For people with a creative, DIY spirt, having a back yard is like having a blank canvas. That doesn’t mean the whole thing has to turn into a project, but it’s a ton of fun to think about different things you could do to enhance the space, from planting a garden, to installing a greenhouse, to building a clubhouse if there are ever kids in the picture. There’s really no end to the number of things you can do with some creativity, perseverance, and know-how. And to that point, we thought it would be fun to dream up a few unorthodox ideas for the back yard.
A Tunnel & Enclosure (For A Cat)
This is one of the strangest but neatest ideas out there, at least for those who have cats or other small pets who might like more freedom to go outside. The idea is essentially to build a wire enclosure outside, and you won’t believe how easy it is. To make it even more fun though, you can also attach what are essentially small hallways branching off of said enclosure to other parts of the yard. These tunnels might go up the side of your house, run along a fence surrounding the yard, or whatever else works in your space. Think of it a little bit like a hamster home, but supersized and built for the cat in your back yard. Just be sure that the construction is sound, both so that the cat can’t get out and so that other animals can’t get at the cat.
An Adult Sandbox
It’s strange, when you think about it, that we consider sandboxes as being exclusive to children. In the traditional sense, in which they’re meant to be crawled in, and used for sand castles and the like, perhaps it’s only logical. However, the idea of simply designing a sand pit can appeal to adults as well. You can essentially design this as its own island in your yard, either dug into the ground or raised with a stone border, and once you fill it with sand you can use it however you’d like! You could simply put some attractive chairs there, lay out in nice weather, or even set up a grill or fire pit there if you have the space.
This is a strange idea, and draws inspiration from professional horse races around the world. Look to the Cheltenham Festival, one of the biggest events of the year in horse racing, and you’ll see both racing posts and, for some of the competitions, hurdles, all designed fairly simply but used effectively to divide up a course and present different challenges. A similar arrangement in your back yard can serve as your own fitness course, and can also be useful for any younger family members or visitors who might simply want to run around. It’s a little bit silly, but you can’t say it wouldn’t be unique! Plus, the construction is actually fairly straightforward.
A Roof (For A Hot Tub)
One of the worst moments a homeowner can have is making the decision to go outside to use a hot tub only to realize it’s raining or snowing. Okay, that’s overstating things somewhat, but it is quite a bummer. This problem can be completely solved if you simply built a roof – something like a permanent canopy, or even one that can be pulled back, if you prefer – to hang over a hot tub. It’s a great way to make a hot tub accessible in all seasons and weather extremes so that you can get the most out of it.
A Fire Trough
People do all kinds of things with fire pits, but you seldom hear about one designed to be elongated, and thus serve more space. Creating a stretched out fire pit – a fire trough if you will – is an awesome way to set your yard apart though, as well as to make the gathering space a little bit different. While the standard small circle around a fire is great for conversation, a fire trough can handle a bigger gathering of people, with seats along both sides. Particularly if you’re the type to do a lot of entertaining, it can be a wonderfully beneficial project.
If you enjoyed this post, have a look at these top landscaping ideas for 2018.
Gabe Haskins is a freelance writer and part-time artist. His main areas of interest include art, design, the outdoors, and general lifestyle topics.