Your backyard is the ideal location for a cup of coffee in the morning or to unwind after a hard day’s work—if it’s a welcoming space.
Turning your yard into your own private Shangri-la doesn’t have to drain your finances either. There are plenty of places on the web to find the inspiration and tips you need to create an inviting backyard on a budget. Here are the best of the best sites for planning your pet project.
HGTV is the TV network for the remodeling addict, but its website is also a great resource for creating a backyard oasis on a budget. You’ll find ideas for fire pits, outdoor kitchens, gardens, decks and landscaping trends. You can look through photo galleries on your preferred topic or enter a search term. We entered “backyard oasis” and found videos, articles, a Q&A, and television episodes to provide inspiration.
All those garden and home design shows have inspired legions of do-it-yourselfers who post the fruits of their labor on Pinterest. We searched for “backyard ideas” and found some awesome ideas for paved paths, seating areas, fire pits, garden plantings and landscaping.
Who wouldn’t give anything for the “Yard Crasher” guy to walk up to you in the local home improvement store and transform your backyard? Face it, that’s not likely to happen. But you can go to DIY Network (now Magnolia Network), and you’ll find “Yard Crasher” quick tips—60-second videos. We watched a video on how to put tile over an old, worn concrete patio to give it a new look. You wouldn’t think they could show you how to do this in 60 seconds, but they did, including the importance of using an anti-fracture membrane to keep your tile from shifting and cracking.
This site, the Web version of Sunset magazine, is a wealth of ideas to fuel your backyard aspirations. Have you thought about adding whimsical art or picking plants that attract hummingbirds and butterflies? Can you name 50 ways to use stone in your backyard? Spend some time at Sunset and you will.
Landstylist says it is changing the status quo by making thoughtful landscape design accessible to the masses. Some projects on the site are on the higher-end as far as expenses go, but it will add a dose of modern fare to your selection of patio furniture and planters.
Read Buzzfeed’s “51 Budget Backyard DIYs that are Borderline Genius” OK, that headline might be overstating it a bit, but these kitschy ideas are fun while some are just outright weird–such as building your own rock climbing wall. Other ideas include replacing bulbs in an old chandelier with solar lights and then hanging the chandelier from a tree.
This site will give you ideas and allow you to shop for a contractor if your project isn’t a do-it-yourself job. Click on the “outdoors” tab at the top of the page to find products, such as outdoor furniture and lighting. There’s a separate area under the tab with photos of landscapes, pools, patios and more. Website visitors can create “ideabook folders” of designs they find and like.
You don’t have to live in the country to find inspiration on this website for your backyard transformation. The site will give you some fresh, new ways to think about changing up your yard, using plants, rocks and outdoor furniture. Start with the photos in “30 Fresh New Ways to Landscape Your Yard” for a vision of how you might proceed.