Weekend Warrior Projects

 Why not make your home your favorite staycation spot? 

Weekend Warrior Projects

Many homeowners focus so much on beautifying the front yards that they forget about the back. But that spot can also be a haven, providing additional living, cooking, and dining space for your family.

Tackle the Backyard

Whether you’re on a budget or looking to splurge, there are a number of big, outdoor projects worth doing. They say kitchens and bathrooms sell a house, but backyard improvements can’t hurt.

Landscaping and Hardscaping

Make your backyard the place you want to be by intentionally landscaping it. Use this list to get ideas for bringing in more than just your favorite flowers.

Deck or Patio

Whether it’s a second-story deck or one closer to the ground that acts more like a patio, designating an area to serve as an outdoor living space elevates your backyard. Using wood, composite decking, pavers, pea gravel, or concrete can create just the look you want outside your back door.


The eye will be drawn to pathways by integrating organic-looking walkways throughout your yard. Create your paths with natural materials such as stone, gravel, or grass. Mulch and gravel are two of the most budget-friendly materials to use for landscaping, and they come in a variety of colors to help you customize your outdoor oasis. You can also take a look at products to help with landscaping from Azpects - including a paving joint compound that will improve the stability of a pathway or any paved surface. This will also help keep the aesthetics of the walkway in good condition, whatever the weather.

Tel the eye where to go in your yard by integrating organic-looking walkways throughout your yard. Create your paths with natural materials such as stone, gravel, or grass. Mulch and gravel are two of the most budget-friendly materials to use for landscaping, and they come in a variety of colors to help you customize your outdoor oasis.

Get creative with your walkways; they can lead to different areas of your garden, to a shady spot under the trees, or to a fire pit in an open corner of the yard. Perhaps you want a path that provides easy access to a sprinkler box, your gate, or the kids’ playground.

Water Features

Another big outdoor project you can tackle yourself is creating a water feature. From scratch or with kits from any home improvement store, you can add the calming sounds of trickling fountains, bubbling waterfalls, or a birdbath. Your water feature can serve as a haven for wildlife, or the perfect spot to support water-loving plants such as reeds, water lilies, or papyrus.


A popular hardscape project is a family-friendly firepit. Build one of these outdoor fire pits and fireplaces into your yard and integrate seating so everyone can gather for s’mores on cool, summer nights. Choose between wood-burning or gas-fueled and get ready to sit back with your feet up.


The gift that keeps on giving in any yard is a garden. A mixture of florals and food-producing plants will offer rewards in spring, summer, and autumn, making all those hours spent weeding worth it. A garden doesn’t have to be too precious in your yard either; make it a part of the landscape in raised beds along your intentional pathways. 

The ideal size for raised garden beds is three feet wide so you and your little helpers can easily access all parts of the bed for planting, weeding, and harvesting. Another benefit of raised beds is controlling the type of soil in which you’re planting, and how it drains. 


Increase the square footage of your home by making your outdoor space ideal for living. Create ambiance with lighting, shade, and maybe an outdoor movie screen.


A great way to get shade without blocking the views is to build a pergola. Using 2x4s, 2x8s, 2x10s, and 2x12s you can construct one from scratch over your deck, patio, or grass. They look great without any frills, or you can add shade sails and lights.

Outdoor Kitchen

If part of your backyard shares a wall with your indoor kitchen, adding an outdoor kitchen may be less complicated than you think. Regardless, you can start with your trust grill and go from there. Map out your space and see where you can add an outdoor mini fridge, countertops, or sink. Other elements to add to an outdoor kitchen include a fireplace that can double as a pizza oven, fans, and an ice maker.


Now that everyone loves being outside, where will they all sit? One of your outdoor projects should include various seating vignettes. Build seats out of upcycled logs, natural stone, or 2x4s. Topped with outdoor cushions and shaded with umbrellas, sails, or your new pergola, everyone will feel comfortable migrating outside during functions.

Fun and Games

Adults, kids, and pets alike may need some enticing to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Here are some ideas for making your backyard the ultimate hangout spot

Stock Tank Pool

Gaining in popularity are stock tank pools. They’re exactly what they sound like- a pool made out of a cattle feed trough! They can be outfitted with pool pumps, filtration systems, and heaters to keep them cleaner and warmer than a typical plastic kiddie pool. Stock tanks usually come in six- or eight-foot diameters, making them ideal for a couple of adults or a handful of children to float and splash in.


In a tree or simply elevated in a part of your yard, a treehouse provides an excellent outdoor retreat for the kids. You can find free plans for treehouses or playhouses online, which can be accessorized with kid-sized furniture to entice the kids to leave the seats around the fireplace open for the adults.


Now that you’ve upgraded your outdoor space, it’s time to consider adding some privacy so you can enjoy it in peace. From fencing to vegetation, there are a few options to consider.

Privacy Screen

You can purchase outdoor privacy screens made from wood, metal, or even artificial vegetation. You can also make your own, with popular options being horizontal slat fences, lattice pieces, or even repurposed window shutters.

Another option is to use privacy slatting in an existing chain link fence or to hang backyard wind sails to not only private shade, but privacy from yards that may overlook yours.


It’s common for farmers to plant wind-screen trees to protect their homes and fields from excess wind. These tall, thin trees are planted close together to block wind and visibility. The same practice can be applied to your yard if you’d like to use vegetation to create privacy. 

Perfect Plants for Privacy

Before settling on a plant, ensure it grows well in your zone, and that it won’t pose a risk to children or pets who’ll be enjoying your yard with you.

  • Arborvitae

  • Bamboo

  • Skip Laurel

  • Privet

  • Holly

  • Boxwood

  • Hicks Yew

  • Red Twig Dogwood

  • Chocolate Vine

  • Euonymus

Keep in mind, some of these plants will happily do their own thing and grow naturally into privacy screens. Others may require a bit of pruning and shaping to get the desired outcome.

All this landscaping, hardscaping, and overall upgrading may leave you with yard debris or construction materials to dispose of. You can check with your city to see if they provide complimentary green waste dumpsters, or invest in renting one to work around your weekend warrior schedule.

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