(StatePoint) Want to transform your outdoor space while saving money? There are plenty of hands-on projects you can do yourself to eliminate expensive labor costs. The following ideas can be tailored to your budget and personal preferences:
Install a Party Pad
Make your backyard more fun and functional with a low-maintenance patio for entertaining and relaxing. Based on your budget and experience level, there are a variety of styles and materials to choose from, such as brick, concrete and stone. You'll also need gravel to create a sturdy foundation.
If you’re building on an existing lawn, clear out the grass and dirt first and dig an area deep enough, so the new surface will be even with the ground. Once you’ve prepped the ground and poured the gravel, use sand to hold the blocks in place and fill any gaps between the blocks once the layout is complete. Search online for step-by-step installation instructions and use a project calculator to determine the cost.
Increase Seating Capacity
A built-in seating wall near a fire pit, pool or patio offers more places to lounge and adds depth to the space. There are plenty of DIY-friendly materials to build with, including interlocking concrete blocks, which won't need to be recut and are heavy enough to stay in place without cement, or larger, flat stones that look more natural and can be laid in various ways.
If you use concrete blocks, add capstones as top piece to give the design a finished look. Watch tutorials online before starting the project for inspiration and to ensure you complete all the necessary steps.
Repair Over Replace
Fix up something old to make it new. If you have an above-ground pool or spa with a slow leak, easily repair it with the highly-rated T-Rex Waterproof Tape. The tape has a waterproof backing enhanced with R-Flex Technology for greater durability. It’s also UV-resistant, can stretch up to 700% of its original length and is strong enough to be used underwater.
Locate the leak and then measure and cut a piece of tape with scissors (this tape is too tough to tear by hand). Remove the liner from the back and apply it to the crack to form a leak-proof seal. Press down firmly and smooth any creases by hand.
Hide Outdoor Eyesores
A privacy screen is an easy project for beginner DIYers and will hide unsightly air conditioning units, garbage bins and utility boxes. You’ll need weather-resistant wood slats, like cedar wood, fence posts, a drill, screws and paint or stain.
Use your “eyesore” to determine how tall to make the screen. Then, anchor fence posts into the ground and drill your first slat about an inch above the ground. Continue adding boards all the way up. For air conditioning units, leave space between each slat to ensure proper air circulation. Add a finish—dark for a modern style or clear for a natural look—and enjoy.
Give it a Glow
Use lighting to give your backyard a bistro-like atmosphere. Rather than using a drill to hang solar or string lights, use transparent, double-sided T-Rex Clear Mounting Tape to permanently and discreetly decorate.
Whether placing the lights across wooden beams or on brick or vinyl fencing, make sure the surface is clean and dry before applying the tape. Stick one side to the surface and the other to mount the lights. The adhesive will build over time, achieving full strength after a 24-hour period.
Once you tackle these budget-friendly DIY projects, you’ll be ready to relax in your outdoor oasis.