The Top 54 Patio Ideas on a Budget – Landscaping and Outdoor Design
Can you create a backyard dream space on a budget?
It can be difficult to visualize a luxury patio if you’re on a tight budget. It can seem harder if you are facing a space constraint. However, achieving the dream in your backyard is far from the impossible.
There are many ways to save on costs when completing a patio makeover. One of the least expensive ways to spruce up your patio space is with DIY projects. A helpful, cost-saving tip is to use your landscaping and garden as the primary focus for outdoor decor.
Also, be mindful of your materials and furnishings. Many low-cost alternatives to expensive products are equally as durable.
Check out these various styles and patio ideas to complete your project on a shoe-string budget.
1. Small Inexpensive Patio Ideas
Whenever space is small, you’ll want to focus on maximizing the area that you do have to its entirety. Once you embrace this thought, you can then work within any.
Your usable space includes the sides, ground, and even the above space. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “How can that even work in a backyard?” I’ll explain!
While you may not have the traditional four walls of an indoor space, most patios sit directly next to the home. This means you’re given at least one side to work to your advantage. Use this space to hang plants on the side of your home, which is a great, inexpensive outdoor decoration. Faux plant walls are another way to add some low-maintenance style that isn’t too costly.
You may even be lucky enough to have the patio line up against a fence. If so, consider dressing it up with a fresh coat of paint. This can be a big upgrade for a pretty reasonable price. This freshly-painted fence can also function as an additional wall for more decor.
For under feet, concrete is an inexpensive material that is also very durable. You can top it with an affordable outdoor rug for a low price pop of color.
You may have to get a little more creative with how you utilize the area above your backyard patio. Hanging string lights provide outdoor light and look elegant. However, they’re inexpensive and don’t require much space. Another option for using the space above is with a sheltered porch, but they tend to be expensive. Lower-cost alternatives include pergolas and umbrellas.
2. Cheap Patio Ideas
Expensive items are the main drawback when planning out your patio ideas on a budget. Outdoor furniture tends to be one of the largest expenses. Cheap doesn’t guarantee that it’ll last, and constant replacements will add up fast. It’s all about finding the right balance between cost and longevity.
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is a great motto to adopt to stay within budget while planning out your patio design. You can find high-quality furniture pieces at garage sales, flea markets, and even on the side of the road. With a little bit of love and time spent sanding or a splash of paint, you’ll give these items a new life.
If you are looking to purchase new furniture, consider aluminum. It is lightweight, water-resistant, and very common throughout the patio furniture realm. Pair your aluminum furniture with comfortable seat cushions. Keep in mind; you’ll need to take proper care of any cushions or pillows to ensure they last.
Plastic is another cheap, durable material that is common for patio furniture. You can find styles that mimic the design of wicker or rattan, but for a fraction of the price. Another common seat style is the Adirondack chair. These are very comfortable, as they have extra-wide armrests. While these are popular with a variety of vibrant colors, you can also add pillows to dress them up further.
3. DIY Patio Ideas
With the wide range of DIY backyard projects available, you can find the perfect fit for you and your space.
A popular DIY project is creating a covered patio. Enclosing your space extends its usability, provides privacy, and enhances the aesthetic.
4. Easy Patio Ideas
Attaching cloth fabric to a pergola or wooden frame is an easy project you can complete yourself. Polyester is a low-cost material that is best for creating a canopy. It is both durable and water-resistant. You’ll begin by measuring out the amount of material needed to cover the patio. Then proceed to attach to the outer frame securely.
DIY curtains are another option for more privacy. Olefin is the best fabric choice for this project, as it’s soft, lightweight, and won’t fade from the sun. Attach the curtains to the sides of a pergola with grommets.
If your patio is already closed off with a wall or fence, consider a DIY wall paneling project to add some texture. Thatch, bamboo, or lap wood can make for an eye-catching accent wall. You’ll want to do your research on safety and the necessary materials for your desired look
5. Tiny Patio Ideas
Even with a tiny patio, you can stay on a budget and make a big impact.
You’ll want to consider the size of your furniture to avoid overcrowding. It’s best to opt for stackable or easy to fold chairs when you have a small patio. It’s even better if you can find dual-purpose pieces.
