Want to Redo Your Backyard? Read This First

article by Arya A. author
Sprucing up your backyard is a fun way to add value and appeal to your home. While this project can be a great chance to get down and dirty in a productive way, here are a few things worth knowing before you get started.

Plan First, Dig Second

Planning is arguably the most important stage of a backyard redesign. There are important factors to consider, like sewage and water pipes, tree roots, and structural elements, and you don’t want days or weeks of work to go out the window because you didn’t consider these issues beforehand. Not to mention the average patio renovation will cost you anywhere from $10k-$30k, so you really want to get this right.

Fortunately, planning is easy with the right home design software. These programs offer everything needed from design templates to plant options. The best home design software will even come with cool features like a shadow generator that shows what the area will look like at different times of the day and year, and a plant generator to track the progress of a plant’s growth over time. Programs like TurboFloorPlan Home & Landscape Pro and Home Designer Suite have these options. Plan everything using the software first, so there are no unpleasant surprises later.

Also, use the cost calculator to stay on budget – a vitally important step. One final thing to consider is spacing. Plug the land measurements into the software from the beginning to ensure you keep within the borders of your property and avoid ugly turf wars.

How To Decide What You Want

There are a lot of elements to a backyard design, and once you start playing around with your home design software, you’ll see the extent of your options. To narrow down your choices, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you enjoy gardening?
  • Do you want a play area for kids?
  • Do you have the time and resources to maintain an elaborate landscape design?

Also, when you design your own house, you can bring elements from inside out to create a pleasant continuity of design.

Septic Tanks

Septic systems take up a large part of your yard. Whether you need a new system or not, the placement needs to be a factor in your design. Additionally, after the tank is installed, the ground will be bumpy and unappealing. You may choose to hire a professional landscaper to fix up the unsightly earth, but you can certainly plan your design around this area and decide what type of flora you want in the meantime.

State regulations will vary as to the distance needed from the septic system, so check with local officials for exact measurements.


Piping and drainage routes should be as direct as possible. When planning a drainage route, consider high and low spots, and don’t direct the water to drain onto your neighbor’s property. To discharge water properly, you need to run pipes from the area of gathering to a lower outlet area.


Be sure to contact your local authorities to find out what zoning laws you need to follow. Anything from fence style to paint color can be regulated, so learn the rules before you get started.

Design your own landscape with ease using the best home design software that can do all the dirty work for you.