Now that you've bought the perfect home in Lake Travis, you no doubt want to get the most of your new home. If you have a back yard, you have a perfect place to spend time relaxing and enjoying your home.

What are some ways you can make your back yard a place to unwind and enjoy the great outdoors?

Let the backyard staycations begin with these ideas:

Al-Fresco Dining

A wood-fired oven is a great way to cook up a fresh meal in your back yard. You might think it's only for pizza, but you can cook up any meat, veggie, or bread, making this a full-on outdoor oven. Low-maintenance hardscaping means you can focus on your party, instead of mowing grass.

You can grow some veggies in your garden and prep them in an outdoor cooking island with a built-in grill and treat yourself to the freshest cuisine around for your backyard staycation.

Even better, since the entire ground area is pea gravel, you can spend less time mowing and more time dining.

But does it add value? Outdoor living and cooking spaces almost always add value. As do low-maintenance hardscaping features — like the patio.

An Outdoor Room Just for Leisure

Spend Saturday afternoon napping in your outdoor space — not laboring over it. Easy-care plants look lush with minimal intervention, including ground cover and stone to replace grass.

Install horizontal privacy fencing, and you're ready for one legendary siesta (adorable dog recommended, but not required).

But does it add value? See above about outdoor rooms (and the lovely plants definitely boost it, too). Win-win.

A Yard for Playing

You don't have to give up playing in the backyard just because you're an adult. Make your yard a grown-up rec center with a fire pit and bocce ball court (or cornhole, ladder ball, even giant Jenga).

Wood-paneled privacy fencing elevates the adults-only aesthetic, and low-maintenance gravel keeps the focus on fun instead of maintenance.

But does it add value? Seriously doubt it (except for the fence). But it's your yard. Remember, joy is an ROI of a different sort. Plus, the court is easy enough to erase with some basic landscaping (always a good value add).

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