How to improve your backyard

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For less than $750 you can dramatically improve your backyard's landscaping. Here are some ways to improve your backyard for $750.

A quick and easy fix to your backyard is to add lighting. Purchase solar lights that can line your entire backyard, this work's best if you have a flower garden lining the yard. You can purchase a set of 12 solar powered lights for $120.00 from Sears, Lowes and Home Depot. You should also consider purchasing a solar flood light to attach to your deck; this will cost $90.00 from Target.

Fire pits are becoming increasingly popular in backyards for many reasons. Many people are installing fire pits as a social gathering area for their neighbors, while others simply enjoy roasting marshmallows in their own backyard. You can build a fire pit yourself with a few tools from the Home Depot or you can purchase a complete unit. A complete unit will run you about $200 or you can build one for around $100.

A deck is the easiest way to add a little life to your backyard. Sand your deck and re-stain it, then re-finish the entire deck. This will run you right on $150.00 for all the tools and stain. Once you have changed the look of your deck, it is time to dress it up a bit. Here are the tools you will need to re-finish your deck:

  • Pressure washers

  • Rollers with long handles

  • Rags

  • Brushes

  • Safety glasses

  • Rubber gloves

  • Wood stain

  • Paint roller pans





Helpful Resources:
information on garden remodeling
This site offers information on home and garden remodeling, including how to improve your backyard. It has some great links for those who want to get more information or buy products online.


things to improve your backyard
This site is a great place to learn about all the things you can do to improve your backyard. It offers information on adding water, outdoor kitchens, pools, decks, and more to make your backyard fun.


tips for a great outdoor space
This site offers some tips for how to define your outdoor space and create a look and feel that you will love. It helps you improve your backyard and make it unique to you instead of just nice.


green backyard
This is a great site that offers green backyard improvement projects. It helps you understand how to be more eco-friendly even in your yard improvements. It explains "green" yard construction techniques.


items for backyard
This site offers items that you can use to improve your backyard. If you want to do some improving by adding structures, this site offers do it yourself kits for screen houses and outdoor improvements.

advice on backyard improvment
This site offers advice on backyard improvements that add value to your home. It helps people understand what items are going to have the most significant impact on their landscaping and yard look.


a backyard within your budget
This site answers a lot of questions about backyard improvements and remodeling. It helps you know how to do certain projects yourself, and how to create beautiful backyards within your budget.


backyard improvments
This is a site that offers information on lawn and garden things for backyard improvements. It can help you determine the best ways to design your yard is for the best functionality for you and for your taste.


deck building
This is a site for learning how to build a deck. When doing backyard improvements a deck can go a long way, and this site teaches you how to build one yourself and save the expense of a contractor.


home improvement store
This is a great site for purchasing materials and pricing out the costs of backyard improvements. It offers everything from cinder blocks for retaining walls, and mulch for flower beds.




You will need to choose the wood stain in the color you desire. It will cost you about $10.00 for one quart. Depending upon the size of your deck, you may need 2-3 quarts. Once you have all the tools and the stain, start by cleaning the deck. Using your pressure washer, you want to spray your entire deck to remove any dirt, bird poop, or other things that have accumulated on your deck. Allow your deck to dry completely and then fill a small bucket with the wood stain. Immerse a brush or long-handled roller into the stain. Absorb enough for a few strokes and roll or brush the stain on the deck. Be sure you have applied the deck stain evenly. Wipe any excess stain or dark spots with rags. Allow the stain to set for 24 hours. If you feel your deck needs another coat, wait 24 hours and then go ahead and add a second coat.

Purchase some planters, window boxes, a trellis or pergola and add them to your deck. The cost of planters, dirt, and some nice flowers will run you about $50.00 from Lowes.

An easy way to make-over your backyard is to reduce the clutter. By winding up your hose after each use, you are reducing the sloppy mess that is spread on the lawn. You can purchase a garden hose winder for $25.00. This is a great way to keep your yard clean without much effort on your part.

A final thing you can add to your yard is trees. Quaking Aspen trees provide decent shade and can be purchased for the decent price of $20.00 at Lowes and Home Depot. Quaking Aspen trees grow relatively fast and do not require much maintenance on your part. Other trees that will improve the look of your back yard include shade masters and pine trees. If you plan on purchasing a pine tree, be sure you have it over a dirt area like a garden. The pine needles leave a mess in the grass and aren't pleasant for someone walking without shoes.

The total cost of the above projects will run you about $665. With the extra money, you can purchase more trees to provide additional shade to your yard.

Here is how you can improve your backyard for under $1,500.

Birdbaths are a great addition to any backyard. You can purchase a birdbath from Lowes for $150.00. Birdbaths typically look the best when they are installed in the middle of a flower garden.

