At some point, most homeowners have the experience of driving up to their house and thinking, “Yikes, the yard is looking really dull. It sure could use a makeover!” Is that how you’re feeling? We’ve all been there.
Maybe you’re bored with the landscape, or lack of it, or are turned off by the out-of-date gnomes, garden globes or other landscape art you once thought was the perfect touch. Perhaps the yard has grown into a jungle or is in desperate need of some color. Whatever is bugging you or boring you can be remedied with one or more of these affordable yard renovation ideas that will rekindle your love for the outdoor space you call your own.
Here they are: 14 cheap yard projects to enhance your property.
Addition by subtraction is the necessary first step in yard renovation. Start your yard improvement project by getting rid of things that make the area look drab or dated. Clear overgrown shrubs and remove former treasures that have turned to junk.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll see where your creative efforts and budget dollars are most needed.
Flowers provide living color from spring into autumn. Adding window boxes allows you to enjoy the beauty and aroma of blossoms while you’re inside your home as well as when your activities take you outside.
A wide variety of window box styles including country, traditional and contemporary give you the opportunity to select the best look for your home. Materials available include wood, metal and plastic, and most flower boxes designed for windows are quite easy to attach to the home’s siding or window sill. For creative ideas, check out www.windowbox.com dedicated to…yup, window boxes.
Source: Better Homes & Gardens
Solar lights deliver a distinctive look in the dark, offer safer walking and keep your home more secure. Most are LED lights that use little energy, so they will stay lit through the night during seasons with more daylight. Solar lighting is used to line walkways, patios and decks. It is often installed to accent points of interest in the landscape such as a garden or fountain.
Solar garden lights are simple to install using a trowel to dig a hole or a rubber mallet to drive in the foundation stakes. When a remote solar panel is used, wiring connects the panel to the lights and can be easily buried in a shallow trench. Here’s a project at Paint Speckled Pawprints we think looks fantastic, and it shows how to add solar lighting as an attractive and functional feature of your yard.
This is a creative twist in solar lighting from the blog the Garden of Leah, a chandelier with the standard bulbs replaced with solar lights for use outdoors. It can be hung from a tree or arbor, and your solar chandelier will prove to be a delightful conversation piece at your next garden party.
Okay, their not as Eco-friendly as solar but these LED planters also do a great job of bringing some magic to your backyard nights.
Solar lighting is green and practical, and those are commendable qualities. But it can be a bit sterile, even dull. Sometimes the ancient source of light that has served humankind well since the beginning is preferred. We’re talking about fire, of course.
Creating a wine bottle torch re-purposes the bottle, so it does have an Eco-friendly trait. And the torch produces an aesthetic appeal solar lighting can’t hold a candle to. The rest of the parts required for a wine bottle solar torch are listed here at Gerardot & Co with clear instructions for putting together a light source the neighbors and your guests are sure to admire.
Your garden supply store has lots of creative stepping stones, but they may be expensive, and besides, they show off someone else’s creativity. Save money on enhancing the landscape and put your personality on display by making your own stepping stones for getting around in the yard or garden.
There is no end to possibilities in personalized stepping stones made from ready-mix concrete. Embed glass beads, mosaic tiles or other materials into the concrete. Tint the mix or stamp it with leaves, handprints, a rubber door mat or other unique design.
The Thrifty Fun blog has all the details and an abundance of ideas for crafting homemade stepping stones and putting your personal touch on each one. For more landscaping ideas and remodels click here.
If the solar chandelier doesn’t excite you or you happen to have an abundance of such unused fixtures in the basement, here’s another wonderful way to give them new life while sprucing up the yard. This post from Katie, at her blog homeiswheretheboatis.net, shows you how much fun it is to transform the fixture into a feeder that will draw birds year round. Small seed dishes can be attached to the chandelier using silicone adhesive to create your very own “birdelier!”
