Ideas for Remodeling the Backyard

If you’re thinking about doing some home remodeling in Northern Colorado, you may have plans for your kitchen, your bathrooms, your living room, and other parts of the interior of your home. But have you considered remodeling the backyard?

This space is often left as-is, even though the layout or looks may not be exactly what you want. Remodeling your backyard involves a number of different tasks but in the end, it’s no different from remodeling any other part of your home.

You need to approach it with a plan, a budget, and an idea of exactly what you want to do. If you’re not certain how to begin this project, here are a few backyard remodeling ideas you can take inspiration from.

Make Your Backyard Functional

What do you plan to do in your backyard? The answer to this question will determine where you go with your remodel. If it’s a space for your kids to play or your dog to run, you will likely want to keep most of the yard as grass. You may even want to remove some flowerbeds or sidewalks to increase the space.

However, if you know you plan on spending some time outdoors with other adults or are going to be doing a lot of grilling, you may need a good amount of patio space.

brick pavers in the backyard

The first thing you may want to determine is whether or not you need to change your patio. If you currently have a cement patio, you can’t easily make it smaller. However, you can enlarge it in a few different ways. You could pour more cement to increase its size, or you could add pavers around the outside of the patio.

If you don’t have a patio at all, pavers are a good way of creating one. These stones come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, so you can be creative with the space. Even better, they’re very easy to install, and a paver patio isn’t permanent. You can remove pavers later, change one out if it cracks, or enlarge your patio whenever you want.

Even though a paver patio isn’t as permanent as a cement one, it is just as durable. You’ll fill the spaces with a special type of polymeric sand to keep weeds from growing up into your patio, and the pavers can handle the weather, getting wet, and being used regularly. You can even build a firepit out of the same pavers.

Create the Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen

If you do a lot of grilling, you may want to focus your backyard remodel around an outdoor kitchen. There are a number of different options here. You can keep your remodel on the simple side and create a nice patio or deck space for your grill.

You can get a small gazebo, pergola, or other covering for the area so you can cook without getting sunburnt, plus this cover will protect your grill.

outdoor kitchen in backyard remodel

However, if you really want to impress others you can create an outdoor kitchen. This kitchen will include your grill or another type of cooktop, a permanent cover, counters for food prep, a sink, and a small refrigerator. You can even add extras like a wine cooler.

The structure around your kitchen can be made from wood, rock, or other materials that integrate the kitchen into your patio. These outdoor cook areas are permanent additions, unlike a gazebo or other structure you might put up for the simple grilling area option.

Add a Fire Pit or Fireplace

Many outdoor space ideas include a fire pit or outdoor fireplace, and there are several reasons why these additions are so popular. First, they add light.

You will still likely want to add string lights and other lighting options in some places, but your fireplace or fire pit can serve as the anchoring light that everything else is orientated around.

That’s the second reason to add a fire pit to your backyard: it becomes the focal point. People sit around it, and it tends to be in the middle of the space. An outdoor fireplace can also serve the same function, although typically it’s situated off to the side of the space.

However, since you will build a chimney for it, your outdoor fireplace often has more of a presence and a pleasing aesthetic to it. 

backyard renovation with firepit and outdoor seating space

Both options give you light, heat, and a great place to roast marshmallows and other treats. You can buy a firepit, of course, but you can also build one out of pavers or simply make a circle of stones or bricks. It all depends on what look you’re going for and how permanent you want the firepit.

Add a Water Feature

If you don’t want to go with a firepit, how about a water feature? You can add a pond or even a little stream that winds its way through your backyard.

A fountain is another great option. It all depends on what role you want your water feature to play in your new backyard. If you want it to be the center of the space, a fountain will certainly draw attention.

water fountain as part of a backyard remodel

If you want to create more of a peaceful retreat, a small pond may be the better option. It depends on what the goal of your backyard remodel is.

Add a Pergola or Gazebo

Structures can be a great addition to your backyard and give you something of an outdoor living space. A pergola addition creates a defined area that can be open on all sides or separated off with shades.

A gazebo, especially a traditional round shape with a roof, can act as the center of your backyard. It’s something you plan everything else around, while a pergola may be an addition that sits off to the side or is situated up next to your house.

This is another area where you can decide how much or how little you want to change about your backyard. If you want to primarily focus on nature and being outdoors, a simple pergola or gazebo will do that for you.

backyard renovations with pergola, fire-pit, and shed

It will give you a defined space to sit and add some structure to the space, but it won’t do more than that. On the other hand, if you want to create an outdoor living area, you can add shades, a roof, and even a floor to the area.

You can install lights, mount an outdoor television to one side, and put more comfortable outdoor patio furniture in the space. When paired with an outdoor kitchen or bar area, this can become everything from an outdoor family area to a man cave.

Put in a Pool

One of the major reasons people remodel their backyard is to add a pool. There are many advantages to having a pool, especially if you live in an area with really hot summers. Pool parties can be a lot of fun, and if you have kids, they will likely love having their own private pool to swim in whenever they want.

Of course, adding a pool does bring with it some concerns. You do lose a large amount of green space, and in some smaller yards, you may not have any space left for grass, flowers, and trees.

swimming pool renovation in the backyard

There are safety concerns, too, and you may have to add a fence or other safety features to be compliant with various regulations or insurance requirements.

Permanent vs Temporary Additions

When considering your various backyard landscaping ideas, one thing to look at is permanent versus temporary additions. This is important because it will determine how easy it is to do another remodel in the future, plus permanent structures become a part of the property.

If you add a storage shed or install a large gazebo and later decide to move, potential buyers may expect those additions to stay with the home. Of course, these additions can add value to the property and make it easier to sell, so you do need to keep that in mind, too.

If you do want to add a structure such as a shed to your backyard as a part of your remodel, take into account its size and how it will be situated in your backyard before you do anything. Measure out the space using small stakes and twine to get a feel for how the shed’s footprint will impact your yard.

Remember to consider its height, too, and how it may block the sun from getting to parts of your yard during some parts of the day. This may especially be a concern if you’re looking at sheds that are two stories tall or have an extra-high roof.

Take These Ideas and Create a Plan

Now that you’ve got some ideas, it’s time to decide how you want to remodel your backyard. Whether you’re thinking of doing something major like adding a pool or completely tearing up the patio or you want to do something smaller along the lines of some new plants and a firepit, you want to start with a plan.

Determine what you want from your backyard, decide the best way to remodel it so that it meets those needs, and make it happen!