Now that you know what you want in your yards, what do you do next? What I recommend first is to get your ground shaped out as you need it to be. This may be a relatively simple task if you have a flat yard and don't need to do much with it other than maybe add some dirt for berms or a water feature. If you live in the mountain valleys like I do, you may have to do a lot more. If it is a simple excavation, then you can handle that on your own, but if you are getting into some big retaining walls, large patios, or large water features it would be best to call someone in to help out. They have the equipment and the experience to handle the job of any size! If you have never driven a skid steer or a mini excavator, now is not the time to learn! One rollover and you are done! I have nearly rolled a skid myself. It is definitely no fun!
Once you get your ground shaped out, you want to get in all of your hardscapes. These are your patios, retaining walls, sidewalks, pathways, water features (in away), outdoor kitchens, garden boxes etc.. This will shape out your yard and allow you to have access to all of the areas with the necessary large equipment without ruining anything. Depending on your situation you may have to run your electrical lines and conduit first. Also make sure you have large enough sleeves under all patios, sidewalks, and driveways that you need them for. Go bigger than you think you will need because you never know what will come down the road in the future. Trust me, it is no fun thing to dig under a sidewalk or tear up a pathway to get pipe or power run later. A little planning and preparation now will go a long way. The fun thing about getting the hardscapes in is that you can really see your yard transforming! All of your planning is starting to come together. Aren't you excited!
Hardscapes can make a huge impact in your yard!
Doing these things will keep you on the right path in getting your yard done right! Good luck with it!