One Backyard Makeover Six Budgets
Yardzens mission is to deliver the most delightful landscape design and build experience available, and ultimately improve our clients quality of life by helping them spend more time in their outdoor spaces. One of the ways we do this is by providing unbiased information about landscape construction costs upfront to potential clients, so they have a better idea of the budget they need for the project they envision.
Clients backyard top view before Yardzen transformation
We also go through a budget exercise with all new clients during onboardingand design their yard to that budget. We have landscape contractors with many years of experience on staff, and have reviewed countless landscaping estimates from our nationwide network of vetted landscaping contractors in our Pro Network. We dont set installation costs, contractors do, but we share what we know from our wealth of firsthand experience around landscape installation costs to help clients plan a successful project.
Potential clients frequently ask us what different budgets will afford them: What will $10,000 get me? or, What does a $50,000 yard even look like?. So, we tapped one of our top designers to design one yard at six different budgets, from $10,000 to $125,000. As youll see, budget can be exhausted quickly in landscape design, but with smart choices and good planning, you can make the most out of any budget.
Before: Sheltered But Sad
Located in an inside corner between two areas of the home, this small patio takes advantage of a sheltered location that’s protected from cold winds on two sides. But, with a stained concrete pad and drab overall appearance, the homeowners aren’t taking advantage of this well-situated outdoor spot.
Swap Dying Grass For An Outdoor Room
Yes, grass adds value. But if mowing and seeding aren’t your thing, it’ll turn more gross than green. An attractive mix of hardscape and low-maintenance plants is money in the bank and gives you more living time, too. Fewer hours mowing mean more hours sipping cocktails on that fab patio.
Bonus: You can sell your lawnmower when the lawn is gone.
After: Refreshed Decking Looks Brand New
If your existing deck is old, shabby and a maintenance nightmare, you dont have to tear it all down and start over. Chances are that the structural parts are still in good shape. If so, you can simply remodel it with new decking, rails and stairs, and save tons of money over the cost of a complete rebuild. , as well as detailed wood deck repair steps.
In this story, well show you how to replace worn decking, railings, stairs and several other features. We wont tear out the basic deck framing. Instead, well describe how to tell if your deck is in good structural shape. Well show you how to replace old decking with low-maintenance composite materials and build a new floating landing at yard level that expands the deck in an attractive, practical way.
Before: Barely A Backyard
Last but certainly not least is this makeover by Valerie Aguiar. This yard, while cute, was rather cramped. There wasn’t much room for outdoor activities, and the patio held nothing aside from two tables. It needed some creative ideas and sprucing up in order to better utilize the little space available.
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After: Sophisticated Monochrome Space
For just £3,000 , including all labour, Negi has created a breathtaking monochrome space that oozes sophistication. The garden now features chic mint sandstone paving, new fencing, a log store and built-in planters that frame the space. Negi finished the yard with a peacock chair from Facebook Marketplace, which cost just £20 . Worthy of the pages of any glossy magazine, Negi’s now elegant English garden blends bohemian coolness with Scandinavian minimalism.
Here Is What We Spent On Our Backyard Before And After:
- Semco Outdoor for Stone Fireplace Kit, Stone Hearth from Lang Stone, Cedar Mantel from Columbus Millwork, and fireplace stone and mortar from Reitter Stucco $6401
- Patio Landscaping $1954
- Poured concrete patio $2800
- Savings from $23,000 estimate = $11680
My amazing-fantastic-he-must-really-love-me-a-bunch husband has never tackled a project this large, but did just an incredible job. By working on smaller projects when we first were married he learned the ropes, and got his confidence up for this monster. I couldn’t be more pleased with it!
While this was a lot of work, getting what we dreamed of was completely worth it
Have you tackled any major DIY projects in your home? I’d love to hear what you’re up to!
I’d love for you to join me over on If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, Id love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if theres a craft youve seen on a website that youre hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well
Looking for more landscaping posts? Here are a few:
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After: Private Paradise With Home Office
The old cracked driveway makes way for a freshly poured concrete drive surrounded by new sod. Wide concrete pavers and limestone gravel complete the low-maintenance landscaping while a new stacked limestone wall adds privacy. The home’s original carport is enclosed to create a home office with a wall of windows for maximum natural light. See more of this dramatic cottage makeover, featured in HGTV Magazine, below.
