8 Ways To Improve Your Yard for Less

Not everyone has unlimited funds to help them overhaul their yard space and turn it into something worthy of a slot on a home makeover show. Most people live with a more modest budget and must get the job done for a lot less. But just because you don't have the funds to help you splash on a complete garden overhaul doesn't mean you cannot achieve the same show-stopping results even if you are a novice and are starting from scratch with the help of a YouTube video and some online tutorials.

If you want to modernize your yard and give it a makeover, this post delves into some great ideas on how you can do just that on a budget. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and the same will apply to your garden plans; while they might take some time to come together, they don't need to be rushed, either. Take your time, look at your options, and then design something you will enjoy for many years to come.


Decking is one of the easiest ways to help you improve your garden and is a much sought-after addition if you plan on selling up in the near future. While adding a deck can run into the thousands, there are ways to get around this and build a deck over under $1,000. Simply visit your local wood merchants for discounts on wood, or look for reclaimed options to hope you keep the cost down. If you are entirely new to this, a raised frame or a parallel design can be more straightforward to start with; just make sure you measure twice before cutting and have the space to fit the size of deck you want.


In the first instance, a lick of paint on the fence, walls, and even floor can help to give your garden a facelift. Outdoor paint is relatively inexpensive and can help you freshen up your yard before you start to undertake any other work or to brighten it up. And there is no end of colors or combinations you can use to bring your garden to life via paint. Look at the overall vibe you want to achieve and the color scheme you are going for so you can give yourself a starting point; from there, you can build on the color scheme and create a stunning garden oasis for less.

Add A Pathway

Another simple and easy idea is to add a pathway to an otherwise grassy area. If you wish, you can break your green space by using stones or gravel to help you create an informal path running through the grass. And the best part is that these stones aren't expensive and are super easy to lay. First, you carve out your space for the pathway, prepare the ground, and add the stones with some edging to keep them in place. Or you can push your skills a little bit and use different materials such as paving slabs, outdoor tiles, or even create a wooden walkway. You can add lights, a border with flowers, and ornaments to help bring it to life. But adding a new pathway can be done for little outlay aside from some serious graft on your part to create the space.

Add Plants, Trees, and Shrubs

First, if you already have any plants, trees, or shrubs, you want to take care of them and ensure they are in good condition. Whether this is removing dead plants, pruning your shrubbery, or arranging for tree trimming to take place, you can make improvements by simply tending to these areas of your yard. 

If you don't have them, then you can pinpoint specific parts you can add them to help you create a beautiful space that is bursting with life for each season. From picking evergreen trees to seasonal flowers and shrubbery to help you define specific areas, your garden will benefit from these additions. Or you can cultivate a section of your grass to become a haven for local wildlife. This just means you let it grow freely without cutting it back and allow wildflowers to grow and local wildlife to visit to populate the area. It can be small or as expensive as you like and will most definitely be a talking point.


Lights are an essential part of your garden and can help you add an extra element to your design regardless of how you choose to design your space. You can select inground lighting, security lighting, lampposts, ornamental lighting, string lighting, and more. But adding lighting creates an ambiance you would otherwise be missing. The best part is that lighting isn't too expensive unless you want to add it to a pool, for example, or light up the whole outside of your house. Lighting can be added over time as you have the money to build on the look you are working towards.


If you're handy with tools, you can look at building a shelter for your garden. Whether it is paired with decking or without, you can easily construct a pergola for your yard if you wish, or you can add awnings or parasols to shelter you and create a defined space that you can sit in and enjoy. Typically, adding a shelter to your garden can have the most impact around a seating or cooking area and can be a welcome addition if you enjoy hosting guests frequently. It can be a free-standing structure, or it can be built over an outdoor kitchen for easier cooking in the elements, or it can be portable to help you move it where it needs to be; the choice is up to you.

Create A Water Feature

It can be something as easy as purchasing a ready-made fountain to add to your garden, or it can be digging a pond or a pool to help you increase your enjoyment of the space. Either way, you can really benefit from a water feature in your outdoor space.

Whether you dig a pond for fish, make an elaborate groundwater feature, create a swimming pool, or even a DIY stream, studies have shown that water features in your garden can be highly beneficial to your mental health.

Build Furniture

Buying outdoor furniture can be expensive unless you are lucky enough to score some preloved. However, if you are looking for a more low-cost alternative to add furniture to your garden, you can try your hand at building your own or creating seating spaces from materials you already have. If you are carrying out major renovations on your house or yard, keeping some materials you would otherwise be getting rid of can help you create your own furniture. You can build walls from bricks with seating built in. You can make seating areas from discarded pallets or reclaimed wood. Depending on the item in question, you can even upcycle old furniture into a seating and dining area.

Overhauling your yard does not need to be overly expensive. If you are handy with a toolbox and can find your way around DIY projects easily, you can cut the cost of creating your new space and get to work yourself designing an outdoor oasis that you can enjoy time and time again while reaping the rewards of your labor. From giving the yard a good clean and fresh lick of paint to creating walkways and adding decking and seating areas, there are so many ways you can improve your garden and give it the wow factor without digging deep in your bank account.

Posted in Homeowners on Oct 23, 2023