Owning a house is expensive.
Not just the initial buy, or the materials needed to move, or upkeep of the existing features of the house – but the renovations needed can put a real ding in your wallet. Now, not all renovations or upgrades are necessary for a house to be functional – such as backyard makeover – but the appearance of the house can have a real effect on overall happiness and satisfaction in your home.
Besides, it’s your home, why shouldn’t it look the way you want to?
Especially when it comes to backyards – which can play a big part in hosting social gatherings, creating a safe, fun place for you, your children, and your pets to play around in, and vastly increasing a property’s value – renovation expenses can rack up pretty quickly.
To help you remodel on a budget, we’ve compiled a small list of Dos and Don’ts to keep your costs down while still revamping your backyard’s look for the better.
Use What You Have
We know it’s hard doing DIY renovations with little experience and limited time in your day, but using what you already have is one of the best ways to keep costs to a minimum when remodeling.
A lot of the ‘renovations have to be expensive’ stigma stems from the fact that everyone wants new stuff. New wood, new playhouses, new decks, new furniture, new grills – while they might be easier and reflect exactly what you want with minimal work on your part, unfortunately, low-budget renovations don’t allow for all new materials.
Luckily, unless there’s seen or unseen damage to what you have already available and installed in your yard, most of the times, they can be great starts to DIY fixer uppers. Dreary concrete decks can be painted or made the base to an over-lay material to give it a new look, old furniture can be repainted, repurposed, or reupholstered, and broken wood can be torn down for space and repurposing in another part of the yard.
There are plenty of step-by-step tutorials on the internet for crafty, thrifty flip projects to follow!
Depending on where you live, rainy seasons and longer periods of darkness can put a real damper on how your backyard looks. How can it look good if you can’t see it?
Putting up simple lighting solutions could be the solution or just the first step in your yard renovations. String lights, lanterns, path lighting, stair lighting, and spot lighting can be just the en’light’ening detail your backyard needs to look like a completely different space.
Just make sure you take into account the raised energy bills, unless the lighting runs on solar power!
Define your Spaces
By allocating designated areas to your backyard layout, you can easily make a far more appealing and aesthetic space. You can even go a step further and physically define those areas – colored mulch makes for a great ground cover around garden areas or play areas, and metal, brick, or stone edges for landscaping and garden areas can protect against ground overgrowth and section off non-grassy areas to keep it full and to itself. Lawncare technique can also lend to definition by weed-eating rigid lines around your property line, house walls, and deck areas. Keeping storage spaces available in each sections can mitigate debris and enhance the visual appearance of your yard – for example, keeping dog toys, children’s’ toys, and grill equipment in bins and bigger items like mowers and bikes in sheds or nooks around the yard.
Installing yard and garden pathways is also a powerful way to establish lines and a hierarchy of importance in your yard, as well as providing a safe walking area that won’t carve unintentional paths through your grass. These can be DIYed with stone, wood, gravel, mulch, with edges and without, flat, raised, built-in or freestanding – whatever floats your boat and fits your style and budget!
Make a Color-Code
Similar to interior design, having a color-code to your backyard can have an immense effect on the remodeling of your space. This color palate can apply to just about anything – from plants to décor to ground materials. With a few cans of spray paint, you can repaint furniture, plant pots, stones, pathways, sheds (which might take a little more than spray paint), tables, even walls and accents to compliment each other and sharpen up your yard’s aesthetic. Reupholstering or finding some new cushions and outdoor rugs to match each other can also make a huge difference in bringing your yard’s look together.
Don’t be afraid to plant colorfully, as well! If you’re someone who can’t keep plants alive, plant some low-maintenance landscaping plants instead of sweating over a garden that might not be suited for your climate.
A pretty distinct way to embellish your yard landscape is to think vertically – height distinguishes and de-monotonizes your land so that you can highlight some parts with natural décor, color, and dimension while leaving others flat for your use. Some components that contribute to height can include:
- Vertical Vines
- Vertical or Raised Gardens
This variation in height and depth can both assist in that definition concept and create natural places for the eye to rest when wandering instead of just a flat space. If rain is a big climate factor where you live, you can also plant a rain garden or engineer a landscape that utilizes rain water for plants, ponds, fountains, or rain-water pools.
Don’t Think ‘One and Done’
The first step and last of any renovation project is always maintenance. Clearing off ground spaces, keeping the yard clear from debris, washing stains off furniture and walls, and keeping up with your lawncare is an essential part of remodeling and backyard makeovers – the initial clean will make a difference in and of itself!
Pressure washers can be rented by themselves from most hardware stores, or local pressure washing services can do the job for you – either way, they’re a great way to freshen up your deck, patio, accent walls, fences, and exterior walls and they work on most materials so that you can get a perspective of how much money you really need to put into investing in anything new to replace things that just haven’t been upkept.
