10 Affordable Ways to Upgrade Your Backyard Space


How can you upgrade your backyard space without breaking the bank?

If there’s one thing that can save you the most money and time when making over your backyard, it’s having a plan. Once you have a clear vision of what you want and chart a path for achieving it, everything seems to fall into place.

If you’re on a tight budget, it’s especially essential to think creatively and plan carefully. There are plenty of ways to upgrade your backyard space without breaking the bank, and we’re here to give you some inspiration. Whether you’re hoping to beef up your landscaping, add a patio, or plant a garden to bring wildlife and beauty to your outdoor space, you can glean valuable ideas from these 10 great makeovers.

No matter your budget, here are some ways to upgrade your backyard space!

upgrade your backyard space
Photo by Summer 1810 from Shutterstock

1. Replace annuals with native perennials

One of the best and most affordable ways to upgrade your backyard space is to attract local wildlife by giving them their preferred sources of shelter and food, and these are usually the plants that are native to your area. As you populate your outdoor area with plants, aim to choose native perennials that you like.

Just as local wildlife has adapted to your area’s fauna and flora, native plants have adapted to your region’s weather conditions and typical soil. These adapted plants have the best shot at thriving in your yard, even with a little neglect.

While buying perennials may cost more upfront, you’ll end up saving money in the long run, especially if you slowly fill your landscape with perennials. Most perennials can live five or more years, compared to annuals, which need to be planted each season.

2. Define your spaces

Determining the kinds of spaces you need—a shady lounging spot, an outdoor kitchen, a dinner area—and clearly defining them can make a huge visual and functional impact on your outdoor spot. You may be able to do this inexpensively and quickly by simply rearranging the furniture and accessories you already have.

This is a great idea to upgrade your backyard space because it allows you to create special spots where you can relax, work, or grow food. If clutter is in the way, you may want to buy or build a storage shed to keep your gardening supplies and other miscellaneous items out of sight when not in use.

3. Concrete cover-up

If your plain concrete patio looks dull, there are easy, inexpensive ways to spruce it up. One option would be to coat the surface with concrete paint or masonry stain in a color of your choice, like deep brown or warm honey.

A second idea would be to cover the concrete with slate tiles using a thin-set mortar like VersaBond. It will create an elegant appearance, yet it won’t break the bank!

Or you can make the job really simple and invest in an outdoor rug that suits your decor and taste.

4. Create a garden path

A great way to upgrade your backyard space is to lay a paver pathway from the patio to the side yard. Adding a meandering path gives an elegant look to an otherwise untamed space.

You can buy pavers, or you can reuse any that you free up as you revamp your landscape. Paver pathways are affordable to install, costing between $7 and $30 per square foot, and require little maintenance to upkeep.

For a more budget-friendly alternative, you can opt for quarter-inch crushed rock, which comes in a wide range of colors.

The first thing you need to do if you want to upgrade your backyard space by adding a path is to determine the path you want your pathway to take. Then mark and edge it.

If you go with the crushed rock option, you’ll need enough to build a 4-inch layer to suppress weeds. Make sure you flatter the surface with a place compactor (tamper).

Keep reading to discover other affordable ways to upgrade your backyard space!

Photo by
anne-tipodees from Shutterstock

5. Try a trellis

We see trellises in garden centers all the time, and while you’ve probably never even thought about buying one, these architectural details can easily and quickly upgrade your backyard space.

Place one toward the back of the outdoor area as a focal point, or put one in your vegetable garden to make those peas and cucumbers look like they are part of the design.

Another idea would be to install a trellis—or better yet, an arbor—at the entrance of your outdoor living area or garden, and then choose a flowering vine to trail through the lattice.

6. See great returns on basic yard maintenance

Never underestimate the value of small aesthetic upgrades. You don’t always need to change something to upgrade your backyard space. Small projects like adding some fresh mulch can really boost curb appeal and make a house pop.

If you’re on a tight budget, avoid landscaping that requires extensive monthly maintenance. While they can bring wonderful results, it’s not always a smart financial move. Instead, focus on low-cost outdoor improvements that promise a significant return on investment. According to experts, the two most cost-effective renovations are basic lawn service and fresh mulch.

7. Think vertically

If your outdoor spot features a large, flat lawn, add some dimension by using boulders (available at landscaping supply stores). You can arrange them individually or cluster a few together—it’s up to you.

Feel free to set them either horizontally or vertically and bury them several inches into the ground to give the impression that nature dropped them there.

Also, don’t be afraid to cut into the lawn to accommodate boulders because most grasses will regrow. A great idea would be to leave some space around for planting small shrubs or colorful perennials.

8. Garden with wildlife in mind

It’s not that difficult (or expensive) to upgrade your backyard space and make it more insect- and bird-friendly. If you’re planning on adding color anyway, go for plants that attract butterflies, bees, or hummingbirds.

If space is a problem, fill a few containers with the plants pollinators love. Include thorny and low-growing shrubs to provide hiding places for birds, and trees to offer shade for you and shelter for your flying friends!

But plants aren’t the only options for attracting wildlife. Birdbaths are a lovely draw for feathered creatures year-round, and they can be stunning in their own right. Bees and butterflies enjoy shallow water puddles. You can create your own by putting water in an old container or dish, and then adding rocks and sand for the insects to land on.

Photo by epiximages from Shutterstock

9. Apply some paint

Another inexpensive and great way to upgrade your backyard space is with some paint. This is a particularly helpful outdoor area booster for single-story homes. What you can do is paint the back of your house a different color than the other three sides, making sure to choose a shade that complements the garden.

Go for neutral shades like beige, light gray, or taupe to coordinate with hardscaping features such as a honey-hued fence or a stone path.

However, if painting a side of the house feels too much, simply give your back wall or fence a pop of color that will highlight your evergreen shrubs and flowering plants. Just make sure you choose the best exterior paint and primer for your fence’s or wall’s material.

10. String up patio lighting for added ambiance

Lighting can spruce things up both indoors and outdoors. When it comes to the garden, it can really make a huge difference, especially if you like spending the evenings outdoors.

To upgrade your backyard space, string patio lights across your yard or from your pergola with light poles. It will give your garden a dreamy glow.

Doing this is pretty affordable, and your options for styles are wide. Here are some budget-friendly outdoor lights from Amazon.

If you liked our article on ways you can upgrade your backyard space, you may also want to read 8 Hacks to Upcycle That Boring Garden Furniture.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Hylo Music Presents

Sheri Houston

Livestream Concert

January 28th * 7pm