A backyard renovation can turn a seldom used outdoor space into a usable and attractive area that can accommodate parties, relaxation, or activities, but before a homeowner goes ahead with any renovation projects, it is important to determine a budget. Large-scale backyard renovation projects can become very expensive very quickly, so the homeowner should determine which parts of the project are priorities and what parts can wait. It may be wise to consult a professional landscaper and/or carpenter to get an idea of how much work will be necessary and how much that work will cost.
Once a budget has been determined, the homeowner should begin to map out the yard on a piece of paper. It is a good idea to take careful and accurate measurements of the entire backyard, as well as specific areas of the yard, before the planning for the backyard renovation begins. This will help determine where certain plants, structures, or other items can be built comfortably. The homeowner should also obtain plans for the house from the city or town to ensure that property boundaries are respected during the backyard renovation. Local laws and regulations may dictate how close to a property boundary structures can be built, so this information should also be obtained prior to the beginning of the project.
Plants such as flowers, vegetables and fruits, and other decorative or functional plant life will likely be purchased and planted during a backyard renovation. It is vital that the homeowner do thorough research into local growing seasons as well as which plants are likely to thrive in a particular climate. The growing characteristics of the plants will also dictate where they should be positioned in the yard and how much care they will need. Some vines, for example, will need a structure to climb, such as a fence or a wall. Other plants may need adequate shade or significant amounts of sunlight. The yard should be planned in such a way that available light or shade is taken advantage of.
A good balance between living spaces and aesthetic spaces will be necessary. Brick courtyards look very nice, but they should be accented with gardens, lawns, xeriscapes, or other features that will give guests plenty to look at. Remember that too many features can clutter a space and make it look sloppy and uncomfortable, while too few features can make the yard seem austere or overly large. Try to find a balance that suits the size of the yard.