Is there anything more relaxing than a nice backyard patio on a warm summer night? That satisfying feeling of kicking back in your own, personal outdoor space. Designing your own patio space is the opportunity to flex your creative muscles and to tailor your outdoor area exactly to your needs. But when you start to factor in everything you want out of a patio, you’ll see the price tag ramp up rather quickly! It looks like you may need some patio ideas on a budget.
This budgetary concern was our main motivation for writing this article. We’re giving you our top budget patio ideas for those who are looking to get the most out of their dollar. Our tips will cover it all, from the patio itself, to the furniture, to fun accents and creative accessories like potted plants. Let’s get started on your patio makeover!
Top Consideration: Your Patio on a Budget
Before we get started, there’s one idea we want to get out of your head. Just because you are “on a budget” doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your personal style or dream patio design! A budget just means that you are spending your money smartly, not that you are “cheaping out” on your backyard patio ideas. So free yourself of this restraint, because there is so much you can do to truly make a space your own, without breaking the bank!
So, read through our list of cheap patio ideas, and consider how our tips line up with your patio design. Because at the end of the day, all that matters is that you make the patio of your dreams. We’ve included adaptable, general tips, so that you can take our ideas and really make them your own!
Top Tips for Patio Ideas on a Budget
Hang Some Lights
We’ll start off our list with one of the most popular tips for a gorgeous outdoor space – hang some string lights! Outdoor lights are a wonderful addition to almost any patio space. The traditional, rustic appeal, accents any space quite nicely, and the lights themselves are much cheaper than other types of lighting!
Another great thing about string lights is how versatile they are. You can hang them anywhere. If you have a deck with a railing, string them up along that. If you don’t have a deck at all, you can even hang them from tree branches. Wherever you choose, these lights are a great focal point for any outdoor space, on a small patio or a bigger outdoor patio. They draw the eyes upwards, and the result is that onlookers can fully appreciate your entire outdoor area in all its glory.
Use a Rug
Here’s another outdoor option that goes a long way. An outdoor rug is a great choice to really tie together an outdoor space. We’ve included this in our “budget” tips because we think that a rug is one of the best ways to really stretch your dollar. It just makes such a big difference and ties the outdoor furniture together, both in visual look and usability of the space. It makes an outdoor space feel more intimate and comfortable.
Additionally, if your deck is a little washed out, or you’re less than happy with the quality of your patio stones, then a rug is a great way to have a place looking new again. Rugs are a great way to add your personal style to your outdoor space, and to really bring together your individual pieces of patio furniture.
Our next idea concerns another piece of furniture that we think is so useful in a patio space – the hammock. Hammocks are one of the most cost-efficient pieces of outdoor furniture you can get for your patio. And this isn’t even to mention that they are also one of the most comfortable ways to kick back and relax! An outdoor hammock is a great way to get the most out of your relaxation zone.
Hammocks also add a great visual appeal to your outdoor space. Because if a patio looks cozy, it will feel cozy as well. They really add an element of character to your patio, and you’ll definitely get that bang for your buck.
Putting up a hammock is fast and easy, even in a small backyard. String it up between some trees, or buy a hammock stand to go with it.
Moving on from specific furniture suggestions, we thought we’d give a broader suggestion. There are so many areas of a patio that can be improved with some simple color changes and design touches!
Firstly, color is a sure-fire way to liven up many sections of your patio. It’s such a versatile, inexpensive way to add your own touch to so many different design elements. Consider painting or even just refinishing your deck. Many also choose to give their patio furniture a fresh coat. Even your backyard fence can do with some color! The options are pretty unlimited, and you can get your outdoor decor to match as well.
While not technically a part of the patio, we have to mention what a huge impact it will have on your outdoor space to give some special attention to the garden. Your garden comprises so much of the overall appeal of your outdoor space. A big, lively garden will make the space feel more natural and comforting. Touching up your garden is a relatively inexpensive way to increase the appeal of the space overall.
Another great option is to add some plants to your actual patio space! Just get some cheap clay pots, and plant some flowers, some leafy plants, or whatever suits your tastes! Even planting some herbs is a great way to get a mix of form and function.
Budget Patio Materials
Now that we’ve covered some overall design choice, let’s focus on the actual patio itself. After all, one of the main expenses that turns people away from a patio is the cost of building the patio itself. Because it’s no secret that building a patio can be expensive. But there are options for the budget-conscious. Here are a few ideas for a great looking patio without breaking the bank:
A pallet deck is a fun DIY idea that actually look great if done correctly. Essentially, a pallet deck is just reclaimed pallets which are laid together or attached. This creates a DIY “deck” of sorts. The main thing you need to get is quality pallets. Make sure that the wood is strong, and you are able to give it a good power-wash to have it looking like new again.
Aside from that, this is easy. It also looks great when laid out on a gravel patio, which we’ll check out next.
Gravel Patio Floor
A gravel patio is one of the least expensive and most simple patios to make. It’s inexpensive, but it doesn’t look cheap! A nice patio with smooth, light gravel actually has a pretty sophisticated appeal. Simply dig up a patio space, flatten the ground, and lay some gravel. It really is that simple.
The main expense is the gravel itself, but you really don’t need that much. You just want a nice, thin layer of gravel on top of some flat Earth. This keeps the gravel surface hard and secure, making it easy to walk on or easy to place patio furniture and accessories.
As mentioned, you can even try placing a pallet deck on top to get the best of both worlds.
Laying brick is a bit of a chore, but it’s definitely an economical option. Your main expense is the brick itself. You can buy all sorts of different brick made from different materials, and in different colors and styles. You can get as creative as you want with it! Either way, a brick patio has that traditional appeal, and is a solid surface to support your patio furniture and outdoor dining space.
This is definitely the most difficult patio to install out of the options above, but it’s also the most secure and solid choice, and will last you the longest as well.
For Furniture: Go Vintage
Throughout our list we’ve given you a few different furniture recommendations, but there’s one tip that will have you really saving money: aim for used and reclaimed furniture!
Reclaimed furniture is a great way to save money on all your patio furniture and accessories. It also gives your patio a true sense of character. Everything there is hand-picked by you, and everything has its own story. Reclaimed furniture has stood the test of time, and will give your patio a classic look, traditional look.
There are many places to find salvaged furniture. Check out online classifieds, check out antique markets, even stop by a garage sale when you can. People sell their furniture often whenever they get something new, and a keen eye will result in lots of deals for you.
Thanks so much for checking out our guide to patio ideas on a budget! We hope we’ve inspired you with some cost-efficient ways to make a patio your own! Remember, you don’t have to sacrifice style to get the affordable look you want.