Tips for Dealing with a Sloped Backyard
A large percentage of homeowners deems a sloped backyard as a minus. However, if you ask professional landscapers and even real estate agents, they will tell you that a sloped backyard offers a world of possibilities.
From making terraces to laying a path, there are at least 9 ways to deal with a slope in the backyard and beautify your property.
Cut terraces into the slope
Ancient peoples, such as the Incas, used to cut terraced into mountain slopes to create farmland. You needn’t turn your backyard slope into a farm but you can use this landscaping technique to make good use of outdoor space.
Depending on the size of the slope, you will dig out several levels, creating flat ground. This can later be used for all sorts of features, from planting a garden to building a swimming pool. Ironically, the steeper and the bigger the slope, the more spacious will the terraces be.
Banks and borders
In civil engineering, slopes are secured by building walls, usually from stone. These border walls provide structural integrity to the aforementioned terraces.
However, the lowest banked border is going to be the most important, as it often creates a corridor when positioned near the house. You will want to leave an opening in the wall to add steps that grant access to all levels of the hillock.
Planting a green wall
Properties that are situated on a mountain slope often have issues with tall and step walls. When the backyard slopes upward, the boundary is going to be so prominent that it can lower your home’s value. Luckily, planting a green wall can overturn the situation and establish a pleasant outdoor space.
The green wall would present a living mural, overturning the appeal of the backyard. In most cases, a green wall consists of a vertical lawn and climbers. The alternative is to grow tall trees with lush canopies along the outer wall.
Railing for protection
Since the backyard is going to be crisscrossed with walls and terraces, safety becomes an important issue. The best way to secure these elevated spaces is to install rails. In some parts of the country, you are actually required to install handrails for protection, according to the local building codes.
Luckily, these rails are a cheap addition to the backyard, as you can install them yourself. As a precaution, consider forklift hire while redecorating the backyard and installing rails, as safety always comes first! If you opt for brass or chromed railings, your property will actually gain in market value.
Laying a winding path
When a road has to climb a mountainside, builders have no choice but to lay a winding path with a lot of serpentines. Drivers don’t like such roads but when it comes to your backyard, winding pathways are ideal for ascending and descending a slope.
Because the paths wind up and down, the incline is never too steep, so kids can use the path as well. You should use tiles or concrete slabs as pavers since gravel will roll downhill and you’ll constantly have to replenish it.
A seating area
It would be a shame to let all those supporting walls sit (pun intended) unused. If you manage to create a relaxing garden space, then you would want to spend more time in the backyard.
Buying or building a bench would take up space that you don’t have, so convert one of the low walls into a seating area.
Instead of a backrest, the verdant (sloped) lawn in the back can serve as support. Due to safety reasons, we suggest you only use the ground-level wall for siting.
Speaking of safety, the steps that would make part of the wall should feature anti-slip tape. However, you can build two sets of stairs and decorate the other with vegetation. These steps would be faux and they wouldn’t be actively used.
Go for low-maintenance plants
Although they look nice, terraces are hard to access, especially if you need to weed or water plants every day. In this sense, low-maintenance plants are ideal for your backyard.
Some of the most resilient plant species include Aloe vera, Spider plant, ZZ plant, Pothos, as well as numerous families of succulents.
Building a deck
An alternative to building terraces is to use the slope for a large deck. In fact, a deck and a patio are among the top home improvements that buyers find attractive.
The deck is either going to be built on stilts or you can build a large supportive wall under it. The latter option means that you get an extra room that can be used as a shed or even a garage for bikes.
We hope that you now realize that dealing with a sloped backyard is easier than you originally thought. In fact, any of the 9 landscaping suggestions come with the promise of increasing your home’s market value.