Backyard upgrades have the potential to transform your yard from a grassy patch into an outdoor oasis.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Benefits of Backyard Upgrades
✓ Improved functionality so you and your family can use the space more often.
✓ Improved aesthetics for a more inviting space.
✓ Increased home resale value for a more desirable property.
Check out these backyard upgrades for ideas to spark your creativity and kickstart your home improvement project.
PRO TIP: Be sure to keep your budget and space availability in mind when considering these options.
EXPLORE CURATED DECK IDEAS
Get ideas based on what you’re most interested in — such as type of deck or your preferred aesthetic style. EXPLORE DECK IDEAS
1: Upgrade Your Backyard With a TimberTech® Deck
Thinking of adding a deck to your backyard? A deck significantly improves your backyard by giving your family a beautiful, functional place to spend time together.
Even if you already have a traditional wood deck, consider upgrading to low-maintenance, high-performance composite decking.
Why? So you can spend more time enjoying your deck instead of working on it.
Why Choose TimberTech?
TimberTech® capped polymer and capped composite decking delivers exceptional durability with minimal maintenance needs. Plus, you won’t have to compromise on the real wood look you love. Our decking features nature-inspired aesthetics that range from premium hardwood to chic painted wood looks.
Can I Build My Own Deck?
Depending on your DIY experience and the complexity of your deck design, you may be able to build your own deck. If you’re uncertain about any part of the build, work with a local TimberTech-registered contractor who can help by taking the more challenging parts of the build off your hands — or complete it from start to finish.
2: Improve Mood & Functionality With Deck Lights
No backyard upgrades list would be complete without deck lights. Deck lights add ambiance and increase visibility, encouraging the use of your deck well after sundown.
Temporary Deck Lights
Temporary deck lights — think string lights, lanterns, and luminaries — give you a romantic, boho feel. These types of lighting are easily DIY’ed — but are also susceptible to damage from inclement weather. You may prefer the ease and longevity of permanent lighting.
*Note: Permanent deck light installation should be completed by a licensed contractor or electrician.
3: Create a Trend-Forward Design With Deck Patterns
Looking for design-forward backyard upgrades? Explore deck patterns for your deck surface. Patterns range from simple and chic to elaborate and sophisticated — and all let you showcase your unique style.
Many deck patterns can be made with standard-width boards. For even more variety, create patterns with Multi-Width Decking from our TimberTech AZEK® Vintage Collection®, which features boards in narrow (3.5”), standard (5.5”), and wide (7.25”) widths.
Picture Frame Border
A picture frame border gives you a polished look and is the ideal way to cover end-cuts. Stay simple and chic with matching or complementary border boards, or go bold with contrasting colors.
Keep in mind that a picture frame deck requires specific substructure framing.
Looking for an intricate, sophisticated deck pattern? Choose herringbone, a tight woven pattern ideal for larger decks where the pattern can repeat.
Due to the complex substructure needs of a herringbone pattern, we recommend working with a contractor to achieve this look.
Choose diagonal decking for subtle dimensionality and an unexpected design. Diagonals are ideal for narrow spaces as they create a sense of depth by drawing the eye outward. Note: Diagonal decking will require closer joist spacing, more cutting, and will result in more scrap material.
4: Take Your Food & Drinks Outside
Take your entire culinary experience — from meal prep to after-dinner drinks — outside. Backyard upgrades like a cooking area, dining area, and outdoor bar can transform your space into dinner party paradise.
Get Cooking in the Great Outdoors
Take all the heat and smells of cooking out of your house and into the fresh air.
Create a functional and inviting outdoor kitchen by adding a cooking area to your outdoor living space, along with counter space to prep food. To ensure use come rain or shine, consider adding a roof structure or awning to cover your outdoor kitchen.
Bring the laughs and stories of family dinners outdoors with a dining area on your deck or patio.
An outdoor dining set also provides a designated gathering place and offers more seating options for when you entertain extended family and friends.
Socialize at an Outdoor Bar
Invoke the feeling of a tropical resort with an outdoor bar area to sip cold drinks on hot days.
An outdoor bar can be as simple as a DIY bar cart and Drink Rail, or as elaborate as a built structure complete with refrigeration. If you go the elaborate route, it’s best to work with a local contractor to ensure your bar gets built right.
5: Save Space & Increase Seating With Built-In Benches
Need more seating on your deck, but don’t have a whole lot of space? Go with built-in benches.
Place Benches at Perimeters\
To optimize your deck floor space, while still giving family and friends plenty of seating options, install built-in benches around your deck’s perimeter.
On low decks(usually lower than 30” above the ground), your built-in bench can replace the railing for a more open feel — which is ideal for small spaces.
Incorporate Cool Curves
Get creative with your deck bench ideas and go for a coolly curving design. A gently winding bench has a fluid feel that blends well with curves in your landscaping.
Incorporate curves elsewhere in your deck design, such as curved stairs or a curved deck inlay (a contrasting section within your deck surface).
6: Enjoy Your Deck Whatever the Weather With a Covered Deck Feature
Throw some shade the positive way with covered deck features. These backyard upgrades deliver overhead protection, while providing a striking architectural element to elevate the look and feel of your deck.
With its slatted roof and delicate silhouette, a pergola offers just enough protection to get you out of direct sunlight but won’t take away from the feeling of being in the open air.
For more solid overhead coverage — and a pop of color — add a shade canopy to your pergola’s roof.
Looking for more extensive overhead protection? A roof extension can cover your entire deck for complete coverage or part of your deck so you can easily move between sun and shade.
Either way, make sure your roof extension matches the roof coverage of your home for a cohesive look and feel.
7: Keep Your Parties Private With a Privacy Screen
Tired of feeling like your party is on display for the neighborhood? Set up privacy screens to enhance the cozy feeling of an intimate gathering. These backyard upgrades come in many styles that offer varying degrees of coverage.
Permanent Privacy Screen Structures
Privacy screens like slatted panels, trellises, and privacy walls give you an atmosphere-enhancing permanent structure that can be installed on your deck* or along your patio.
Your options range from privacy screens such as a delicate latticework screen that allows the breeze through to a solid structure for full coverage.
“Green” Privacy Screens
Prefer a more natural look for your privacy screen? Grow tall, lush greenery next to your deck or patio to block unwanted views, while also adding color and texture to your space.
Keep in mind that plants take time to grow and fill out — so if you want immediate coverage, buy fully mature plants rather than young plants.
*Note: If installing a privacy screen in place of a railing on a deck 30” above ground, be sure to follow local building codes to ensure the privacy screen is an appropriate railing replacement.
8: Increase Comfort With Outdoor Furniture & Décor
Encourage regular lounging on your deck or patio with backyard upgrades like outdoor furniture and décor. Adding indoor amenities outdoors is a modern outdoor living trend that allows you to enjoy all the comfort of the indoors right alongside the beauty of the outdoors.
Be Intentional in Your Décor Choices
For a cohesive look and feel, mirror your interior design with your outdoor décor.
This can be as subtle as pulling a single color or pattern through each space, or as apparent as replicating your entire indoor living room outdoors.
Optimize With Modular Furniture
For maximum versatility and a totally curated space, go for modular furniture and décor. Modular pieces can be endlessly rearranged and sometimes even nested inside larger pieces to best fit your needs.
So, whether you’re hosting a large dinner party or getting together with a few close friends, your space can handle it.
Keep Exploring Backyard Upgrades to Curate Your Ideal Space
Now that you have a taste of what kind of backyard upgrades are possible, you’re ready to dive into even more ideas. Explore our Inspiration Gallery to see fully curated outdoor living spaces and spark your creativity to develop your own unique space.