After: Space To Relax And Entertain
This deck isnt huge about 16 ft. wide x 18 ft. deep plus bays and stairs but its big on features. The upper deck is just the right size for entertaining small groups spacious but intimate. Cantilevered nooks on both sides provide space for seating and barbecue storage. The pergola shades the upper deck and the homes interior from the sun, and it offers a space for hanging or climbing plants. The lower deck is a great place to hang out in the sun, while the cascading stairs flow into the yard and provide lots of space for planters and pots. Get the full how-to plans for this project here.
Also Check: How To Build A Cement Patio
After: Affordable Backyard Pathway
Gravel is the easiest to handle and least expensive path material. It feels soft underfoot, but its solid enough to handle a loaded wheelbarrow. And although it looks informal, it can complement a formal garden, especially if you add a stone border. Here are several options as well as how-to steps.
Before: Underused And Neglected
Next, we have a basic, yet beneficial transformation from Top Notch Lawn Care. In the beginning, the yard was littered with trash and old furniture, creating obstacles to proper lawn care. The grass was tall and hadn’t been cut for quite some time. Additionally, the old stone pathway was cracked and overgrown with weeds.
Also Check: How To Acid Stain Outdoor Concrete Patio
Before: Simple Compact Garden
Cory and her husband had a simple and compact back garden, until they decided to make use of every inch of space by creating the ultimate play area for their son, Sebastian. The couple, who live in Northern Ireland, worked as a team on the project. Cory took on design duties, while her partner was given responsibly for the construction work. Simple yet extremely effective, their hardwork has added wow-factor to their garden.
After: A Chic Gin Bar
Spending just £110 on decking boards and spray paint, they built their own table and chairs by stripping their old rattan furniture and reusing the frames, which were in perfect condition. They removed the staples and wire brushed the metal, before covering the frames with black PlastiKote spray to give an even finish. Decking boards became bespoke seats, some of which come with cut-out wine glass holders. To complete their garden upcycling, they made a handmade wall-mounted gin bar, created from surplus pallets.
Read Also: 3 Panel Patio Sliding Doors
Light Up That Backyard Space
Cozy and romantic! That’s how we like a backyard. And the best way to create romance in a backyard is with proper lighting for the evening. Think about it…if you’re only using your backyard in the daytime because you don’t have good lighting, then you’re only getting half the use out of your backyard. So get a good string of lights and set the mood for your next romantic evening or nighttime shindig!
Adding String Lights Or Lanterns To Create Ambiance
If youre looking to create a fantastic ambiance in your dream backyard at a low price point, invest in outdoor lighting. Strategically hanging string lights in your garden or patio to highlight your favorite features can make all the difference. You can also place a few lanterns on your stone walkway or front entrance steps to add a warm element to your home. Adding lighting is not only a safety feature, but it also allows you to enjoy and make the most of your space at night.
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Before: Worn And Weathered
My Cardinal Home demonstrates a simple backyard makeover. This backyard was already cute all on its own however, it needed a little bit of fixing up. The outdoor mini gazebo area was still functional, but looked old and kind of lifeless. No serious renovation was needed, but the space could use an update.
Wooden Bench And Panel
First I tried to figure out some way to block the view of the heat pump. The ground couldnt take a fence post because there are power lines running underground and there are remnants of the old concrete.
I wanted to create something like the planter/bench/screen combo pictured above.
Together my husband and I decided a full bench seat would be a lot easier than the planter/bench combo.
I picked up 6 pieces of 2 x 4 x 8 ft pressured treated lumber for the seat and one 6 x 6 x 8 ft post from Home Depot.
We decided that the 6 x 6 was overkill and that a 4 x 4 would have been MUCH easier to work with! I recommend that if you try this project.
We built this basic 8 foot long bench in place there on the patio. The main consideration was to make all of the back side flat so we could attach the fence panel.
Here is my attempt at a rudimentary plan for the bench. I apologize if it is difficult to use Ive never drawn a plan before!
At the very least it will give you the cuts for the 2x4s.
I considered a bunch of different materials for the screen portion but we ended up going with this Pressure Treated Fence Panel from Home Depot.
It fit the bill perfectly and only cost about $40. We ordered it online and picked it up in the store.
Then we screwed the fence panel to the back of the bench. This meant we didnt have to dig into the ground at all and the panel is free standing.
