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7 Ideas to Improve Your Backyard- Without Breaking the Bank!

Keystone Custom Decks

Looking to improve your backyard experience this summer? We’ve got 7 hot tips so you can fully enjoy those sunny days.

If you’re like many people these days, you want to spend as much time outside as possible. Get some fresh air, exercise, relax, spend time with family, stretch your legs, you name it. Though depending on where you live, the cost of having a backyard getaway like this might be prohibitive. Luckily, there are many low-cost ways to transform your space into the green oasis that it deserves at a price you can work with. If you’re looking for ideas for improving your backyard without breaking the bank, here are six affordable improvements that will breathe life (and fun!) into any space:

1.) Give Your Grill Space Some Love

Grills are a must-have for any outdoor space. You can use them to cook healthy meals, grill veggies, and whip up a mean steak or burger. Throw a Bring Your Own Food (BYOF) party, and your friends can even grill their own meats and veggies just like they like them. As you probably noticed, people also tend to congregate around the grill. So give that space some love! Lay down some inexpensive decorative bricks, grab some low-cost outdoor chairs from a home improvement store, add a few potted plants and you’re in business. Bonus points if you add a portable fire pit! If you want to get even more ambitious, add a lattice-lined overhead structure for shade and aesthetics and you’ll never fail to impress!

2. Add a Water Feature

Not only is a water feature gorgeous, but it adds a wonderfully natural sound to your backyard environment. A water feature can be anything from a simple fountain to a more elaborate design with a bubbling stream and lilypads. Whatever type of feature you choose, make sure it’s something that complements your outdoor space and incorporates aesthetics as well as function. A water feature is a great way to add a splash of nature to your outdoor space, and it’s also an excellent way to save money by avoiding a more expensive pond. Water features are extremely popular with homeowners today, so there are plenty of options when it comes to choosing the right design for your backyard. We really like this water feature available at Amazon because of its classical, old -world look (Full disclosure, we do *NOT* get affiliate dollars for sharing products we like).

3. Install a Privacy Fence

If you’re looking to create a more private backyard space or simply want to add a sense of security, a privacy fence is a great option. It can be as simple as a chain-link fence you can plant vines on or as elaborate and ornate as you’d like. Though, we must say we’re partial to lattice walls for a classic, elegant look that’s also an affordable and easy DIY project. Privacy fences are also a great way to create a more intimate backyard space, which can be ideal for those who want to relax out of doors with a partner or close friends. A privacy fence is a low-cost way to transform your outdoor space into a more secluded place. However, you don’t have to go overboard. You don’t need to spend a ton of money to achieve the intended effect. A low-cost fence can be as simple as a few wooden posts and the lattice pattern of your choice.

backyard privacy fence lattice

4. Add a Rock Garden

We don’t mean like the little rock gardens you had as a kid, or you got your dad for his desk at work. If you want to inject some interest and natural beauty into your space, a rock garden is a great, low-cost option. Simply find a few large natural stones that you like, then potentially add small rocks around them. You can find decorative rocks at the hardware store and many garden centers and landscapers have larger rocks you could install. A rock garden can be as elaborate or simple as you like. It can be a small decorative feature that’s tucked away in a corner or an expansive feature that covers most of your backyard and helps keep down lawn watering costs. Overall, a rock garden is a low-cost way to transform your backyard space. It’s also a great project to include your kids in. Children are often fascinated by rocks and are often quick to notice and appreciate a rock garden’s simple beauty. The rocks also make for a great time for playing on and around! Just be careful, maybe don’t install TOO huge a rock.

5. Build a Deck or Pergola

If you’re looking for a way to create a more engaging space, a deck is a great option. Decks can be simple DIY affairs or involve professional deck builders. Depending on your budget and vision, having a pro can make a big difference. Decks give you and your family and friends a place to relax, hang out, and host outdoor parties. A deck is a relatively low-cost way to transform your outdoor space and make it more engaging and comfortable.

We also love pergolas, which provide an elegant space and much-appreciated shade in the summer. It also adds some additional privacy and can be covered with a clear poly product like those installed by BHD Construction to keep out the rain without affecting the overall look of an open roof. Acurio lattice offers a ton of designs to choose from, or you can even design your own! Love palm trees or have a favorite pet you want to see reflected in your pergola’s lattice pattern? Let’s talk!

acurio lattice pergola

6. Create a Play Area for Kids

Why stop at big rocks? A play area is a great way to let your kids explore and have fun safely without spending a ton of money. They can find all sorts of fun things to do and explore out in your backyard, such as making forts and building forts, playing with toys and sports equipment, and setting up a play area for their friends. Kids spend a lot of time indoors, but playing outside can help kids expend energy and stay active and provide an opportunity for the family to hang out together out of the house. Designate an area just for them and include their ideas into your plans. Do they want a treehouse they can help you build? Building blocks? I mean how cool are these blocks, you know you couldn’t resist! Anyone up for a game of mega chess? All fun, easy ways to improve your backyard experience and make it more welcoming, fun, and educational!

7. Plant a Garden

Even if you don’t think you have a green thumb, planting a garden is easy and a lot of fun, particularly when you involve your family and friends (who are sure to appreciate the fruits of your labor!). Simply choose a space in your yard that gets a lot of sunlight, till in some store-bought top soil and compost, then plant a few seedlings. To save money, you can even start with seeds. You can set up a drip hose and even add a timer so you can set-and-forget your watering schedule. There’s something about gardens that humans evolved to appreciate, connecting you and your family to the source of bounty. Valuable, peaceful, interactive, and delicious!

Followed All Our Suggestions? Invite Us Over!

These recommendations are obviously just a few of the many ways you can improve your backyard, but they are some of the easiest and cheapest to implement quickly and with great results. We wish you a happy summer with you and yours! Don’t forget to send us pictures of what you accomplished and we’ll share them here.