How Do You Build A Backyard Terrace? (Pro Tips)

If you want to make your backyard more usable and enjoyable, consider building a terrace. A terrace is basically just a deck or patio that’s elevated from the ground, but it can be an elegant addition to any space. 

How to Build a Terraced Garden Bed on a Slope
Planning is key to building a successful backyard terrace
Choosing the right materials is important for the longevity of the terrace
Proper construction techniques ensure a safe and functional terrace
Regular maintenance is necessary to keep the terrace looking its best
Incorporating design elements that suit your style and needs can enhance the terrace’s overall appeal

Decide On A Design

Make sure you choose a design for your terrace that suits your needs and the space available. Will it be used for relaxation or as a dining area? Is it just for show, or will you use it for entertaining guests? 

Think about how much time and money you want to devote to maintaining the terrace, too—for example, if you’re planning on having lots of fresh vegetables growing in containers on it at certain times of year, then perhaps look into making sure its foundation is watertight! 

Once we had determined all these things we decided on our ideal layout (see below).

If you’re struggling to make the most of your small backyard space, our guide on making a backyard more small can help. With easy tips and tricks, you can create a functional and beautiful outdoor area that maximizes your limited space.

Common Design Elements for Backyard Terraces

Design ElementDescription
Outdoor LightingAdds ambiance and functionality to the terrace, allows for nighttime use
Seating AreasProvides a comfortable space for lounging and entertaining
Fire FeaturesAdds warmth and ambiance, perfect for cool evenings
PlantingsAdds color, texture, and visual interest to the terrace
Water FeaturesAdds a calming and relaxing element to the terrace, can be a focal point of the design

Get The Right Tools

In order to complete a project like this, you’ll need the right tools.

First off, you will want to rent a jackhammer. This is probably the most important tool that you will need in order to build your terrace, as it will be used for digging out large sections of dirt from your yard. 

If you don’t have access or funds for renting or buying one yourself (the cost can range anywhere from $30 for an electric rental one up through about $70 for an industrial-sized gas one), 

Then consider hiring someone else who does have access or funds for renting/buying one themselves and paying them by the hour instead of having them charge per day rate with no guarantee that they won’t leave early without finishing everything that needs doing today—assuming they’ve even started yet since they’re just getting ready now! 

The last thing anyone wants is another bad review on Yelp because their contractor didn’t provide quality service at reasonable rates!

Tips for Choosing the Right Materials for Your Backyard Terrace

ConcreteDurable, long-lasting, low-maintenanceCan be costly and difficult to repair
StoneNatural beauty, slip-resistant, durableCan be costly, difficult to install
WoodNatural look and feel, versatile, affordableRequires regular maintenance, can rot or warp over time

Level The Area

Level the area. To ensure that your terrace is level, you’ll want to use some type of tool to accurately measure and mark a reference point for digging. There are several types of leveling devices available:

A laser level is an easy-to-use tool that displays both horizontal and vertical lines on its screen as it’s held over the ground. 

This is an ideal option if you’re dealing with a large area because it allows for more accurate measurements than more traditional tools like spirit levels or water levels.

A water level uses liquid in a tube that’s suspended between two points at different heights; when the liquid settles into a perfectly horizontal position (without flowing out), your surface is level. 

These types of tools tend to be small enough so they can be easily carried around while working, but they do need line-of-sight from one end of your project site to another end (which makes them less practical for large areas). 

You might also need extra equipment such as buckets or funnels if using this method outdoors since there will likely be no nearby water supply on hand!

Planning a backyard renovation can be an expensive endeavor, especially when it comes to landscaping. Our article on the cost of fully landscaping a backyard breaks down the expenses involved in creating a stunning outdoor space that meets your needs and budget.

Install A Retaining Wall

The first step to building a backyard terrace is figuring out what you want it to do. What are your goals? Are you looking for more space in the yard, or do you just want to create a beautiful garden? Once you’ve defined the problem, it will be much easier to come up with a solution that works for your needs.

