<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=121149053239937&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Hey Customer!

How can we help you out?

Transforming Your Backyard Landscape [Water Garden To A Backyard Bar]

Prepping Your Backyard


     Transforming your backyard can seem daunting, but requires less effort than the idea may present. Adding a fireplace, bar, or garden can be a straightforward process as long as you do your research and plan accordingly. If you're the host of your friends and family, this blog will hopefully give you some inspiration for outdoor entertaining this summer. These DIY projects are easy to complete and will enhance the backyard of any homeowner. However, make sure to avoid doing lawn care yourself as the cost comparison would surely surprise you. 


Lawn Care DIY: A Cost Comparison Breakdown


Floating Deck

floating deck in a garden with lawn chairs sitting on top

      A floating deck rests on the ground, without attaching to any other structure. These decks require much less effort than a freestanding deck and usually do not require a building permit. The steps for this particular project are fairly simply and straightforward:

  1. Uproot the weeds and level the soil
  2. Lay down landscaping fabric and gravel

      Be sure the gravel you use is compactible because it will decrease moisture damage and help prevent rot.

  1. Place down 4 corner concrete blocks for the deck to sit on – space them based on the dimensions of your deck
  2. Using blocks make rows of 3 blocks each (you should have 9 blocks in place)
  3. Cut your wood to size based on how large you want your deck to be and fashion them into a rectangle
  4. Fasten your joists to the frame, ensuring the top of the joists are flush with the outer frame of your deck
  5. Install the deck boards once you’ve confirmed everything is squared and level
  6. Stain or seal your wood once the deck is fastened together

      For a more in-depth tutorial on how to complete this project “The Spruce” has a detailed blog with a video attached.



pergola attached to a deck and house in a backyard

      A pergola optimizes your outdoor living space, and if you’ve already added a floating deck, it’s the perfect addition to your backyard. Pergolas provide many added benefits to your entertaining space:

  • A blended privacy wall

  • Support for a trellis

  • A mix between shade during the day, but room to look at the stars at night

       Fortunately, pergolas have the ability to fit a rather modest budget. Pressure treated wood is often the least expensive option. However, this lumber is susceptible to warping or cracking over time. Cedar wood is a popular option, slightly more expensive but it has a longer lifespan. A vinyl pergola is easily maintained, but not easily painted. Fiberglass pergolas are probably the most expensive way to go, but there are many added benefits. This is because they are strong, lightweight, easily painted, and hold up more than wood.


Backyard Swing

backyard swing under a tree over top of a green lawn

       This is an adaptable part of your backyard landscape. It’s a place to sit on a warm or cold evening under a blanket. There are quite a few different ways to construct one of these swings for a very fair price. ‘The Sorry Girls’, a “community of makers and do-ers that enable all people”, argue that a swing composed from two wooden pallets can be constructed for only $30. For this swing, the Sorry Girls chose to secure it onto a tree, but a backyard swing can be fastened on a deck, porch or perhaps suspended from an arbour.


Planter Boxes

rustic green planter hanging on a window sill of a brick house

      These very simple boxes are a way to elevate any outdoor space, and the way they can be constructed is incredibly versatile. These can be placed on a deck railing, underneath a window or constructed as a raised garden bed and placed around the yard. Planters can be constructed in a day or two on any budget. As well, the need to bend over to remove weeds is completely diminished. However, if this is a project you feel is too time-consuming, mini planters can be created inside mason jars and framed at the window.

Call To Action (22)


Deck Lighting

string lights through a backyard pergola at night

A great way to illuminate your outdoor space. Entertaining doesn’t end when the sun goes down! This is a very affordable way to enhance your backyard design. If you have a pergola to work with or plan to build one, lights can be strung up through the wood paneling above. A portable solution for deck lighting are lanterns – and also cost friendly.

