Ever gaze out of your window into your backyard and wish that you could magically wave your hand and change the look of your whole backyard? Well, you’re most probably not the only one. The backyard is typically one of the most neglected parts of our homes and in large part because of its size, remodeling and improving it can seem like a time and cost-intensive task; one so daunting that it creates so much inertia that we can barely bring ourselves to even get started in the first place.
Fortunately for you, in this article we will be going over a few unique ideas that you can undertake to totally change the look of your backyard; with much less investment than you would think! Let’s get started.
Rope Lighting for an Otherworldly Effect
Want to make your backyard look more like something out of a sci-fi movie? Try rope lighting! Easily available online (and rather cheaply too, we might add) this waterproof lights are great for illuminating the boundaries of your garden or backyard for an effect that looks especially outstanding, particularly in the darker winter months.
Mirrors and the Illusion of Space
Let’s use some magic to make your backyard appear larger; with mirrors! Just like how painting a room white makes it seem larger, adding mirrors (like they do in hotel rooms) are a great way to make your backyard seem much larger than it really is. What you want to do is place mirrors at strategic location on your fences facing toward the backyard. We recommend getting old ‘window-sill’ style mirrors instead of the modern kind, which look better indoors.
Build a Swing
What better way to change the look of your backyard than by having more people hang out in it all the time! Adding life is the ultimate improvement. You can easily purchase a swing online or simply build your own using some supplies from your local hardware store. If you aren’t too handy though, please consult a professional as the last thing you want is your kid or some other kid getting hurt from a swing that detaches itself mid-swing!
Build a Chicken Coop
Speaking of adding life to your backyard, why not add the kind of life to your backyard that can literally feed you and your family (as it is not the best idea to eat children). Join the ‘urban farming’ movement, which will benefit not just your family but the environment as well. We’re talking about raising backyard chickens for eggs and possibly meat, and not the antibiotic and hormone-laden kind you find in the supermarket either. Of course, your chickens will need a place to stay and that place is the chicken coop.
Whether you decide to build your own chicken coop from scratch, or buy a pre-assembled one off the Internet, it is imperative that you understand the key characteristics each chicken coop must have. Check out these useful plans for chicken coops which will guide you and teach you everything you need to know about building a coop.
- Sufficient Room – No one likes living in cramped conditions and chickens are no different. Depending on the size of your selected chicken breed, each chicken will need anywhere from 2 to 4 square feet of indoor coop space. And before you build a ‘McMansion’ chicken coop that takes up so much space, remember that chickens need outdoor ‘run’ space as well: 6 to 12 square feet per chicken in fact.
- Predator Protection – If anything’s going to be eating your chickens, let’s make sure it’s a human. Surround your chicken coop with chicken wire or hardware cloth to keep out hungry foxes, coyotes, dogs, weasels, and minks. And some of these predators can burrow underground too so make sure your chicken wire or hardware cloth is not just above ground.
- Climate Control – While chickens have no need of air-conditioning or external heating (with some exceptions), they will always need sufficient ventilation. Without proper ventilation, ammonia gas builds up and may cause health problems. Plus, it stinks. Place at least one ventilation panel on each wall and the roof. And as for external heating, chicken feathers are more than enough unless you live in a really cold area, with ‘really cold’ specifically meaning US Hardiness Zones 2 or under.
- Convenience – This point has nothing to do with the health and safety of the chickens and everything to do with you; their caretaker. The easier your chicken coop is to manage, the higher your motivation and thus the higher the chances of raising a successful flock. Design your chicken coop for maximum convenience (raised floor, human-specific entryway are two basics we recommend) plus invest in accessories that will make maintenance easier such as hanging feeders and automatic water dispensers.