You can have the largest backyard imaginable but unless you decorate it probably, all that space will go to waste. The list of possible garden improvements is endless, but we have chosen the top 11 ways in which you can upgrade your outdoor space this season. The best thing about these home improvements is that they won’t set you back too much.

Cascading the garden

Any space can feature a garden but not every garden counts as a home improvement. You needn’t be a green thumb but you should take care of your garden because greenery has the biggest chance of turning the house’s look around. Instead of planting exotic plants that are difficult to nourish because of the climate, you might want to engage in some landscaping.

Namely, there is hardly a garden that is flat across its entire surface. There is bound to be a bump, here and there and even a real hillock. Most homeowners give up on sprucing up of such a garden as they believe that only a bulldozer can level the ground.

We are happy to say that you needn’t bring in heavy machinery, as all your garden really needs are terraces. Like rice fields in China or cornfields in Mesoamerica, your garden can cascade down, introducing several levels to space. Vertical space is in itself the ideal outdoor home improvement.

Building a DIY fire pit

Landscaping your garden might require help from a landscaping architect that will charge you a fee but our next backyard project id 100% free. In order to build a DIY fire pit, all you need are some rocks and boulders that can be outsourced from Mother Nature. In fact, if you live near a dry riverbed, the chances are, you’ll find the material needed underground.

Merely place the rocks in a circle or a rectangle and bid them together with mortar. This is essentially what building a fire pit comes down to. After you place enough firewood inside, you’ll be ready to stay outside for longer periods during chillier months, like October and April. All you need now are some spooky camp stories, a couple of blankets, and a bag of marshmallows to roast.

Increase the space that you use every day

Even if you look inside your house, there are places that you frequent more often. There are all sorts of activities taking place on the couch, while you rarely stand in the corner of the living room. Outdoor space comes with similar “blind spots,” to name them as such, only they are much larger in size.

If you feel that the backyard is not spacious enough, eliminating such blind spots will increase the actual living space of the backyard. There are numerous ways to achieve this, one of them being installing large window panes that will effectively erase the boundary between indoor and outdoor space, at least in summer.

Another solution is to expand the patio area, either by increasing the size of the floor deck or by expanding the overhead cover. The latter method might be more convenient because you should really avoid hurting nature whenever you can.

All the benefits of installing a pergola

The best way to cover your patio is by installing a retractable pergola. They are ideal roofing solutions because their size means they are more stable, as some pergolas project up to 10 meters into the yard. To add to their resistance to all weather conditions, most of them come with an integrated gutter drainage system so no additional investments are necessary. Finally, outdoor constructions like a folding Aristo pergola can withstand bending even past the rafter profile. You could even try installing dimmed LED lighting for the ultimate outdoor experience.

A multipurpose green wall

Once you’re safe from above, it’s time to secure the sides of your outdoor living space. Erecting a green wall all along the outer fence comes with several benefits. Firstly, you get a chance to experiment with climbers and vines that should adore the entire surface of the fence, whether it’s chain link or wood.

The tighter the plants grow, the more will the yard be obscured from the views of inquisitive passersby and nosy neighbors. Furthermore, the green wall will act soundproof barrier that will neutralize the noise produced by traffic, as noise pollution is a real problem in urban environments. Finally, the plants will catch fine dust particles that would otherwise end up in your outdoor living space.

Using the outdoor space after dark

We’ve already mentioned how you can stay in the backyards after dark on a chilly night if you install a fire put but its main purpose is warmth, not light. For lighting purposes, you will need other improvements like garden lampposts that are played all over the yard. They are half-buried in the ground in the corners of the property, along the fence and the pathways. This way, they illuminate the entire space without projecting a strong light without blinding anyone.

Other than those, solar-powered post-cap lights are also great additions if you have a deck or porch with railings. Solar post lights don’t cost much, are easy to install, and use energy from the sun. With very little expense, you can add a stunning glow to your outdoor space and make it safer and easier to navigate through your garden and deck at night.

Furthermore, they can serve as a distraction for flying pests, like mosquitos, and drive them away from the outdoor living space in summer. Also, garden lamp posts act like excellent deterrents against anyone planning a home invasion since they’ll be easily detected.

Adding a water feature

Presuming a backyard swimming pool is too much for your home improvement budget to take, there are alternative water features to introduce. For once, a garden fountain is something that you simply must install. This upgrade will help you turn the garden into an oasis of tranquility so you’ll be able to relax to the sound of water after a long day at work.

The only prerequisite for the fountain to be installed is a water tap or a valve out in the garden. If you have that, then you’ll also have a drain that you can use as a provisional “delta.” Namely, all the water that the fountain pumps in has to flow somewhere, so why not create an artificial river. The stream would be bordered by stones that are like we’ve stated earlier, fairly easy to acquire.

A splash pad for the kids

As far as the children are concerned, you don’t need to build a costly pool to make them happy. A splash pad is all the fun they’ll need in summer. It is easy to install, it doesn’t cost as much as a pool does, it takes up very little space. Like all the exterior water features, the splash pad needs to be dismantled in winter so the cold, snow, and frost don’t damage it.

Furniture made from pallets

Having a set of tables and chairs in the yard is mandatory if you want to make the space livable. However, if you wish your furniture to really stand out, then don’t invest in pricy sofas and armchairs that will deteriorate due to sitting outside all day. Take a couple of scrapped wooden pallets and transform them into fabulous pieces of furniture.

Pallets are like giant LEGOs that can be joined in any way you like. Whatever way you decide to combine them, don’t forget the pallets using eco-friendly paint. The color palette of the pallets should be as vivid as possible, ranging from pumpkin orange to lime green.

Cushion up

Speaking of colors there is no detail that will transform your garden more than the introduction of cushions. They go especially well with pallets which h are hard to sit on for prolonged periods. Choose cushion of different sizes, color patterns, and textures for the ultimate feeling of comfort in your outdoor living space.

Adding a hammock and/or a swing

One final upgrade that actually promises to raise the value of your property is a hammock. Luckily, this isn’t a DIY project, as ready-made hammock can be purchased at any garden center. They are made either from rope or PVC but the latter is a smarter buy because they will last longer, as they are waterproof.

Hanging a hammock is quite simple, as all you need are two trees. If you lack strong enough trees in your backyard, you can use the house or a pole from the washing line to secure the hammock. Once the hammock is hung, there is a high probability the children will refuse to get off it. A hammock is not designed for children’s play so prevent any possible injuries by making a tree swing for them. They can also be made prefabricated and all you’ll need is a branch strong enough to hang from.

These 11 ways are just some of the gazillion ideas which can be used to upgrade your outdoor living space. The key to creating a peaceful oasis outside is getting started early and implementing the improvements one by one.

Emma Williams is an Australian writer with a master‘s degree in business administration, who has a passion for anything lifestyle and design related. She spends most of her time redecorating and participating in house projects. As a great nature lover, her biggest pleasure is spending time in a small cottage by the river