7 backyard renovation mistakes you can easily avoid

13 May, 2014

It's that time of year! Get outside and enjoy your haven out back with barbecues, picnics and a refreshing beverage. But if your backyard is a jungle of weeds and you have no place to set up your outdoor dining set, consider a renovation. However, before you roll up your sleeves and tackle that project, take a look at the most common backyard renovation mistakes, all of which you can avoid with the right tools and planning:

1. Starting without a plan
Before you begin any major project, you should always have a plan. Sketch out ideas or find pictures of inspiring yards to imitate. Take a look around your yard to determine the best placement for different plants, ornaments and outdoor furniture. Make sure you include inspiration from indoors so you can create a cohesive space that blends with your entire home design.

2. Focusing too much on the theme
While you might dream of a beautiful rock garden or a yard filled with decorative boulders, don't forget to make it family friendly. You don't want to get carried away with a theme and then realize you can't relax out back. Try making a list of everything you want out there and then figure out if it fits your whole family's needs.

3. Forgetting to light the way
Don't forget about lighting when drawing up plans for your backyard retreat. While you'll be doing the renovations during the day, you'll want to enjoy the fruit of your labor on warm summer evenings, and in that case, lighting is essential. You can opt for solar lights that require little maintenance but add real dimension and beauty to the yard at night.

4. Selecting oversized plants
It's just as important to pick the right size plant as it is to pay attention to the season in which it grows. Do your research to find out if the plants you choose tend to grow very big or require a lot of pruning. You don't want your bushes to take over your newly renovated space!

5. Clashing themes
When you are planning your new garden's theme, take into account your home's style too. You don't want to plan something that will clash with your house and look out of place. Try to match the architecture of your home with the layout of your yard. For example, if you are thinking of installing a deck, make sure it complements the facade rather than overpowering it.

6. Using the same kind of plant life
Remember to mix and match different kinds of plants in your yard, not only for the aesthetic effect. Certain plants need specific nutrients, and a yard full of the same kind of plant will drain the soil of those specific nutrients.

7. Choosing seasonal plants
It might be tempting to invest in plants and flowers that are in season now, but remember, you want to enjoy your yard all year round. Choose a mix of plants, some seasonal and some evergreen, to make sure your yard is blooming throughout every season.