10 Must Haves for the Ultimate Backyard Experience
Summer and the warm weather have arrived in Richmond. If everyone in the family isn’t clamoring to be outside in the backyard, maybe it’s time for an upgrade! But watch out, creating the ultimate backyard experience takes more than a little landscaping. On the other hand, there are some very simple things anyone can do to make the backyard more fun.
Get the Family Outside!
We came across a devastating statistic recently; the average U.S. child spends less time outdoors than prisoners, who are guaranteed about 2 hours of outdoor time per day. Ultimately, it’s up to parents to fight these trends and come up with fun outdoor activities for kids. Having some fun things to do in the backyard can definitely help!
How to Create a Fantastic Backyard
If you are starting from scratch, it might take a few years to get your backyard where you want it, but adding just a few of simple backyard features at a time can make an enormous impact.
The first five options on our list can be set up relatively inexpensively and be ready by this summer. The second half of the list takes a bit more planning and financial investment.
10 Tips for Improving Your Backyard Experience
1. Start with a Grill: Since the days of the cavemen, families and friends have gathered to partake in heating up food and eating it together. It’s just in our nature. From a classic Weber to a green egg to the ultimate built-in grilling setups, grilling food together is a key ingredient to a fun backyard experience.
3. Fire: Nothing sets the mood quite like a fire. If you’re ready to go all-out with your backyard setup, consider a built-in stone fireplace or gas fire pit that can be started with a switch. Wall mounted torches and other features can add soft light. If you’re not ready for a complete setup like this, get a nice portable fire pit and a few Tiki torches.
4. Outdoor Lights: If you don’t want to be blinded by big floodlights and want to actually be able to enjoy your backyard at night, outdoor lighting is the way to go. It’s not always safe to light an outdoor fire, and a fire pit won’t necessary provide enough light.
Architectural lighting and landscape lighting can help to illuminate paths, patios, and the backyard space you want to use at night. In addition to built-in lighting, setups like the ones from Coastal Source, a few strands of hanging lights will instantly make it feel like there’s about to be a party in your backyard.
5. Outdoor Games: If you have young kids, there are lots of outdoor games available, but don’t forget about the adults! Corn Hole, Bocce Ball, and Frisbee games like Kan Jam are just a few ideas to consider at your next barbeque.
6. Privacy: If you live in a home with neighbors that are right on top of you, consider investing in a privacy fence. In addition, planting trees and shrubs that will grow quickly, are manageable, and provide privacy are a great solution to areas that are lacking.
7. Decks & Patios: Not only will your family enjoy the space, but decks and patios add value to your home. It’s nice to be able to get out of the grass and hangout on a nice patio or deck. Just don’t forget to add a little shade from an umbrella or trellis!
8. A Beautiful Lawn: Good drainage, nice plants, and a lush beautiful lawn will make spending time outdoors more enjoyable for the entire family. Nice soft lawns make it easy for kids to play fun outdoor activities. Beautiful landscaping, while expensive and a lot of work, is a great addition to any home.
9. Outdoor Kitchens & Televisions: If you’re ready to take your backyard barbeque to the next level, consider an outdoor kitchen with a mini-fridge, ice machine, sink, countertop space, and whatever else you can think of. Throw in a few outdoor televisions, and you won’t even have to miss the big game!
10. Swimming Hole: The last item on our list is also the most significant investment, but this one definitely won’t disappoint. A swimming pool is a surefire way to get the kids to put down the iPhones and iPads and start having fun outdoors!
It’s a Smart Move to Invest in the Backyard
The most important return on investment should be the amount of enjoyment your family will get out of the backyard improvement. However, improvements to a backyard can add value and make a home more desirable when it comes time to sell.