10-Step Process for Planning a Backyard Renovation
September 18th, 2019
Imagine a sunny fall afternoon at home: you head out to your backyard garden to see how your tomatoes are growing. Then you head up to the covered patio to enjoy an iced tea, taking in the scenery and enjoying your outdoor oasis. When your backyard is functional, beautiful, and ideal for your family, you get to embrace outdoor living and make beautiful memories together.
At Paddy O’ Furniture, we make it easy to put the finishing touches on a backyard renovation with our wide selection of high-quality furniture and accessories. When you’re ready to shop, stop in and see us or browse online for inspiration and ideas.
Get ready to embrace life outdoors. Here’s how to execute a backyard renovation.
- Dream up your vision
- Weed out what’s not possible logistically or financially
- Think ahead to anything you can get done while your backyard is dug up (Future outdoor kitchen, perhaps? Install plumbing while you’re digging now.)
- Establish relationships with professionals (Will you need a general contractor or will you outsource everything yourself?)
- Follow rules and regulations
- Plan and design the layout
- Schedule demo and installations
- Shop for furniture and accessories
- Watch your vision come to life and adapt to any changes
- Kick up your feet and enjoy your new yard
Whether literally or figuratively, your backyard is a blank slate. Think about three years from now: how do you envision you and your family using your outdoor space? Are there kids playing games in a large grass area? Do you hear the sounds of wind chimes blowing in big beautiful trees? Is there a walkway leading to a covered dining area complete with an outdoor kitchen?
Imagine your dream space. Document your vision verbally and in writing so you can mull it over and refer to it often. It’s difficult to start planning a renovation without a vision in mind, which is why this start is so crucial. Don’t skip the dreaming phase, or else you’ll have a hard time communicating what you want.
Next Steps: What’s Possible
Now that you have an idea of what you’re looking for in your backyard renovation, it’s time to figure out what’s feasible. Things like plumbing, foundation, and the size of your yard may be roadblocks to achieving your vision. This is when you may have to start thinking about any ideas that are so grand that they may not be possible.
Additionally, what’s possible might not equate to what’s affordable. At this point, start pulling together your budget for this project. Putting numbers down on paper will help you weed out some wish list items that can wait a few years, and will also help you determine your non-negotiables, those items that you don’t want to forego for cost or other reasons.
If you’ll be planning your renovation in phases–say, you’re doing some projects this year and then hoping to do part two in a few years–think ahead to anything you may want to do now that will benefit your backyard renovation years from now. For example, if you want to eventually install an outdoor kitchen, but don’t have it in the budget to do it now, consider getting the plumbing installed now. If your backyard will be dug up anyway, it’s a good idea to think ahead and complete any projects that might require you to dig up the yard again in the future.
Establish Relationships with Professionals
One of the first decisions you should make is whether you’ll hire a general contractor. If it’s your first major home project, it might not be a bad idea. A contractor acts as the point person for all the little projects that come together to create this big project. They’ll schedule installations and work with their network to bring your vision to life. If you have experience with home renovations, you can act as your own contractor and outsource each project yourself.
Follow Rules and Regulations
Depending on where you live and the type of renovation you’re doing, you may need to obtain a permit. Installing a fence, changing the roofline, parking a dumpster on the street, plumbing and landscaping are all things that most likely will require a permit. You can reach out to your local permit office anonymously to get more information.
It’s also important to know the rules of your specific community. If you have an HOA, they may require you to submit plans for approval.
Plan and Design the Layout
By now, you’ve received your permits and likely made some down payments. This is the step when it starts to get real. Working with your contractor and other professionals, the next phase is to plan and design the layout of your backyard. While it’s not required that you have to sketch out your plan, this is something that you should require of your contractor. You want to be able to visually see the end result so you can make changes and ask questions.
Schedule Demo and Installations
Once the design is approved and ready for action, you can start scheduling any demolition and installations that need to happen. Work with your contractor to be sure you’re scheduling each sub-project in the correct order. For example, some projects may be more effective if the demolition is done after the new installation is complete. This step requires a lot of coordination, which is why it’s helpful to have a contractor who can act as the project manager.
Shop for Furniture and Accessories
As your backyard renovation is taking place, shopping for furniture and accessories is a great way to take a break from the logistics and build some excitement for the finished project. You’re spending time and money on the backyard of your dreams, so it’s important to shop somewhere like Paddy O’ Furniture that offers a wide selection of exceptionally valued furniture built with high-quality materials that last.
Head into the store with an idea of what you’re looking for, but know that design experts are there to assist you. The nice thing about shopping for a complete renovation is that you already have a plan for the function of your yard. Each individual space has already been defined. This makes it easy to know what to shop for, including dining tables, sofa lounges, pool loungers, fire pits and more.
It All Comes Together
The only thing left to do is to watch your vision come to life and adapt to any changes that may come up (chances are they will). Whether it takes weeks or months, the anticipation of your new outdoor space is an exciting feeling. If you’ve been in the weeds dealing with details and logistics, knowing that the project is temporary will help you get through. When your renovation is complete you can kick up your feet on your new wicker sofa and enjoy the view.