When you own a home, you probably have an exterior space that comes with it. This yard is a blank canvas on which you can paint the kind of environment that suits you and your family. For first-time homebuyers, the prospect of land that belongs to you can be one of the most exciting changes after living in an apartment or other rental complex. You finally have some outdoor space to call your own, and you have the freedom to make of it what you wish.
But what does the perfect backyard look like? How can you optimize the space that you have, especially if the budget for big upgrades is limited? Designing a backyard that is perfectly suited for your lifestyle can be tricky, and you may not know what changes to make or where to invest your resources.
Following a few important guidelines will be the key to turning your outdoor space into a paradise. Even if you do not have the money for wholesale changes, a unique perspective on how to make strategic adjustments can still result in a dramatic makeover of the property. Here are a few tips to follow when designing the perfect backyard.
Create a Plan First
First-time homebuyers may be tempted to tackle a project involving the yard right off the bat. Maybe there is a specific feature that you have always dreamed of once you owned a home, and you want to implement the idea right away. It is important, however, to come up with a plan for the whole yard before making the first changes. How does the size and layout of the yard affect what you can do with it? If you put in a large feature in one area, will it ruin the opportunity to add something else a few years from now? Will your children affect your landscaping plans since you need to make sure they are safe and that you are fostering a playful environment where learning can occur?
Crafting a plan for the yard ahead of time, leaving room for changes that you may not be planning for yet, is a crucial first step in creating the perfect backyard.
Use Space Strategically
Finding a balance between open space, landscaping features, and where the house is located is another important aspect of designing a beautiful yard. You don’t want to use up all of the available space with your changes, leaving no room for play, free movement, or guest mingling when you host events. Plus, maintaining a lawn can be a fun aspect of home ownership, and reducing the amount of open land with too many features will take away that experience. Be strategic with how the space in your backyard is used when adding new features to the area.
If you have no kids and never plan to have them, then your yard design should look different from that of a family with four children. Your lifestyle should dictate some of the choices you make for your backyard. Do you love to host and have adults over for an evening of entertainment and dining? Then you may want to invest in a timber pavilion or an attractive outdoor living space. Are you obsessed with privacy? Then you may want to plant large bushes or install fencing around the borders of your property. Want to sell produce to your neighbors? You’ll need to leave adequate room in an area with good soil for your vegetable garden. Your lifestyle should play a significant role in the design choices of your yard.
Think About Home Value
If this is your first home, then there is a good chance that you will sell it in the future. For this reason, you should make changes with selling in mind. While the yard should certainly be updated to suit your tastes, don’t make too many changes that would be unappealing to most buyers. Simple things like gardens, patios, water features, and stone pathways are generally positive changes that will see buyers willing to pay a little bit more for the property. If the changes you want to make will improve curb appeal or functionality in the backyard, then they could increase your profits when the time comes to sell.
There is no Formula for the Perfect Backyard
To answer the original question, there is no perfect answer for the ideal backyard because it depends on so many factors. What are your personal preferences? What does your family lifestyle look like? Do you have a big budget or just a little bit of money to work with? Are you a planner or an improviser?
All of these questions will factor into designing the perfect backyard for you. Just remember to take other things into account like building value for a future sale and leaving enough open space to allow for future creativity.