When setting fitness goals, one of the most important things is making sure that they’re within reach after all, no one likes setting themselves up for failure. 

It’s also good practice not to compare yourself too much with others: what may seem like an ambitious goal for someone else may be far too ambitious for where they’re at right now.

Add The Soil For Planting

Now that you’ve poured the foundation, it’s time to add soil and compost. Spread about 10 inches of good quality organic soil on top of your gravel. 

You can also use potting mix or chunky garden soil, but make sure it’s free of weeds and pathogens. 

To ensure even drainage throughout your terrace, add a thick layer of mulch on top of the soil (2-3 inches is ideal). This will prevent water from pooling in certain areas and creating problems later down the line!

Looking to create a modern backyard that is both stylish and functional? Our pro tips on creating a modern backyard provide inspiration and ideas on how to incorporate contemporary design elements into your outdoor living space

Create Zones

If you have a large outdoor space, create zones to make it feel more manageable. Think about how you use the space and what pieces of furniture you want to incorporate.

A good example of an effective zoning system is one that divides the space into three parts: eating, relaxing and cooking. 

This would allow for guests who are arriving while others are cooking to move into their own area, giving them some privacy while they wait for food (and hopefully keeping your indoor kitchen from becoming overrun).

It’s also important to designate a place for all your outdoor furniture so you know where it belongs each time you use it and if possible keep it all in one area so as not to overfill your yard with disparate pieces scattered about randomly like a game of pick-up sticks!

Plant Your Garden Beds

Once you’ve sown the seeds, it’s time to get your garden beds up and running. It’s a good idea to plant a variety of plants in each bed, as this will create a balanced environment that can support all kinds of wildlife—so make sure you include flowers and shrubs, trees and hedges, herbs and vegetables, grasses and ground cover.

Plant Flowers To Create Borders And Walkways

You should plant flowers that are hardy and attractive. For example, you could choose a variety of different colors and sizes to create borders or walkways. 

You might also want to consider how much sun your plants will get throughout the day; if it’s too bright, then you’ll need plants that can tolerate the heat (like sweet woodruff).

This is also an excellent opportunity for you to begin attracting butterflies and bees!

Maintaining a beautiful backyard can be a challenge, especially when it comes to installing and caring for turf. Our guide on how to put turf down in your backyard offers step-by-step instructions and valuable tips on how to ensure that your new turf thrives and looks its best.”

Add A Patio Area

If you’re looking for a way to increase your outdoor living space, consider adding a patio area. A patio is a great way to create an outdoor room that’s perfect for entertaining friends, relaxing with family and enjoying warm summer evenings. 

If you have an area where the ground slopes gradually away from the house and isn’t too rocky or uneven, it can be easy to build one yourself. You’ll need:

Paving stones or tiles (optional)

Patio furniture (optional)

A fire pit (optional)

Make A Walkway To The Terrace From Your House

A well-constructed path will help you get to and from your terrace easily and safely. It should be wide enough for several people to walk on comfortably, but not so wide that it takes up all of your space. 

Consider using gravel or crushed rock as part of this path, as this material is inexpensive and easy to maintain—just sweep regularly with a push broom! 

Also make sure that the walkway does not slope too steeply; this could cause anyone who uses it for long periods of time (like children) discomfort in their lower legs or knees as they move around on different parts of their body over time.”

Light Up Your Terrace With Lanterns And Torches

You can also light up your terrace with lanterns and torches. This gives you the opportunity to create a romantic atmosphere and will make it easier to see, especially if you’re entertaining guests. 

If you want to go all out, consider adding strings of lights around the perimeter of your terrace or even inside it!

If you choose to use lamps or lanterns for lighting, make sure they are safe and easy for everyone participating in your project to use.

