Home Improvement Projects for the Backyard

It’s the end of winter in Texas, and soon we’ll be welcoming the spring. For many, it’s an opportune time to do some home improvement projects. Get started now in your planning and preparation.  Then, when the weather gives you the go-ahead, you’ll be ready to get started. Here are few home improvement ideas to consider.


Pump up that curb appeal by adding some flower beds, gardens, trees, shrubs, or decorations. It may sound simplistic, but taking on a landscaping project can become fairly time-intensive and complicated. It’s worth the work because it can certainly make a significant impact on creating the backyard oasis you desire. Try your local nurseries for suggestions. They are most likely to stock specimens that will do well in your zone.


If you don’t already have a patio, this should be one of your priorities. A patio allows the backyard to become a place for barbeques, ice-cold refreshments on hot days, twinkling lights, and dinner with friends on starry nights. Hosting these kinds of get-togethers on the bare ground does not have the same kind of ambiance. A patio gets you off the ground and out of elements. As with so many of these home improvement projects, the size and scope are entirely up to you.


Perhaps you have a second-story kitchen or dining room that you’d like to extend to the out-of-doors. There are tons of schemas online to help plan and prepare if you decide to go in this direction. Some deck projects require specific permits or codes. Be sure to check with your local county governance to determine what the regulations are. It is not uncommon to find homes with illegal improvements. It’s all no big deal until you are ready to sell the home and have to make concessions to the buyer to account for this simple misstep.

Overhead Shade Projects

It sure gets hot in Texas in the summer. Most homes in the great state are equipped with a way to shield residents from the scorching, relentless rays of the summer sun. There’s no reason why you can’t also enjoy your back deck or patio, even during this punishing season. It would help if you had a strategy to directly keep those rays from hitting you and your guests.

Retractable Awning

This project is more an install than a build. Perhaps that will allow the time and energy to take knock out two or more improvements. A retractable awning offers a temporary, modular shade. It can be called upon by the event or by the season. These awnings can be designed in a variety of colors and patterns specifically selected to enhance your décor.

Patio Cover

One quick online search, and you’ll find that patios come in all shapes, sizes, and customizable features. Homeowners can use the patio cover in part or whole across the span of the patio. They are the perfect improvement for a homeowner who wants to increase the amount of shade on the property for backyard entertaining.

Patio covers can be strictly functional, but they can also add a component of décor. They can be as simple as a carport cover or as fanciful and ornate as the homeowner desires. Not only will the patio cover offer some shade relief for backyard hangouts, but it will also serve to protect your patio gear from becoming sun-damaged or faded.


A slight variation of the patio cover is the pergola. This type of structure does offer some element of shade. Many pergolas are a bit more decorative than a patio cover. Some homeowners will opt to use a pergola that has a structural frame around a garage door. Some will use the pergola as a trellis on steroids. It could even provide the comfort of shade to a backyard swing. All of these primarily decorative-focused projects will still offer a few degrees of relief. There is no doubt that a pergola adds character.

Most pergolas can either be attached to the foundation or free standing. Its job is basically to extend the line of vision from the interior to the exterior. It can be a visual transition between the indoor living area and the outdoor space. In this way, it’s like the overhang of a porch but with slats instead of a solid roof.


Perhaps a patio cover or a pergola is not quite what you’re looking for. What about a gazebo? Gazebos are indeed an individualized taste. These structures can be any shape, size, and design. A pavilion can be added as a subtle addition to the backyard, or it can be the star.

Whether your gazebo is intended to simple or dazzling, a gazebo is not for the faint-of-heart DIYer. Remember, as a kid, when you questioned why you had to learn all of that complicated math that you assumed, you’d never need to use. The answer to that question should’ve been, in case you ever decide to build a gazebo in your backyard.


Now here’s a real beat-the-heat option though not likely one you can accomplish entirely on your own. However, if you’re looking to go in this direction, there may be some contractors who’d be willing to price out some of the accompanying work that you can do yourself and save on the entire cost of the project. But once you have that pool, you will probably want a deck, patio, or pergola to go with it.

Start Planning Now

Do you have a Homeowners Association? If so, check your by-laws to see what your rights and responsibilities are regarding making improvements. You may find that your community already has a predetermined list of specifications already agreed upon. You may be required to notify or get permission from line-of-sight or nearest neighbors. You may need to submit your plans to a committee for approval. These requirements can become a chokepoint. Plan so you can have all of the requirements satisfied and break ground as soon as the weather allows.

If you should find yourself with bigger goals than your time and energy can sustain, Texas Home Improvement can help. Enjoy your project and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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