How to Improve Your Backyard Accessibility

Deck and French doors depicting backyard accessibility

Do you have a beautiful backyard that you wish you could use more? Maybe you would use it as a second dining room in the warmer months, but it’s too difficult to bring everything outside.

Perhaps your patio is outside of a walkout basement, but the kitchen is on the first level.

Maybe you have no doors, deck, or patio leading conveniently outside, or perhaps it’s too difficult for some of your guests to get there.

Maybe you didn’t realize what you were missing. However, you would like to start making the most of your yard in nice weather.

Here in Michigan, we make the most of our summers because they can be so short! Below are some ideas for improving your backyard accessibility without moving to a new house!

Questions to Ask

The first step is to ask yourself the following questions.

  • Are you or someone who lives with you newly disabled or unable to access stairs the same way as you age?
  • Are there young children in your household who can get into dangerous situations quickly when you’re not watching?
  • Do you have a big yard or small?
  • Is your backyard a garden oasis, or just in your imagination?
  • Do you want to be able to connect the main floor with your walkout basement patio?
  • Will you want an outdoor kitchen?
  • Do you want a garden structure or a deck?
  • Do you want to be able to use your backyard for recreation like swimming or various sports?
  • Have you thought about paths and lighting?

Making a Design

Any major project should start with a design phase. This is where you think about what you want to do with your yard, how to make it happen, and what it will cost.

  • Do you want to build a second-story deck with stairs to connect your main story to your downstairs patio?
  • Would you like to install French doors in your den or off your kitchen to make your deck a step away?
  • Do you wish to delineate a spot for a pool someday?
  • How will you light these areas?
  • How will you make them as convenient as possible?
  • What safety measures will you include for young children and elderly guests?

If you hire a professional designer, each area and step of the plan will be drawn out and measured, and the cost estimated.

One of the best parts of hiring a professional is that we come with years of experience. Often, your designer can come up with ideas you would never have considered on your own!

Once your yard is measured, and plans are finalized, your contractor can give you an estimated cost based on materials and labor involved in making your dream come true.

As we have covered in the past, a deck is one of the most cost-effective ways to add living space.

A second-story deck can be converted into a sun porch on the lower level. When you combine this with new French doors and an outdoor kitchen, your indoor-outdoor living potential will be maximized.

Next Level Backyard Accessibility

If you do have wheelchair access concerns, you will want to keep several other things in mind.

Many outdoor surfaces can be difficult for those in a wheelchair, and you will want to make it as easy as possible to go from one area to another with paved paths, lights, and ramps.

If you are thinking about an outdoor kitchen, pool, or second-story deck, safety for children is a significant factor.

  • How will you lock the pool?
  • How will you make stairs safe for small children?
  • In what ways will you protect guests from hot grills and brick ovens, and make your outlets weather tight?

Bringing it Home – Maximizing Your Backyard Accessibility

Hopefully, this article has inspired you to think big about how to maximize your backyard accessibility and outdoor space so that you can use it to its fullest potential come spring!

Do you live in Southeast Michigan? If you have any questions about creating an outdoor space and making it more accessible from inside, please give us a call. We would be honored to help.  


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