Don’t Discount Used or Bargain Materials
If you’re looking into refreshing your style entirely, sometimes the traditional stores and avenues of purchase aren’t the cheapest. Bargain stores may offer building materials and décor at a discounted price if they don’t sell well enough in primary home improvement and hardware stores, and you should always check around the community to see if anyone is selling used materials that you could repurpose. Estimates aren’t always accurate, and there may have been too much material bought for someone else’s remodeling project, or it might be the material being replaced that’s being sold, but either way, it will probably be cheaper than buying it new and in-store.
Décor, furniture, and the like are nearly always being sold online in marketplaces, groups, and designated individual buyer to seller websites – even if it’s not brand new, it will still be new to your space, and you might even find a match for your color palate that you couldn’t find in-store.
Don’t Use Temporary Solutions or Materials
There are plenty of quick fix improvements out there that work perfectly fine for small projects or place-holders while more permanent solutions are being funded or researched – a backyard makeover should not be a renovation of quick fixes and temporary solutions. Exposed to the elements and frequently used, oftentimes, they deteriorate at a far faster pace than any indoor project, which means that a temporary renovation may end up being more temporary than you expected and drain your finances if you intend to keep replacing it with something similar.
If you want to create a lasting backyard makeover – shoot for durable, quality solutions. Stick and peel wallpaper for your accent walls or sheds won’t last nearly as long as a coat of paint or a layer of siding, so if your budget runs out, no matter how much work you have left, rebuild some funds and continue the work with quality solutions instead of taking cuts that will cost you more in the future.
Don’t Ignore Proper Lawn Cultivation
As stated before, one of the most important aspects to a backyard makeover and renovations in general is keeping your work clean and cared for after the fact – otherwise you’ll be right back to where you started a few months later. If the actual lawn is an area of focus for your remodel, make sure you over-seed patchy parts only to get a consistent growth instead of seeding the entire yard, and keep it hydrated so that it grows right the first time.
If you change the makeup of your lawn entirely – like substituting your grass for natural materials such as moss, clover, mint, or thyme – search for methods that don’t force you to tear up your entire lawn with expensive tools and your valuable time. Aeration replacement is a practice where you punch holes in certain areas to fill with your substitute seeds and let it outgrow your grass.
Consider where you live and decide what kind of lawn will be best – there are plenty of grass alternatives that don’t require mowing if you don’t want to pay for gas, don’t require high amounts of water for drought areas, or contribute to the native wildlife for areas that are home to endangered species.
Don’t Leave Materials Out to Become Dingy
Clean, clean, clean – it’s the name of the game for a backyard makeover. When you choose décor materials the first time around, skip any fabric that will soak through and become dingy or susceptible to mildew, and make sure any wooden accent items and furniture are properly stained and weather-protected – no one wants rotting wood, soaked cushions, smelly rugs, or dirty surfaces ruining their hard remodeling work. Investing in some type of covering if your area is not already placed under balconies or open garages can solve weather-related problems and keep your newly-renovated areas safe, such as:
- Tree Cover
- Mesh nets
- Galvanized Panels
However you choose to go about your backyard makeover, one thing is for certain – you’re likely to have some sort of waste. Instead of leaving it in a pile until you have time for it, deal with it immediately so that you can finish out your project strong.
Make sure you check your local disposal service and their terms, though, because not all pick-up services will accept certain types or sizes of waste, which leaves the responsibility to you, once again. If you choose to transport your waste yourself, be sure you have the correct safety equipment and proper transportation, so that your discarded yard waste doesn’t end up scattered in your car or all over the road.
One way to avoid this is to hire a dumpster service – that’s where Moon Mini Dumpsters comes in.
We’ll deliver your dumpster, which is offered in sizes:
- 6 yard (10ft x 4ft x 4ft)
- 9 yard (10ft x 8ft x 3.5ft)
- 12 yard (11ft x 8ft x 4ft)
- 16 yard (12ft x 8ft x 5ft)
- 20 yard (15ft x 8ft x 5ft)
- 30 yard (22ft x 8ft x 6ft)
- 40 yard (22ft x 8ft x 7.5ft)
And then when you’re finished, we’ll pick it up again to transport any waste material you may have to the proper disposal locations! It eliminates the last steps so that you can sit back and relax in your newly remodeled backyard. Let us finish up your project for you!
Consider renting a Moon Mini Dumpster, no matter what size project you choose to undertake. Our driveway dumpsters come in 6, 9, 12, 16, 20, 30, and 40 cubic yard capacities. Affordable and lightweight, a dumpster will be delivered directly to you and placed on boards for surface protection. We are environmentally-friendly, locally-owned, and willing to work with any time frame. Give us a call at 502-547-1974 to learn more!