While coronavirus restrictions are easing up in varying levels across the nation, one thing remains certain: life will not be back to normal for the foreseeable future.
With “safer-at-home” restrictions, at a minimum, likely to extend into the summer and beyond, those warm-weather getaways will likely have to wait until 2021.
However, just because you are staying at home does not mean that you have to forego summer altogether, as there are a number of creative design ideas you can implement to make your backyard a vacation in and of itself.
Build a Deck
Not only does building a deck increase the resale value of your property, but it gives you a sense of “home” outside of your home, providing a place for your grill, picnic table, and outdoor easy chairs to tie together in a natural environment.
When building your deck, one nifty idea is to install a pass-through window to your kitchen to facilitate those epic grilling sessions and by blending your deck seamlessly with your roof and siding colors, you can create an aesthetic appeal that makes you never want to leave your backyard–quarantine or not.
Install a Swimming Pool
Is it really summer if there is no water?
The life of cold beverages, bathing suits, and hours in the sun will be a pleasure foregone in 2020 for many Americans, with beaches and public pools unlikely to be reopened in time for summer.
If you are not willing to pass the warmer months on dry land, then it may be time to take the plunge and invest in a pool. While the overall resale value a pool adds to your home remains debatable, the entertainment alone may be worth the investment given the heavy use it will see due to the quarantine–especially if you have kids.
What’s more, the extensive maintenance and swamping concerns many homeowners ponder when looking at adding a pool can be mitigated by exploring permeable paving options, allowing you to splash away without having to worry about backyard puddles.
The struggle is real when you just want to be outside on a beautiful summer Saturday, but you are thoroughly tired of applying and reapplying sunscreen. You need some shade so you can kick back, relax, and maybe even drift off for a little nap without having to worry about getting burnt to a crisp.
Luckily, there are a number of stylish pergola designs to cover your backyard deck or patio area, providing some much needed shelter from the sun. In addition to the shade they provide, these structures are a near necessity if you have an outdoor kitchen or any other appliance that has limited mobility and may be damaged in a rainstorm.
You may also want to consider adding some large plants along the periphery of your backyard. Not only will these help in providing shade, but they will also add an increased sense of privacy.
Make a Fire Pit
Another staple of summertime lore is gathering around a campfire with a large group of friends and telling stories until the wee hours of the morning.
While safer at home considerations may have postponed that trip to the mountains, there is no reason you can’t still capture that sense of community wrought by a fire with your family in the backyard.
The big consideration with a fire pit is that it be placed strategically with respect to your home and deck to prevent any hazards. It should also be self-contained, with stone, cinder blocks, and bricks making for excellent fire pit floors and walls to allow for burning without the threat of the fire spreading.
Mandy Lee is a contributor to Innovative Construction Materials. She is a blogger and content writer for the building materials industry. Mandy is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that increase property value, maximize energy savings, and turn houses into homes.