Families today are more active than ever, and that means making the most of their outdoor space. The backyard is no longer just an expanse of lawn. It’s a place where people gather, relax, play, and create. That’s why certain outdoor home features are in high demand today.

Outdoor Kitchens

Today people want more than the simple outdoor kettle grill—they want an entire kitchen, with a food preparation area, sink, refrigerator, and a variety of cooking options. You can custom design an outdoor kitchen to fit your space, your needs, and your budget.

Most people begin with a multifunction grill with both gas and charcoal options, as well as a smoker, side burner, and flat top. You can buy modular kitchen units with stainless steel cabinets with built-in sinks, or a local construction firm can build to your specifications. Add a refrigerator, wine cooler, or beer keg cooler.


Swimming pools provide hours of fun and recreation for the whole family. Although they’re expensive to install and maintain, they can save you money on entertainment in the long run. Kids will get plenty of exercise and socialization in the summer, and they’re a great setting for adult parties, too.

Pools are available in many sizes and shapes, and you can choose one that fits the space you have available. If you haven’t quite got room for a pool, you might also enjoy a hot tub or spa. Inflatable hot tubs are budget-friendly and are perfect for the patio.

A Deck

A backyard deck makes a beautiful addition to your home and provides a relaxing gathering place on warm summer evenings. Traditional wood decks are classic, but decks made of composite are gaining popularity because of their durability and ease of maintenance.

Decks can be customized and are especially useful for homes with multiple levels or a sloping backyard. With steps, stairs, and railings you can create separate areas for cooking, dining, or seating. You can also build in many features, such as benches and planters.

A Patio

If space and budget are a concern, a patio is a great choice. With concrete, asphalt, or paver bricks, you can design a deck to conform to your backyard space and needs. Patios install quickly and are easy to maintain with occasional power washing. They can be decorated with low walls, planters, and outdoor furniture. String lights can set a relaxing mood.

If you’re planning to use the patio for dining, you might consider a covering such as an extended roof, pergola, or awning. They not only provide shelter and shade for people but can also protect your furniture from the elements. You should keep wood furniture out of the sun to prevent damage. Furniture cushions should also be protected from rain.

Fire Pits

Fire pits are becoming a trendy backyard feature and for many reasons. The fire draws people in, not just for the warmth, but also for the cozy atmosphere of getting together with family and friends. In temperate regions, a fire pit allows you to use your patio or backyard well into autumn.

Wood-burning fire pits are popular for roasting hot dogs and making s’mores. Many people like to create a separate area for these away from the house. For use on the patio or deck, there are propane-burning fire pits available in a variety of sizes and styles.

A Hobby Shed

Backyard sheds aren’t just for storing the lawnmower anymore. Properly equipped, a shed can become the perfect place for crafts, working out, or just relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of the house.

First, you’ll need to install electricity. Because of the extent of the task, it’s a good idea to hire an electrician who knows the best way to do it. With electric power, you can install heat and air conditioning and run any tools or appliances you need. The proper lighting is also important.

Sports Court

You may think of it as a backyard basketball court, but it can be so much more than that. A paved sports court can be adapted to many types of outdoor recreation, from roller skating and skateboarding to pickleball and street hockey. In the winter, you may be able to add curbing and transform it into an ice skating rink. 

Installing a sports court is fairly easy and inexpensive. You can adapt the size to the space available and add paint or texture if you wish. Then, you can add basketball hoops, tennis nets, or other equipment.

Whatever your lifestyle, you need exercise, socialization, and fun. As families are spending more time at home, it makes sense to create special areas for hobbies, recreation, and leisure. You can make use of the space in your backyard by adding one or more of these high-demand features.

Check out this article on outdoor remodeling projects that can improve home values!