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Spring might be the time to whip out your finest duster and get to cleaning, but it’s also apparently the season to bring down the hammer. March and April will be the most popular months to renovate in 2021, according to a new survey by Axiom. Forty percent of respondents said they’d be tackling projects during this time, and we think it’s because they’ve got outdoor living on the brain. 

Streamlined decks, gunite swimming pools, and raised gardens were some of the most common renovation projects we saw in 2020. While we all might not be in the same exact place as we were then, our newfound appreciation for our backyards will prevail. Once the temperatures start to rise again, homeowners will be getting a jump-start on the outdoor improvements they didn’t get around to last year, so we’re looking back at a few of our favorite ideas to date. 

A Pristine Patio

Spacing out your patio pavers will give your space a more natural appearance. Sprinkle some potting soil, seeds, and sand in between the cracks to encourage grass growth. 

A Checkered Balcony

Checkered floors are all the rage in kitchens, so why not bring the trend outside? Athena Calderone decked out her Brooklyn terrace in a blue-gray marble and sandy-tone travertine, which she scored for $7 per square foot. 

A Bench for Days

Instead of an always-thirsty lawn, Erin Hiemstra crafted a deck with built-in seating, which also leaves room for her son to run around.

A Sky-High Fence

A tall pinewood fence blocks Dabito’s view of his neighbor. The designer’s only regret is going too dark with the semitransparent stain, but it turned out all right in the end because the sun has caused it to fade.

A Sleek Pool

Robert McKinley revamped this backyard by building a mahogany deck that encircles the pool in a narrow border. He also reskinned the bottom with a dark gray vinyl liner to get the look of modern gunite for a fraction of the cost. 

Our Winter Renovation issue is here! Subscribe now to step inside Leanne Ford’s latest project—her own historic Pennsylvania home. Plus discover our new rules of reno.