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20 Inspiring Backyard Projects by DIYers Like You

Prepare to be impressed by these backyard projects created by Family Handyman readers.


By Jenny Stanley, The Family Handyman

Elevated Vegetable Garden Planter


Reader Jan Ryan made her life as a gardener ten times better by building a raised planting table. Now it’s so much easier to tend to her delicious veggies and herbs.


Grand Garden Shed


Ever think about putting an outdoor shower in a garden shed? Neither have we! But that’s just what reader Emlyn Jones did, and he used shed plans from 


Massive Backyard Stone Fireplace


Reader David Peyton crafted this massive backyard fireplace by hand, using 15 tons of assorted stones, concrete block and firebrick. Its rustic look suits the setting in David’s backyard.


Pond Upgrade


Reader Janice Ferguson and her husband made changes to their existing pond based on a few ideas they found in The Family Handyman’s Plan a Low-Maintenance Pond project, originally published in the April 2005 issue. They lowered the water level, making it more accessible for birds, and added a small waterfall. What a great water feature!


North Woods Bench in White


Reader Keith Simpson followed plans in the May 2014 issue of The Family Handyman to create his version of the North Woods Bench. We especially like Keith’s process for creating a very durable, very smooth white finish. He used enamel primer and acrylic latex paint and sanded between each 


Safe, Stylish Railing


Click here to learn what materials reader Sean O’Conner used to construct this safe, low-maintenance deck railing that preserves a great view around his home.


Private Studio Space


Reader Dale Lockwood built this amazing creative studio building for his wife. It includes double front doors, three sliding windows that face a nearby lake, an interior loft for storage, window boxes, a weathervane and a woodchip pathway. It’s the perfect space for bringing creative projects to life.


Outdoor Wood-Fired Oven


Inspired by foreign exchange students that his family hosted, reader John White built this professional-looking wood-fired oven in his backyard. Then he needed to learn how to bake!


Perfect-Fit Fence


When you can’t find what you’re looking for, build it yourself! That’s what reader Scott Schneider did with his fence. The completed project features arches that complement the style of his house—just what he wanted.


Backyard Putting Practice


This backyard putting green, created by reader Shane Graham, features a border of flagstone, artificial grass and two holes for putting practice. What a fun place to pass the time at home!


Backyard Stone Fireplace


Reader John Golock built this impressive stone fireplace himself. Bet you can’t tell that it was his first attempt at a masonry project—ever!


Envious Tree House


This tree house created by reader Tom Beerley features a deck addition fit for a small home!


Patio and Pergola


To save some serious cash, reader Michael McGuire decided to DIY his patio and pergola project. We think he did a standup job, and surely learned a thing or two along the way. 


Starfighter Play Set


Reader John Rubino may get the coolest-dad-ever award for this play set that he built for his two sons in his backyard. 


Taj Ma-Shed


Built using plans from the Ultimate Garden Shed article in The Family Handyman magazine, reader Bill Derby says his Taj Ma-Shed was a challenging yet very rewarding project to complete. He even added to it by building a deck for the base of the shed!


Fancy DIY Fire Table


Perfect for chilly fall nights, reader Ed Merkle constructed this Fabulous Fire Table using plans from the April 2017 issue of The Family Handyman. He modified it slightly by making it smaller to fit within his outdoor space, and we love the terra-cotta color that he chose for the concrete top! Ed says the project has been receiving glowing reviews from his neighbors.


Reclaimed Lumber Decking


From trash to treasure is an understatement for this project by reader Dallin Pedersen. He salvaged a pile of 3x3 unfinished Ipe boards, turning them into beautiful and unique decking. After reshaping the boards and a lot of sanding, Dallin added an oil-base wood toner. The deck looks spectacular!


Right-Height Planter


This Patio Planter project, originally published in the April 2017 issue of The Family Handyman, is right at home on the sunny deck of reader Bob LaBelle. He built it for his wife, who you can see is an amazing gardener! They’ll be eating fresh veggies and herbs all season long!Photo: Bob LaBelle


Green Garden Shed


Following The Family Handyman’s Garden Shed plans, originally published in the July/August 2011 issue, reader Norman Elton completed this stunning storage building in his backyard. He did a fantastic job, didn’t he? And we think the color combination of dark green siding with bright white trim goes perfectly with the shed’s surroundings.Photo: Norman Elton


Ultimate Dog House


Reader Corey Hosick built the ultimate shelter for his two German Shepard dogs. It's equipped with so many bells and whistles for his fur babies.

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Lifestyle Magazine: 20 Inspiring Backyard Projects by DIYers Like You
20 Inspiring Backyard Projects by DIYers Like You
Prepare to be impressed by these backyard projects created by Family Handyman readers.
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Lifestyle Magazine
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