After photo from a backyard reno

7 Amazing Ways to Transform Your Backyard

Because a primo backyard improves aesthetics and your home’s value.

Image: Russell & Company Construction, Birmingham, Alabama

Nothing ruins a sunny day faster than a backyard that’s too ugly to enjoy. Plus, a gnarly yard dings your home value, making it a double bummer.

Here are seven backyard before-and-afters to show how yards can become chock full of sunny-day delight — and home value.

#1 Go for a Total Yard Makeover

A before image of a front yard with wood risers for deck Before
An after image of a redesigned zen garden with wood bridge After
Image: LandCrafters, Milwaukee, WI

Whoa. A total landscape makeover takes this home from “The Brady Bunch”-ugly to Insta-lovely.

Landscaping an entire yard is pricey, but you’ll likely get all (or more) of the money back when you sell, says the A well-landscaped and maintained yard will reap more ROI when you sell than a kitchen or bath upgrade. Read More In 4 Super-Easy Curb Appeal Projects to Max Out Your Home’s Value "Remodeling Impact Report" from the National Association of REALTORS®.

And …  you’ll get a fabulous yard to love right now.

#2 Dump a Dying Deck for a Pretty Patio

A before image of an old deck in a backyard Before
An after image of a paver patio with lights and furniture After
Image: Russell & Company Construction, Birmingham, Alabama

Decks are great. But when they need more repair than maintenance, it’s time for plan B. This flagstone patio is set-it-and-forget-it, a classic look you’ll still love when you’re eligible for AARP membership. Plus, you’ll recoup the cost if you sell before your membership kicks in.

#3 Swap Dying Grass for an Outdoor Room

A before image of a patch of grass in a backyard Before
An after image from a deck with lush green grass After
Image: Green Apple Landscaping — a Toronto based design + build company

Yes, grass adds value. But if mowing and seeding aren’t your thing, it’ll turn more gross than green. An attractive mix of hardscape and low-maintenance plants is money in the bank (returning around 100% — or more — of their cost) and gives you more living time, too. Fewer hours mowing mean more hours sipping cocktails on that fab patio.

Bonus: You can sell your lawnmower when the lawn is gone.

#4 Turn a Tiny Condo Yard Into a Mini Escape

A before image of a small yard with a dirt patch Before
An after image of a small backyard with a fountain After
Image: Design and construction by Classic Modern in Dallas, TX

What’s better?

A) A patch of dirt

B) A serenity spot

Yes, exactly. It doesn’t matter if Zen is your aesthetic; the point is you can transform a small yard by building the right features on it. This pint-sized yard lives large with the addition of a water feature, deck, and stone planter.

#5 Clear the Bramble and Make a Yard

A before image of a backyard with weeds Before
An after image of a backyard with raised garden beds After
Image: Casa Smith Designs, LLC, design/Mark Pinkerton, vi360, photo

Buyers LOVE well-cared-for lawns. An au naturale backyard meadow? Not so much. Because a lawn is like an outdoor carpet — perfect to pair with a patio. The raised beds off to the side make gardening an option without overtaking the yard (and are easily dismantled if you want even more lawn).

#6 Upgrade Your Pool Patio

A before image of patchy grass and a pool Before
An after image of a midcentury pool with bar and stools After
Image: B. Jane Gardens, design/Ryann Ford, photo

The rule of pools is that they’re all about love; they don’t generally add home value. But let your pool turn into an abandoned waterhole surrounded by overgrowth, and it totally can affect home value — in the wrong direction. A savvy upgrade includes a built-in fire pit and a gorgeous patio, which both have legit ROI.

#7 Plant a Petite Patio in a Flower Bed

A before image of a backyard with grass and dirt patch Before
An after image of a backyard patio with firepit After
Image: Lovely Indeed

A master gardener would replant that dead flower bed. A master relaxer turns it into a budget-friendly patio with concrete stones and tidy brick edgers. It’s money well-spent because patios almost always pay for themselves when you sell, so you’ll feel even better about relaxing with a beer instead of tending to peonies.

Related: 8 Ways New Homeowners Trash Their Yards Without Meaning To

People enjoying a back yard patio

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