Photo by Collov Home Design on Unsplash

Summer is almost here, and warmer days are upon us. If you have big plans for outdoor gatherings this summer, now is the time to get busy making plans to reinvent your outside space so you can spend the upcoming warm days and nights with friends and family enjoying your backyard. Like any changes you want to make to your home, it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s work through this together and get your backyard ready for your next soiree.

Budget

Let’s face it. We all have a budget. They do come in many sizes and yours may be supersized but we all have to draw the line somewhere. Figure out the amount you have to spend and keep coming back to that amount throughout the process to make sure you stay within your budget.

Research

This is probably the most enjoyable part for many people. Take the time to explore home improvement stores, websites, magazines, friends’ yards or your local home show for examples of outdoor living spaces that you like. Make notes, take pictures, or create a Pinterest board that will allow you to organize your ideas. I recommend that you give yourself a deadline for this phase as it’s easy to keep looking for ideas indefinitely and lose track of time. Next thing you know the leaves are changing colors and you missed most of the outdoor season.

Plan

You have finished your research and have lots of ideas. Now, it’s time to pull them all together into an overall concept. Taking the time to sketch out your vision will help you see if it will all go together. Don’t forget to put a budget together as you are planning different elements to make sure you aren’t thinking too big. If your plan completely overwhelms your budget, you might be able to break the project down into different phases and execute them one at a time. If you plan to involve a professional with the process now is the time to get them involved. Share your vision with them and they will likely have experiences to share with you as well.

Execute

The time is finally here to start the work. Gather all your supplies before you get started so you won’t have to stop in the middle once you get going as that can be a huge time waster. If you need any help (paid or otherwise), schedule when you will need the help so you aren’t wasting time. It’s a good ideas to work in blocks of time and schedule them in advance, even if you are the only one involved. It’s too easy to get caught up in other projects if you don’t have a schedule. Finally, give yourself a realistic deadline for completion. Factor a little extra time into your schedule because something unexpected almost always happens. As the project comes together and you are excited about your first gathering, you will be very motivated to get everything completed.

While you are working, try not to get to stressed out. You will likely encounter a few hurdles but when you do, step back and regroup then get right back to work.