While winter may leave you enjoying the cozy feeling of being indoors, you’ll need somewhere to relax and spend quality time with loved ones when the gray skies change to blue. Naturally, that space behind your house would be a good place to start.
Making your backyard look magazine-worthy may seem impossible on a budget, but there are more than enough ways to do it. Whether your garden is currently little more than a collection of foliage or you’re simply looking to make some seasonal upgrades, here are 11 smart and affordable ways to improve your outdoor space in less than a weekend.
1. Power Wash That Deck
If your deck is starting to develop a dead, grungy look, perhaps it’s time to hit it with some high-pressure water. This will help give your backyard a fresh, clean look that’s ready for the summer. If you don’t have access to a high-pressure hose, you can scrub your deck with a soft brush using oxygenated bleach.
It’s recommended that you do this during springtime to prevent your deck from taking further damage from the heat. Be sure to follow your cleaning by sanding down any imperfections and applying a fresh coat of varnish or protective stain. Your backyard will look years younger in no time.
2. Grow a Privacy Fence
While it’ll take some time to fully grow, a natural privacy fence that is made up of rough bushes or thorns is a great way to not only make your backyard feel more secluded, but also keep out wildlife and intruders. Go for attractive plants that require minimum maintenance such as privet, chocolate vine, holly and boxwood species.
3. Switch to More Useful Plants
Having a bunch of grass and plants that serve no purpose outside of being there might be a waste of potentially useful space in your backyard. Instead, opt for plants that provide a maximum return on your investment, whether it’s your favorite vegetable, a selection of herbs or a type of produce that you could sell locally for extra cash.
4. Heat it Up
Nothing beats a good natural source of warmth and light in a backyard. Whether it’s an inviting fire pit, a small pot or even your old barbeque grill, be sure to incorporate a fire source into your backyard. Natural gas fire pits are a great option as they can be turned on in the flip of a switch and require little to no maintenance.
5. Incorporate a Water Feature
While it may seem like a daunting task from the beginning, water features are fairly easy to build and only require a basic set of essential components. This includes the pump, liner and electrical source. Whether you opt for a natural-looking pool or a simple concrete setup, it’s a great way to add life and character to your garden.
Assuming you don’t have any hungry cats running around, you could even drop a few Koi fish into the water for a more authentic look. Add a few chairs, an umbrella and a nearby fire source and you have yourself a relaxing space to spend quality time alone or with loved ones.
6. Add Some Smart Roofing
The last thing you want to deal with when relaxing outside is the sweltering summer heat shining directly onto your head. Adding a roof not only eliminates this problem, but also acts as a protective layer over your outdoor space, allowing you to keep furniture and other equipment outside during harsh weather.
An opening louvre roof is the perfect solution for any backyard patio, as you’ll be able to choose a configuration that best suits your home. Whether it’s a free-standing setup or one that’s attached to your home, numerous styles are also available depending on your preferences. Here’s a little more about the opening louvre roof.
7. Add a Path
Adding a simple stone, sand or gravel path is universally great advice that can elevate the look of any garden and add a ton of structure to the space. It’s the perfect opportunity to get creative and play with different shapes, materials and patterns to create a unique pathway of your own.
8. Install an Irrigation Kit
Tired of sitting inside hoping that the rain will come so that you don’t have to spend ages in the sweltering heat watering your garden? The set-and-forget drip feed irrigation system is here to save the day. What’s great about these kits is that they use conservative amounts of water based on your garden’s needs, saving you money in the long run.
9. Fashion a Mini Bar
When the time comes to relax outside with friends and family, storage space tends to run pretty low as food and drinks occupy whatever part of the table is available. A simple and effective solution is to take a basic shelf and brackets and attach it to your wall.
There are certain brackets available which can be folded down when not in use, affording you more space when you need it. If you need additional storage space, you could swap the brackets out for wooden panels, creating a shelving unit on top and a storage unit below.
10. Create a Sand Trap
Sandy feet can be the bane of any parent’s existence. To ensure that everyone comes back inside as clean as they were when they headed out, add a bench next to your hose pipe and create a concrete base to pour the sand and water onto. Alternatively, you could leave a bucket nearby and use the water for your garden after each cleaning session.
11. Opt for Ready-to-Assemble Furniture
No backyard is complete without a few benches, chairs or poolside beds to relax on. However, they usually don’t come cheap and you have to go for outdoor furniture in order to ensure it lasts. Ready-to-assemble furniture is significantly cheaper than pre-built pieces. This can save you a ton of money if you’re going for a full set of chairs, for example.
When deciding which product or upgrade to go for first, consider your needs and what your family wants in your backyard. From there, you can take the finished product and add the visual touches that you find most appropriate for the style and theme of your outdoor space.