My backyard is a continual work in progress, and while it’s not perfect, we have made some great changes in the six years we have lived in our current house. We have a great composting system, a sturdy fixed fence, and thriving grass. Backyard DIY projects can be fulfilling, but they can also be nightmares. Here are the best tips I have learned along the way to ensure success:
Reuse and recycle if you can
I like to have an extremely minimal budget when I’m first tackling a backyard project. This is partially because I’m a frugal person by nature, but it’s also because I usually end up changing my mind about how I want to do something. If I go out and buy a bunch of supplies for a backyard project, there’s a good case they’ll be scrapped for a better way of doing things. So instead of hitting the home repair shop first, I see what I can make do with.
When I first moved into my current house, I wanted raised beds for my garden. Instead of spending money to build raised beds, I refurbished some old wooden chaise lounges into raised beds. They worked well enough, and I learned that wood beds fall apart overtime in my yard. I learned a great lesson and didn’t mind considering my raised beds were free.
Good enough is better than perfect
When it comes to backyard repairs that need to be done as soon as possible, I prefer a quick fix to delaying getting the repair done. Our fence gets holes and loose pickets every so often, and we have learned not to delay fixing it, even if our patch job is a little ugly. It’s better to get the fence fixed than to have our dog escape. Similarly, rotting wood should be fixed right away, even if the match isn’t perfect. We can always go back an improve a job later.
Consider how hard or easy maintenance will be
I was so proud of myself when I set up my first container garden on my back deck, but all the plants ended up dying because I didn’t water them often enough. I didn’t think through my watering system, and watering my plants ended up being a huge ordeal. I ended up redoing the project later on with a watering system built in. Make sure you set yourself up for success by considering how hard or easy it will be to maintain your DIY project.
Patience can save you money
When our lawn died after a very hot summer, we could have spend the money to put in new grass, but instead we nursed it back to health over the course of a couple years. It wasn’t easy waiting for new grass to grow, but it saved us hundreds of dollars to be patient. We also gained valuable skills and experience in caring for our lawn that we wouldn’t have gotten from just laying down new sod.