Heres what I recommend for the project.
Pressure Treated Wood For the bench seat & posts:
TOTAL = $81.66
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Add Vintage Hardscaping Elements
Hunt down affordable treasures and bring vintage style to your space with this inexpensive backyard idea. Many hardscaping elements, such as simple trellises or arbors, can be found either used or at flea markets. These outdoor items can add height, define traffic flow, or indicate movement from front to back.
Backyard Makeover On A Budget Summary
I absolutely love how our budget patio makeover turned out. I have been spending some time there every day lately.
Heres a breakdown of what we spent on everything for the backyard makeover:
- Six 2 x 6 x 8 ft boards = $33.42
- One 4 x 4 x 8 ft post = $6.77
- One 6 ft x 8 ft fence panel = $41.47
- Patio Mat = $16.79
- Two bags of concrete from Home Depot = $5.48
- Two 4 x 4 x 8 ft posts = $13.54
- Two sets of Outdoor String Lights = $15.63
- Two cans of turquoise spray paint = $7.96
- Two outdoor throw pillow = $10.00
- Six stepping stones = $9.48
GRAND TOTAL: $160.54
I wanted to stay under $200 for this project so am happy to report it stayed well under budget.
I am so glad I decided to DIY this instead of having someone pour me a new concrete pad, for example. That alone would have cost close to the price of the entire makeover!
I hope this post gave you lots of ideas for your own budget patio makeover.
After: Prepped For Play
The rickety old deck is removed to make way for sturdy concrete footers, topped by fresh cedar decking. Rather than being surrounded by railing, the new deck now stair-steps down to the backyard so it’s easier for kids to access the nearby play area, while parents can keep a relaxed watch from the deck’s lower seating area. Check out more backyard transformations from the show Going Yard, below.
You Need A Design Phase
As much as you might want to immediately put a shovel to work, every expert suggests following a thorough plan first. It doesnt cost much to edit a blueprint, compared with editing a construction site after something goes wrong, Anne says. With proper design, planning, and engineering, a construction project can be quite exciting, predictable, and enjoyable. This plan will also help you narrow down what your yard can actually accommodate.
The biggest cost drivers for outdoor renovations are pools, retaining walls, slopes, and demolition, Lenhart notes. Its useful to account for the most expensive features first, and then work your way down to more cost-effective design elements. Understanding the rough cost of big ticket items like , retaining walls, or kitchens helps you to figure out which features will deliver the most value to you. Ideally, you want to spend your budget on features that will have the greatest impact on your design. Yardzen makes this process a cinch with an online quiz, but an in-person pro will run you through the costs before ever breaking ground. Its also possible to complete this project in more than one phase, which would account for seasonality and provide more time to save.
Phasing is key, Anne says. For example, if the pergola you want needs to be done in phase two, then make sure you install the footings needed now under phase one.
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After: Quaint English Patio
Once the ground was level, Dani removed the footpath and border plants which ran down to the shed, selling the paving slabs on a local buy and sell forum and using the cash to revamp the space. She bought a second-hand paving circle for just £40 and extended the diameter by cutting up a cobble carpet from B& Q . The surrounding slate chips were reused from the original border and Dani created two raised beds out of leftover decking timber. Total spend? £800 .
Hang Globe Lights Strategically
Globe lights make us think of romantic patios at a fancy restaurant. Why not create that cozy, romantic space right in your backyard! Use globe lights to highlight the best features of your backyard, even if it’s tiny. For example, if you have a nice brick wall, then hang globe lights to light that up. Or if you have a beautiful tree, use globe lights to draw attention to it at night.
Also Check: How To Install A Pergola On A Concrete Patio
After: Stunning Stone Pathway
Shovel and Thumb transformed the space, dedicating an entire corner of the yard to this impressive raised patio. The stone mosaic platform has plenty of room for lounge chairs or a small cafe table and chairs. Already much improved, the space will be even more beautiful once the newly planted greenery grows to full maturity.
Before: Dull And Dark
This makeover comes from Shovel and Thumb. Initially, their backyard seemed dull, with more than half of the lawn dead and covered in dried leaves. The fencing was old and in clear need of repair. Additionally, there was shrubbery that needed to be removed. Overall, this backyard was dying to be brought back to life.
Read Also: Outdoor Fire Pits At Lowe’s
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