Give Your Backyard a Make-Over

It might seem like summer if still a ways off, but now is the time to start planning if you want to add a stunning new deck or patio that is the talk of the neighborhood. To ensure that you have the go-to spot for backyard BBQs and summer get-togethers, here are nine helpful tips and design ideas to give your backyard a make-over.

1. Build a beautiful wood deck

A new wood deck will not only give your backyard a beautiful new look, but it will also give you and your family a new living and entertaining space. Here are a list of wood options that are both bug and rot resistant while offering an appealing natural color to your yard: Ipe, Redwood, Western Red Cedar, Mahogany. One important thing to keep in mind is that if you decide on wood from South America, be sure that it is harvested responsibly. Additionally, there are also a number of synthetic material options (mock lumber) that can still offer the look and durability of real wood.

To ensure a clean, simple look, talk to your builder about concealing the support. Hidden fasteners and other such options will leave your deck with a clean, simple look. Additionally, it’s important to use stainless-steel or coated screws. These will last longer and will resist corrosion.

2. Consider levels

Depending on your space, consider building up and not just out. Adding a second level to your deck, not only doubles your living and entertaining space, but it can also really add aesthetic appeal as well, especially if a second level is used to break up a long flight of stairs on an elevated deck.

3. Know your railing options

Consider the pros and cons of using railings. If a railing is not required by your local codes, consider eliminated them altogether to free up your view. Additionally, an alternative to railings might be stairs or steps that run the length of one side of the deck. These will make a natural transition into the yard.

On the other hand, if you prefer railings or they are required due to the height of the deck, consider your material options so that your railings are not only functional but also enhance the visual appeal. For instance, glass, metal, vinyl and cabling are different alternatives to wood that may compliment the appearance of your deck and yard.

4. Build a concrete patio

While a wood deck can be a stunning addition, it is not the only option. Depending on your space, budget or taste, a concrete or brick patio might be a better option for you. Concrete patios are extremely durable and need little to no maintenance. And when you think of the word “concrete” don’t just envision a bland gray rectangle. Concrete or brick patios can be adapted to any style, built in virtually any shape, and there are even a variety of color and texture options available.

5. Create shade

Consider adding a pergola overhead. Not only does this create shade and transform your deck or patio into an outdoor room, but it can also be a great functional aid: a place to attach speakers, fans, lighting and plants.

6. Add an outdoor kitchen/BBQ

Whether you add a wood deck, concrete patio, or both, you will probably want to consider including an outdoor kitchen and BBQ area. In fact, these are often the central focus of your backyard entertaining space. Talk to your builder in the design stage to keep in mind location, storage, and the type of appliances you want.

7. Add on fire and/or water features

Adding a fire pit or water fountain could be just the right finishing touch to your new backyard. A fire pit can be a great gathering place for friends and family at night. While a water feature creates a calming ambiance and may help to block outside noise like busy streets or loud neighbors. And both of these options enhance the natural aesthetic of your outdoor living space.

8. Change up the geometry

Work closely with your designer to build a deck, patio, or landscaping that is not only functional, but visually stunning. Instead of large, plain rectangles, consider curves, odd angles, and asymmetrical designs.

9. Plan ahead!

Every detail counts. And working closely with your builder in the planning stages can go along way in the finished appearance of your outdoor space. If you think early on about all the amenities you want, the builder can account for them during construction – things like wiring, lighting, storage, benches, planters, speakers, etc.

April is already upon us! Don’t wait too long to start planning your amazing new summer backyard space. To take advantage of our decades of experience in home and yard renovations, please visit us at