Everyone’s idea of an ideal backyard layout is different. That’s because no two yards are the same, and no two families are the same. But there is a way to achieve the backyard layout that is ideal for you. It all starts with 4 basic steps.
Let’s take a look.
1. Decide What Features You Want, and What Will Fit
Do you have a large property? Do you have a tiny backyard? Regardless of size, you can still achieve your dream backyard. Just be practical about what features you want, and figure out what will fit comfortably without looking like you crammed everything together.
You can include some or all of these features:
- Inground pool
- Outdoor Kitchen
- Outdoor Fireplace
- Fire Pit
- Garden Beds
- Privacy Landscaping
- Water Feature
- Kid’s Play Area
Give some serious thought to how big your pool or patio should be. You want to leave room for garden beds and at least a small grassy area.
Related Reading: Navigating HOA Rules and the Permitting Process
2. Cast a Critical Eye to Your Property to See What Obstacles You Face
Take a walk around your backyard and make note of what you like and don’t like, and decide what to keep and what you want to change. Some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you have a low-lying area of your yard where water collects? Think about turning it into a rain garden, or regrading.
- Do you have a problem with erosion? Plan on installing a retaining wall, terracing, or plant material to solve the problem.
- Do you have an overgrown or dying tree? Consider if you would like to save it or take it down to make way for something you want.
- If you plan on installing an inground pool, what is the best location?
- What flowers, shrubs, and trees would work best with your outdoor living features?
By asking some of these basic questions, you can start to develop a master plan.
3. Put Your Backyard Layout on Paper, to Scale
Now that you’ve decided what features you want and where you want them (and they will best work), it’s time to put your backyard layout on paper, to scale. It may make it easier to draw to scale if you use graph paper. Indicate where your house is, but dedicate most of the plan to laying out your various outdoor living space components.
Think about creating outdoor rooms or separate outdoor living spaces, and how you will delineate them. You can do this by changing elevation, or changing the flooring (pavers, tile, natural stone, for example.)
Consider Using an App Like iScape
There’s an app for everything, including creating the ideal backyard layout. iScape is just one example where you plug in measurements and information about what you want your outdoor living spaces to look like and what you want to include. It can give you a good idea of what your project will look like and what you will need to make it happen.
But be careful of apps. They’re not a substitute for an experienced outdoor living team. An app doesn’t make a site visit. To get the ideal backyard layout, you need a real person who takes precise measurements, checks for elevation changes, and discovers drainage issues, for example.
Related Reading: Do’s and Don’ts When Creating Your Dream Outdoor Living Spaces
4. Hire Professionals
Our best tip for achieving your ideal backyard layout and the finished product is to hire experienced professionals. You work hard, and you’re good at your job. But chances are that you don’t know everything about landscaping or hardscaping, and you don’t have the time, energy, or tools to turn your dreams into a reality.
Outdoor living contractors do.
Related Reading: How to Find the Best Landscape Contractors
Dream It. Build It. Live It.
If you truly want to achieve the ideal backyard layout that works for your family, it pays to work with professionals like the team here at LiveWell Outdoors. At our initial consultation, we listen to your ideas and desires. We then complete a site analysis that makes note of the unique features of your backyard. Then, we help guide you towards options that fulfill your needs and exceed your expectations – you’ll see the master plan in a full 3D Immersion Tour.
The final step is building your ideal backyard. Check out our Portfolio for examples of what we can do for you. Interested? Use the contact form to schedule a consultation, or call 301.720.1000. We work with owners of high-end homes who are seeking to design and build outdoor living spaces that do their homes justice. Our service includes the Capital region of Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia.