How Big is My Backyard: 5 Easy Tips to Measure Your Backyard the Right Way

While everybody wants a big house, they sometimes fail to consider their lawn needs. Many people buy properties with insufficient lawn areas.

In relation to the size of your lawn, there are some things you should consider when buying a property:

  1. Your family size
  2. Planned family activities
  3. Pets and their recommended outdoor activities
  4. Building a garden
  5. Aesthetic requirements
  6. Swimming pool installation
  7. Building patios and decks
  8. Building sheds
  9. Maintenance cost
  10. Zoning restrictions and regulations, laws
  11. Budgetary requirements

With these considerations, you can scout for properties that accommodate your backyard plans and needs.

In the US, the average lawn size is about 8000 – 10000 square feet, while big yards measure up to 25000 square ft, and small backyards only measure up to 2000 square feet.

Quick Preview: How to Determine Backyard Size

  1. Check the site or development plan at the local building authorities or architectural design firms.
  2. Use Google Earth or Google Map. Click on the ‘measure distance and area’ button.
  3. If you have a square or rectangular yard, simply measure the length and width, then multiply them.
  • Get the total lot size: L x W = A(L)
  • Get the square footage of your home: L x W = A(H)
  • Subtract home lot from total lot to get lawn size:
  1. Use graphing paper, pen, and measuring tools. 
  1. Use other measuring tools:

Backyard Sizes: Largest and Smallest

Usually, the size of backyards are directly proportional to the size of homes.

While average lot sizes in the United States vary state-to-state, it went down from 10000 sq ft to below 8600 sq ft.

That is a drop from almost a quarter of an acre to just ⅕ of an acre.

  • Homeowners in Vermont have the largest backyards, and they have 71,576 sq ft, while California’s average backyard size is 5,575 sq ft.  
  • In contrast, the smallest backyards are in Nevada, with only 4,386 square feet.

Residential lawns are also smaller in urban areas compared to rural areas.

Part of the reason is the continuous sprawl and development of urban centers pushing back decent-sized houses and lawns.

Why is it Important to Know My Backyard Size

Usually, if you want to improve your backyard, you need to know how big it is.

Here are the benefits of knowing your lawn size:

  1. You will learn how much product to use.
  2. Avoid overspending and purchasing too much product that will otherwise go to waste.

How to Measure My Backyard Size

There are multiple ways to know the size of your backyard.

  1. You can check the site plan or development plan of a particular home for sale at the local building authorities or architectural design firms.
  2. Use Google Earth or Google Map to map out your lawn and use the ‘Measure distance and area’ feature to get the total square footage of your lawn. You can also do this to get the total square footage of your home.
  3. If you have a square or rectangular yard, you can also simply measure the length and width, then multiply them together.
  1. Get the total lot size: L x W = A(L)
  2. Get the square footage of your home: L x W = A(H)
  3. Subtract home lot from total lot to get lawn size:

A(L) – A(H) = A(L)

  • If your lot is irregular-shaped, you’ll need graph paper, a pen, and some measuring tools.
  • Measure your yard at different points around the yard.
  • Sketch out your garden at scale.
  •  Estimate the remaining irregularly shaped blocks based on the remaining total squares on your graph.
  • You can also use other measuring tools:
  • Global Syn-Turf
  • Measure My Lawn
  • Planimeter

5 Ideas for Big Backyards

Too much space in backyards with nothing on will not be aesthetically pleasing so it is essential to use your area to add value to your property.

Here are some ideas that you can do if you have a big lawn to use:

  1. Build a large patio and decks for recreation.
  2. Build a garden.
  3. Create outdoor living areas or extra rooms for activities like an outdoor gym or crafting area.
  4. Layout a labyrinth.
  5. Build a swimming pool.

14 Ideas on How to Make Your Small Yard Look Big and Beautiful

As urban areas develop, the number of people who want to live in large homes rather than a backyard has increased significantly.

  1. Layout patio stones diagonally to make smaller spaces seem larger.
  2. Create levels and verticals as additional space.
  3. Use bright colors in outdoor rugs and stones.
  4. Incorporate seating areas in hardscapes.
  5. Use furniture with storage capacities.
  6. Install an outdoor mirror to create an illusion of more space.
  7. Use fairy lights or string lights in the walkway or patios.
  8. Install a bistro table.
  9. Put up hanging planters.
  10. Use dividing curtains in patios and decks.
  11. Incorporate some water elements in the design.
  12. Try planting potted herbs.
  13. Use living plants as natural dividers.
  14. Create a statement piece that would serve as the focal point of interest in the lawn.


How big should my yard be if I want a basketball court?

You should account for the following measurements if you want to have a basketball court in your yard.

  • Half courts measure 18 x 18 ft.
  • Standard courts (used in elementary) measure 37 x 42 ft (half court) or 74 x 42 (full court).
  • NBA size courts measured at 47x 50 ft (half) or 95 x 50 ft (total). The more common size is 30 x 50 ft.

What is the average size yard for a single-family home?

In average lot sizes, the home lot usually occupies 40% of the total lot, and the 60% is allocated equally for the backyard and front yard.

How much space will a pool take from my yard?

In the US, pools typically take about 20-30% of your total yard area but nowadays, there are more ingenious ways of installing pools.

Some pools can be hidden under a deck, while some pools are elevated. It is totally up to you if you want a smaller or larger pool than usual, compared to your total lot size.


There are a lot of considerations when buying properties, but one of the neglected ones is the future need for a lawn or backyard.

It is crucial to consider your family’s needs for a backyard and how it can add value to your property.

It is also essential to know how to measure your lawns for whatever project you will have. It will ensure that you will only purchase what you need and avoid overspending.

We hope that you have gained some insight into the advantages of having a backyard and how it can enhance your life and property.

D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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