With the spring nearing closer, you’ll want to have your backyard in order for those warmer days and evenings.

We have compiled a list of outdoor living renovations to splurge on this spring and summer that will be sure to wow your guests.

Are you ready to transform your backyard?


Many families would agree that a patio or a deck is a must-have for comfortable backyard living.

A patio is a courtyard of a house or a building, usually in an open space situated directly on the ground that doesn’t need to be surrounded by walls.

Patios can either be attached or detached to a house. They are very versatile and can be built with many different materials, including:

  • Concrete
  • Pavers
  • Stone
  • Tile
  • Brick
  • Pebbles
  • Rock
  • Pea gravel

Since patios are built at ground level, they don’t need safety railings.

Decks are usually made of wood (traditionally redwood, cedar and pine) or vinyl. They can be attached or detached to a house but are oftentimes built on multiple levels needing railings. Certain types of woods are resistant to insects, and unlike natural wood, vinyl decking won’t splinter or warp.

Before starting a patio or deck, be sure to check with your local zoning laws. Some cities require blueprints, approvals and periodic inspections during the building process. If you have questions, you can always contact a residential contractor like ECB. We can answer any of your questions, will know of all building codes that must be met and can secure all appropriate permits.


If you are a fan of a warm fire on a cool evening, you will definitely want to invest in a cozy fire pit. Whether you have ample outdoor space and want to create a built-in fire pit or you have a small patio that you’d like to add a portable fire pit to, there are plenty of options for your needs.

Much like building a fire pit, you will want to check your local building codes to get the proper specs and regulations. Make sure you choose a spot that is away from your house and away from any low-hanging trees or shrubbery. Also, take precautions when digging holes so you don’t hit any utility lines.

Options can include creating a fire pit/table combo. You will be able to eat or play games while enjoying the fire at the same time, especially perfect for making s’mores.

If you want a portable fire pit, all you have to do is buy some Adirondack chairs to set around a fire pit to create a more casual space. A circle of chairs creates a great relaxing place for conversation.

A more permanent solution is an in-ground fire pit. This will require more renovation skills, so hiring a professional residential contractor would be a great idea. Like the fire pit/ table combo, the in-ground fire pit can be easily covered up when not in use.

You can also build your fire pit around benches and couches for the perfect outdoor centerpiece.


If a fire pit isn’t your style, maybe an outdoor fireplace is. You can use stone or brick and add wood textures to make it a warm, comfy spot. It will be a little pricier than a fire pit, but worth the investment.

Surround the fireplace with couches and chairs, and you’ll have the perfect spot for entertaining large crowds on those cool nights when you don’t want to be cooped up inside.


If you love to grill, you may want to consider investing in an outdoor kitchen and a built-in grill or even a pizza oven. You can include a sink, an island, gas cooktop, dining space and a bar. If you don’t want to shell out too much money, make a list of must haves versus extras.

If you entertain often, choosing an outdoor dining set is important. Outdoor dining tables can be purchased to match your theme, made with wood, wicker or glass and metal. You can even get a table that extends to fit your party’s size.

You will want to consult with a residential contractor for things that include plumbing, electric or gas lines. Knowing where you can place grills, appliances and sinks will make or break your design idea. A contractor can help you get most from your budget. You will also need to consider proper ventilation if you are building a grill or cooktop.


If you really want to impress guests, you can invest in an outdoor sound system complete with buried subwoofers and speakers hidden in trees. It is the perfect idea if you have swimming pool or hot tub.



Nothing is more relaxing than sitting in a gazebo surrounded by beautiful flowers and lights or walking through a pergola. They are great accent pieces for your yard. But how do you choose between the two? Which one would show off your yard better?

A gazebo is a large, octagonal structure usually made of wood situated in a garden space often used to unwind and relax. They are typically open on all sides but can be screened in for protection from insects as well.

Pergolas are structures with posts or pillars supporting cross-beams and an open lattice, forming a walkway, passageway or sitting area.

They are prominent in desert climates but are growing popular elsewhere. They are popular in warm climates because vines can grow on them, providing shade. They are perfect for letting the sun shine through on a nice, hot summer day.

Gazebos have a roof, whereas pergolas have open cross beams. If you want to accent your deck or patio, a pergola is probably the option for you. However, if you want a structure further out in your yard in a garden or on a cobblestone path, a gazebo will work better. Either one will add spice to your yard and help create a fun, relaxing place for friends and family. 


Maybe you want a waterfall, a pond, a fountain or even an in-ground swimming pool. All of these will help make your backyard unique, it just depends on your budget.

You can line a waterfall or pond with trees, flowers, stones and rock making it an even more elaborate statement piece. Or you can place a fountain near a gazebo in a backyard garden.

Or maybe you have a big family with kids who would enjoy a swimming pool on hot summer days. Pools are great for entertaining and relaxing. Just be sure to contact a local residential contractor if you want to pour a concrete deck around the pool. Working with concrete is difficult and requires experience to move quickly.


We hope you liked this list of backyard features that could add extra enjoyment to your home!

If you need to do backyard renovations to make it work for your family’s needs, give us a call. We can also help if you’re remodeling simply to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. A lot of these projects require expert opinions, and with 70+ years in the construction industry, we can help you and save you headaches.

Call us today to discuss your project!

summer projects: building a shed