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5 Big Mistakes Homeowners Make with Their Backyards

Backyard Into an Oasis

Many homeowners encounter common pitfalls when designing or maintaining their backyard spaces. But with a few simple principles and a roadmap for backyard design and maintenance best practices, any homeowner can avoid these problems and end up with their own little oasis that brings the entire family joy.

Don’t Make These Big Mistakes

Every situation is unique. You’re going to face your own specific challenges and opportunities based on your budget, existing features on your property, your skill level, and your expectations/plans for what you want your backyard to look like. 

Having said that, there are several big mistakes that homeowners often make, regardless of the circumstantial factors involved. Here are a few of those:

  • Poor Layout and Planning

One of the biggest mistakes with backyards is inadequate planning when it comes to the layout and design. In a lot of cases, people will haphazardly approach a backyard buildout and just sort of take on random projects here and there, which results in a disjointed and sloppy look. 

If you’re serious about your backyard, you have to take the time to plan your layout and think about the flow of things. What’s your ultimate vision for the backyard? Do you have a cohesive look that you’re aiming for? Is the purpose to have a functional backyard for kids to enjoy, or is it more of an adult space for relaxing? Or maybe you’re trying to turn it into ‘party central’ for amazing backyard get-togethers? There’s no right or wrong answer. The mistake is not being clear on this upfront, which results in a poor layout and inadequate planning.

  • Overcomplicated Designs

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are people who do too much planning to the point that the end design becomes overly complicated and difficult to realistically execute on. 

This is often the case with homeowners who have a ‘Type A’ personality. They feel very convicted about the specific type of design they want – and include tons of detail – but it becomes unrealistic to actually follow the plan. As a result, there are huge delays and very little movement happens. Once everything is executed, the backyard often feels very cramped and busy, which usually isn’t the ambiance homeowners want.

  • No Functional Zones

Most people have a bunch of random ideas for their backyard and then attempt to mesh them all together. The problem is, that they don’t usually fit together. The best way to design a backyard is to design with functional zones in mind.

Functional zones are dedicated spaces where there’s a specific purpose. For example, you might have an outdoor kitchen (which would be its own zone). Then you might have an outdoor sitting area, a poolside area, a kid-friendly area, etc. 

  • Lack of Maintenance

You can have the best backyard design in the world. It can look like it’s ready for a magazine photoshoot when the landscapers and contractors are finished. But if you don’t commit to the right maintenance and ongoing upkeep, it’s going to quickly devolve into an eyesore. 

Maintenance is vital for the overall health and well-being of your backyard. Neglecting routine upkeep can make it extremely challenging to maintain a clean look. If you take things little by little and do the daily/weekly tasks that you need to do to stay on top of landscaping and keeping your backyard under control, it’s not a big deal. Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring the maintenance out, create a schedule and commit to it!

  • Not Accounting for Weather and Climate

Your backyard design should be intentionally designed with the climate and weather conditions of your region in mind. Failing to consider these factors can result in poor choices for plants, materials, and even the overall design. 

Research the climate in your area and choose plants that thrive in your specific conditions. Also, be sure to invest in outdoor furniture and materials that can withstand the elements, which will make sure your backyard stays functional and attractive year-round.

Turn Your Backyard Into an Oasis

You deserve to have the backyard of your dreams – a private paradise where you can relax and rejuvenate but also have fun and entertain. And while every property will face unique challenges, restrictions, and resources, avoiding the aforementioned mistakes will give you an advantage moving forward. 

Get educated, do your due diligence, and be proactive with your planning!