Having a manufactured home doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a pleasant outdoor living area! In fact, it’s easy to design and build a spacious retreat of your very own, even if you’re building your outdoor entertaining area on a budget.
With these few steps, tackling this project in stages will be a simple, fulfilling process that will give you years of enjoyment.
1. Mark off the space that you’re working with
It may not seem like it now, but looking at your backyard with no sense of scale or dimension can feel like Noah looking at a bunch of trees before building the ark. What will you do with all that space?
To start planning, measure how big you want your area to be and draw it on graph paper or another type of grid. For some homeowners, this may be necessary for working around trees, hardscape features or your property line.
For others, this could help you meet your goals. For example, you may want your area to fit 4 chairs, a fire pit and a grill. Or maybe you're trying to fit an outdoor table, garden boxes, a water fountain and a pergola.
Whatever you want, having a plan and drawing your ideas for your perfect outdoor retreat will help you imagine how everything will fit together. It may even help you prioritize which projects should be completed immediately and which can be held off.
2. Start from the bottom
When it comes to building an outdoor living space, it’s a good idea to know what everything is going to sit on.
For instance, having pea gravel will create a feel that feels more like camping and is great for a rustic fireplace, but you may have trouble getting comfortable if you have iron patio furniture or worry that kids or dogs will spread the gravel into your lawn.
A more expensive but practical alternative for your outdoor retreat area can be asphalt or concrete pavers. These stepping stone materials can be laid out for an elegant look or arranged in elaborate patterns. Pavers are durable and solid so you won’t have to worry about your area overgrowing or making your outdoor furniture uncomfortable.
If your space is detached from your house (for a fire pit or a removed, private backyard retreat) you may only need to put down pea gravel, stepping stones or other creative ground material to distinguish the area.
If you want to stick with the grass already making up your lawn, decide how you want to distinguish the area from the rest of your outdoor space.
3. Create Ambient Light
For most of the country, you can’t beat a rustic fire pit for gathering friends and family around. Building or placing a fire pit can be as simple or as elaborate as you like, but the project will give you years of enjoyment.
For others, climate or local laws may prohibit having an open fire. No worries, a string or two of solar patio lights can create that warm feel that everybody needs to kick back and relax.
4. Choose your furniture
If you can’t kick back and relax, why have an outdoor living area in the first place? Knowing how you want to relax is crucial.
Many homeowners go with a table and benches for serving meals. Others opt for 2-4 comfortable chairs for sharing a glass of wine with friends, taking naps or just reading.
The key is to find something low maintenance. Upholstered cushions are ok, but you will use your furniture less if you have to store them away every evening. Opt for furniture that’s simple, multi-functional and can be hosed off when it gets dirty.
5. Add Greenery
The existing outdoors is great, but your outdoor patio space is the perfect canvas to create a beautiful sanctuary of plants and features to help you relax.
The main goal is privacy from your neighbors. For your outdoor retreat, you want to “enclose” the space with hedges, garden boxes, large containers with flowers, hanging baskets, trestles of ivy or even a large, tasteful rock feature.
Once you find large plants or natural elements to surround your outdoor space, concentrate on adding smaller containers with flowers or plants that add color for a personalized area.
Feeling really ambitious? Then here’s a bonus step...
Step 6. Add An Outdoor Shower
For some folks, being outside as much as possible leads to a happier day. So, some folks add an outdoor shower to clean off from working in the garden, to wash muddy kids and pets, or just to take their normal daily shower in the great outdoors.
Though generally a larger project, an outdoor shower can be as elaborate or as simple as you make it. Some homeowners may be able to connect an outside water source to their home while others may choose a solar option, but an outdoor shower can be a DIY project that doesn’t break the bank.
Are you ready to start planning your perfect outdoor space? If you still need ideas for your backyard retreat, take our quiz to find out which outdoor space is perfect for you!
Topics Lawn and Garden