Our Backyard To-Do List
The backyard project has been slow moving, which has been mostly due to delayed supplies and a crew that was busy with other projects. And it’s been tough for Finn and me to sit around watching the entire space remain untouched. So, what did we do to make ourselves feel better? We made a list! We made a big list of backyard DIY projects that we want to accomplish. From the smallest things, like scrubbing dirt off the patio, to bigger projects, like installing string lights, it felt good to write it all out and try to make some sort of game plan to get it all done.
Here’s the master list of backyard DIY projects and then I’ll break it down one-by-one.
Our Backyard To-Do List
- Scrub pavers clean
- Wash back deck windows and sliding door
- Powerwash garage siding and sidewalks
- Paint door to garage – DONE!
- Hang string lights – DONE!
- Setup new furniture
- Plant new planters
- Hang outdoor TV
- Add trellises to garage siding
- Clean grill
- Cleanup alley & garbage area
- Figure out hose storage
- Discuss potential DIY planters
- Remove unnecessary wires on the house
- Have pest control spray indoors & out – DONE!
The new pavers got pretty dirty during this project and I desperately wanted to take a scrub brush to them over the past month. But it just felt silly, knowing that the workers still had to finish up and it would get even worse. So once they’re done, I’m planning to use a stiff broom and some soapy water to get rid of the dirt and berry stains on there. I would power wash, but I don’t want to remove the newly installed sand that’s in between the stone.
The windows are filthy from all of the action back there, so I’ll plan to use my favorite e-cloth cleaner to tackle this one.
Powerwash Garage Siding & Front Sidewalk
The siding on the garage is pretty dusty and dirty and it won’t take much time at all to give it a good clean with our power washer. Our mulberry tree in the front yard, that I curse every day, has finally stopped dropping berries, so I’m eager to get out there and powerwash the sidewalk and walkways clean. Right now, they’re stained purple! Here’s more scoop about the power washer we own and love.
Paint Door to Garage
As you saw from this post last week, I actually already tackled that DIY. And wow, I can’t get over how much fresher it looks now. I love that blue color.
Hang String Lights
This was another project that we were able to complete while waiting for the pros to come back. This was such a satisfying project and it makes the entire backyard feel like a romantic oasis at night. You can find the full tutorial here.
Setup New Furniture
I don’t think I’ve shared all of the furniture we chose for our backyard! Well, the wait is over. Here’s a list of the goodies we’re adding back here…
- Dining Table & 8 Chairs
- Modular Sectional
- Coffee Table
- Two Chairs and Side Table (These will go up on the deck.)
I’m still waiting on a few more items to arrive, so hopefully, I’ll have those updates later this month. Oh, and once everything is here, I’ll spray the various fabrics with this Scotchgard, but I will also plan to cover items during storms. (We have this cover for the couch and this cover for the chaise.)
Plant New Planters
While we have new landscaping out here, I also want to add planters around the sitting areas. I ended up getting a few of these planters in various sizes. It seems kinda wild to plant this late in the summer, so I’ll probably opt for plants that will work well into the fall season. I want it to feel lush and beautiful out here!
Hang Outdoor TV
Finn has been in hardcore outdoor TV research mode over the past few months and he finally pulled the trigger on this one! I was honestly shocked at the prices for outdoor TVs, because they can get pricey so fast. I’m talking like $10k for one TV! He ended up finding this one that didn’t give me that awful sticker shock. We’ll have to figure out how to mount it and get the electrical from the garage to power it up. That should make for an interesting project…
If you remember our original design plan, we were going to add trellises, planters, and a bench alongside the garage. I don’t think we’ll have the time to build the planters and bench this summer, so we’ll be pushing that to a Spring 2022 project. And with the cost of lumber being so high right now, it’s probably a good idea to postpone anyway. But we still want to add some sort of vertical element to the side of the garage, so it’s not just all TV out there. I’m still researching this one, so stay tuned.
Clean Grill, Alley, & Garbage Area
Our grill has been stored in our garage over the past few months and it’s looking hella dirty! I’m planning to use my favorite polish cleaner on the outside to get it looking good again. I can’t wait to finally do some grillouts this summer.
With the crew hauling so many materials, our alley has gotten a little messy. We’ve got weeds, dirt, and more back there. We want to take an afternoon and clean things up the best we can. It’s still an alley, so there is no need to go wild, but I like making all areas of our home look their very best.
Figure Out Hose Storage
We ended up getting this kink-free hose in the spring and while we’ve loved using it because it’s super lightweight, it’s been tough to store. Right now, it’s just sitting in a pile next to the spigot. No good. It came with a piece to install into the brick, but we’re unsure if we like that or a more traditional windup box. We’ve gotta figure this one out so we don’t just have a tangled mess on the side of our house!
We’ve been doing quarterly pest control since we moved in, but we put it on pause during our renovation. Well, the ants started marching in! For real, we found ants in the basement. Eek. I called our go-to pest company and they sprayed our interior and exterior immediately. We should be good until the temps start to cool down this fall.
Remove Wires on the House
The outside of our house has so.many.wires. This house was a rental for many years before we bought it, and I think every new owner had a different kind of cable service. Over the past few years, we’ve taken down about three satellite dishes, but we’re still left with tons of random wires on our brick and siding. We need to figure out which ones we don’t actually need, remove them, and then fill the holes to prevent any bugs or moisture from getting in.
Slowly Tackling Backyard DIY Projects
So that is our master list of backyard DIY projects. There is nothing too intimidating on the list, but it will definitely take a few weekends to get this all done. We try to tackle projects during Rory’s 2-3 hour naptime, in the afternoons on Saturday and Sundays, so let’s hope our girl is a good sleeper over the next few weeks. Ha!
Catch Up On Our Backyard Renovation
- Yardzen Design Plans
- Backyard Renovation Kickoff
- Backyard Renovation Progress (2 Weeks In)
- Our New A/C Units
- Deck Progress
- Painting the Garage Door
- How to Install String Lights
- Backyard To-Do List
- Backyard To-Do List: Progress
- How to Protect Teak Furniture
- Our New Outdoor TV
- Backyard Landscaping Details
- Our Outdoor Furniture
- The Big Backyard Reveal
- Backyard Renovation Lessons We Learned
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.