June 11

12 Projects That Will Transform Your Yard on a Budget

Home Service


Are you ready for a yard makeover? A yard makeover shouldn't have to be expensive. With a little outdoor furniture, landscaping, DIY magic, and love, you can transform your yard into a masterpiece on a budget. We'll show you how below!

1. Reduce Yard Upkeep With Flowerbeds

On average, homeowners will spend up to $100-200/month on landscaping, lawn care, gardening, and general upkeep. By installing flower beds, you not only could shave off some of this cost but actually increase your property value.

Note: Want free or cheap materials or tools to help you with your DIY projects? Check out Craigslist and Freecycle. You'll have to check both sites regularly and be quick on the draw when an offer comes up, otherwise it will disappear quickly.

Example Of Supplies Needed

  • Hydrangea                          Qty 5
  • Bleeding hearts                  Qty 3
  • Potting Soil Mix: 50 lbs.     Qty 5
  • Weed Killer: 15 lbs.            Qty 5
  • Weed Barrier: 3ft x 100ft  Qty 5
  • DIY Example Cost:              $340
  • Landscaper Cost: $1000-3000 

How to Get Started

2. Escape the Heat with Garden Arbors

Want to spend time outside with your backyard? Are you not a fan of the heat? Then garden arbors might be a good place to start. This will create the ultimate outdoor living room experience. Here's where to start:

Average DIY Price of Garden Arbors

  • Pergola: $400-800 for kit 
  • Trellis: $100-800 for a kit  
  • Pavilion: $1,000-5,000 for a kit
  • Gazebo: $1,500-7,000 for a kit
  • Pergola: $400-800 for kit
  • Trellis: $100-800 for a kit
  • Pavilion: $1,000-5,000 for a kit
  • Gazebo: $1,000-5,000 for a kit

Get a free quote on your garden arbor project: 

Quarfelt Carpentry

(208) 419-2762

3. Install a Firepit to Create Memories

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve your backyard is with a firepit. They provide an attractive focal point and great gathering place for friends, family and loved ones on warm summer nights to create memories. This easy DIY project not only can be done on the cheap, but can be completed in a weekend. 

Average Price of Fire Pit



Fire Pit Installation

  • $100-300
  • $300-500
  • $750+
  • DIY: $100-300
  • Premade: $300-500
  • Fire Pit Installation: $750+

4. Entertain Friends With an Outdoor Bar

Want to enjoy a bar setting with friends, family and coworkers from the comfort of your home? Having an outdoor bar is a great way to embrace that "bar feel" without worrying about "last calls" and the guest list. This project doesn't have to break the bank. We'll provide you the resources you'll need to get a magazine-worthy outdoor bar on a budget!

Average Price of an Outdoor Bar

  •  DIY: $200-1000
  •  Outdoor Bar Kit: $1,000-5,000+
  •  Contractor: $5,000-10,000+

Long-term Savings

  •  The average person spends $565 on alcohol annually.
  •  The average cost of drinking at a bar once a week annually is $3,120.
  •  That means you can save $2,555+ per year with this DIY project

How to Get Started:

5. Diversify Your Green Space With a Xeriscape

Want to cut down on lawn maintenance and diversify the aesthetic of your lawn? Then creating a xeriscape may be a fun, economical way to do just that.

What Can Thrive in South Eastern Idaho?

Example of What You'll Need

  • Color Guard Yucca
  • Sempervivium
  • Sedum Cauticola
  • Euphorbia Ascot Rainbow

What You'll Need







0.5 cu. ft.


Weed Barrier

3 ft. x 100 ft.


Example Project Cost
36 cu. ft.

What You'll Need

  • Succulents
  • Rock
  • Weed Barrier


  • 16
  • 0.5 cu. ft.
  • 3 ft. x 100ft.


  • $35
  • $5-10
  • $22

Example Project Cost

  • $417
You can get all of these materials from your local Lowes, Home Depot or landscaping store for around the prices listed above.

How to Get Started:

6. Opt for Natural Perennial Groundcover

Want to cutdown on the cost of lawn maintenance and make your yard more eco-friendly and colorful? Consider adding perennial groundcover. You may find that you prefer the smell, colors and variation this option brings to your yard.

Perennial Ground Cover Options
  • Corsican mint
  • Clover
  • Creeping Thyme
  • Asian Star Jasmine
  • Moss
  • Creeping Jenny

7. Enhance Your Yard With an Outdoor Theater

Want to enjoy watching movies on the big screen without having to travel or spend an arm and a leg? Then creating an outdoor theater area may be just what you need in your life.

Approximate Pricing for an Outdoor Theater

cheap or DIY




High ENd



How to Get Started

8. Install a Deck Addition or Patio

Not sure where to start with your backyard remodeling? A deck or patio will instantly add major appeal and resale value to your home. You can simply lay down pavers for a simple patio or invest your time and money to do something a little more permanent. 

How to Get Started

See our blog post on "5 Things You You'll Need to Know If You Want a Deck" to figure out how to get started with this project.

Get a free quote on a deck: 

Lindstrom Custom Construction

(208) 705-4240

9. Implement Backyard Accents

Want your backyard to stand out and outshine your neighbors? We'll show you a few examples of backyard accents that can help you make that happen on a budget.

3 Backyard Accent Ideas

  • Pond
  • Walkway
  • Mood Lighting

Average Pond Pricing

  • DIY: $1,000+ 
  • Kit: $100-250 
  • Contractor: $1,000-5,000 

Average Walkway Pricing

  • DIY: $200-300 
  • Contractor: $1,500-3,000

Average Mood Lighting Pricing

  • DIY/Kit: $100-200 
  • Contractor: $500-750

How to Get Started

10. Sacrifice Yard for Kid-Friendly Fun

To Lawn or Not to Lawn? With kids, that is the question. One way you can cut down on your backyard costs and maintenance is by sacrificing yard for recreational fun for the kids. Here are a few ideas and resources on how you can do that on a budget.

  • Tree House
  • DIY: $800-2,000 
  • Kit: $400-1,600  
  • Contractor: $4,000-15,000 
  • Outdoor Play Area
  • DIY: $100-2,500 
  • Kit: $200-5,000 
  • Jungle Gym
  • DIY: $250-1,000 
  • Kit: $500-3,000 

How to Get Started

11. Cool Off With a Stock Tank Pool

Are you not ready or willing to dump thousands of dollars into a pool to escape the summer heat? Well, one way you can enjoy the perks of having a pool on a budget is by investing in a stock tank pool.  

Stock Tank Pool


  • Don't take up much space
  • Built to last
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to find
  • Easy to store
Swimming Pool


  • Adds value to your home
  • Built to last
  • Warranty
  • Plenty of room for recreational activities
  • Good resource for working out

How to Get Started

12. Grow a Fence for Privacy

With the price of lumber continually rising, building a wooden fence may not be practical right now. Do you like growing plants, but not spending a lot of money? Then building a living fence may be a fun, thrifty project to undertake. 

Pros and Cons of a Grown vs. Wooden Fence

Grown Fence

  • Cost: $1,730-2,350
  • Outlasts wooden fence
  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Takes several years to reach full height
  • Effectively blocks out noise and wind
  • Improves resale value

Wooden Fence

  • Cost: $2,270-5,760
  • Doesn't last as long as living fence
  • Requires infrequent maintenance
  • Instant privacy screen
  • Might be blown over in strong wind
  • Good return on investment

Here's How to Get Started

About the author 


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