Other Ways To Use Lighting:

  • Spotlights Over Deck
  • Under Rail Deck Lighting
  • In-Floor Lighting
  • Deck Post Cap Lights
  • Recessed Deck Lighting
  • String Deck Lighting
  • Stair Lighting

Water Garden

three potted water gardens with water lilies on a brick patio

These are easy to build and are inexpensive. You’ll need a plastic container, plants, a small pump, a spouting ornament, clean kitty litter, pea gravel, nylon stocking and clear vinyl tubing. Family Handyman has a detailed guide on how to set one up, paraphrased:

  1. To mount the ornament, drill a small hole in the lip of your container.

  2. Spread the soil of the water plants on one half of the container then create a level floor composed of kitty litter

  3. Divide the container in half by a partition and plant the shallow growing plants on one. Then spread more kitty litter over it.

  4. On the other side insert a cup into the kitty liter and cover with plastic

  5. Spread gravel over the kitty litter

     The purpose of keeping one side lower is to allow the water plants (water lilies) to extend upward after the water is added.

  1. Add the vinyl tubing connector to the pump and press into the cup, so it suctions to the bottom

  2. Cover the pump with nylon to stop gravel from clogging the pump


Bird Houses

white bird house in a tree in front of a fence

     DIY birdhouses are fun to make and a relatively straightforward process. Didn’t we all construct one for Mother’s Day in kindergarten? If you remember yours like I remember mine, perhaps this project isn’t quite that exciting to you. However, don’t get discouraged too fast because there are many different ways to get creative with this craft. Hanging a drawer vertically with a teapot hung with twine from the top makes the perfect perch for a tiny bird. Maybe you want the animals visiting your yard to be living the high life, then you can build a bird house mansion. This can be constructed out of plywood and shingled with cedar wood.


Backyard Bar

backyard bar built out of wood pallets in the shade with two metal chairs

      If you’re an entertainer, this project is perfect for you. Although this may sound like a swanky outdoor edition, and perhaps that may be, it’s an easy task that elevates your backyard space. You’ll first have to determine what type of bar you want to create. Design for one of these is far easier than most anticipate. There are many different ways to craft one and they can be made out of a variety of materials.

      For Example:

  • Crates and Pallets of Wood
  • Brick or Cinder Blocks
  • Cabinets
  • Beverage Carts
  • Outdoor Racks
  • Old Doors
  • Fold Away Bar - “Murphy Bar”

      The construction of this will depend heavily on the creative design you think would blend best with your backyard. Therefore, the following steps will be determined by yourself once you’ve identified your artistic direction.


Lawn Games

cornhole on a green lawn with eight bean bags on top of its wood

      So, your backyard space in nearly complete. You’ve created the optimal space for entertainment, and on a budget! Now it’s time to invite friends and family over, but for the final piece in the recreational puzzle, you’ll need some outdoor games. Jumbo Jenga requires a miter saw, sander, and 2x4 boards. Firstly, you’ll need to cut your 2x4’s into 54 10-1/2” pieces. Next sand the edges, and you’re ready to play. If you don’t foresee the completion of this DIY project this summer, you can buy this game for $80 off of Amazon.

      Another outdoor game making the rounds this year is cornhole. Cornhole is another project, you can craft yourself. However, it requires more than 3 steps. Home Depot has a detailed list of how to assemble the game, attach everything, paint, and even how to play once your project is complete!

      Finally, the last game you’ll need to enjoy your lawn is Yard Dice. You’ll need a circular saw, sandpaper, and a 4x4 wood post. Although the steps for this project are simple, the instructions from “instructables workshop” are handy tools to have access to. But the Coles Notes version of the project are as follows:

  1. Cut The Post

  2. Shape The Square

  3. Sand It Until Smooth

  4. Sketch Dice Dots onto Each Side

  5. Paint The Dots and Add a Coating

      So, once you’ve completed the project, you can adapt the game. Fortunately, My Northern Backyard has “6 Great Dice Games To Play In Your Backyard”, so you can take full advantage of your newly constructed dice.


In Conclusion


      You are nearly summer ready. After having finished this blog, hopefully you have identified what you want to be the focal point of your yard. Perhaps it’s a floating deck, pergola, or backyard bar. In any case you’ll want your lawn to match your outdoor landscape. If you’re hosting, your lawn should be healthy, green and weed free. No one wants to play cornhole on rough grass. Make sure you’re taking care of all aspects of your backyard landscape.

Back to Blog