Backyards have truly become an extension of the home. When properly planned and landscaped, your backyard can provide additional space for recreation and entertaining guests. You’ll enjoy your home more, and add monetary value to the property as well. But before you jump into adding recreational space to your yard, it’s best to do a little planning first. Ask yourself these questions to get started:

How much space do I have? This seems like an obvious consideration, but it’s common to get carried away dreaming! Remember to leave room for future inspiration as well, because your recreational needs may change later.

What type of gatherings do I picture holding in the yard? There is obviously a big difference between backyard birthday parties for the kids, and adults-only barbecues. Most people want their backyard spaces to be multi-functional, so plan on room for both adult gatherings and kid-friendly parties. Adults need a space to hang out and watch the kids, such as a patio and seating area. Kids, of course, would prefer swing sets, slides, and other play equipment. All age groups might enjoy a pool, mini golf course, or volleyball court.

How old are the kids? What will they enjoy the most now, and later? If your children are toddlers, they have many years ahead of them to enjoy a swing set or sandbox. But older kids may quickly outgrow such play spaces. Plan ahead, and leave room for things like a trampoline area or bocce ball court.

Think of the elements. When designing your recreational space, remember to account for sun exposure. You don’t want small children playing for hours in direct sunlight, so plant a large canopied shade tree by the play equipment. It is best to place the play equipment outside of a window visible from the kitchen. This makes it much easier for mom or dad to keep an eye on the children while preparing dinner.

Remember safety comes first. This is especially true for small children. Many parents make the mistake of placing swing sets and trampolines in an un-landscaped area. Since falls do happen, consider first putting down mulch or sand in these areas. Also remember to fence in your pool area, and install a childproof lock for the gate.

We have experience with installing many different types of recreational spaces. Give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help you design the backyard of your dreams.

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