Thursday May 18 2017

Your backyard should stand out

A well planned backyard can create a relaxing

A well planned backyard can create a relaxing environment for you and your family and also a place to entertain your guests. Agency Photo 

By Roland D. Nasasira

After a tiresome week of work or even during a long weekend like the recently concluded Easter season, you will probably want to spend some time at home in company of your family, now that it is even holiday time.
If your house does not have a large compound to play around with your children, having a backyard area can be the other possible option.
Charles Mugabe, an independent architect in Rubaga, says though they are not common in Uganda, backyards are outdoor sitting areas. And away from the usual living room sitting setting, he says you can break the monotony of confining yourself or your visitors at home by putting up a moderate backyard.
“Some people look at backyards as luxurious spaces but they are not. Having a backyard creates room to have very close conversations with family members or your guests as the children watch television in the living room. It is one area that gives you a peace of mind to meditate and reflect on the kind of life your family should live,” Mugabe explains.
Architecturally, Mugabe says the design and size of the backyard area depends on the purpose for which it is meant. While there are home owners that prefer smaller backyards for easy maintenance, there are equally those who opt for bigger ones to create more space and more activity.

Purposes of backyards
“In most cases, the size of the backyard you settle for is also dependent on the size of the house. If the house is bigger, like say with four bedrooms, you might have to settle for a backyard that is relatively bigger and if the house is smaller, it is advisable to settle for a backyard that is relatively smaller,” Mugabe says.
A bigger backyard, he opines is also used not only used to decongest the living room in case there are events like family meetings or baptism and birthday parties but it’s also used to engage in home based active sports like pool table, chess and table tennis that can help nurture children’s talent to break the daily school classroom norm. Backyard areas, Mugabe says can also be used as home reading areas.
The other factor he points out, that determines the size of the backyard is the size and shape of land acquired on which your house was or is to be built.

Material to use
Engineer Joseph Oryang of Century Investors Limited, says on the European market, most, if not all backyard areas are in most cases built out of wood. To ensure that they last longer, he says the wood used to build backyards is usually treated to eliminate the adverse negative effects of weather elements like rain water and too much scorching sunshine.
“When the wood is exposed to a lot of rain water or any other water at home, it begins to rot. But when it is treated well by a professional company, it lasts longer and it brings out the nature aspect quite well,” Oryang explains.
Asked whether it is advisable to build a backyard using bricks or concrete, he is quick to observe that though it comes at a relatively higher cost, a concrete backyard is more durable compared to one built using wood.
“When constructed carefully, brick backyards can come out as beautiful as those built using wood as long as your builder puts enough detail to attention without rushing the work especially at finishing level,” Oryang says.
And instead of using iron roofs at the roofing stage, while he recommends dry grass to portray nature and also to purposely maintain in and outflow of fresh air for the occupants, he also says you can as well use wood bricks, those that appear in the same shape as face bricks, or even face bricks for the floor to keep the area natural.

QUICK CHECK
In order to make your backyard more interesting, build an out door kitchen to add to the ease of entertaining outdoors. Having this kitchen will create an easier way of cooking for your guests as you carry on with conversation. There will be n need for you to spend more time in the house kitchen rather than with your guests.
In order to cut expense, come up with an idea of how you would want you kitchen to look like and get an architect to draw it out for you. Source for all the material locally and work within your set budget.

rnasasira@ug.nationmedia.com

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