to them according to your lifestyle. Any backyard needs privacy, shade, beauty, a gathering spot with seating, and a place to play. Other more practical things like a garden can be added if you like. 

Read further into the article to find out how to create the backyard that suits you and your family. 

Simple Designs Basics

Every backyard, even one with a simple design, needs a plan. The first thing to do is plot out spaces for your various needs. This may take a few attempts to get everything exactly the way you want. It doesn’t have to be perfect but you should have an idea of what you want to include. 

Once you have it planned, you can start actual work. 

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Create Privacy

Backyards need privacy and that can be created in several ways. The simplest way is to build a fence. Privacy fences provide enormous benefits for the backyard in providing not only privacy but beauty and value to your home. 

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Create Shade

Shade makes a big difference in a backyard. It makes it more enjoyable to be in it and can even make a difference in the temperature of your yard and home. 

Trees are always a valuable asset to a property. They grow your home’s value as they grow over the years and can provide beauty spring through fall. 

Add Beauty

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and several things can add beauty to a backyard. You can go with flowers, shrubs, mulch for flower beds, borders, and even things like vertical gardens or art murals on your fence. 

Water features are popular and on a list of “must-haves” for many landscape designers. There are simple, inexpensive ones that can easily be added anywhere without trenching and construction. 

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Create a Place to Gather

Every backyard needs a place for everyone to gather. That can come in several forms including adding a patio, a deck, a pergola, a dining area, a kitchen or grill spot, or a firepit.

Patios are easy to install as a DIY project. They can be done by laying cement, bricks, outdoor tile, or pebble gravel. It’s as simple as measuring off a space, removing grass, making it level, and laying the patio floor. 

Seating can be easy like retro lounge chairs or built-in seating with comfy cushions. You can add to the patio a portable or built-in fire pit. The edging should be sharp and neat with a nice border of flowers, grasses, or hardcraft design. 

Decks are more expensive and complicated to build. Wood is more expensive these days and you may need a professional to help. It’s important to build a deck correctly so that it’s safe as some have been known to collapse under extreme weight. 

Both decks and patios add a good bit of value to your home with most of the cost recouped in resale. 

Another option for a gathering space is to build a pergola. Pergolas provide both shade and gathering space. They can be used as outdoor seating space or for a dining area. Most are easy to build at a DIY project with a pre-bought design and are generally cheaper to construct than a deck. 

Dining areas and outdoor kitchens are the new hottest trend in housing today. They are considered to be upscale and make for a great outdoor living space.

Both could be expensive to install but you can downsize the cost by using simple outdoor dining set on a patio and creating a space with some extra storage and amenities around a decent grill. 

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Create a Place to Play

Both children and adults need a place to play in the backyard. It can include a home-built playground for smaller children, a sandbox, or a grassy area set off for games like volleyball and badminton. 

A play space needs to be versatile because it can change as children grow or as you entertain different groups. A space that can be converted from a net game to a crochet field is always a good idea. 

Adding the Extras

Adding the little things that make a backyard special can be done easily and cheaply. These types of things include potted plants like flowers, herbs, and vegetables, a raised garden, a hammock, and an area with tables and chairs for board games. 

You should add lighting for security but can make it fun with different styles. Solar lights in a variety of styles are available and string lights across the patio or pergola add a festive touch. 

Finally, simple little things like stepping stones, a gravel pathway, and decorative ground stakes can add the personalization that makes your backyard special.

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How do I create a layout for my backyard?

Use tracing paper and a straight edge to try out a design. It’s good to do it to scale, but that isn’t necessary to get started with ideas. Draw the basic shape of your backyard and add what’s already there. Now experiment by drawing out spaces for all the functions you need. 

Another way to experiment with backyard landscape design is to cut blocks out of construction paper for different elements. Place them on a paper cut to your yard’s shape. You can move them around and see how they look in different places. 

What should every backyard have?

There are so many things you can put in a backyard but you have to tailor it to your specific needs. Two things that are great to put in every backyard are a summer kitchen and dining space and a reading nook in a shady area. 

Another helpful thing to have in the summer is an outdoor shower for those times when kids and pets get too dirty to come into the house. 

How much does it cost to do a backyard renovation?

The average cost of an outdoor living area redo ranges between $4,150 and $11,200. However, you can make simple changes to improve your backdoor space for under $1,000. It’s adding features like water fountains and fire pits that up the cost. 

Is there a free app for landscape design?

One of the most recognized free landscape design apps is iScape. It is only available for iOS. PRO

Landscape Home has many features and is available on different electronic devices. 

What do I do with a big backyard?

The best way to handle a big backyard is to section it off in the design for different purposes. That can include multiple decks and patios, a vegetable or flower garden, an outdoor kitchen and dining area, a bar, play areas, and a place for pets to enjoy.

How do I make a backyard cozy?

The best way to create that cozy feeling is to make your gathering spot intimate with nice, colorful pillows, an outdoor run, some throws, and a place to put your feet up.

How do you estimate landscaping costs?

The best way to estimate cost is through research. However, the overall rule is that landscaping should cost no more than 10 percent of your home’s value.