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There is nothing worse than feeling like a prisoner in your own house, so if you are looking into your barren backyard and wishing that it had some functional features that would allow you to get outside and enjoy the beautiful summer weather, then it is high time to start a renovation project.


Build a Deck

Constructing a deck is one of the most common-sense ways to add functional space to your home’s exterior, as well-constructed decks extend seamlessly from the side of your house to serve ostensibly as an outdoor living room.


Among the many benefits of a deck include the following:


  • A great space to set up grills, lounging chairs, and picnic tables, keeping them from rubbing dead patches in your lawn
  • A place to kick off wet and muddy shoes to prevent debris from getting tracked into your home’s interior
  • An area for your pets when you need to quickly get them outside


To stick with the old “look good, feel good” maxim, a great way to maximize aesthetics is by matching your deck materials with rustic siding options to make the deck addition look clean and natural. Another creative idea is to install a pass-through window between the kitchen and deck, allowing for the easy transfer of drinks and grilling materials without having to run back-and-forth.


Improve the Driveway

Having a well-developed home exterior makes it likely that you will want to entertain friends and family for summer barbeques. However, if your driveway is filled with ruts, cracks, and puddles, it can be a bit inconvenient–not to mention embarrassing–to find a suitable place to station visiting vehicles.


Therefore, it is a great idea to replace a damaged driveway to give visitors a safe place to alight. When trying to decide between a gravel or concrete driveway, consider the advantages of permeable gravel options. Among the benefits of modern gravel driveway technology include:

  • Locking grids that hold gravel in place and keep it from shifting and rutting in the event of heavy use
  • Elite permeability features that prevents water from building up and puddling during a thunderstorm
  • A natural look that makes oil leaks largely unnoticeable and easy to dissipate in the event of significant splotches

Install a Pool

The addition of a pool can leave many homeowners in limbo. While a convenient location to jump in the water and cool off seems delectable, it is often difficult to envision using the pool frequently enough to make the extensive maintenance pools require seem worthwhile.


With the COVID-19 pandemic changing how society socializes for the foreseeable future, it is highly likely that you will be spending many additional hours at home this summer, erasing any doubts that a pool would get sufficient use and making now the right time to pull the trigger on the installation.

Add a Fire Pit

Just as jumping in the water is a common summer tradition, so is sitting around a fire, roasting marshmallows, and telling stories in the evening. As opposed to portable fire pits, which often become warped and are known for quickly turning a lush lawn into a yellow, muddy worm plantation, consider adding a permanent fire pit.


There are a number of creative ways to use stone masonry to add a classy fire area, skirting the pit in a patio-like surface to give your family another clean area to lounge in the backyard while enjoying the summer life.

Erect a Pergola

When it comes to adding functional exterior space to your home, providing shade should be a primary consideration. Those blistering summer afternoons can become unbearable in the face of direct sunlight, so having a cool retreat without heading inside is a must to make the most of your home’s exterior.


There is a pergola design for every occasion, so if you have a deck, patio, outdoor kitchen, or any other space that you foresee as a central lounging hub during the day’s warmest hours, then it is worthwhile to look into the pergola options.


Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.