We all dream of having the perfect backyard where kids and pets and adults can all play and enjoy the outdoors. Making that perfect backyard a reality, though, takes money and time, and most of us don’t have much of either. If you want to redesign your backyard but just don’t have the money for major renovations, here are some great ways you can redo the yard without breaking your budget.
1. Plan before you build. Whatever you want to adjust or fix, plan it out first before you take any steps to get it done. Talk it over with people around you. They may point out concerns or flaws or high costs you hadn’t thought about. If that perfect playground flooring is just too pricey, you should wait to order it until you’re sure.
2. Sell old items you don’t want anymore. If you’re replacing your patio furniture, instead of just tossing the old set away, offer it for sale on Craigslist or the local paper. You never know who’s going to want your old stuff, and you can make a bit of money for the project.
3. Shade your home with trees. Placing a tree or bush where it can help shade your air conditioner can actually end up saving you money on cooling costs.
4. Revamp the deck. You don’t have to replace an entire deck to get a new look. Try painting or staining it for a cheaper alternative. It gives the wood protection from weather damage as well, so painting it every year will actually help it last longer.
5. Choose native plants. By choosing plants that thrive in your area of the country, you will spend less money on water and fertilizer. They will grow beautifully with very little cost.
6. Buy the tools ahead of time. If you’re planning on a big renovation next summer, do yourself a favor and pick up the tools you’ll need in the fall. You’ll pay much, much less for them, as the stores will be desperate to get rid of their extra stock.
7. Ask your friends to help. If you have a group of friends who are good with renovating work, ask them to come over one day and work on it with you. Throw them a barbecue at the end, and you’ll get some work done cheap and enjoy time with your buddies.
8. Look for recycled supplies. Keep a look out for demolition sites. Ask the site supervisor, and you may be able to haul away all the bricks, lumber, and concrete you need for your current project.
9. Know when you need a professional. As tempting as it may be to take on the whole project by yourself, it can be much more expensive than just hiring someone else to do it, especially if you’re new to renovating.
10. Restore instead of replace. With lawn furniture, it’s generally easy to clean it, sand it, and paint it for a whole new look. Before you buy a full set of new furniture, see if your old ones can be re-purposed.