The kids want a pool, a playground and space to play. You want a tropical oasis. Is there a happy medium? Is it possible to create a backyard environment that will make both you and your kids jump for joy? Of course there is, when the sky's the limit. On the other hand, this is not HGTV. This is real life. You have a budget to consider. Nobody is footing this bill but yours truly. So how do you create that budget backyard that makes the whole family happy? You get creative.
You might have to downsize your backyard dreams a bit.
Not everyone can afford to go Disney in their backyard. In order to make everyone happy, there will be compromise from kids and adults alike. For instance, the kids might have to settle for an inflatable above ground pool, rather than that awesome stone pool with the natural slide that takes up the entire backyard. The grown-ups might have to choose gravel over flagstone or a portable grill over that awesome outdoor kitchen.
Divide and conquer the backyard to make room for everyone.
You can have the best of both worlds if you create separate backyard rooms for kids and adults. Give the kids their own area. Do the same for yourselves. Choose room themes according to the needs and tastes of the people they serve. There's no rule that says you have to go all tropical or all juvenile with the entire yard. Mix it up a bit to stay on budget and please all ages.
Consider multiple usage that suits both kids and adults.
Sometimes it's possible to find common ground. Is there something you all agree you would like in your backyard? Maybe you all do want the pool. Maybe you all want to watch outdoor movies. Maybe you all want to sit around the fire telling stories. On the other hand, there are things you don't all want. By accommodating shared interests, you leave room in the budget for separate needs too.
Trade luxury for durability.
The kids need to be able to relax in the backyard without damaging your high end look. What fun is it to tiptoe around your own backyard? Kids should be able to have a good time without mom and dad fretting over their investment. Save the high end finishes for when the kids leave home. You'll spend less and make everyone more comfortable in the backyard.
Consider a little after hours adult fun.
Remember, you take possession of the house after bedtime. That includes the yard. Once the kids go to sleep, you can use your fancy glasses and have candlelight rendezvous. You can be mom and dad during the day and have your romantic oasis at night. Creating a budget backyard for both kids and adults is entirely possible. You just have to focus on the creative part.
This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.