Six clever tips on how to renovate your backyard on a budget

Insider tips on how to give your outdoor spaces a new look, without breaking the bank.

Want to give your garden and outdoor living spaces a good makeover in time for summer, but short on cash?

We asked Brickworks’ Jessica Harris for some clever tips to save money if you’re thinking about updating your backyard.

1. Buy products when they are on sale

“This might mean a little forward planning – either buying in the mid-year sales for the next summer, or stocking up in the January sales and starting your project during the warmer months,” Harris suggests. “Maybe start by making a list of what you need, and then hunt all the items down when they’re on sale.”

2. Select products that you can DIY

“To save money on installation costs, try to buy products that you can build or make yourself rather than having to pay a tradesman to do it,” she says.

3. Refresh, don’t replace

“It’s much more economical to refresh what you have rather than replace it with something new. For example, you can repaint timber chairs, re-cover outdated cushions and re-stain your deck. This will help you save tons of money, and it’s much more environmentally sustainable, too.”

4. Repurpose household items

“This is all about using your creativity. You could make a feature light fitting out of an old glass jar or use a metal bucket for plants instead of buying a new pot. Look for inspiration online: there are millions of ideas on how to create interesting garden features – from planter pots to candle holders – from what you might have lying about the house.”

5. Use multipurpose products 

“Multipurpose products are great for tight budgets. For example, say you are building a retaining wall and have leftover blocks. You could use them to build a simple bench seat or coffee table. You could also use them for garden bed edging or to build a simple fire pit. A quick internet search will give you dozens of ideas, and good instructions. Another thing to keep in mind is that most businesses will give discounts on bigger quantities, so the more you buy and use one product for several projects, the more you could save.”

6. Look at current trends – and then adapt

“This is about looking at what is trending and then incorporating those ideas into your space on a budget. For example, one of the biggest trends in outdoor style at the moment is the idea of using mixed materials such as concrete, timber, rope, wicker and aluminium. You can achieve this look without a lot of money by doing things like refreshing your old timber chairs with some thick rope on the legs or re-covering cushions with canvas. Think about building a concrete coffee table with concrete blocks – a reasonably easy DIY project – and repurposing an old aluminium bottle into a light fitting.”

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