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What Are the Best Tips for Backyard Makeovers?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 March 2014
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Most homeowners will cite the budget of backyard makeovers as the most important aspect of the projects, and while this is certainly important, it is equally important to remember that the design choices made will have an effect on the long-term cost of the backyard. Choosing the correct materials and laying out these materials correctly will end up saving money in the long term, even if it costs more up front. Backyard makeovers should be planned carefully before the first stone is moved, and a careful budget should be laid out.

Before any materials are purchased or decisions are made about landscaping and structures, the best first steps for backyard makeovers are careful measurements of the space. This means measuring the perimeter, the individual areas of the yard that may be altered, and the distance between structures and property boundaries. It is important to respect property boundaries to ensure neighbors are satisfied and laws are adhered to. Structures cannot be built within a certain distance of property boundaries, so it will be important to know local laws and regulations before backyard makeovers are begin. If building permits are necessary, these should be secured ahead of time to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.

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Planting a garden is a great way to accent the beauty of a space, but it is very important to consider which plants will thrive in the backyard space. Some backyard makeovers may end up looking quite shabby after a short period of time if plants do not thrive in the yard. Some regions, such as the desert southwest in the United States, do not have adequate water supplies, which means landscaping must often be done with plants that are hearty and used to the desert climate. Xeriscapes are great ways to increase the beauty of a backyard without necessitating artificial water sources such as hoses or sprinklers. They focus on available water supplies and feature plants that do not require significant amounts of water to begin with.

Structures such as decks and gazebos can accent a yard and make it a more functional space. The materials used for construction of such structures should be chosen carefully; hardwoods or pressure-treated woods are best, since they tend to be durable and resistant to moisture damage. Softwoods will warp and crack or rot more quickly, and they will require more maintenance than hardwoods and pressure-treated options.

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