Staying at Home This Summer? Turn Your Backyard into an At-Home Oasis

If the pandemic has you altering your usual summer vacation travel plans, make the best of a bad situation by turning your backyard into your own private resort.

Put some of that unused travel budget toward improving your home’s outdoor living space and possibly even improve your home’s value. But even if you don’t have much money to put into your backyard project, you can still make some lower-cost improvements that make summer days at home a bit more enjoyable.

If your neighborhood has an HOA, be sure to check any restrictions and also look into any permits required by your community, depending on the project you under take.

Here are some ways to transform your yard, no matter your budget:

1. Light up your nights. It’s crazy how stringing some white Christmas lights can brighten up evenings on your backyard deck or patio. It takes only a few minutes of effort and just a few lights to transform your entire yard. The best news? Strands can be had for less than $20.

2. Add a hammock or swing. Hammocks are enjoying a resurgence in popularity these days, and you can add one without setting your budget back. There are plenty of styles and colors to choose from. Or, add a porch swing or glider. Any of these options will have you relaxing as you enjoy some fresh air.

3. Add a patio garden. Whether you choose some greenery or add a burst of color with flower, you can beautify not only your outdoor deck or patio, but your entire backyard. Speak with a knowledgeable professional at a nursery about plant selection. You could repel pests, attract butterflies or even grow some fresh produce.

4. Create a water feature. Few things are more relaxing than a backyard water feature. The good news is, you can make this a part of your at-home oasis for less than you might think. Ready-to-go fountains can be had for less than a couple hundred dollars. If you really want a project, you may decide to build a larger, custom-made pond. Whatever direction you go, the payoff will be peace and tranquility in your own backyard.

5. Add a firepit. Sure, s’mores and roasting marshmallows is supposed to be more of a fall thing, but you won’t be able to resist these treats on summer evenings once you’ve put in a fire pit. Your firepit can be as simple or elaborate as you like. Shop your local home improvement store or online for options. Consider installing seating as well. If you have a bit of money to invest, you can opt for a built-in pit. Be sure to follow all safety precautions regardless of which style you choose.

6. Upgrade your grill. It seem the pandemic has a lot of people spending more time in the kitchen. If you’re one of them, take advantage of the summer and outdoor grilling. Whether you prefer charcoal or gas, you can up your game by upgrading your outdoor kitchen or grill.

7. Add some privacy. There’s nothing like some privacy to make your backyard feel truly like your own retreat. Upgrading or adding a fence is a great way to enhance your backyard and will add to your property value as well. Look for something with visual appeal, but consider function as well if your goal is to keep in pets and children.

8. Don’t forget the kids. If you’ve got young children, you can add features to your backyard that will keep them happily occupied, which makes for a more relaxing summer for you. Additions as simple as a covered sandbox is a good way to start. If you’ve got more in your budget, consider a wooden play structure. Check out all the options to find one that fits your space, needs and budget.

9. Add a deck or patio. This one goes on the pricier list of additions, but it’s also an investment that can add extend your living space, provide better use of your yard and improve your home’s value. Choose from brick or concrete for a patio or install a wood deck.

10. Make a splash. If you live in a climate where you can make use of a swimming pool for more than a month out of the year, and you’ve got the budget for it, consider adding your own private pool. Whether you go for an in-ground pool or opt for a less expensive above ground pool, you can add hours of fun for your family on hot summer days. When budgeting, ask pool experts about maintenance costs so you get a full picture of your expenses before going forward. If you go with something permanent, don’t be surprised if your home becomes the party place once social distancing is in the past.

Photo by Dimitri Houtteman on Unsplash

Lori Weaver About Lori Weaver

Lori Weaver is a writer and licensed real estate agent in Lexington, Ky. With over 25 years’ experience in communications and marketing across a number of business sectors, she provides content marketing, writing and social media services to a variety of B2B and B2C clients, with a focus on real estate., real estate investments and new construction. In her spare time, Lori enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.