(BPT) – Now that warmer weather has finally arrived, you want to be outside to enjoy it. Your backyard could be the perfect place to bask in the sun, entertain friends or indulge in your hobbies. It just needs a little sprucing up, and the right projects can help.
Best of all, many of these projects are quick and easy. To get you started, here are three projects you can accomplish in a spring weekend — and enjoy all summer long.
Forging a fire pit
Whether it’s an afternoon gathering or an evening under the stars, adding a fire pit to your backyard is a great way to make an enjoyable get-together last even longer. And building one is easier than you think.
Start by marking the center of your pit in the ground. Spray a circle around the center, outlining your pit’s desired circumference — say 5 feet. Dig this space to a depth of 6 inches. In your newfound pit, make a similar circle 12 inches in from your outer circle to make the inner wall of your pit.
Fill this area with small stones to serve as the foundation, and lay wet concrete on the ground to solidify and build that foundation. If you do not have the tools you need to successfully make concrete, you can always rent them to eliminate the need for a one-time purchase.
Once the foundation is ready, apply mortar and stones around the ring. Build up the fire pit wall with additional mortar and stones. After the pit has been built to a height of your choosing, use a brush to remove excess mortar from the inside. You may also spray the inside with a can of spray paint to give your pit’s interior a uniform look.
Planning the planters
If you’ve always wanted to add a pop of color to your backyard, planter boxes can be just the ticket. They are relatively simple to build yourself.
Start by choosing a wood, like cedar, for your project. Cut four strips with two half the length of your other two, but sharing the same height. These strips will form the foundation of your rectangular planter. If you lack a saw to cut them with, you can always rent one.
Once your strips are cut, butt the ends together and apply wood glue at the joints to secure the fit. Drill a screw into each end to solidify the fit. Next, attach the bottom panels with glue and drill a screw through the ends of the bottom panels into the sides for a more secure fit.
Finish by lightly sanding any rough or unseemly spaces on the foundations. Add a touch of paint or stain to improve the planter’s appearance and offer long-term protection.
Shedding new light on the shed
If you’re going to spend more time in your backyard this year, it’s time to finally do something about that old shed you’ve been ignoring for years. Fortunately, something as small as a new coat of paint can have a large impact on your shed’s appearance.
Before applying a drop of paint, inspect the shed to be sure no structural maintenance is needed. Then it’s time to clean it. Rent a pressure washer for a quick clean that will free the building of dirt, debris and cobwebs.
Once the shed is clean and dry, apply an oil-based primer, which will help protect the building from the elements and make it easier to paint.
Finally, it’s time to paint. A long-nap roller works well for this project, but you can also rent a paint sprayer. Choose a color to your liking and be sure to select a paint designed for outdoor projects.
Each of these three projects can be tackled in a single weekend, and each can have a lasting effect on your outdoor space.