Summer is a time of relaxation and enjoying long evenings spent outdoors. If your backyard isn’t looking up to snuff this season, it might be high time to invest in some changes.
After all, most people benefit from spending time outside. Indulging in nature has been shown to improve our mental health by promoting mindfulness, whether you’re making oudoor home improvements or going on a jog in the mountaings. Here are some of the top benefits you might experience when you spend more time outdoors, according to science.
Benefits of spending time outdoors
Studies have shown that spending time outside has a slew of benefits on the individual. Here are some of the best reasons to indulge in more time in your backyard:
- It’s good for your brain: Studies have shown that spending time along walking trails out in nature can be good for your mental health. Outdoor exercise can keep seasonal affective disorder at bay while helping you feel more present and “in the moment.” Sunshine also naturally boosts serotonin, making it a natural antidepressant to some degree. Paired with exercise, your body will boost its endorphin production, making it a great activity all around.
- It creates a habit: The more time you spend outdoors, the more you’ll crave nature when you’re away from it. Spend more time outdoors to boost your health.
- It can make you more social: Spending time outdoors means that you’ll see more people than you would be cooped up inside. You can also use it as an excuse to gather a few friends, too. And being social in itself has countless benefits.
- It can inspire you: Spending time outside can also inspire you creatively. Going somewhere new and encountering different sights will get you thinking more than if you spent all day inside. Take in your surroundings!
It just goes to show that spending time outside is good for you! Here are some of the best outdoor home improvement tips that can help you achieve these goals:
Try your hand at gardening
Have you ever wanted to invest in your garden landscaping? Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, sprucing up your backyard will make you more likely to spend more time outdoors.
Gardening, whether you have a green thumb or not, is an all-encompassing activity. Not only does it take your concentration but it’s also tactile. Your hands are in the dirt and you’re working hard to make something in your life better. This, in turn, promotes mindfulness and physical activity.
You just need some dirt and seeds to start. Watch as your garden vegetables grow into saplings and then start to bear fruit. If you need some inspiration for flowers, you can always visit the best flower shop websites to see which plants you like best. After all, not everyone is good with creating an aesthetic layout. If you need help when it comes to color coordination, seeing pictures of flower arrangements can help.
If you’re more of a landscaper than a gardener, you can always invest in larger shrubs and trees too. Just keep in mind that you’ll need the right tools to trim these plants down. You’ll likely need a pair of shears and even a motorized clipper to get those hard to reach areas. Otherwise, you can hire the occasional landscaper to get the brunt of the work out of the way so that you can focus on the smaller details of creating the perfect lawn.
You might also want to consider investing in natural fertilizers and pest management techniques. Snails, aphids, and other pests are known for eating your vegetables as soon as they start to sprout. More and more people are becoming interested in buying lady bugs to stop aphids in their tracks. If you have pets at home, it’s also essential that you consider pesticides that are safe for your pets. Even if you have fenced off the areas by your garden, rain run off can lead to pesticides infecting the rest of your lawn. If you care about the health of your dogs and children, look into pet-safe options that are okay for consumption.
Invest in hardscaping
Hardscaping refers to any part of your lawn or garden that isn’t green. This includes water features, retaining walls, and, of course, patios.
Green spaces are nice but it’s even nicer to know that you have a designated space to eat, play games, and serve as a transition between your home and garden. Human brains love organization so investing in patio services can give you the backyard look you’ve always wanted.
Patios are great for fire pits, porch swings, and even a custom built outdoor kitchen. If you’re worried about the sun beating down on your sensitive skin, you can also install an awning with some cute lights to make it the coziest nook on the block. Pair it with custom wood doors leading in and out of your home and you might have the makings of a perfect summer night hangout spot.
These kind of features are also great if you need to sell your home fast. Not all outdoor home improvements are designed to sell your home, but they can be great when the time finally comes. These kind of fixes give you a great return on your investment since few people are apt to make these updates on their own. Akin to installing a pool, investing in a cute walking path, a shed, or a patio can make all the difference when it comes time to sell. Even if you want the home to stay in your family for generations, your future children and grandchildren might enjoy the hard work you’ve put into the backyard for years to come.
