Creating A Sensational Backyard On A Budget

Need a little inspiration for your backyard? Take a cue from these top outdoor trends. But instead of committing your annual food and entertainment budget, you can leave some money in your pocket while creating a great space in which to enjoy it.

Outdoor kitchens

We would all love to have a decked-out outdoor kitchen complete with a Goliath barbecue and sink and fridge and prep counters. But you can still pull off a great space without spending the annual operating budget of a small country. 

"Outdoor kitchens are known for being expensive. Factor in durable, weather-resistant materials, quality appliances and electrical and plumbing installation, and you may feel like you're tackling a full kitchen renovation," said HGTV. "First, consider purchasing a pre-made outdoor grill island or bar-style structure. This can help to eliminate what can be costly custom improvements like concrete countertops and stone bases. For some more cheap outdoor kitchen ideas, consider using salvaged materials—such as reclaimed woods or recycled materials like stones, pavers or bricks—in your project."

HGTV recommends using an "all-weather kitchen cart with some storage and counter space," which can cost "as little as $100 and come in a variety of sizes and materials." Or, create this outdoor kitchen featured on Better Homes and Gardens by "reusing old materials and buying accessories at discount stores. It cost under $700.?

Unfinished cabinets from Home Depot or Lowes can serve as storage. Top with an inexpensive countertop with a value grill in between for a custom look on the cheap. Utilizing an existing gas line and positioning the kitchen within close proximity to the home for easy access to the sink can keep costs down—and keep you from having to hire pros for installation.

Outdoor living rooms

Creating an inviting space to lounge outside is all about comfort. Outdoor furniture can get pricey, but you can chip away at the price with a little ingenuity.

This concrete block bench featured on Better Homes and Gardens cost just $30. "Scrap fabric covers the pillows and the plank that top off this truly brilliant seating area."

Better Homes and Gardens

Whether you make your own seating and accessories or find them elsewhere, "Don't overestimate the importance of stylish but inexpensive decor, which plays an important supporting role," said HGTV. "Consider flea market finds like vintage plastic lounge chairs, lights strung around the patio for added ambiance or planters and window boxes to add natural beauty."

Need more ideas? Check out Better Homes and Gardens.

Patio covers

Depending on the climate in your area, the orientation of your yard, and how much direct sunlight hits the spot where you're planning to put your outdoor room, you might need to cover it up. Patio covers can look expensive but they're available in a range of prices, sizes, materials, and configurations.

According to fixr, the average cost of a DIY pergola is $3,100 based on a 10' x 10' size. Get instructions to make your own here. You can also find a variety of pergolas and gazebos at Home Depot.

A soft cover can be your answer if adding a sophisticated structure isn't in the cards. "A detailed and expansive structure isn't necessary for some simple sail-like shades," said Houzz. "While you can easily spend thousands of dollars on a sophisticated shading system with guide wires and the like, a few posts, some wires and fabric will set you back a minimal amount of money and be a really nice way to shade the patio."


Fire features

Fire features are one of the most popular outdoor trends today. A fancy outdoor fireplace covered in exotic stone is going to cost you. But a DIY fire pit can be made easily and for just a few dollars.

"This fire pit was built with "concrete culvert spacers—aka doughnuts—intended to fill culvert gaps in city sewer systems," said Better Homes and Gardens. "Using two-inch thick spacers, he nestled the first one halfway into pea gravel, then stacked the rest on top. He finished by painting the spacers with a concrete stain to darken and soften their utilitarian look."


Here's another idea for a DIY firepit.


Take advantage of a growing (and very worthy, we might say) trend and convert your old shed into a "She shed," to be used as a chill out space or an office. Don't have one to convert? Buy an inexpensive shed and personalize it.

This shed office featured on Sunset was purchased from Home Depot for $1,395 and decked out "in quirky style with art."

Get more inspiration here.

Bob Young

Bob Young

Real Estate for Sale in West Michigan
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