Whether it’s spring, summer or fall (even winter depending upon where you live) it’s nice to spend time outdoors working on your home. Over the years, I’ve done a number of outdoor projects not only for my customers, but also for myself-and they all have one thing in common-I’ve enjoyed them all. Customers are always looking to save money (aren’t we all) and they’ve come up with some pretty clever strategies to getting the outdoor projects they wanted complete-without spending a fortune in the process. The following list can help you get outdoors, improve your home and maybe even save yourself some money along the way.
Refurbish an Old Concrete Deck
A nice level slab is great for outdoor events like a barbecue, but when the slab is cracked and uneven, it can make working with a hot grill difficult at best. One of the most affordable ways to repair this problem is by installing thin patio pavers over the old slab and adhering them with thinset. This allows you to level the slab as well as reface the surface, giving it a fresh new look, without costing you a fortune in slab repairs. Grout with colored grouting mix between the pavers-just like installing a tile floor!
Creating an Outdoor Room
There’s a lot of talk about outdoor rooms and they’re a great place to get away when you have to stay at home. Getaways in the backyard don’t have to cost you a fortune in materials. A simple free-wood pergola, a few well-placed shrubs, trees and vines and you’ll have an outdoor oasis in no time at all. Fill the space with some cheap garage sale furniture and décor for a shabby chic urban oasis that will be the envy of the neighborhood.
Solar Powered Landscape Lighting
I’ve seen some pretty cheap junk being sold at some big box retailers, and solar powered landscape lighting is one of them. If you’re going to invest in solar powered landscape lights, don’t go for the bargain lighting fixtures you stick in the ground-use low-watt landscape lighting for ground lighting instead. If you’re going solar, go for the pricier solar powered flood light instead. They’ll last for a decade or more and provide you with free bright light for large and small yards alike. Best of all they’re easy to install, increase your home security and help lower your energy bill-pretty neat!
Create a Game Area
I’ve had the honor of building a few horseshoe pits for clients of mine-not to mention other games ranging from an outdoor checkers table to an immaculate “corn hole” setup. Building these fun outdoor gaming areas are always a good time for the whole family and really don’t have to cost a whole lot of money to create (I’ve invested less than $50 in my horseshoe pit at home). In fact, with a little free material from Craigslist or the local dump, you can build outdoor fun zones like a horseshoe pit without breaking the bank.
Reinvent your Entryway
It’s not a difficult or expensive way to spend your Sunday afternoon. You might even find that after a few hours of painting, some new hardware and fabulous stain glass window insert, your front entry way not only looks good, but it also has increased the value of your home for just pennies on the dollar. A window insert can easily be purchased at most home improvement centers and installed using a wood or metal saw-depending upon what your door is made from. Get the full details about installing a window insert in a door here and start your weekend off with a great and affordable outdoor project.