Whether you have a beautiful green lawn that's thick and lush, or patchy, sparse growth that's less than pleasing, the time may come when you want to alter your yard in order to make it more user-friendly for your family. Concrete and brick are two mediums that you can use to alter the look and feel of your yard. Before you make a decision which you will use for your project, it pays to consider several options.
If your yard is presently without an outdoor space where you can host gatherings of family and friends, adding a patio makes perfect sense. Use brick pavers installed on top of sand and gravel and leveled to create a patio of any shape or size. Choose from patterns such as herringbone, basket weave or running bond. Alternatively, create a patio from poured concrete. Simply dig up the sod until you're down to the dirt, build a wooden frame to contain the concrete and pour the concrete into the frame. Use a trowel to smooth the wet cement, or create an interesting pattern with an ordinary broom.
Concrete or brick walls can be used in an outdoor space to create privacy, divide one part of the yard from another or provide a border around raised flower beds. Install a 6-foot wall made of brick or concrete blocks to ensure your privacy in a backyard or around a pool area. Paint concrete blocks pale yellow or ivory to soften their look and avoid an industrial appearance. Build a low-lying wall of 18 to 24 inches to create raised flower beds and fill them with colorful annuals or perennials that bloom throughout the spring and summer.
A straight or winding pathway made from brick or concrete adds interest to an otherwise boring yard and provides access to areas that may be off limits after a heavy rain. Choose hard bricks or concrete pavers that can stand up to the wear and tear of foot traffic over the years. Plant borders of perennials along the edges of the path to create a wilderness effect that visitors can enjoy as they stroll along the path.
If you pride yourself on your barbecuing ability, installing a barbecue pit made from bricks or concrete blocks is a no-brainer. If you or a family member are handy around the house and have masonry experience, you can undertake it as a DIY project simply by following a pre-printed plan. Otherwise, you may prefer to hire a professional to build the barbecue pit to ensure that it's done correctly and doesn't pose a danger to fresh-air cooks and children who are playing nearby.