Many of us dream of having that perfect backyard, a private outdoor space for entertaining, enjoying activities, alfresco meals, and perhaps some gardening. After buying one of the Alexandria houses for sale with a space to create your own ideal backyard, you may not have the time or funds to do anything too elaborate for a while.

While the common range for spending on an outdoor project like a backyard renovation is between $1,001 and $5,000, according to a recent US Houzz Landscape Trends Study, that’s primarily for minor projects. Around 15 percent of people spend at least $50,000, most being total overhauls.

Fortunately, there are a number of simple ideas for improving your backyard that doesn’t come at such a high cost.

An Outdoor Cinema

DIY outdoor cinema

There’s nothing like watching a movie outside in your own backyard. With most indoor theaters shuttered during the pandemic, it’s the perfect option for your usual movie night or if you’re just feeling nostalgic about the old drive-in theaters.

Surprisingly, a DIY outdoor cinema is easy to set up without investing much money. You can do the entire thing in just 30 minutes or so with the right equipment. All you need is to place a mattress topper or comfortable blanket on the grass or floor of a patio and cover it with cushions, pillows, and maybe a few other blankets. Set up a white sheet, hang it on a wall or tree and make sure it’s pulled very taut when securing it.

Or, if you can, invest in a portable screen. Set up a good, reliable projector – it doesn’t have to be the most expensive out there simply for family viewing. There are screens and projectors that can be purchased together for optimal pixel quality, but that’s really for the more serious viewers.

Obviously, you’ll need sound – you can use an outdoor speaker system or wing it with portable Bluetooth audio, either way, the speakers will need to be loud enough to compete with outdoor noises like the wind and traffic. To make it more appealing, string up some sparkling lights around the area.

Install Outdoor Lighting

Install Outdoor Lighting

You might get plenty of use from your yard during the day, but once the sun goes down, there’s no way you can stay outside any longer. Enjoying a nice night outside is a perfect way of enjoying your outdoor space, but you need the right lighting.

Another one of the least expensive yet high-impact ways to improve your backyard is to install lighting. This can completely change the look and feel of your yard once it gets dark.

You can use string lights to hang around fences, bushes, and trees to keep your yard bright enough to sit outside at night. Additionally, you should also find outdoor lighting meant to be used to light spots around your yard regardless of whether or not you’re sitting outside. Malibu lighting is a great option as it’s easy to install and runs on solar power, so you won’t have to worry about running up big electricity bills. It will show off your garden, backyard, and any other features, like silhouetting trees, while also preventing people from trapping and potentially preventing burglars from breaking in.

Just being able to see your yard at night when you look out can be a huge comfort. Of course, this will also make your landscaping and yard look beautiful to anyone who sees it at night.

A DIY Pool

A pool is one of the best things you can have in your yard and they’re something that most people want. There’s nothing like having a pool in your backyard during the hot summer months. However, due to the cost, a pool is out of the question for many people. Many people think having a professional come in and install a pool is their only option, but this isn’t the truth.

A DIY pool is just as relaxing as a professionally done pool and it’s surprisingly easy to do at a very lost cost using recycled pallets. For the frame for an above-ground pool, attach ten pallets together and use a waterproof base for the lining, doubling up to prevent leakage. You can attach siding to create a more attractive look and perhaps a wooden ledge all around. Now fill it up with water and enjoy.

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