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Backyard Renovation on a Budget

Jennifer A. Digiovanni
Simple Savings

Family eating outside

As the days grow longer, you may start to dream about spending summer nights in the backyard with friends. A warm spring weekend may even motivate you to dust off the deck furniture and prep the grill. As you glance over your backyard, you might realize that it's time for a much-needed overhaul of your outdoor living space. From large-scale deck installations to smaller design projects, here are a few tips on how to complete a backyard renovation on a budget.

Compare Deck and Patio Materials

A deck or patio will likely be the foundation for your outdoor living space. If you're starting from scratch, choose a material that fits your budget and meshes well with the exterior design of your home. According to the Landscaping Network, the average cost of a 12-by-12 patio can range from around $850 for a concrete base to over $4,000 for flagstone.

If you want to add a deck, the cost calculator on gives you an idea of the prices of different materials, from composite to a range of hardwoods. Before you finalize your selection, it's best to understand how each material holds up over time. You'll also want to be aware of the upkeep and maintenance involved in your seasonal patio or deck area. If you have the money in your budget, you may be willing to spend more on low-maintenance composite materials rather than apply stain to a wood deck every few years.

Build Privacy Into Your Budget

If you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors this summer, chances are you'll want some type of privacy from your neighbors or passing traffic. Whether you have a deck or patio, one simple way to define your outdoor space is to add a privacy screen. If your budget allows for a larger project, consider adding a stone wall, lattice or wood fencing. Smaller yards may benefit from a natural screen, such as tall-growing potted plants or flowers.

Prioritize Spending for the Best Renovation on a Budget

Once the frame of your outdoor space has been set, determine how to furnish the area. Are you looking for a casual, comfortable place to hang out with friends or a more stylish space to entertain? How many people do you need to provide seating for? Decide where you want to devote your outdoor budget. You may choose to add a bar area for drinks, high-quality speakers for acoustics or an outdoor grill space for cooking.

Use Accents to Dress Up a Space

If you can't afford new deck furniture this season, try adding some inexpensive decorative accents to dress up your outdoor space. Lanterns, pillows and flower pots are small changes that add color and style to your backyard. Or add a fresh look with a vertical garden. In the meantime, look for deck furniture to go on sale after the summer starts. According to Lifehacker, the best month to get deals on patio furniture is October, right at the end of the outdoor season.

Similar to your home's interior design, your outdoor space should reflect your personality and lifestyle. Before summer begins, complete a backyard renovation on a budget to help you enjoy the warm weather without breaking your wallet.

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