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7 Backyard Improvement Ideas – and How to Achieve Your Outdoor Oasis

paved backyard steps in garden

As Northeast Wisconsinites, we cherish time in our backyards and take full advantage of any chance to soak up the sun – and some warmth – in our outdoor spaces. A beautiful backyard makes all the difference when it comes to relaxation, gatherings with loved ones, and spending quality time at a home you’ve invested in.

Make the most of your Wisco summers when you transform your property into an oasis. From secluded deck additions to places to gather and play, we’ve compiled a list of seven stunning ideas to change your backyard into a dreamy retreat – plus, we’ll cover ways to responsibly finance your soon-to-be favorite summer spot.

1. Foodie’s Paradise

foodies escape backyard in wisconsin

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An outdoor bar and grill screams fun and provides the perfect place to watch Brewers and Packers games in summer and early fall. A cook station with a covered bar/seating area can bring all your family and friends together to hang out, enjoy a beautifully grilled meal, and relax at home.

While this update may require help from a contractor, the investment is likely to pay off by boosting your home value and allowing additional space to host gatherings and events.

2. Private Trail

private trail in wisconsin backyard

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Got a heavily-wooded backyard? You’re about to see this as a perk, not a problem. Turn your shady, tree-filled backyard into a calming garden trail by adding winding gravel paths between trees, planting beautiful shade plants such as hostas and ferns, and adding benches or hammocks throughout. Get inspired by Green Bay Botanical Gardens’ King Shade Garden with its boulder-lined stone paths and a peaceful stream.

This backyard makeover is perfect for all Wisconsin’s seasons – bask in autumn colors, snowshoe along paths in the winter, and celebrate new growth come spring.

3. Backyard Patio Fire Pit

wisconsin backyard fire pit

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Revive your outdoor space by turning a basic fire pit into a modern, inviting atmosphere with some masonry. Voila! A patio fire pit. These permanent fire pits are perfect for stargazing and extend the usefulness of your patio as summer turns to fall and nights grow cooler.

If you enjoy grilling out, consider adding a metal grate over the top of the fire pit for cooking. Add foliage, raised planters, and permanent benches around the fire pit’s perimeter if you are looking for even more isolation.

4. Green Thumb’s Escape

wisconsin backyard garden

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Reserve a portion of your backyard for a tranquil, functional garden space. Gorgeous raised planters allow you to organize your crops the way you want, while eye-appealing geometric planter designs create natural depth and dimension that make your property stand out.

To make it even more aesthetically pleasing, stain the wood planters to complement the color scheme of your deck, shutters, or your home’s unique design to make it look even more natural. Lay gravel or brick pavers between planters to keep mowing and maintenance minimal.

5. Sun Worshipper’s Sanctuary

wisconsin backyard deck with chairs

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If you’re looking to upgrade your deck, consider a multi-layer composite deck that can stand up to Wisconsin winters with little-to-no maintenance. Composite decks typically cost more money up-front compared to wood decks but make up for it by offering big benefits over time: minimal upkeep, no staining/painting, and zero wood-related issues. Add a horizonal privacy fence or lattice screening along one side to make your backyard space more secluded. If more seating room is needed, create an additional space on the ground level using brick pavers that complement the color of your composite deck.

6. Covered Porch Addition

porch addition on wisconsin house

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Take your deck game to a whole new level when you top your existing deck with a pergola or extend your existing façade with an attached pavilion or roof. Covered porches can transform any area into a gorgeous gathering space that allows you to truly unwind from the daily grind in your backyard. Not only does a covered porch extend possibilities of places to host gatherings at your home, it can increase your home value overall.

7. Swimmer’s Preserve

summer pool in wisconsin backyard

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Create the ultimate backyard hangout with the addition of a swimming pool. When you invest in an outdoor space like this, you invest in a place for healthy family fun.

If you’re deciding between an above-ground or in-ground pool, think in terms of temporary or permanent. Above-ground pools are great for those with a lower budget, want a quicker installation turnaround, and most importantly, may consider removing it someday. In-ground pools are permanent solutions but often increase your overall property value. Both options offer boundless fun for folks of all ages.

U Choose Your Backyard Oasis

If transforming your outdoor space into a backyard paradise is on your vision board, we’ll help you get there. Our U Choose loan gives you the ability to borrow up to $30,000 to do with as you wish. Unison has a fast approval process and knowledgeable Member Advisors to help you make financially sound decisions. Start living the life you want: click here to complete an applicationstop in (no appointment necessary), or call 920-766-6000 to get started.

Beat the Heat this July!

unison credit union pool bash wisconsin

If you’re just starting or still working on your backyard oasis, meet the folks at Unison at one of the three Splish Splash Pool Bash events at a pool near you.

The month-long event will celebrate summer and treat community members to special events at three local pools: Erb Pool in Appleton, Kaukauna Municipal Pool, and Doyle Pool in Little Chute. Community members can look forward to fun that includes free pool admission, an inflatable obstacle course and a “dive-in” movie. Learn more on Facebook!

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