If your outdoor space resides on a balcony, consider using the railings to your advantage. They are perfect for stringing lights around or mounting flower boxes. This same approach can also work for deck railings.
Depending on the shape of your space, a concrete slab may not always be feasible. Instead, concrete pavers are a versatile option to consider for your patio base. They are low in cost, easy to install, and can be custom to fit into any size space.
Regardless of size, you will want to play up the greenery and backyard landscaping. Potted plants look great and are also easy to move around if you need to make more space. You can even have a vegetable or herb garden within a small backyard.
6. Budget Friendly Patio
Full matching sets of outdoor patio furniture can be pricey, but they’re not necessary for a great looking space. Piecing together a mix of items can result in a cohesive and budget-friendly design.
Take up the offer when presented with hand-me-down patio furniture. It’s surprising the amount of money you can save by doing so. Also, check out your local thrift shop for some amazing deals. You might need to touch it up with a can of spray paint, but it’s easy and will save you a ton of money.
Another budget patio idea is a gravel patio. It’s one of the most inexpensive patio materials. Installation is simple and easy to do by yourself to further save on costs. You’ll want to spend time prepping its base and enclosure. After that, be sure to keep at least 4 inches of depth for the gravel. It doesn’t require much further upkeep.
7. Backyard Patio on a Budget Ideas
The patio doesn’t always have to be directly off your main home. Consider tucking it far back within the yard and pairing with a pergola. You can then surround it with your natural landscaping and garden.
Lay pavers in a portion of the yard to provide a durable patio base. Concrete will be the most inexpensive and sturdy choice, and there are many patterns and styles to choose from. You can even mix varying styles, such as pavers and gravel, to further save costs and add visual interest.
Complete your backyard patio with a fireplace. An easy, cost-saving option is a DIY fire pit. It’s a very simple project to complete and only requires a few materials. First, you’ll want to dig out the desired size and line the space with large stones. Then, simply fill the base with sand or gravel, and it’s complete. Keep in mind; it’s recommended for fire pits to be at least 10 feet from your home and away from trees.
8. Deck Patio Ideas on a Budget
Decks can be costly. Yes, there are many resources available for DIY versions. But, let’s face it: That project can be daunting.
The amount of material needed is a big factor in price. Lower sitting decks are going to be more affordable, as it requires less supporting wood. Size is also important. You don’t have to have a large deck for it to look nice. A deck can work for any size of space, including a small balcony.
9. Low Budget Garden Patio Ideas
There are many ways to transform your backyard patio into a low budget garden. You’ll first want to consider the care and climate needed when deciding what plants to include. It’ll be a waste of money for anything that can’t survive in your environment.
Climbing plants, such as vine or ivy are amazing options that look great against a trellis or a pergola. You can also hang flower baskets from the top beams of your porch structure.
Box gardens are easy and cheap to construct. They can range in sizes to fit within any space. You can choose to fill them with a variety of low-cost vegetable seeds, herbs, or flowers.
For landscaping, you’ll want to consider continuously blooming shrubs like hydrangeas. Not only are they beautiful, but they’ll also save costs on the years to follow with their recurring blooms.
10. Outdoor Patio on a Budget
Your goal of an outdoor patio should be for it to function as a second living room.
You’ll want to be sure to select a strong foundation. Paver patios, gravel, and concrete are inexpensive and long-lasting bases. You can even choose to place an outdoor rug over an even surface for visual interest.
Outdoor furniture does not have to match. You can save costs by piecing together odds and ends. If you think things may clash, you can always limit your colors.
You won’t want to forget outdoor decor items, such as potted plants or a fire pit. These inexpensive touches will complete your backyard oasis.
Patio Ideas on a Budget FAQs
What are budget-friendly ways to provide shade on a patio?
The most inexpensive way to gain some shade is with an umbrella. Pergolas or porch-style structures can also be great, budget-friendly shelter options. Or, you can even create a cloth covering with a DIY canopy project.
What is the cheapest material to use for a patio?
The best options for selecting low-cost patio materials include gravel, concrete, and pavers. All three materials are durable and long-lasting. You can consider completing the installation yourself to save even more.