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There are so many ways to enjoy the great outdoors, right in your own backyard. You don’t have to travel far to experience the backyard oasis of your dreams if you create one yourself! Whether you’re a beginner DIY or a seasoned professional, there are options for upgrading your backyard living space to better suit your style and your needs. Get ready to be inspired by these 15 backyard projects that will elevate your living space and help you get outside and enjoy every season to its fullest.
A privacy fence does more than the name suggests, as it can also be a beautiful focal point and backdrop for your yard. These fences are fairly simple to build and can be a great way to divide up your outdoor living space or add an extra layer of privacy if your neighbours have a low or chain-link fence. Privacy fences give you the feeling of being secluded from the rest of the world and can help you feel more comfortable in your backyard if you share a low fence or live in a densely populated area where neighbours are always visible. As a bonus, you can decorate your privacy fence with planters, string lights, and even some DIY outdoor artwork to give it a bit of your personal flair.
Fire Pit / Fire Ring
A charming and cozy fire pit can be a great addition to any backyard and will help you enjoy your outdoor living space in any season. They don’t require a ton of space and can be configured to work within a certain area. This is a low-cost DIY project that is great for entertaining and fun for the whole family. The best part about this project is that you can choose how simple or complex you’d like your fire pit to be, which also means you can stretch your dollars further if you’re on a budget. You can keep it super simple by digging a hole in your grass and creating a rustic underground fire pit, you can pour a cement foundation in the shape of your choosing and then add a pre-purchased fire pit and some cozy chairs, or you can take it up a level by creating a more detailed outdoor stone pad and building your own custom fire pit and seating.
Building A Garden Shed
A garden shed is a perfect balance between function and beauty. It serves a very distinct purpose but it can also add so much style and ambiance to your outdoor space. Garden sheds can be built in a variety of different styles so you can choose one that best matches your preferences. Whether it’s craftsman, country-chic, rustic or modern, there are many different ways to design and build the garden shed of your dreams. Aside from the aesthetics, these sheds can also add so much functional storage for items you don’t want to lug around and make space for inside every season. They give you a place to store your garden accessories, patio furniture, tools and supplies so you can easily grab what you need as you’re working outside.
Garden sheds can also add different types of function if garden tool storage isn’t your vibe. You can create a shed that can be used to entertain by incorporating built-in storage for kitchenware, functional seating and even a mini-fridge or wine cooler. A shed can become an outdoor office space, a play room for kids or even a little suite for guests.
Building A Gazebo
Adding a gazebo to your backyard can instantly give you a new living space to enjoy. Whether it’s hosting family dinners or gathering with friends, gazebos are great for entertaining. They’re also easy and fun to customize based on your needs and how you use your backyard space. A gazebo can be a beautiful, picturesque spot for dinner parties, a simple and rustic focal point or even a unique covered grill space. You can include bench seats, built-in coolers, storage and more. So, whether you’re grilling up dinner for the family or hosting a large group of friends, you can enjoy the flexibility and functionality a gazebo brings to your backyard space.
Installing A Screened Porch
Screened porches are perfect for enjoying a beautiful day when you want to be outside but you also want nothing to do with the bugs. While this isn’t a small DIY, it’s definitely a project to consider if you find yourself wishing you could spend more time outside without leaving behind all the comfort of your indoor spaces. If you live in an area that has lots of mosquitos or tends to be very hot in the summer with little breeze, this could also be an ideal project. You can customize your screened porch to suit the style of your home and choose your materials and colours based on your personal preferences. Plus, you’ll get to decorate the inside which will present even more options for DIY projects.
If you have an existing porch, you can also simply screen that area in instead of building a whole new porch.
Planting A Garden
A garden can add so much brightness and tranquility to a backyard space and the best thing about them is that they’re completely customizable. With the right patch of land (big or small) you can design and build out your dream garden. You can add raised garden beds for ease of maintenance as you age, you can incorporate a rain garden to reduce your maintenance altogether, you can section off a space for vegetables/fruit plants and create a wildflower zone for bees. You can even incorporate some fun DIY elements into your garden by creating your own trellis, planters, arbour, raised beds and more!
