With a little bit of effort, you can turn your backyard into the most amazing part of your home. From decorative features that beautify the space to extra amenities that provide entertainment to kids and adults alike, there’s no shortage of projects that could take your yard to the next level. What’s more, many of these projects are simple enough that you can do them yourself. Here are five DIY jobs to tackle in your yard this year.
Build a Raised Bed Garden
If you want your plants and flowers to really stand out and flourish, then you should build them a raised bed garden. This is the best way to keep the plants safe and give them the room they need. Raised bed gardens also look fantastic, creating that segmented aesthetic that so appeals to the human eye. All you’ll need are a few pieces of wood, some soil, and a free afternoon. If you want the garden to be as practical as it is beautiful, you could try growing vegetables as well as flowers and decorative plants.
You can use cinderblocks, concrete, wood, or even metals and plastics. Just make sure that the material you use is treated for outdoor use and will be sturdy enough to withstand the pressure of the dirt and water. Start by taking measurements outside to determine how large you want your garden bed to be. Remember that if you plan to grow a specific plant, it may have its own dimensional requirements.
After choosing your building materials, it’s time for construction. Using interlocking blocks will be quick as it won’t require power tools. If you are using wood, make sure all your joints are tight as wood tends to shrink and expand as its moisture content changes. Once you have your bed in place, you can choose to lay down a weed guard or not as well as an irrigation system. After that, you can add your soil mixture and get planting.
Construct a Sandbox for the Kids
If you’re looking for something that’s easy to build and will keep younger kids entertained for hours, then look no farther than a sandbox. This backyard classic allows children to use their imaginations for all sorts of games. A sandbox is also cheap and easy to build, with wood, a hammer, nails, and, of course, sand being the only building supplies you’ll need.
Like the raised garden bed, you will need to make sure the building materials you choose are treated for outdoor use. Additionally, there many varieties of sand to choose from. Builder’s sand tends to be course, but mason sand is a good for an economical option. If you are looking for the best choice for kids, you can buy play sand that has been pre-washed and screened. You can use an online calculator to determine how much sand you will need. Sand is heavy, so be sure to check if your provider can deliver if you can’t pick it up with your car.
Make a Fire Pit
If you’re looking to make your yard as much of a hot spot during the evening hours as it is during the day, then you should start by building a fire pit. Something about the glow of the flames and the smell of the burning wood makes a bonfire the perfect nocturnal activity. It provides a great source of heat for outdoor conversations on chilly nights, an attractive focal point for your yard in the day, and a fun alternative to a grill for roasting hot dogs.
To make your fire pit, just find a spot that’s safely away from trees and any structures, and then dig a hole. Surround the pit with stones and you’re ready to go. There are many options for materials, but the important thing to consider is the level of maintenance you are willing to do to keep it looking nice and clean and the safety of the surrounding area.
Create a Stone Walkway
Not only do stone walkways look amazing, but they also protect your lawn by encouraging people to walk on a fixed path. With just a few stepping stones or a single shipment of pebbles, you can build a walkway that will last for years.
Don’t just place stones on your lawn. For a more intentional and polished project, cut out the existing sod so the path is level with your yard. This will lower the risk of trip hazards and look much more professional. If you are using pebbles or other small stones to create a walkway, be sure to line your path with a border to keep them out of the grass or gardens. Use weed guard so grass and other weeds don’t pop up through the stones.
Add a Retaining Wall
If your yard is on a slope, you could get much more use out of it by leveling off a portion with a retaining wall. Common spots for retaining walls are around the back entrance to the house, complimenting patio stairs, bordering a garden for added visual interest in your landscaping, or simply several yards away from your home to create an outdoor living space or an area for the kids to play.
You’ll need to start by digging a trench for the wall before moving too much of the soil. Once you have your wall in place, either with blocks or poured concrete, you can move the soil from below the wall to the area above. This will create a nice, level place for a seating area.
Creating an awesome backyard is all about taking the initiative and tackling projects head on. While larger-scale projects might require some professional help, there are plenty of things your can do on your own with minimal tools required. By completing the just one of even all of the projects listed above, you’ll make your backyard the envy of the neighborhood. With the warmer weather that comes with spring, now is a great time to get started.