Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Coming up with new backyard landscape ideas can be a great way to show off your creativity and spice up your yard a little bit at the same time. You don’t have to be as conservative in the back yard as in the front, since your additions will be less for the passers-by and visitors to your house, and more for just you and the family. This allows you a lot of freedom in how you express yourself and facilitate outdoor activities to enjoy.

You still want to be sure to keep the overall theme of your landscape involved when adding new projects to your backyard though. Just because there’s more privacy and not as much visibility doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a lot of value in having things work together, or look good together for that matter. The right landscaping ideas for backyard improvement should still seek to provide synergy with existing improvements, to enhance their functionality and looks rather than to detract from them.

Backyard Patios

One of the mainstay features of any backyard is a patio to serve as a central gathering point for most any outdoor activity for you and the family. As such an important feature of your back yard, and as something that will potentially last decades, it’s a good idea to make sure that you put the proper amount of planning into creating the right backyard patio design before putting anything in stone (or concrete). Done right, a patio is going to give you and your family a huge amount of value over the years. Mess up though, and you’re likely stuck with the mistakes for just as long.

There are many ways you can go with a patio for your backyard. Think about the types of activities that you are likely going to want to have there, and try to design a patio that will facilitate those activities while also providing an aesthetic addition to your yard. Remember that the relative position to other features in your yard, as well as to your house, will affect how the patio is used and how it will perform. For instance, if you have a large shade tree, you could position the patio to take advantage of the shade it provides. However, you need to be careful about doing so because the roots of the tree can wreck havoc on even reinforced concrete. Even if it doesn’t break up the concrete, it could still lift and tilt the pad. So make sure you properly think through the position of your backyard patio. It could save you thousands of dollars and a lot of headaches.

All too often these types of patios end up being a dull gray slab of concrete, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Even with little extra expense you can brighten things up with a splash of color, or even create a real work of art for your backyard. There are dyes that can be added to the concrete before it is poured, that will help to keep your patio from looking like every other one on the block. Also there are methods which are somewhat more involved, but not really that expensive, that can help create a really beautiful look for your concrete patio. One of these is to use concrete acid stains, which can mimic the look of tile or natural stone (cut and polished) depending on how it is used. This can be a very inexpensive way to make for a very expensive looking patio.

Of course there are other materials that can be used as well. Concrete may be the easiest to work though. Pavers aren’t much more difficult, and by using them you can work at your own pace, rather than at the pace set by the material. Beautiful and intricate patterns can be created very easily using multi-colored pavers. The toughest part of the whole project is preparing a proper base for the pavers to lie on. With concrete you can simply finish the surface and any abnormalities about the base are simply filled in. With pavers though, at least those that aren’t being mortared in, any abnormalities in the base are going to affect the height and inclination of the surface of the paver, and so you need to have it just about perfect before you start laying pavers.

If you are a bit turned off of pavers because of their price, there are some good options that can help you cut down on the costs somewhat. When talking about stone pavers for instance, you can look for stones from local quarries, which will have lower transportation costs. This can be a significant portion of the overall price given how heavy and how far that stone often is shipped. Another possibility is to use reclaimed pavers from previous installations. These pavers have been weathered and in some cases damaged (chips, cracks, stains) so make sure you get ones that have the right look. In many cases the weathering effect makes the pavers more beautiful and fit in better with the rest of the landscaping, but this doesn’t hold true for all installations.

Other Ideas for Backyard Features to Incorporate in Your Patio

Some backyard fire pit ideas center around including the fire pit directly in the patio itself. This can be an interesting option, and done properly can add a lot of value to your patio. At the same time though, you have to be cautious about where you place such a feature. Remember that there will be lots of times when you aren’t using your fire pit, but would like to use your patio. At such times the fire pit could be getting in the way of the other activities. One way to reduce this is to create a fire pit in such a way as it provides dual purpose functionality. For instance, if your fire pit has a raised edge, why not make it so that that edge can be used as seating when the fire pit is not in use. By widening out the top enough this can be rather easy to do.

Another way to really increase the value of your patio would be to add lighting to it. Backyard lighting ideas that are implemented properly can make it so you and your family can better enjoy your patio and other lawn features at night as well as in the day. It also reduces the risks of accidents when stumbling around in the dark at night.