The summer is here! This means you’re probably enjoying the weather and spending as much time outside as possible. This is the perfect time of year to rethink your backyard area and re-do your home’s entire landscape scheme. Before you completely renovate, however, there are some things you need to consider:

Define Your Family’s Needs

Whether you live alone or your family is the next 18 Kids and Counting, there are accommodations that must be made in your outdoor space. Is there enough room for the kids to play? What about pets? Do they have enough room to run around and do their business? Do you and your significant other like to entertain? Are there places for your friends and family to sit and enjoy each other’s company? All of these wants and needs should be compiled in a master list to review when considering your outdoor living space. By prioritizing what you need and then adding in what you want, you can make the best use out of your yard.

When In Doubt, Porch It Out

An outdoor porch or deck is the absolute best way to enjoy your yard. With a solid, finished porch area, you can have dinner with your family or host a BBQ for the whole neighborhood. Another factor to consider is that the addition of a porch can increase the value of your home, and is a relatively cheap project to fund. If you are considering selling, now or in the future, a beautiful porch can set you apart from other buyers. If you are looking for more places to hang out in the summer, adding a porch or deck is your best bet.

Landscape to Create Your Perfect Escape

A gorgeous landscaping scheme can make an absolute world of difference in your backyard. A simple addition of a couple of plants and trees can give your yard a homey feel and can bring nature, color, and beauty to your home easily. First, look for plants that do well in your environment. Don’t forget to consider what kind of a backyard you would like to build. What animals do you want to attract? And on the other hand, which ones do you want to stay away?

Thorough research on the plants you put in your backyard will pay off and help you create your own special ambiance. If you like to entertain at night, consider creating a night garden. By selecting plants that shimmer in the moonlight and give off beautiful smells in the evening time, you can create a haven for you and your close friends to enjoy.

Privacy Is Key

While some of us are lucky enough to absolutely adore our neighbors, some of us have a more of a “Dennis the Menace” relationship with those who live close by. If this is you, then maybe it’s time to consider building in some privacy. A privacy fence, or even tall, thick trees can do the trick. This is a great way to keep nosy glances, toys from the neighborhood kids, and even noise pollution, out of your space. If privacy is something you need or value, consider a fence as one of your first investments when creating your backyard space.

Know Who You’re Working With

Whether you are hiring someone to build your deck or plant your flowers, it is incredibly important to have professional help while redesigning any area of your house, especially the backyard. Ask friends and family for recommendations, and call around to find credible builders in your neighborhood. Rely on Google reviews and other websites, such as Yelp, for an honest review of the customer experience. Whomever you contract should have a great reputation, outstanding online rating, and a solid website with an honest list of all of their services.

Consider a Water Element

A pool or a hot tub can take your backyard from mediocre to outstanding. A nice hot tub or jacuzzi is a great way to relieve stress at the end of the day. A pool is destined to give you unlimited days of entertainment for your friends and family. Both of these things are aesthetically pleasing and can give your backyard a feeling of comfort and serenity. While pools and hot tubs are both large investments, they can also increase the value of your home and make a great backdrop while entertaining. Consider making the investment.

There are many different aspects to consider when designing your outdoor living space, but this list is a great place to start. Consider what would make you want to spend more time outdoors and what you would like to have when you invite company over. By knowing exactly what you want, you’ll be able to craft a plan and strategy to create the outdoor setting of your dreams.