In the summer, a backyard can be a magical refuge. Imagine unwinding by the pool, barbecuing with friends and family, and dancing under dazzling party lights. But what if your backyard is neither magical nor relaxing? Here are some things to consider if you’re looking to redesign your outdoor space and create a summer sanctuary.
Before you make any changes, take some time to think about how you intend to use your outdoor space. Do you want to entertain friends, host barbecues, or simply relax and unwind? Figure out what kinds of activities you want to do in your backyard and consider how you can design your space to match.
Now that you’ve decided how you want to use your backyard, it’s time to figure out what you’ll need to make it a reality. Many people choose major improvements, such as adding a deck or patio, a swimming pool or hot tub, or even an outdoor kitchen. Smaller changes can also make your backyard more enjoyable. Here are a few ideas you might want to try:
- Incorporating shade: A pergola or umbrella can provide relief from the sun. You can also plant trees or add shade sails to create a comfortable outside space.
- Water features: Fountains, ponds, waterfalls, or even a tiny bird bath can help create a peaceful atmosphere in your backyard.
- Comfortable seating: Plush cushions, pillows, and blankets can create a cozy ambiance. Hammocks and swings are also great additions to any backyard.
- Mood lighting: String lights, lanterns, or even a fire pit can create a warm and inviting atmosphere at night.
To DIY or not to DIY…that is the question. Hiring a professional can ensure that the job is done quickly and correctly, but it can also be costly. And you may have to work within a contractor’s timetable. Doing a project yourself might be a low-cost option that allows you complete control over the project. But it requires knowledge and skill and may take much longer to finish. Carefully weigh the pros and cons before deciding which way to go.
Before beginning any backyard renovation, it’s important to figure out how much money you have to work with. Think about how much you’re willing to pay and how much you can realistically afford. Remember to factor in ongoing maintenance needs, such as pool or landscaping upkeep.
Using your cash to pay for your garden retreat is one option. Credit cards may seem like a convenient way to pay for upgrades, but they can come with hefty interest rates.
Another option is to use the equity in your home to fund your improvements. Based on how much equity you have, you may be able to obtain a loan or line of credit.
Life insurance can potentially help pay for your backyard project, too. Whole life insurance, a type of permanent life insurance, provides lifetime coverage, as long as the premiums are paid, and builds cash value over time. You may be able to fund your project by borrowing against the cash value. However, any outstanding loans will lower the death benefit until the loan is repaid.
Make sure you understand the terms and conditions, as well as interest and fees, of any loans or credit options available to you, and speak with a financial advisor if you need to. Then create a backyard oasis that you can enjoy for years to come.
The primary purpose of permanent life insurance is to provide a death benefit. Using permanent life insurance accumulated value will reduce the death benefit and may affect other aspects of the policy.