10 Awesome Backyard Makeover Ideas for Homeowners on a Budget

10 Awesome Backyard Makeover Ideas for Homeowners on a Budget

By: Sarah Dirks


May 9, 2022

Summer is fast approaching, which means it’s time to find easy backyard makeover ideas that won’t break the bank. Get ready for barbecues, cooling off in the pool and soaking up the sun with the ultimate outdoor entertainment space.

We’ve created a list of 10 backyard makeover ideas with everything from hanging a few lights to building your own deck. So, show off your DIY skills, grab your toolkit and check out our list of top backyard design ideas to spruce up your space for summer!

1. Build a Deck/Patio

Even if you don’t have a construction background, you can still build a simple patio or deck. Completing this project instantly adds appeal to your yard and also increases the value of your home. There are a variety of materials, patterns and styles to choose from, but completing this project doesn’t have to break the bank! There are some DIY options that cost less than $1,000.

If you don’t have experience building a deck, it’s a great idea to choose a simple design. Try a parallel or perpendicular pattern on a platform or raised deck. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew with a complicated design, then wish you would’ve chosen something easier!

Pro tip: Check out this step-by-step guide for building a deck over a weekend, for less than $900! The cost of wood may be higher than quoted in this article, but this DIY project is still affordable.

2. Create a Pathway

A stone pathway not only adds flair to your outdoor space, but it’s also inexpensive and fairly easy to do. Make sure to choose stones that match your home, and pick rock that is practical for your yard. For example, if your pathway will be near a pool or pond, the stones should be textured so they don’t get slippery when wet.

Once you choose the material, lay and level the stones. Then install a weed barrier and fill with mulch or pebbles. To make your pathway stand out, consider adding lanterns or lights along the path. You can even add solar lights, they’re energy efficient and eco-friendly! Check out this article for the top 10 solar pathway lights in 2021!

3. Make a Garden Bed

Want to spruce up your backyard? Plant a garden! Whether you want to create DIY raised garden beds/planters or grow vertically, there are hundreds of great options to create a unique and stunning space.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your garden. Place a giant planter front and center, or line a pathway with beds on either side. You can also add pops of color and utilize plants of different heights to make your garden stand out. Just remember, if your planters will be directly on the ground, use landscape fabric to prevent weeds and allow for drainage.

4. Construct a Trellis

DIY trellises are easy, cheap and add a lot of personality to your backyard. They are especially useful if you want to create a vertical garden, just use vertical growing vegetables and other plants to wrap around your structure. The best part is you can create a trellis out of almost anything—from garden stakes to bamboo to wood to rebar. (So, you can use what you have on hand and save money!)

Pro tip: We suggest building the trellis first, and then putting it in the ground assembled. This is much easier than assembling after the stakes are in the soil.

5. Add a Pergola

A pergola is a great backyard makeover idea. Not only do pergolas spruce up your outdoor space, they also shield you from the sun so you can cool down on warm summer afternoons. You’ll want to spend even more time outside under the shade of your pergola.

When building your DIY pergola, it’s important to be wary of design and orientation in order to maximize the shade. Consider which direction your pergola should face, as well as the materials you’ll be using. You can also add curtains or plants to block the sun even more. Be sure to research, check out design plans and diagrams, and seek the help of friends and family before tackling this project!

6. Create a Water Feature

A water feature instantly adds that “wow” factor to your backyard. Whether you want to add a small pond or fountain, or build a swimming pool, these DIY backyard projects are a great investment.

Stock tank pools are a popular and easy project that can be used all summer long. Just make sure to set the tank on a flat surface of stones or concrete to protect your grass. Here’s more information about stock tank pools!

A pool isn’t the only water feature you can add to your yard. Fountains, bird baths, streams and koi ponds are also fun options. Find more inexpensive DIY water features in this blog.

7. Try Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is a great way to add visual appeal to your yard while creating a garden space that needs minimal maintenance.

