We often think of landscaping as a way to add beauty or monetary value to our homes. But our landscaping should also add enjoyment to our lives. Whether you prefer a game of touch football with your cousins on a  vast green lawn, or relaxing on a shady patio is more your style, always remember that your outdoor space is meant to be enjoyed!

Having said that, you probably think you’ve envisioned all the ways in which you can utilize your outdoor space. But have you ever considered building a giant chess chessboard on your lawn?  Yes, it sounds like something indulgent, 18’th-century French royals would enjoy, but outdoor chessboards are popping up all over. This type of recreation is growing in popularity, from Long Island housing developments to school playgrounds in Scotland!

It might sound like a complicated project, but building an outdoor chess board isn’t really all that difficult. Keep in mind that you need a large, flat space, and that a chessboard consists of 8 rows of 8 squares, for a total of 64 squares on the board. The first decision you need to make is the size of each square. Typically these will be 2×2 or 3×3, depending upon how much room you have in your yard.

You will need to choose two colors, so that your squares alternate with one another. This is where you can get really creative. Do you want an all-concrete chess board? If so, you can just mark off and dye pour the concrete in two different colors, and you’re finished. You will probably want to choose colors that complement your home’s exterior. Or, you might want to use a combination of artificial turf and concrete, or two different colors of artificial turf. Some people choose to fill each square with colored pebbles (but keep in mind the pebbles may get knocked around during play). The choice is yours, depending upon the look you hope to achieve.

First you will measure the perimeter of the board and stake the corners. Then, the next part is extremely important and requires a bit of geometry. Start at one corner of the board, and start marking off your rows of squares. Remember to make sure each corner is perfectly square, or you will throw off your entire chessboard. Once you have perfectly marked off your squares, you are ready to install the board material of your choice. If you chose concrete as your material, make sure to mix the color into the concrete completely before pouring it. This will help you achieve a much more durable and rich color.

Finally, you will need giant chess pieces. This sounds like a bizarre and hard-to-find purchase, but you can actually purchase them online via Amazon.com!

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