We sure do love our backyards — outdoor space revamping is the third most popular type of home improvement project Americans are working on, and the average budget for this type of project hovers at just over $13K.

Homeowners these days are increasingly interested in luxurious features such as outdoor kitchens and comfortable lounge areas as a way to turn their backyards into an extension of their homes. When living in a city such as Corpus Christi, Texas, where the climate allows you to spend time outdoors for most of the year, a nice backyard is even more important. A backyard investment can offer great returns in terms of quality time spent here with your family and friends. Here are some ideas on how to improve your backyard in Corpus Christi, so that you can enjoy and use it on daily basis:

1. Start with a clean slate

If you’re unhappy about the state of your backyard, and you’re not currently spending a lot of time out there, a very important first step would be to start the upgrade with a clean slate. This means getting rid of items you no longer use, whether they are outdated items of garden furniture, an old grill, or outdoor toys your children outgrew. If you’re currently using your backyard as a storage area for things like bikes, ATVs, cars or various tools and equipment, consider getting a self storage unit. Renting a 10’x10’ storage unit in Corpus Christi costs around $96 per month. A 10’x10’ storage unit allows you to store a variety of items, including sports equipment, lawnmowers, pressure washers, and other tools and equipment that you use less often, or seasonally. However, if you have an extra car in your backyard that you use only occasionally, and you plan to move it into storage, then a 10’x20’ storage unit is the right choice. The monthly rate for this size unit in Corpus Christi hovers around $150 per month — and it’s large enough to fit an average-size car plus some other rarely used items.

2. Set up distinct areas for different functions in your backyard

The most common reason people don’t use their backyards at their full potential is because the area doesn’t have well-defined purposes. A small deck with a couple of chairs and a lawn area is not exactly inviting. Instead, consider creating distinct areas in your backyard that are both inviting and useful for your day-to-day activities:

  • Cooking area

Whether you are splurging on a fancy and expensive outdoor kitchen, or you simply choose a practical and sturdy barbecue grill plus a food-prepping surface, the main goal is to have an area where you can easily and comfortably cook for your family. Having everything laid out in a way that makes outdoor cooking convenient will stimulate you and your family to spend more time in your backyard.

  • Dining area

Of course, the cooking area needs to be complemented by a dining area located nearby — make sure you purchase a sturdy and comfortable set of outdoor table and chairs, large enough to fit your family and the occasional guests you might have.

  • Lounging area

Another “must have” in a backyard is a cozy lounging area, with inviting seating options where you can spend time reading or talking to your family and friends. This lounging area can be completed with a fire pit for extra coziness — and s’mores.

3. Select plants that thrive in Corpus Christi

Use Texas native plants in your Corpus Christi backyard, or plants that tolerate the climate well — they’re resilient, need less work, and will look great year-round. Small evergreen trees and tall shrubs such as the Mexican olive, wax myrtle, Texas mountain laurel and bluewood condalia are excellent choices for backyard landscaping in Corpus Christi. In terms of flowers, you have plenty of options: red and yellow columbines, coreopsis (which attracts butterflies), fall aster, firebush (great for hummingbirds) or plumbago. Aromatics such as sage, oregano and rosemary also thrive in Corpus Christi’s climate — and will make a nice addition to your meals. Of course, you can reserve an area of your backyard for veggies such as tomatoes or peppers. The main idea is to use your backyard more creatively and not dedicate it entirely to a water-consuming lawn.

4. Throw some shade around

Add more shaded areas to your backyard — a small pergola with a hammock, for example, makes an excellent meditation corner. Or a canopy over a bench, somewhere in the middle of your flower beds, will definitely convince you and your family to spend more time outside. Setting up shaded areas throughout your backyard is an excellent way of making the most of your available space and turning it into a veritable oasis throughout the year.

5. Decide on other add-ons, depending on your preferences

Depending on your family’s preferences, you can, of course, add many other fun items to your backyard. Pools are always a popular choice, and so are hot tubs. But you could also use the space in your backyard to build a detached home office that makes working from home a lot more convenient — and relaxing. An outdoor gym, a treehouse for the little ones or a yoga/meditation space are other interesting ways of turning your backyard into a place that your entire family loves and uses on a daily basis.


Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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