Top Eight Ways To Create A Backyard Retreat

If cabin fever has taken over your household, jumpstart your plans to create a new summer hangout you can enjoy in your own backyard. Overhaul your home’s outdoor space to create a quiet escape, an entertaining hub, or a kid’s corner, while increasing your home’s value. According to the Remodeling Cost Vs. Value report (, a mid-range composite deck addition* costs $15,437 and you can recoup 74.3% of the cost during resale. These eight outdoor remodeling tips will help you build your own backyard retreat.

1. Create an outdoor living space

Upgrade a traditional patio by creating an outdoor living area you can enjoy during the warmer months. Add a pergola or awning to keep out inclement weather and add definition to your space; build a fireplace to create a focal point; and include weatherproof pillows and outdoor lighting for comfort and ambiance.


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2. Perfect your backyard barbeque

An outdoor kitchen will add value to your home and will let you cook while enjoying the outdoor weather with friends and family. Use outdoor-specific appliances (stainless steel sink, outdoor refrigerator, and cement or stainless steel counter) that won’t rust during rain or snow. If you like to entertain, add a bar area to keep the party going at home. Bonus: Your kitchen will stay cleaner by keeping the cooking mess outdoors.


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3. Update your landscaping

Landscaping can be a cost effective way to aesthetically refresh your backyard space. Celebrate your region by using local plants and flowers that will flourish with the already established landscape. Before you begin, work with your landscaper so they understand your commitment to gardening (and how green your thumbs are). Build a shed to serve as a central gardening hub and to keep you organized.


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4. Kids’ corner

Whether you’re a new parent or a grandparent, giving the kids a designated space will let them enjoy the backyard alongside the adults. For a nostalgic wow factor, consider building a sturdy tree house so the kids have a private retreat.


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5. Take advantage of your space

If your backyard is short on space, consider brick pavers or decking material in lieu of grass to create a low maintenance, functional option that lets you make the most of your limited area. For more greenery, consider adding a trellis for herbs or flowers. The vertical design takes up less room than traditional planters and offers the luxury of growing your own produce.


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6. Head to the roof

If you are a city dweller, remodeling your rooftop deck is a great way to maximize outdoor space when square footage is limited. Install grass or all-weather flooring, a sitting or dining area with outdoor furniture and a small bar area to cut back on trips downstairs.


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7. Add high-tech features

If you like to entertain, all-weather technology elements could be a worthwhile investment. Implement a speaker system on the yard’s perimeter for guests to enjoy during a barbeque or outdoor movie night. Position a TV near your outdoor seating area so you can host at-home tailgates and extend the life of your backyard’s season.


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Need some ideas on how you can boost the value of your indoor kitchen? Read our Kitchen Remodeling Dos and Don’ts here.

*According to the 2014 Remodeling Cost Vs. Value report (, a midrange composite deck addition includes: “Add a 16-by-20-foot deck using pressure-treated joists supported by 4×4 posts anchored to concrete piers. Install composite deck material in a simple linear pattern. Include a built-in bench and planter of the same decking material. Include stairs, assuming three steps to grade. Provide a complete railing using a matching system made of the same composite as the decking material.”


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