A rock garden or a flower garden is a great way to turn a boring backyard into an oasis. If you have a limited amount of space, pick a patch of grass area that can be turned into a rock garden. A grass slope that is hard to mow is a great place to turn into a rock garden. Begin by either digging up the grass or placing newspaper over it and shoveling dirt onto to cover it. Purchase large rocks to line your rock garden and to be strategically placed throughout the garden. You can purchase large rocks from a rock quarry for about $50 a rock or from Home Depot for $50. depending upon the size of your rock garden, you should plan on spending $500 for all the rocks, dirt and flowers. Rock gardens look best when you have different layers. The layer in the back should be taller than the flowers that are up front. You can achieve a layered rock garden look by placing a small layer of rocks in back and covering them with dirt. The flowers you select for your rock garden should accent the rocks you pick. Candy tuft, lambs ear and daffodils are great plants to use when you start planting your rock garden. You want to create a unified look with your rock garden. A local gardener at the Nursery should have several suggestions to help you get started with your rock garden.

Lighting is another way to improve the look of your backyard. A popular trend is solar lighting. You can pick up a set of 12 solar powered lights for $120 from the Home Depot. Depending upon the size of your backyard, you should plan on buying at least 2 boxes of solar lights to give it a nice, unified look.

Glass or mirror balls will also add a unique look to your backyard. Across from the side where you have placed the birdbath, you should place the glass or mirror ball. You can find a glass or mirror ball for $50 at the Home Depot. They look the best when installed in a rock or flower garden. A glass or mirror ball is quite unique because it reflects the sunlight and all the objects around it.

If you have a deck, be sure to give it a good scrub job and a nice wood re-finish. To sand, re-stain, and seal your deck, you are looking at a total cost of $150. A re-stained deck will give your backyard new life, especially when it is topped off with new planter boxes or hanging flowers. You can pick up some flower boxes and hanging flowers for about $30 at the Home Depot.

Adding shade to your backyard is a must-have on those hot summer days. Consider installing some shade master trees. You can pick up a shade master for $30 at the Home Depot. The great thing about a shade master tree is that it doesn't take a long time to grow, it usually is full-grown within 3 years and will provide your backyard with a lot of shade. Rose bushes are a great addition to a fence, and provide privacy from your neighbors and they even provide some shade to your backyard.

The total cost for all of the above projects will run about $1100. With the extra money, you can purchase more solar powered lights or choose to purchase more trees and flowers.

Here is how you can improve your backyard for under $4000.

A great addition to any backyard is a hot tub. You can purchase a hot tub for $1100 at Lowes and Home Depot. From here it is up to you to install the hot tub, unless you hire professional installers to do this. If you pay for the professional installation, you will be looking at $1,400 total. Of course this is not going to be a hot tub that will fit a lot of people, or one that will be anything super special, but it can be a lot of fun.

Fountains are gaining in popularity in several landscaping projects. A nice birdbath can be installed in your rock garden for $150.00 from Lowes and Home Depot. Waterfalls are also increasing in popularity to improve the landscaping in yards. If you would like to install a waterfall, you should plan on around $1,000 for all the necessary tools. This is of course assuming you are installing the waterfall yourself. If you opt to have professional installers build a waterfall for you, the cost will be around $2,400.

The easiest way to build a waterfall is to use a weir. A weir is basically a plastic box that collects water that is pumped into it. Weirs are a cheap, effective way to build a waterfall. Elevate the weir above your pond by using dirt and place tubing from your pump into the weir. Once the weir fills up, a sheet of water will spill over the side of the weir and spill into your pond.

Try installing the waterfall in a rock garden or a flower bed, to give your yard a "nature feel." If you do not have a rock garden, you can build one in a matter of hours for around $500. All the supplies you need to build a rock garden can be found at the Home Depot. To install all of the above projects, you will be right on budget for $4000. If you have decided that you don't want a rock garden or one of the above suggestions, here are some other tips to improve your backyard.

Take a good look at what you have in your backyard already. Do you have a deck? If you do, try adding some life to your deck with some flower pots. You can pick up some flower pots at the Home Depot for around $50 with the dirt and flowers included. Add a nice outdoor furniture set to your deck for $300. This way you can have a nice BBQ and eat outside and enjoy your new waterfall.

Roses are a great way to disguise a chain link fence. You can purchase climbing roses for $25 a plant. Depending upon the size of your yard, you will probably need about 8 rose plants to cover the entire fence line. Roses are a great way to keep the neighbor kids from jumping your fence and they provide decent shade.

How does your yard look at nightfall? If it is dark, purchase some solar powered lights to line the yard. You can find solar powered lights at practically every store for about $120 for 12. Take a good look at the size of your yard to determine how many lights you will need.

A pool is another way to improve your backyard. While installing a professional pool can cost thousands, you can purchase a free-standing pool from Wal-mart for $200. Be sure to prepare a section in your yard with some sand and then you can place your pool on top.

If you choose to install the above options without the hot tub, you will be spending about $3,640. The extra room in your budget can help you purchase extra lights for your new backyard setting or you can use it to purchase trees to provide a little shade.


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