Building A Deck
Think your yard or home isn’t suited for a deck? Think again! If you’re an experienced woodworker, you can definitely take on the task of building your dream deck complete with beautiful railings, cascading stairs, shade shelter and more. But just because your home isn’t suited for a typical deck that extends from the back of your home, doesn’t mean you can’t get still have one in your space. If you have a nice shaded area in your backyard, it may be well suited for a floating island deck. You can decorate it with comfy cushions and plants to create a reading nook or a fun new space to hang out and entertain. Projects like this can help you create new and unique living spaces within your larger backyard to help you and your family get more use out of the space.
Installing Planter Boxes
Even if you aren’t an expert carpenter, you can design and build beautiful window boxes with the right tools and guidance. What may seem like a small change can significantly elevate your curb appeal and bring some brightness into your outdoor space. You can design them to suit the style of your home and select colours that work best with your facade. When it comes time to fill them with plants, choose from petunias, geraniums, zinnias, nasturtiums, and begonias for main-theme flowers. You can then fill in with things like inch plant, ivy, euonymus, heather, or vinca, which will cascade over the edge of the box. If your boxes are in a more shaded spot, you may want to consider impatiens as they do well in the shade.
Building A Potting Bench
If you’re big into gardening, a potting bench can be a real game changer! It’ll help keep you organized and give you space to pot and work with your plants, so you aren’t hunched over in your garden trying to pot or trim things. The best part about potting benches is that they can be designed to suit your needs. Whether it’s a simple tabletop made of repurposed pallets or a more complex storage solution with hooks, bins and shelving, you can select and create the best option for you. As a bonus, potting benches can also act as a beautiful piece of rustic decor in your space when they aren’t being used.
Creating A Bird Sanctuary
Adding in accessories to attract birds will make your backyard a more pleasant space to enjoy, especially if you’re fond of bird watching! You may want to consider including a beautiful birdbath and a few strategically placed birdhouses and feeders. If you’re looking to involve the whole family, there are plenty of kid and beginner-friendly DIY projects to help you build and decorate your own birdhouses and bird feeders from almost anything you can imagine.
Installing A Water Feature
Despite the optics, water features don’t have to be high maintenance or difficult to build. Whether you’re looking to dig out an entire pond or DIY a simple water fountain, there are plenty of ways to add the magic of water to your backyard space. This low-maintenance fountain features stone and gravel and needs next to no upkeep so you can spend less time stressing about maintaining it and more time just enjoying it!
Building A Custom Pool
We know what you’re thinking: DIY a pool?! There are a lot of different ways to bring your love of pools into a backyard space without using a traditional pool installation process with a hefty price tag. With the right materials and know-how, you can DIY your own pool using a shipping container or even a stock tank! You can choose your level of ambition and select a project that best suits your skillset. A stock tank pool is essentially a galvanized steel pool that you can fill with water and place on your deck, patio or anywhere you like really. A shipping container pool is much more complex, but offers a very unique end result that will have you wishing you’d built it sooner.
Updating Your Patio Furniture
Not all DIY projects require building in order to create an impact. Sometimes working to spruce up items you already have can make a big difference. Patio furniture can get worn down over time from the elements (rain, sun, wind etc.) so why not show it a little love and use those pieces to brighten up your outdoor space. Whether it’s giving an old cast iron set a fresh coat of bright paint, sewing new cushions for your outdoor dining set or gathering up some free wood pallets and converting them into a low-cost lounge set, you can definitely make a statement with your patio furniture!
Building An Outdoor Bar Cart
Being able to use your backyard to entertain can give you access to much more space and the freedom to enjoy the weather on a beautiful day. If you host friends and family frequently and are looking to bring more of your indoor space outside, building a custom bar cart for your patio is a great first step. Completely customizable to your needs, you can create a beautiful cart that includes storage, a built-in cooler, towel rack and more. Bring the party outside with a surface to mix and serve drinks, a spot for guests to grab garnishes, pick up a new glass or snag a snack to accompany their beverage.
Installing A Swing
While many backyard DIY projects are all about functionality, sometimes you just want to add a bit more fun into your space and a swing is the perfect way to do that! If you have a big, beautiful tree in your yard, it just may be the perfect spot for a rope swing which is a very simple DIY and can add whimsical charm to your outdoor space. If you find yourself without the ideal tree, or any trees at all, you can create a pergola swing for your patio using reclaimed or repurposed wood. This design allows you to carve out a beautiful little nook for reading, resting and just enjoying the serene outdoor space. Decorating with DIY cushions and your favourite plants will help you create a spot you’ll never want to leave!