The big backyard. Is there any feature that is on more "must-have" list for families searching for a home? So what happened? The swings have not swung in years, the barbecue is buried in weeds, and the only family member who hangs out back there is the dog.Take back the back yard! Update the space to suit your family's needs, your desires, and your current lifestyle. The first step is to decide what kind of space you want back there. Quiet garden, entertainment area with an outdoor kitchen and bar, or lawn for the kids to roughhouse on and a few flowers and plants for color?Once you decide on an overall theme, the real work begins. You may want to hire a landscape architect to help you design the space. He or she can take your ideas and turn them into a cohesive and functional yard. Be sure to choose a landscape architect who has created spaces similar to what you desire; if you are looking for the ultimate playground for your 10-year-old, the English tea garden specialist may not be the best choice!DIY Back Yard DesignYou could design your new backyard yourself. Be sure to measure the space you have to work with, and draw your design to scale. Consider what your plants will look like after they have grown in for a few years - trees can spread out and shade areas you really wanted in full sun, and shrubs that grow taller than your windows will need frequent attention so they don't block your view.Professional Landscape HelpNow that you have a plan, you will need to execute it. If the scope of your project exceeds the breadth of your capabilities, fear not. You can find a landscaper willing to do as much or as little as you need, keeping your backyard transformation affordable. A good landscaper can advise you on plants and trees, move dirt and sculpt the land, install sprinklers, and do all the stuff you aren't willing or able to do.Adding a DeckIf your backyard is going to be your social center, consider enhancing it with a deck. Decks add lots of useful space for entertaining, grilling, and just hanging out. A simple wood deck is easy and relatively inexpensive to construct, and you may be able to do it yourself. Fancier designs can cost thousands and require professional-grade assistance.A little vision, a solid plan, and good execution will transform your back yard from the place you dare not tread to your preferred place in the sun.Need More Help?If you need professional help with your project, LendingTree Home Pros can help.The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee!Let LendingTree Home Pros help you find a pro today!