The best backyard tip is to have designated spaces for activities. Just like your patio can serve as the perfect location to eat, the rest of your backyard should serve a function. Leave a wide swath of space if you’re thinking about tossing the football or installing a badminton net. Then, line the rest of your fence with gardening areas, cute paths, and storage spaces. The work will show when it comes time to sell the home or indulge in the space yourself. When everything has its place, your life will become a lot less stressful.
Focus on the necessary repairs
Planting a garden and investing in hardscaping is one thing; actually fixing up your home and making the necessary repairs is another. After all, outdoor home improvements also focus on the logistics of maintaining a good home. Your roof should be in good shape and so should your siding. Keep in mind that the average asphalt roof is only meant to last 20 years or so with the proper maintenance. Metal roofs can last a bit longer — as long as 40 to 70 years or so — but they might look rusted and dingy without the proper maintenance. If you are regularly repairing the roof, it might be time to get a completely new roofing installation.
However, you might want to think about upgrading your roof, especially if you live in a sunny area. Solar panels are just as — if not more — sturdy than traditional roofs and they help your home generate power. This means that you’ll have lower electricity bills. It also means that you’ll be less reliant on the electric grid in your area. If there happens to be a power outage, you can rest assured that your family will be safe from losing power.
If you have questions about implementing new technology into your home, your best bet is to call a home remodel designer. You might just think that these people are interior decorators but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Home remodel designers can perform an energy audit of your home and identify important features that can be upgraded to improve its efficiency. Sprucing up your gutters, installing a grey water system, and improving the slope of your lawn for irrigation can all be achieved with their help.
You should also consider investing in asphalt paving and repair companies. Over time, your driveway will gradually form minuscule cracks and crevices. When water works its way in and freezes in the winter, this can expand these cracks into potholes. But even if you live in a drier area, tree roots are one of your driveway’s worst offenders. Since most tree roots stay by the surface to absorb water, they will gradually work their way out instead of down. This means that the tree in the middle of your yard will eventually have roots that stretch into your driveway, forming ridges, cracks, and gaps. Unless you want to test your car’s suspension daily, investing in asphalt repair services is key. It will also ensure that your kids have ample space to practice their chalk drawings.
While you’re thinking about outdoor home improvement, you’ll also want to look for any openings or gaps in your walls. Pests are notorious for finding the smallest holes and rats can fit into smaller openings than you’d initially think. Perform an exterior examination of your house and monitor for any signs of holes where something might slip in. You’d be surprised at how common these holes are in garages and sheds that regularly lack insulation. If you don’t get these holes plugged up, it doesn’t matter how many rat traps you set up: you’ll always have a mice and rat problem.
Outdoor home improvement tips for summer will vary from household to household, but these repair options are the best way to get you started.
Think about the fun stuff
How do you want to better enjoy your space? We’ve already mentioned providing designated spaces in your backyard for different activities, but now is the time to actually plan these out. Do you want to play badminton? Make sure you plan out enough space to make this dream a reality. No one wants a net pole to rest in the middle of their flower garden.
You might also want to think about providing play spaces for your children. Swings are a quintessential part of childhood so installing a swing/slide combo can be a great way to pass the time in the summer. Your kids might also want shady spots to enjoy a snack or pretty views to inspire them to draw. Don’t be afraid to ask for your children’s input when it comes time to plan out the layout of your yard. Ask them what they hope to get out of your outdoor home improvement project.
You might also want to think about installing a swimming pool. Swimming is actually the fourth most popular activity in the United States, making it a necessary component of a fun summer. Just remember that installing an in-ground pool will give you a better ROI than installing an above-ground pool. Think about your family’s needs and how you hope this purchase will serve you in the future before you invest your money.
Make your summer better with outdoor home improvement
Whether you’re trying to spruce your home up to sell or you’re simply trying to craft a fun backyard, there are countless outdoor home improvement projects to consider. Gardening, hardscaping, installing a pool: these are all great ways to make the most of your summer. Just don’t neglect the important outdoor home improvement repairs that need to be made, too!