7 Back Yard Upgrades To Refresh Your Outdoor Space

With the weather finally getting warmer, it’s only natural to turn your eyes outside to the back yard.

And, if you’re less than pleased with what you’re seeing, it may be time to give your yard a refresh!

wood deck in back yard

Small additions to the back yard can make a big difference in its overall feel, so roll up your sleeves and get ready to transform your space.

From customizing your outdoor rug to fit your decor, to adding patio umbrellas for strategic shade, it can be surprisingly easy to turn your yard into an outdoor paradise!

Wondering where to start? These seven easy ideas for back yard upgrades will have you excited to head outside and enjoy the sun:

Try Building the Easiest Deck Ever

If you want to add more seating to your yard, but don’t want the hassle of planning and engineering a large deck project, a floating deck is your answer!

These simple decks made with standard 2×6 frames and deck boards are designed to sit on concrete footers, so you can place the deck wherever you like.

It’s also much quicker to build, since you don’t have to worry about digging holes for support posts or attaching it to your house.

And, as an added bonus, since these decks are close to the ground and can be moved, adding one often won’t require a building permit.

Patio Awnings Are Such a Good Idea

If your time enjoying your outdoor sitting area is often disrupted by too-bright sun or changes in the weather, adding a patio awning may be one of the best back yard upgrades you can make.

Patio awnings can be used to provide shade and protection on either front or back patios, and are an economical and stylish addition to your outdoor space.

For the ultimate versatility, retractable awnings for your patio are likely your best bet. They are available in both manual and power designs, and let you retract the awning when you want to enjoy the sun.

Or, if your favorite sitting area isn’t attached to your house, a freestanding gazebo can be a great option as well.

Potted Plants for Landscaping? Too Interesting to Be Dropped 

When your yard has limited space, digging your lawn to create flower beds and borders is not a desirable solution.

Instead, maximize your yard space by taking an easy way out, and putting your plants into pots.

Potted plants can make quite an impression, especially when they are planted in interesting containers with curious colors and creative placements.

Look for ready-made planters on sale at your favorite garden center, or get creative and plant your own in “pots” you collect yourself!

Fun and quirky items like a toy wagon, old tires, or wooden barrels can all make great planters that give your yard some extra personality.

sitting area with potted plants

Keep Things Green: Water Your Grass Deeply, Not Often

If you’re currently one of the many that water your lawn multiple times a week, it’s time to break the habit once and for all.

If you water your grass too often for shorter periods of time, then the roots have no reason to penetrate deeply into the soil.

The shallow roots of the grass are then not able to reach all of the nutrients in the soil, and will not be able to deliver water once you skip watering.

Instead, aim to water your lawn once or twice a week for approximately 30 minutes each time. You want the grass to get about 1 to 1.5 inches of water.

That way, the grass will have the moisture it needs to keep growing, but will also put down deeper roots that can better withstand dryer weather.

Finally, always try to water your lawn first thing in the morning, ideally at sunrise. The water will be able to penetrate into the soil more deeply during this cooler time of day.

Hang Some Lights

For an instant bistro feel, consider adding string lights throughout the different areas in your yard.

These functional and affordable lights are perfect for dressing up patios, highlighting garden seating, and illuminating any other space that needs it.

Most string lights are available in electric, battery-powered, or solar-powered varieties, so that you can choose the option that works best for you.

Or, for an even more economical lighting option, consider stringing up some strings of white LED Christmas lights!

Build Your Own Viking Table

If you don’t currently have a dining table in your yard, adding one can be a great way to make your yard a more appealing place to entertain.

But, instead of overspending on cheaply-made patio furniture, why not build an outdoor dining table yourself? This Viking long table is an intermediate building project that’s sure to impress your visitors.

Whenever Vikings built something, it was sturdy, simple, and attractive. The same goes for this table.

Its impressive size will make hosting the whole family easy, but it’s also easy to store thanks to the detachable legs and tabletop.

And, best of all, you don’t need any special tools to make it! With a circular saw, drill, jigsaw, router, and basic hand tools, you’ll have an outdoor dining table that wows in no time.

Container Water Gardens

If you love the beauty and ambiance that water features add to a yard, but don’t have the space for a fountain or pond, container water gardens are for you!

Start with a sturdy, watertight container like a bucket, tub, barrel or planter. Then, line the container with a trimmed pond liner, and gather the rocks, plants, fish, and other materials you plan on adding.

Use a combination of bog plants and floating plants for the most attractive finished project. Goldfish are a popular addition as well, as long as your container is big enough to support them!

With the proper blend of aquatic plants and animals, container gardens require almost zero maintenance, and provide an unexpected bit of beauty to your back yard.

You can even add a fountain pump so that you can enjoy the peaceful sound of bubbling water!

water plant

Giving your backyard space an updated look doesn’t have to involve large-scale renovations or a huge budget. Often, small back yard upgrades and DIY backyard projects can give your yard a whole new feel.

So, add some new lighting, find new places for plants, update your dining area, and get ready to enjoy a back yard that feels like it’s a brand new and welcoming space.

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