Design Plans & Decor

Side Yard Plans

Side yards can be tricky spots! How we plan on doing a DIY upgrade to the landscaping and fence gate on the side of our house.

Side yards can be tricky spots! How we plan on doing a DIY upgrade to the landscaping and fence gate on the side of our house.

I thought I was done planning projects for our yard because I figured that the front porch, garden planters and back deck upgrades would be enough for one summer.  But we ran into a little snag with our side yard, so we will need to tackle this area as well.  A small section of chain link fence had to be replaced, and we decided to just put a gate door up instead, so that we would still have access.  Why did the chain link fence break down?  Read on to find out…

In the winter, we closed up the side yard on the right (next to the garage) by permanently drilling the gate doors into the fence.  It was December, and we hadn’t had any doors up and our little Tootsie dog could just run out of the back and onto the street.  Not good.  The previous homeowners had left the gate doors behind the shed, so we just lugged them out and put them up as quickly as we could.  The Husband had then parked his boat in the front part of the gate, so we just figured we would never need to go from the front to the back (from the outside, but you could still go through the house or the garage).

Side yards can be tricky spots! How we plan on doing a DIY upgrade to the landscaping and fence gate on the side of our house.

Anyways, fast forward to February when the Husband realized that he needed to get his snowmobile out of the shed, and then somehow into the front yard!  Because we had closed up the main backyard to front-yard entrance on the right, he had to then unscrew the small chain link fence to the left of our house in order to get the snowmobile out.  I guess it was never put back on properly, so it was half hanging open all winter, but it was closed enough that Tootsie couldn’t get out.

Side yards can be tricky spots! How we plan on doing a DIY upgrade to the landscaping and fence gate on the side of our house.

However, once the snow had melted, there was a large gap at the bottom that she had managed to find. Figuring that we would probably be parking the boat in the same spot next winter, we knew that it would just be easier to put in a gate now, rather than deal with taking the chain link fence down and putting it back up every time you needed to get by.

Side yards can be tricky spots! How we plan on doing a DIY upgrade to the landscaping and fence gate on the side of our house.

And no, I didn’t force her to escape as the Husband thought when I showed him these pictures. I was just on the front yard side and decided to watch her to see where she got out from.  For those wondering, it was the underneath part, not the side.

Side yards can be tricky spots! How we plan on doing a DIY upgrade to the landscaping and fence gate on the side of our house.

So why not tackle the whole side yard as well!?  It’s an area roughly 30′ long x 8′ wide (by my wild guess) so there wouldn’t be any major things that needed to happen, and I had wanted to do some landscaping in this area eventually.  Once again, I turned to Pinterest from some idea generation and inspiration:

Pin: Narrow Walkway      Pin: Side Yard and Walkway     Pin: Side Yard Landscaping

I like the idea of having a closed off garden bed along the house, and a designated pathway to walk to the back too.  Right now, the area is kind of annoying to cut the grass, since you need to drive your lawnmower in, then back out, then go back in again.  If we filled the area with rocks, we could eliminate this step and it would be a lot less maintenance (hopefully at least!).  Here’s kind of what the yard looks like (well minus the snow, thank goodness).

Side yards can be tricky spots! How we plan on doing a DIY upgrade to the landscaping and fence gate on the side of our house.

For the gate itself, the Husband wanted to make it out of steel, so I was thinking of doing something contemporary looking with nice horizontal lines… and maybe painted black too.

Pin: Steel Gate and Fence     Pin: Wood Gate     Pin: Large Entryway     Pin: Black Fence     Pin: Side Gateway     Pin: Steel Gate     Pin: Cedar Fence     Pin: Black Lines

I then drew up a rough design for the Husband to build and included all the dimensions for the area.  I wanted to use the existing chain link fence poles to anchor our gate into and use as the hinge point.  We had to be careful that our new door wouldn’t hit the gas line along the house too (that wouldn’t be good!).

Side yards can be tricky spots! How we plan on doing a DIY upgrade to the landscaping and fence gate on the side of our house. Side yards can be tricky spots! How we plan on doing a DIY upgrade to the landscaping and fence gate on the side of our house. Side yards can be tricky spots! How we plan on doing a DIY upgrade to the landscaping and fence gate on the side of our house.

The Husband actually built the gate pretty quickly… and I’ll give you a hint – it’s not how I drew it out for him.  Want to see how it turned out?  You’ll just have to wait and see!

sideyard plans graphic

Update: We worked a lot on our sideyard since!

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