Tip: Every 10-14 days (less often if you don’t get rain), clean the dishes with hot, soapy water followed by a bleach solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. Rinse them thoroughly, and dry them before adding fresh seed. This will keep mold out of the dishes, and your avian customers will stay healthy as well as happy.
For more on bird feeder care and maintenance go to www.allaboutbirds.org
It’s amazing how much dust and grime builds up on home siding whether it is vinyl, wood or brick. The same is true for sheds, patios, decks, walkways and driveways. The dirt blunts color and makes everything look dingy. Get rid of it with a good power washing that will bring out true colors. A power wash is also a recommended first step if you plan to paint wood siding, stain and seal the deck or sealcoat the driveway. It gets rid of loose material and allows the paint, stain or sealant to adhere properly.
The local landscape supply store or home improvement store probably has a nice selection of patio stones and slabs. They range in size from a few inches square to several feet square. Materials include concrete, which is very affordable, to slate, which can be very pricey.
You’ll need to remove the sod and level the area for the patio, but it takes more back than brains to prepare the space for adding the stones or slabs. If you are really passionate about DIY projects, then find a suitable frame to pour your own slabs, and tint or stamp them as you please. Check out more ideas in our patio guide.
To add a splash of zest to drab slabs, whether existing or newly installed, consider painting some or all of them as demonstrated by Elsie Larson above.
There are a couple of ways to do this. The easiest option is to get rid of old lawn furniture cushions and buy bright, beautiful replacements. A cheaper tactic but one that takes some effort is to spray paint old metal folding chairs with hot colors the way Kelly has done over at her blog The Moon and Me (above). You’ll increase the longevity of your work if you sand rusty spots first and apply a coat of rust-resistant primer before spraying on the finish coat.
The front door is a focal point when your home is viewed from the sidewalk or street. It should stand out – not like a sore thumb, but more like a welcoming entrance to your abode, greeting friends and guests as they arrive.
Painting the front door, as shown in this post from Sarah at www.totalbassetcase.com (and photo), is a project you can easily complete in a weekend with time left for a few hours of recreating. Replacing the door is a more expensive option, but it gives you the opportunity to choose one you can really get excited about.
Great memories are created at the beach for young and old alike, so why not bring the shore, if not the water, to your yard? You can do just that with a fairly simple and affordable design.
Your budget and the space you have will determine how much private beach you can install. Be sure to save room in the budget for a fire pit, decorative driftwood, beach chairs and umbrella or whatever accessories will make it the perfect place for you to sink your toes in the sand and relax. Want to know how the backyard beach above was made? Head on over to Sunset.com.
Yes, we disparaged garden gnomes and gazing globes earlier, so that’s not what we’re getting at, and you can bet pink flamingos won’t be recommended. Instead, we’re suggesting you choose truly attractive pieces like those in this collection of metal yard sculpture at www.windandweather.com with prices that are reasonable.
Flowers, frogs, birds and butterflies are just a few of nature’s finest featured in metal works of art that will make a distinctive difference in your landscape.
A coffee table is a wonderful piece to sit around on comfy patio furniture when enjoying the great outdoors with family and friends. A coffee table with built-in storage is a bonus you’ll appreciate again and again.
The design featured above at A Place to Nest delivers rustically attractive form and outstanding functionality. Your choice of wood type and stain or paint color allows you to customize the patio coffee table with storage for your purposes. Click here for more on storage around the house.
Mirrors are skillfully placed on indoor walls to make small rooms appear larger. The same technique can be employed outdoors in small spaces with excellent results. This innovative Liz, over at The Brambleberry Cottage, used reclaimed window frames fitted with mirrored glass to produce the illusion of looking through windows to a world beyond. A standard mirror frame will do too, or no frame at all. It’s your project, so customize it to your tastes with the materials you have available.
These 14 affordable yard improvements that can be done in a weekend or less will help turn your yard into a lovely place to unwind, entertain, play and make the most of time spent there. Have fun creating unique and inviting space for yourself, family and friends. And be sure to let us know how your project turns out!