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Beef Up Your Backyard This Fall

 

Temperatures continue to dip, but that doesn’t mean outdoor fun has to come to a screeching halt. You can still find plenty of ways to enjoy the vibrant scenery of fall and the serene beauty of winter beyond just looking out the window.

Dust off the chunky sweaters hidden in the depths of your closet under sleeveless T-shirts, and consider these tips and additions to squeeze more life out of your backyard.

Take advantage of the grill

Cookouts aren’t just a summer activity. Just think: What’s better than having a backyard barbecue with fall foliage surrounding you? Plus, it’s a lot more fun when it’s just the food cooking and not you.

Whether you’re gearing up to watch your favorite football team during its rivalry game or just getting some friends and family together, fall cookouts are great for those who aren’t ready to retreat indoors just yet. Throw some burgers, brats, hot dogs, kebabs, or some other treat on the grill and have s’mores supplies handy for dessert.

Draw inspiration from tailgates

Grilling isn’t the only activity tailgates have going for them. The games that football fans play in parking lots provide fun for all ages.

  • Cornhole, or ‘bags’ in some parts of the country, is a traditional tailgating game which has two boards set at angles 27 feet apart. Each board has a hole near the top and the objective is to toss a beanbag so that it lands either on the board (which awards a player 1 point) or in the hole (+3 points). This game is fun for kids and adults alike and you can play with one hand, which is important for the 21 and up crowd. You can buy a set of boards online or make them yourself. Either way, you won’t regret having this game on hand.
  • Hillbilly golf is a setup of two three-rung ladders and players have a rope with a rubber golf ball on each end. The objective is to throw the rope so that it wraps around one of the rungs. Each rung varies in point values and if the rope wraps around the rung multiple times, you get additional points. Again, this game can be played one-handed, which frees up your non-dominant hand for a burger or a drink, or both, if you’re ambitious.
  • Remember the game ‘Jenga’ that you played as a kid? Well, now there’s an adult version called Lawn Jenga. Lawn Jenga is an oversized take on the traditional game where you try to slide tiles out of the formation without knocking over the tower.

Adding any or all of these games to your backyard will allow you to enjoy crisp fall weather while having a blast.

Additions for families

If you have children and you don’t have a swing set, tire swing, or other playground essentials such as a slide in the backyard, now could be the time to add them. Kids can enjoy them until winter temperatures make their way in and they’ll be ecstatic to be able to have a personal playground for spring and summer.

For the big spenders…

If you’ve got spare cash burning a hole in your pocket and/or an appetite for a DIY project, you can seriously spruce up your yard.

Want to be outside through the fall and winter? A hot tub is a great addition to your yard that allows you to stay warm and be outside all year long.

A quick DIY project to add flair to your home is a fire pit. You and your family will love this setup for chillier fall nights. Roast marshmallows and tell a few ghost stories around the fire for a fun fall activity.

Lastly, a project that’s more involved is constructing a screened-in or three-season porch. These types of porches provide a space to enjoy the outdoors with some protection from the elements such as bugs and rain.

Any of these additions will increase the value of your home and make resale easier. They’re great for you to enjoy while you live in your home and for whenever you want to sell.

Don’t forget about your home insurance

All of these suggestions will vamp up your backyard, but keep in mind that your home insurance will need to be adjusted.

Say you add a fire pit or a hot tub. You’ll need to add more liability coverage, too, because the risks of having a fire or someone getting injured because of the hot tub or swing set have increased. Make sure that you have enough liability coverage to protect you in the event of an incident.

If you add a porch, you’ve increased the square footage of your home. When you increase the square footage, your dwelling coverage – the amount that it would take to rebuild your home – could increase. Otherwise, if a fire or other covered peril destroys the porch, you might not receive any help with the rebuilding or repair costs.

Speak with your insurance agent if you have specific questions about coverage adjustments that need to be made, and enjoy the last opportunities for the year to get outside before snow falls!

 

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