9 Backyard Makeovers On the Cheap



Improving your backyard space and making it look visually more interesting doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg or two. There are some simple things you can do to jazz up your outdoor space without destroying your budget.

These are not big, glamorous makeover tasks, but really just some small improvement ideas that can make a big difference.

Let’s get into them.


9 Backyard Makeovers On the Cheap


#1 – Build Some Rocks Formations

No, we’re not talking sculptures here or any sort of intricate building design. Rather, these are nothing more than rock piles really, but with the rocks varying in sizes and placed strategically to look organic and interesting.

This idea is perfect for the center of garden beds, or even at the head of a pathway. They look quite natural and are an easy way of breaking up the monotony of a mundane landscape.

The good thing about this idea is you likely don’t even have to buy the rocks. Drive around out of town a ways and you can probably find quite a few decent sized rocks that will do the job.

If you wanted to take things a step further, you could create a water feature or a pond out of them.


#2 – Make a Simple Pathway

This pathway doesn’t have to be made of concrete or fancy pavers, although those are two options if you have the budget for it.

Otherwise, you could simply map out a winding pathway through your yard, dig out the turf and soil down just a few inches and cover the path in small stones or gravel.

If it’s a straight pathway you could put some thin boards along the edges to keep everything neat and in place, but pretty hard to do with a curving path; although you can achieve it with narrow bender board.

It’s not really necessary for something simple and basic anyway.

As far as the stones go, these really don’t cost very much when you order a few cubic yards from your local landscape supplier.

A path cut through a plain yard can really lift up the overall look of the area.


Backyard Path


#3 – Color That Plain Concrete Patio Area

Nothing looks more boring than bare concrete. It’s okay for driveways and paths, but doesn’t look too fantastic when it’s in your patio area.

Now, you could go to the expense of tiling your patio, or covering it with an expensive epoxy patterned finish, or your could simply give it some color.

Paving paint is one way to add color to that naked concrete look, or you could actually stain the concrete with the color of your choice. Whether you choose paint or stain, either choice is extremely cost effective compared to the alternatives, and the results look really cool as well.

If going the staining route, use a masonry stain, as it’ll adhere better to the concrete surface.


#4 – Buy Or Build a Simple Trellis

These are actually pretty easy and cheap to build if you’re handy with a few tools. After all, the trellis is only going to be placed in the backyard and really doesn’t have to be perfect.

The best thing about a trellis is you can encourage a flowering vine to grow all over it. In time it’ll look pretty spectacular and really doesn’t take much time or money to put together.

You don’t even necessarily have to build it, as you can buy them already made. Just make sure it’s either made from treated wood, or stain it to protect the timber from the elements.

You could place your trellis at the start of the pathway you made. Just a thought.




#5 – Add Mulch To the Gardens

You could buy mulch that has been stained a certain color, or just go for the really natural look.

First thing to do is clean up those gardens beds. Remove any weeds and trim any grassy edges so everything looks nice and neat. Be sure to get rid of sticks and stones and any other lumpy debris that will detract from the overall look.

Mulch is lightweight and very easy to apply to your gardens beds. Simply barrow it in and use a yard broom turned upside down to move the bulk of it around.

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to get into the garden and do a bit of fine tuning with your hands by neatly surrounding all the stems of the plants with the mulch.

Mulching your garden can really add some pizazz to your yard, and it’s relatively cheap to buy and super easy to do. Even the kids can get involved.


#6 – Add In Some Outdoor Furniture

This one probably sounds very obvious, but adding in some furniture designed for the great outdoors is definitely a plus.

Now, you don’t necessarily have to have a concreted patio or deck to put a few deck chairs out in the yard. If you’re going for the sectional outdoor sofa look, then yeah, you’ll likely need a nice flat space that’s mud-free, but there are little table and chair sets that you could situate out on the lawn, beneath a tree or wherever takes your fancy.

The idea of having a pleasant backyard is to get out there and enjoy it, so you won’t want to be on your feet all the time.

Outdoor furniture is often quite cheap and lightweight, so easy to buy and easy to move about as you see fit.


Wicker and Rattan - There Is a Difference


#7 – Paint the Fence

Fence paint doesn’t cost a lot and you don’t even have to be that neat. After all, you’re only painting out in the garden, so you may not even need any drop sheets.

Whether it’s a timber fence or a concrete one, painting fences is super easy because you don’t have to be exact. Once again, even the kids could get involved.

A lot of fence paints and stains are water-based, so clean up is easy and very low on the toxicity levels. No disgusting paint fumes.

You could go for a nice pristine white, or color the fence green or brown so it really blends in with the surrounds and looks more natural. The choice is yours.

Sprucing up that fence with a coat of paint will really breathe new life into your backyard space.


#8 – Buy a Barbecue

It sounds like a basic plan, but what backyard is really complete if you can’t cook up a storm on a warm summer evening outdoors?

It doesn’t have to be a monster BBQ or anything elaborate, and you don’t necessarily need a patio, deck or undercover area either. Even one of the small Weber models on a trolley would be perfect.

Being able to cook and entertain outdoors really does make your backyard feel more like home.

Check out our list of some of the best BBQs on the market. There’s bound to be something there that you like.

I can smell the steaks grilling from here.


BBQ Steaks


#9 – Cover Your Patio With a Simple Marquee

If it’s the peak of summer, there’s nothing worse than wanting to spend some time outdoors in the fresh air, but it’s simply just too harsh and oppressive under the summer sun.

If you have a lawn area or uncovered patio, then erecting a simple marquee will give you some much needed shade and relief from the harsh rays of the sun.

The marquee might be vinyl or canvas, but either way, they’re designed to handle the elements, are attached to a lightweight and easy to erect metal frame, and solve that shade problem for a very small investment.

Don’t fry outside if you don’t have to. Marquees are cheap and easy to put up, and you can take them with your anywhere, even on camping trips.