9 Inspiring Backyard Improvement Projects That Are Quick + Easy

Paving Stone Patio

While everyone wants a better backyard, most people are far too busy to dedicate much time to backyard improvements.

To help you come up with some simple, quick ideas to help you prepare for your next party or improve your outdoor living areas, here are nine quick backyard improvement projects to consider:

1. Build a simple fire pit.

Fire pits range from the portable type that you can set almost anywhere to intricately designed and professionally installed fire features that are sure to impress your guests. Somewhere in the middle between these two options, there are simple and very convenient fire pit kits you can pick up at home improvement stores and put together in a few hours. Actually, putting them together takes hardly any time at all, but if you want to do this project right, you do need to dig down the area and properly prepare the foundation before building your fire pit from the kit.

2. Refresh your gravel or wood chips.

You might be surprised at just how much this easy, quick backyard improvement project can improve the overall visual appeal of your yard. This is particularly true if it has been a while since you have added more gravel or wood chips to your low-water landscaping. Wood chips and bark degrade over time, and gravel can be worked into the soil, so adding a new layer can very quickly make your yard look significantly better.

This simple project only requires going to your local home improvement store to purchase your preferred ground cover or having it delivered to your house, then spreading it out for an instantly improved outdoor living area.

3. Build a planter or install a pre-fab garden bed.

You do not have to be all that handy to build a simple garden bed. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to purchase concrete blocks that you simply arrange in a square or rectangle after leveling the ground. You can also purchase lumber and have it cut to the lengths you need at the lumberyard or home improvement store, which just leaves assembling it and, if desired, painting  or staining it once you have it home. If you have a drill, the assembling part will be easier, but it is not absolutely necessary.

To make this an even easier backyard project, you can simply purchase a pre-fab garden bed that will require minimal assembly once you get it home.

Fill your new garden bed with soil and you are ready to add color or function to your yard with a flower bed or vegetable garden.

4. Freshen your backyard features with a new coat of paint.

Paint your patio chairs, old garden beds or dog house for a quick project that will update your outdoor living area and add color to your backyard.

5. Customize a container garden.

To quickly and easily add color and texture to your patio, create a customized container garden. You will need to go a garden center or home improvement store for supplies, such as flower pots and paint, and then head home to customize your new planters with your own designs.

This is a fun craft project you can do with your kids, or you can even have a painting party with a few friends to turn this simple backyard improvement project into a social gathering.

6. Replace your patio cushions.

If you do not keep your patio cushions in a deck box when not in use, it is quite likely that they have faded from all of those hours in the sun or gotten pretty dirty over the years. It is probably time to consider refreshing your outdoor entertaining areas with new patio cushions. If you are the crafty sort, you may be able to save money by sewing new covers for your cushions, which also allows you more freedom in choosing the perfect pattern to fit your style and the overall look of your patio.

7. Install stepping stones.

Preparing the ground for your stepping stones is the most time-consuming part of this project, but it is worth taking this extra time to make sure you have a level surface and that your stepping stones will be securely placed. Making a stepping stone path is a great way to spruce up an existing gravel or wood chips walking path. It is also a chance to bring a different color and texture into your landscaping with a project that should take just a few hours to complete.

8. Make a concrete garden stool.

This is another fun project that you can do with your kids or with friends. This is a surprisingly simple and incredibly affordable project and the perfect way to increase seating on your patio or around your fire pit.

The list of supplies is not that long and includes concrete (of course), a concrete form tube, a five-gallon bucket, some foam and duct tape. Directions can be found online, and there are even multiple designs from which to choose. A simple search for concrete garden stool instructions will provide you with several sites offering step-by-step instructions and a complete supply list.

Depending on the design you choose, you will need to let it cure for between about one day and four days, but the fun part of actually making the stool is a quick, easy project.

9. Plant a tree.

The tree may take forever to grow, but digging a hole, preparing the soil and planting your tree will not take much time at all. In fact, once you get going, you might decide to spend the day installing a family orchard with lime, lemon, plum, orange, avocado and pomegranate trees. This is a great way to create shade in your yard and begin growing some of your own food.

Quick Backyard Improvement Projects: Further Reading

Here are some previous posts that might help inspire you with more ideas for easy or quick backyard improvement projects: