Guest Post: Total Backyard Makeover

I just received the following guest post in my email today.  I had to share it with you because the thought of having a backyard makeover is so much fun.  We have a pool and we do like it, but the pool took our yard space and our backyard is comprised of concrete deck, pool and a very small grass area.  It would be awesome to be able to have a backyard makeover before the summer time gets here.  Hopefully you’ll find a few good ideas from it – enjoy!


Build the Right Deck for a Total Backyard Makeover

A fantastic way to enhance your home is with a backyard makeover.  Creating a tranquil garden and calm outdoor living space can add peace to a busy schedule and provide a sanctuary just for you.  A nice outdoor space also allows for outdoor living with summer barbecues and bonfires in the evenings.  Given the right plans, materials, and tools, in a couple of weekends your backyard can go from average or boring to extraordinary.

Planning the Deck

Although a large project, building a deck is not too challenging a task.  Here is a brief overview of how to go about constructing the perfect deck.  First things first, determine the place for and square footage of the deck.  Will it be ground level or off of the second story?  If it is a second story space, you will need to look into installing an outdoor spiral staircase or other set of stairs to reach the space.  Once these necessary questions are answered, put together a set of blueprints with the proper measurements.

Next, determine the materials you want to use.  Decks and porches are generally constructed from either wood or a durable composite material.  Composite might be preferred for families with young kids who want something durable that won’t splinter.  Also, purchase the appropriate amount of material as well as flashing to protect the home, concrete to set the deck posts, and any appropriate tools you may not have such as an electric saw or drill.

Start Building

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, begin by placing the flashing around the house area to which the deck will be attached.  Flashing must be underneath doors and window frames to keep cold temperatures and moisture outside.  Next, prepare the box sill.  Begin by installing furring board which are long, thin pieces of wood used to make existing surfaces support the added area to the side of the house. Once the furring is in place, attach the box sill.

Next, place a mark in the center of the box sill for the location of the center beam which will be part of the main structure. Prepare the footers by digging holes in the ground, setting the footer, and pouring concrete around it.  Let the concrete set before continuing any additional work.

Make the outer support beams and joists by cutting lumber to the proper measurements already figured on the plans.  The outer support beams need to be attached to the box sill. Then attach the joists to the outer beams.  Once all of the supports are in place, attach the top area or flooring of the deck.

Landscaping Your New Space

Now that the deck has been made, the area can be landscaped to finish the new exterior look.  For some home owners, building a deck is only the first part of their backyard renovation, so landscaping comes next to beautify the new addition.  Others will be adding a useful deck so that they can enjoy an already existing garden space or add to a backyard playground.  Families can find great ways to incorporate a new deck into the vibe of the backyard with a matching swing set.

If buying plants, take your local climate into account.  Certain plants excel better in particular climates.  So for a flourishing garden find plants that will survive the weather.  After you know what types of plants to search for, you can find the best styles of herbs, flowers, vines and other greenery to accentuate the deck.  These might bloom in planters that hang from the deck railing for in specially designed pots around the deck perimeter.  Families might also want to build planter boxes to sew vegetable seeds together.

fire pic

The final touches come from accessorizing the outdoor living space with deck furniture and maybe even a raised fire pit.  Adding character to the backyard might take several weekends of hard work, but the end result is definitely worth the effort with a beautiful area for the whole family to enjoy.  Adding a colorful garden to the unique deck space will complete the backyard renovation resulting in a beautiful finished product.

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