If you’re considering building a backyard terrace, concrete is a popular and durable material choice. Our article on building a concrete backyard floor provides detailed instructions and helpful tips on how to create a strong and lasting foundation for your outdoor living space.


The best way to build a backyard terrace is by starting with a plan and an understanding of what you want. Once you’ve got those down, then it’s time to get your hands dirty!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources related to backyard landscaping and construction that you may find helpful:

How Much Does it Cost to Fully Landscape a Backyard?: This article provides a detailed breakdown of the costs involved in fully landscaping a backyard, including labor, materials, and design fees.

How to Make a Small Backyard Private: Easy Guide: If you’re looking to create a private outdoor space, this article offers tips and tricks for adding privacy to a small backyard.

How to Put Turf Down in Your Backyard: If you’re interested in installing a lush green lawn in your backyard, this guide covers everything you need to know about laying turf.

How to Create a Modern Backyard: Pro Tips: For those looking to create a contemporary outdoor space, this article offers design ideas and inspiration.

How to Build a Backyard Sand Pit: Simple: If you have kids or enjoy hosting outdoor gatherings, this article provides a step-by-step guide for building a backyard sand pit.

5 Backyard Landscaping Ideas: This video showcases five different backyard landscaping ideas that can transform your outdoor space.

DIY Backyard Makeover: This video offers a step-by-step guide for a DIY backyard makeover, including installing a patio, creating a fire pit, and adding landscaping features.


What is backyard landscaping?

Backyard landscaping is the process of designing and creating an outdoor space that is aesthetically pleasing, functional, and suited to your needs and preferences. This can involve various elements, such as plants, hardscaping features, outdoor furniture, lighting, and water features.

What are the benefits of backyard landscaping?

Backyard landscaping offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Increased property value
  • Improved curb appeal
  • Enhanced outdoor living space
  • Opportunities for relaxation and recreation
  • Improved environmental quality

What materials are commonly used in backyard construction?

Some common materials used in backyard construction include:

  • Wood, such as cedar or redwood, for decks, fences, and outdoor furniture
  • Stone, such as slate or granite, for walkways, patios, and retaining walls
  • Concrete, for walkways, patios, and other hardscaping features
  • Brick or pavers, for walkways and patios
  • Plants, such as shrubs, trees, and flowers, for landscaping and creating a natural ambiance

How can I create a budget for backyard landscaping?

To create a budget for backyard landscaping, consider the following factors:

  • Your goals and priorities for the space
  • The size of your backyard
  • The cost of materials and labor
  • Any necessary permits or inspections
  • Maintenance costs
  • Any additional features you wish to include, such as lighting or a water feature

What tools do I need for backyard landscaping?

The tools you’ll need for backyard landscaping will depend on the specific tasks you plan to undertake. Some common tools include:

  • Shovels and rakes for planting and soil preparation
  • Pruners and shears for trimming plants
  • barrows for moving materials
  • Hammers, screwdrivers, and drills for building hardscaping features
  • Levels and measuring tapes for ensuring accurate construction
  • Power saws and sanders for cutting and finishing wood
  • Lawn mowers and weed whackers for maintaining a lawn

How do I choose the right plants for my backyard?

When choosing plants for your backyard, consider the following factors:

  • Climate and growing conditions in your region
  • The amount of sunlight and shade in your backyard
  • Your personal preferences for plant type and appearance
  • The size of the plants and how they will fit in with other landscaping features
  • Any special considerations, such as plants that attract beneficial insects or are resistant to pests and diseases

How do I maintain my backyard landscaping?

To maintain your backyard landscaping, you should:

  • Regularly water and fertilize plants as needed
  • Trim and prune plants to promote healthy growth and maintain their shape
  • Remove weeds and other unwanted plants
  • Clean hardscaping features such as patios and walkways
  • Address any damage or wear to outdoor furniture and structures
  • Adjust lighting as needed to maintain ambiance and safety
  • Address any drainage or erosion issues to prevent damage to landscaping features