5 Budgeting Tips for Your Backyard Projects

Sprucing up your backyard doesn't have to break the bank. If you take time to plan your backyard and garden projects, you can determine where you can trim your costs and where you can afford to splurge.

To make the most of your time - and budget - when it comes to backyard projects keep these 5 tips in mind.

1. Write it down. You might even make a rough sketch of your backyard and then detail all of the changes you'd like to make. Next, go through and prioritize which backyard project comes first. In other words, would you rather create your new garden plot more than expanding your patio? Plan your time based on your project priority list.

2. See what you can reuse. Take a walk through your backyard and look for items that you can repurpose. You may be surprised by what you find. For example, if you have large rock beds that you'd like to remove, consider using the rocks as decorative lining for garden beds. Or, refresh old outdoor furniture using spray paint and purchase new cushions.

3. Get professional help. While you don't need a professional landscaper to do all your yard renovations and garden projects, you may want to get a free or inexpensive consultation. During the consultation you can ask questions and get insights based on your yard conditions. For example, if you had been planning to put in certain kinds of plants, the landscaper can tell you if they'd grow well based on your soil conditions.

4. Do comparison shopping. Prices vary when it comes to landscaping materials. It may be convenient to pick up a few bags of mulch at your local gardening store, yet having mulch delivered to your door may end up saving you money. Other items, like plants may be cheaper to purchase from seed, yet take more time to grow ' so consider whether the cost savings is worth the time and extra supplies you'd need.

5. Go in stages. You don't need to do your backyard updates all at once. Instead, tackle one project at a time. Or plan to complete your backyard projects in segments. If you're creating a new garden path, clear the ground for it one weekend, then dig the trenches for the borders the next ' the final weekend of the project lay the stones and fill in the gaps.


The Dirt from Troy-Bilt®, March/April 2014