Tips for backyard makeovers

So, you’re finally getting around to that home improvement project that is usually the last of the things to tackle on your household to-do list, right up there with basement refinishing projects: making over your backyard. Backyard makeovers can run from the simple to the in-depth, depending on what you’ve got to work with and your cash flow.


Starting with your lawn or lack of, decide what you want to do here first. Whether you desire a lush, green appearance, or you’re looking to xeriscape, you’ll want to make sure your backyard has no uneven terrain and sunken depressions that could cause pooling of rain water. If it’s more than just a few uneven spots, you might want to consider renting a rototiller for the job. They’re inexpensive to rent, they save your back and your hands, and they get the job done in a fraction of the time with little to no exertion on your part. If flooding is a problem in your area, this is a perfect opportunity to create a grade running away from your house that can redirect runoff into your flower beds or hedges, draining off water and irrigating at the same time. Backyard makeovers are a breeze this way.

Laying out your design

Once you’ve got your yard graded and evened out, you can use a can of ordinary spray paint to design flower beds, and walkways or paths, that will give you an easy visual line to follow. For backyard makeovers that include xeriscaping and flower beds, invest in weed cloth to put down before planting, and covering with mulch or ornamental gravel. This will save you hours of weeding in the long run, it’s super easy to install and fairly inexpensive to buy, so do your self a favor don’t skip this step. After these steps are completed, you can reseed, lay sod, or commence pouring your mulch or gravel throughout the yard where you want it.


This is a great time to trim up any trees that need it, plant new trees, and remove older trees. Remember, when planting new trees give them plenty of room to grow; take into account their root systems to avoid future problems with fences, walkways, foundations, and plumbing, especially if they have an aggressive root system. Determine what, if any, shedding pattern they have for fruit, nuts, or leaves, many backyard makeovers overlook this important consideration.

Statuary and path stones

Statuary and path stones are wonderful compliments to backyard makeovers, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Statuary interspersed randomly about your yard can lend a sense of whimsy, or a classical touch, but try not to go overboard and end up with Nia Vardalos’ family home in My Big Fat Greek Wedding! The effect is too cluttered, and can end up looking more than a bit tacky, less is more here. Stone benches at the end of pathways or nestled under trees or in a secluded spot framed by shrubbery of differing heights can impart a Secret Garden look or give a serene, zen-like feel that is also very appealing.