beautiful-backyard

Current Backyard Improvement Trends: Chicken Coops!

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While modern technology is truly wonderful and sitting at home staring at your 60-inch HD 3D TV in a climate-controlled room is seriously super wonderful, let’s face it, as Americans we spend too much time indoors anyways. So instead of constantly investing in the indoor section of your home, make sure you invest some effort into the outdoors as well. In fact, the current trend is moving toward an increasing level of investment in backyards, particularly if you live in suburbia.

The question on peoples’ minds however are what to invest in? Which improvements will give you the most bang for your buck and which ones are the equivalent of throwing money down a hole? Well, these are our top picks when it comes to backyard improvement trends. We were going to throw in a ‘surprise’ improvement for you at the end but our editorial team decided to put it in the article title instead. Boo them! Anyway, check out our list of backyard improvement trends below for some ideas and inspiration!

Less Lawn

Ahhh, the American dream of a perfectly manicured lawn. Well, guess what? If you have less lawn it’s easier to maintain! The current trend now is toward foot-friendly ground covers (no weeds), and deep planting beds (use some strategically placed perennials and shrubs to add interest).

More Trees

Most things you add to your home are depreciating assets; trees are a great exception. Planting them when they’re younger is better, however depending on how long you plan to stay at your house, this might not be feasible and you’ll need larger ones to get the maximum effect. We recommend starting with trees about 8 feet tall, about a couple inches in diameter. Put them in a 15 gallon pot so they have space to mature and grow.

Solar Powered Landscape Lighting

Known colloquially as ‘Malibu lighting’ it illuminates your garden at night and creates a nice silhouette effect against your trees. The extra lighting is a security boost too.

Outdoor Kitchens

patioThe ultimate status symbol if you can afford it, as these will set you back anywhere from 5 to 6 figures. These fancy additions often include grills, sinks, and refrigerators.

All Seasons Yard

Winter is coming, and it means your yard is going to look pretty dead and lifeless. However, you can properly plan to make sure your yard looks great regardless of season using colored bark, colored berries, flowered shrubs, and ornamental grasses. A great boost to property values too.

Herb Garden

Set aside a little plot in your backyard for your very own herb garden. If you love to cook, this is almost a must have and you’ll actually save money from not having to go down to Whole Foods or your local farmer’s market to get fresh herbs. And you’ll know they’ll definitely be non-GMO and totally organic! Popular herbs you can grow include coriander, chives, dill, basil, mint, parsley, sage, tarragon, and thyme.

Chicken Coops

chicken-feedingThe surprise that was spoiled in the title. This is a trend that is increasing in popularity recently and we feel it’s a good one and a natural extension of having your own herb garden. You can get fresh eggs, and guaranteed organic and cruelty-free meat. Chickens are actually very low maintenance animals, and their ‘muck’ actually makes great fertilizer as well! If you’re wondering how you can actually go about building your own chicken coop, the first thing you need to know is how many chickens you plan to have (a rule of thumb is 4sqft per chicken) so that you can properly plan out the construction of the coop. Here are some great chicken coop designs to check out before you start planning your chicken coop building adventure. There are also about 7 factors to consider, they are:

  1. Materials – In addition to considering what material you’ll want to build your actual coop from (most likely wood), you’ll also need to consider materials for covering the coop’s outer portion. In this case chicken wire mesh is the best choice.
  1. Elevation – How high do you want your coop to be? We recommend about 3 feet of elevation so that the chicken’s feet stay dry when it rains, plus it provides a degree of protection from predators such as coyotes.
  1. Perch Area – Building a perch area will really increase the comfort level of your chickens.
  1. Nesting Boxes – Make sure your nesting boxes are at least 5 inches deep. A good nesting area is a safe space for hens to lay their eggs, so making a good nesting box means more eggs for you and your family.
  1. Ventilation – Add a vent of window (covered with mesh of course), for proper ventilation.
  1. Insulation – Depending on your area’s climates, the insulation required would vary. A heat lamp is also a good option in some cases.
  1. Accessibility – Make sure your coop is accessible for humans as well for maintenance and collecting purposes.