4 Easy DIY Backyard Projects for Your New Home
Moving into a new home is always exciting–new location, new neighbors, and for craft fiends, some new home improvement projects. However, it can be tough to find time to complete such things even the most basic of landscaping tasks. Luckily, it’s easy to find time for some of these fun, simple DIY projects for your new home.
Here are a few simple DIY projects for the backyard of your new home.
1. Make a Compost Bin
A compost bin can be both attractive and functional. Contribute to the health of the planet–and the attractiveness and functionality of your backyard–by building one this summer.
There are several types of composts you can build. Select the method that works best for your composting needs, as well as for the amount of space available. Compost bins work to break down organic matter over time, meaning you can toss anything from coffee grounds to grass clippings to dead leaves in them.
Closed bin compost systems help to keep things neat and out of sight. These work well in more urbanized settings, or for those with little space. While you can buy these, they normally cost a couple hundred dollars. Alternatively, you can build an easy compost box by hooking five pallets together with zip ties (a roof and four walls) or by nailing together scrap boards. You can leave a pallet or set of boards off to have a more ventilated, open compost as well.
If you don’t have scrap wood hanging around, you can also use wire fencing or ventilated plastic bins. If you aren’t concerned about space, you can also dig a large hole in the ground and compost via “trench” system. Regardless of the system you choose, you should make sure it’s a fair distance from entryways to your home (they smell a bit at first). You’ll continue adding organic material to it until you’re ready to use the compost on your plants or in your garden.
2. Build a Verdant Oasis
Creating a garden in your backyard doesn’t have to be complicated. Flower and vegetable gardens add a certain flair to a new home that can’t be produced with anything else. Consider planting a few simple, easy to care for plants, or build a full-scale garden.
Raised flower beds are easy to construct and can be made out of inexpensive two-by-fours. Simply nail them together at the ends, fill with dirt, and plant your seeds. If you don’t have wood, you can also build a raised bed out of loose rocks (just keep in mind that they won’t hold dirt or water quite as well).
If you don’t have the time, energy, or space to devote to raised beds or full gardens, consider purchasing a few containers of various sizes and styles. Container gardens are popular in urban areas, and are growing in popularity everywhere because they allow you to transfer your funky,
eclectic style to your backyard as well. They provide maximum convenience and adaptability because you can change up the plants’ locations without having to disturb precious root systems. To do this, simply stack containers along the edges of your porch or patio, or create a cool design to add a new dimension to your bland backyard spaces.
3. Create a Relaxation Station
The most important feature of a backyard should be its ability to allow you to unwind. To do this, consider building an inexpensive patio or veranda that incorporates elements of the outdoors.
Build a firepit out of landscaping brick, patio pavers, or building stones by stacking them in a circle (or whatever shape fits your style) and surround the firepit with comfortable, weatherproof chairs. The firepit should be located on a level, isolated spot of your yard so that you aren’t at risk of catching any vegetation on fire.
Once your fire pit is built, don’t rush off to grab the marshmallows and graham crackers quite yet. Surround your fire pit with comfortable, weatherproof chairs, such as Adirondack chairs or ones made of wicker or teak. Consider adding fun accessories like a built-in bar (you can easily make one out of some scrap lumber and an old cooler) or a wooden pergola.
4. Design a Kid-Friendly Hang-Out
While store-bought playsets can be expensive, there are several quick, inexpensive moves you can make to transform your backyard into the place all the kids want to hang out. Use chalkboard paint to transform paving stones or a spare wall into a blank canvas for curious hands, or install a zip line from one tree to another for extra fun.
For more conventional DIY-ers, you might also consider hanging a tire or simple rope swing from a tree. Paint it a bright color to make it more attractive, if you prefer. If you don’t have a tire, you could even hang an old chair from a tree.
Don’t spend your summer indoors staring wistfully at your bare backyard. While it can be tough to find the time to incorporate new landscaping or complex backyard features, these simple additions will transform your backyard from blah to brilliant in just a few hours.
About the Author
Rebekah White is a freelance writer from upstate New York. She specializes in articles related to the outdoors, agriculture, and education.