When xeriscaping, it’s important to test your soil pH and keep it aerated. You can also use organic (wood chips, leaves, bark) and inorganic mulch (small rocks, gravel) to cover the surface of the soil. Choose low-water plants like columbine, iris and lavender, along with succulents, shrubs and trees to fill your garden. It’s also a good idea to feature plants native to your area.

8. Hang Lights

Indoor lighting can work wonders for a space, but did you know it can impact your outdoor living area as well?

If you’re imagining a whimsical atmosphere for your outdoor space, drape twinkle lights or string lights over a pergola or hang them along the outline of your patio. Lanterns allow you to grab and move the lighting at any time, so if you’re looking for a mobile light fixture, these are the way to go. You can also add lights along the pathway in your yard for extra flare. (This helps prevent any tripping or falling in the dark, too.)

Pro tip: Hiring the pros to install outdoor lighting can get expensive, but if you follow these tips, you can add some sparkle to your outdoor space for much, much less. Check out this article for some of the best outdoor string lights, some are about $20! (Again, prices may be higher than listed in this article, but you can still find some awesome, cheap lights online!)

9. Get an Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is a great way to elevate your outdoor space. For a simple outdoor kitchen, put a grill on your patio along with a small table and chairs. Or, for a bigger and more versatile kitchen space, install an island, cabinets, grill and refrigerator. If you don’t want to design and construct your outdoor cooking area from scratch, you should get an outdoor kitchen set. These normally include a grill, space for storage and cooking space.

Pro tip: Obviously the more tricked-out you want your outdoor kitchen, the more expensive it will be. So, if you’re looking for the most budget-friendly option, get a grill and build a small table and chairs to enjoy an outdoor cooking experience for less. Check out this list of the top grills in 2022.

10. Build or Buy Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor seating is a popular and essential backyard makeover project. You can’t create the ultimate entertaining space if there are no places to sit! DIY your own chairs with wooden pallets, buy rocking chairs or even build an outdoor couch.

Buying outdoor furniture can get expensive, so it’s a great idea to build your own! It may seem overwhelming, but check out these plans with step-by-step instructions to make building beautiful outdoor furniture easy!

How much does a backyard makeover cost?

Backyard makeovers can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 or more according to Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. Smaller projects including lawn work and adding plants can cost less than $1,000, but major projects can be much more.

Help lower the cost of these big projects by doing it yourself. Even though it’s more work, there are plenty of videos and articles online to help with DIY backyard renovations. You can save a lot of money by avoiding the cost of professional construction labor.

How do I renovate a backyard on a budget?

You can renovate your backyard without breaking the bank. To refresh your backyard on a budget, stick to less expensive items. Instead of creating a custom outdoor kitchen, get a grill and build a table. Or, stick to smaller (but still effective) projects like making planters, building patio furniture, getting outdoor pillows and rugs or adding some lighting.

Many of the projects we listed in this blog can be completed by homeowners on a budget. DIY projects are a great way save money on backyard renovations.

What is a reasonable budget for landscaping?

In general, a reasonable budget for landscaping is 5-10% of your home value. Landscape costs can be impacted by the size of your yard, what projects you want to complete, materials needed, plants, your location and labor costs. But, no matter how much you spend on landscaping, it’s important to remember that any work done will often increase the value of your home.

How do you transform a boring backyard?

Many of the backyard projects in this blog can transform a boring backyard. Landscaping is a great way to spruce up your outdoor space. Consider trimming plants, digging up old garden beds or even xeriscaping. You can also build a patio or deck, add patio furniture or even create a backyard kitchen to revamp your outdoor space.

Time to Improve Your Backyard on a Budget

We hope this list of backyard projects has helped you find inspiration!

Whether you’re looking to completely revamp your outdoor space, or you’re just seeking a simple DIY project or two, find everything you need to know on this list!  

While you’re digging in the dirt and transforming your backyard, check out Store Space. Self-storage can always come in handy—especially if you’re looking for a spot to hold extra patio furniture, lawn equipment or gardening supplies. Just use our storage finder to locate your nearest facility.

Sarah Dirks content writer

Sarah Dirks is a Content Writer for Store Space who enjoys watching movies, being active and cheering for the Boston Red Sox.


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