With these DIY projects, it’s easy to turn a bland outdoor space into an extension of your home you’ll never want to leave. Read on for ways to achieve your very own backyard oasis.
DIY a Low Maintenance Water Feature
If a water feature you can assemble in a day is more your speed, this is the project for you. This fountain is designed around a stone from which the water will flow out of into a gravel-filled reservoir below, and circulate back up through the rock with the help of a pump. You can either look for a rock, that comes pre-drilled, at local stone suppliers, or you can drill a hole through it yourself with a rotary hammer drill. Best of all, this water feature requires very little maintenance because it was designed to not require a collection pond. Locating it out of the sun reduces algae growth, keeping the water fresher. To learn everything you need to know to build this fountain, click here.
Make a Grill Gazebo
Nothing says summer like firing up the grill with friends and family. This ‘grillzebo’ allows you to keep an eye on the grill without leaving your guests; with ample room for seating, your guests will be comfortable and cool while you flip the burgers. It only takes a weekend to build this structure, and if you use Western red cedar like we did, it will last for years with a little upkeep. Plus, it’s designed to fit most standard grills while also being small enough to fit on existing patios. You can customize it to your liking with room for coolers, storage and dishes. Read the full how-to here.
Build a Pergola
Kick your outdoor space up a notch with the addition of an elegant, vine-covered pergola. This project will keep you and your guests cool while creating a relaxing spot to spend hot summer days. Building the pergola on top of your existing patio will reduce the cost and simplify the labor involved. And building it unattached to your house relieves the headache of matching up the new structure with the eaves of the house and moving any existing gutters. To make the project even easier, we used durable, hollow-core composite columns, which slip right over treated 4×4 posts embedded in concrete. If you’re ready to take on this project, head over here for the full step-by-step.
Construct a Patio Privacy Screen
There’s a time and place to fraternize with the neighbors, and that time isn’t necessarily when you’re trying to kick back and enjoy a little quiet time on the patio. We built an airy, attractive screen that serves as the perfect solution to achieving a little outdoor privacy for homes a bit too close for comfort to the neighbors. Plus, its unique look will enhance any yard. While it may look like a big project to tackle, most of the work is cutting boards to length and screwing them together. It measures 12 ft. long and 7 ft. tall at its highest point, but it’s easy to adapt it to your yard. All the steps you need to construct this handsome outdoor privacy screen are here.
Create a Gathering Space Around a Fire Pit
A fire pit is an upgrade that can be enjoyed by the whole family, whether it’s rounding out a barbecue or fired up specially to make a batch of s’mores. Skip the store-bought models, which are often flimsy; for about the same price, you can DIY your own masonry version. It’s easy to clean out, maintenance-free, and long-lasting. A project such as this also serves as the perfect introduction to masonry. While it will require a few days of work, much of that is setting time for the footing and mortar. Before getting started, check fire pit codes in your area; they may require the fire pit to be a certain number of feet away from any structures or overhanging trees. Click for the full set of instructions.
Build a Water Garden Stream
If you’ve always dreamed of hearing the sound of moving water from your property, we’ve got the project for you. It’s possible to create a pond and babbling brook in your own yard using preformed shells, simplifying the project without compromising on sound effects. By using two preformed shells, one positioned a few inches higher than the other, and a pump, filter and hose, water can flow seamlessly and continuously from one and into the other. Once you’ve completed the project and it’s filled with fresh water–we’ll show you the whole step-by-step here–you can begin to fill in your new landscape feature with plants and aquatic wildlife.
Add Seating with a DIY Wooden Bench
For large outdoor gatherings, copious seating is a necessity. This outdoor couch can fit several adults, and oversized arm rests act as end tables for drinks. Before getting started, you’ll want to pick up the cushions for the couch first; depending on their size, you can make any adjustments to the cut list necessary for the perfect fit. Once you have the cushions, all the materials you need can be found at local home centers. We used treated lumber, but you can splurge for a naturally rot-resistant wood like cedar or cypress. We’ve got the full plans here.