It may not be a sure thing that you’ll get a refund on your taxes this year, but one fact is certain – the spring season brings you one step closer to summertime leisure and outdoor fun. If you’re handy around the house, and you’re lucky enough to have that extra cash coming your way, it’s the perfect excuse to jump into a backyard DIY project. Here are some ideas to get your wheels turning.
As long as you’re up for a bit of masonry work, you can put together a component to your outdoor kitchen that will really kick things up a notch when entertaining. Who doesn’t love fresh, crispy, brick-oven pizza? And what better way for you and your guests to enjoy a piping hot slice than in the great outdoors, under a canopy of stars?
The keys to success with this project are having a base that is solid enough to serve as a sturdy foundation and allowing the right amount of time during the various stages of the process to allow for proper curing. With some heavy lifting, careful adherence to manufacturer’s instructions and a touch of patience, you’ll be sinking your teeth into an alfresco-prepared pie before you know it.
Major Components Needed: Concrete mix, cinderblocks, plywood, rebar, bricks or tile, stucco, oven kit.
The peacefulness of even the smallest of ponds is the perfect addition to a backyard oasis. There are a number of terrific features to choose from, including waterfalls and fountains that produce the pleasant sound of trickling water, fish for even more visual appeal, or the addition of certain plants and flowers that will attract more wildlife such as frogs and birds.
Try not to be intimidated by the process – the project can be as simple or as complex as you choose to make it. What’s important to remember when selecting the location is to take into consideration its accessibility and viewability factors. Lay out the desired size and shape of the pond with a garden hose, rope or even a trail of sand so you can step back and assess what you are envisioning before you get to digging.
Major Components Needed: Stone, sand, gravel or crushed stone, rock sealant, submersible pump, rubber liner. (A pond kit will include several of these items, including instructions to guide you along.)
When friends and family are gathered for some quality time together, a little lively competition goes a long way. A classic game like horseshoes can be enjoyed in the convenience of your own backyard and with some panache when you apply some imagination, know-how and a touch of elbow grease.
In order to do it up right, consider incorporating special features like backstops to make the arena more “official,” retaining walls that separate the area as a designated gaming spot and bordering landscaping that will dress it up. Of course, with horseshoes, you’re setting up two mirror-image pits, so you’ll need to keep that in mind when planning out both your location and your expenses.
Major Components Needed: Sand, gravel, treated lumber and brick or stone if you plan to get a little fancy. (A horseshoe set will include stakes, or you can use rebar just as effectively.)
The arrival of more pleasant temperatures and the bonus money in your wallet give you just the incentive you need to get going on these fun backyard projects!