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Budget Friendly Tips For Creating A Great Outdoor Space

Having an outdoor space comes with many advantages—morning coffee as the sun’s rising, evening wind-down sessions amid the stars, and backyard barbecues, to name a few. In order for your space to be as relaxing as possible, however, it requires regular maintenance and the occasional upgrade. Fortunately, you can do just that with your outdoor space without draining your bank account. Here are a few budget-friendly tips for preparing your outdoor space to entertain you and your guests:

Start with the furniture

An outdoor space without furniture is just space. No one wants to stand for long periods of time outside, no matter how nice the weather is. Getting outdoor furniture is the first key to creating a relaxing area. Whether you have a deck, patio or terrace, you can find reasonably-priced tables, chairs, and loveseats at retailers like Walmart—and you can save even more money by using Walmart coupons and promo codes. If you already have good furniture, perhaps it needs new covers. Replacing your cushion and pillow covers doesn’t cost a lot of money, but it can make each piece look like it’s new. If you’re crafty, you can save by creating your own slipcovers and shopping for fabric at budget-friendly retailers like Joann Fabric (don’t forget to keep an eye on their sales).

Bring on the lights

Placing some budget-friendly lights out can really liven up your outdoor space. You can also get creative with how you add the ambiance. For evenings, light sources like oversized lanterns, glass hurricanes with candles, and other forms of candle holders can work perfectly for bringing a relaxing atmosphere. If you plan on hosting get-togethers, string lights, pathway lights, and pendants can do the trick. Besides the fact that you can easily find affordable lighting, the best part about lighting your outdoor space could be that it’s hard to have too much lighting. You can put string lights, candles and lanterns all over the place, and it will only add to the ambiance.

Show some love to your landscaping

No matter how much time, money and effort you put into your outdoor space, you probably won’t end up using it much if your landscaping is out of shape; a ratty lawn and dead plants can kill any vibe you’ve managed to create. You can do some basic landscaping at little to no cost. Keep the lawn mowed, trim your shrubs and tree limbs, and make sure you keep your lawn from becoming cluttered with branches, leaves, unused tools, and other junk. Here are some other budget-friendly ideas for impressing guests (and yourself) with your landscaping:

  • Tastefully add a mulch alternative (e.g., pine straw, shredded leaves, grass clippings, etc.) in your plant beds and around your trees.

  • Repurpose buckets, storage baskets, and trash cans into planters, and spray paint them a bright color.

  • Plant natural perennial ground covers (pansies, violets, creeping periwinkle, etc.) to add color and keep weeds at bay.

  • Build a DIY fire pit.

Add some extras

Along with furniture, lights, and landscaping, you can put some extra flavor and function into your outdoor space by adding rugs and curtains. Whether it has an elaborate or simple design, an outdoor area rug can transform your space by contrasting and complementing the surrounding design elements. If you have a covered outdoor space, hanging curtains can up the level of comfort and officially make your outdoor space the coolest in town. Outdoor rugs and curtains are typically less expensive than their interior counterparts.

Getting your outdoor space ready to entertain doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Invest in good outdoor furniture from stores like Walmart or refresh it with new fabric accents, and add as much affordable lighting as you desire. Put some sweat equity into your landscaping, and consider adding outdoor rugs and curtains. Before long, your outdoor space will be the envy of the neighborhood.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Ray Flynn | Guest Blogger

Ray Flynn is a civil engineer and co-creator with Bret Engle of DIYguys.net. Take a look at their site for amazing DIY tutorials and easy tips and tricks!

A homeowner doing a diy repair on his home

How to Know When It’s Time to Call Professionals for Common Home Repairs

As a responsible homeowner, you should and will take care of many maintenance projects on your own. However, there are some jobs that should always be left to professionals, whether it’s for time, efficiency, or safety. It can be detrimental to your future budget and the appraisal of your home when you opt to sell it. To make sure you’re aware of possible risks, here are some common home repairs you should never do yourself and some smart solutions for when you do need a professional.

When You Have a Major Problem with Pests

If you have a random rodent or bug in your home, you may be able to take care of that pest on your own. But for more serious problems, such as termite infestations, you will want to call in the pros – without question. Using pesticides and trying to address pests on your own can expose you and your family to potentially toxic chemicals that you are not trained to handle. Plus, you may not be able to take care of the infestation completely. So, if you have termites or rodents in your home, leave the dirty work to the pros. You should also check to see if your insurance covers termite repair, as well as any other serious pest-related issues around your home. The average cost to repair termite damage is $3,000.

When You Have Big Plumbing or Electrical Issues

Pests are not the only reason you should consider calling in the pros. If you are experiencing major problems with your plumbing, you may be better off calling professional plumbers as well. Those major problems include burst pipes or even low water pressure in your home. If you do not call a plumber to catch leaks or issues early enough, you could be left paying for water damage repair to your home. What’s more, a hefty water bill can cost you a few extra hundred dollars depending on the severity and longevity of your leak. The only DIY plumbing projects you should attempt are the simple ones, such as unclogging a toilet or repairing a running toilet. Electrical work falls under the same set of DIY rules, and a good rule of thumb, you should always hire a certified electrician to deal with any electrical problems in your home.

When You Could Be Legally Responsible for DIY Damages

Okay, so there are a lot of maintenance tasks homeowners can take care of on their own. You can change out your batteries in your smoke detectors or clean the foils under your refrigerator to keep things running smoothly. But there are some repairs and maintenance jobs that won’t save you time or money to do on your own. In fact, they could land you in big trouble. Most of those repairs are actually illegal for homeowners to DIY, and trying to work around the rules could leave you paying for any resulting damages on your own. For instance, if you attempt to cut down a tree on your property and you damage your neighbor’s fence, you could be liable for the costs of those repairs, as well as any resulting legal fees. So, it’s best to shell out a few bucks for a pro when safety is a top priority.

When You Aren’t Completely Confident in Your DIY Abilities

If a repair is not very complicated or illegal to DIY, should you attempt it on your own? Well, the answer depends on your comfort level with handling home repairs. There are tons of online tutorials that can take you through the steps of basic home maintenance and repairs, but you may not have the time or patience to tackle repairs on your own. Whatever your reason, sometimes it’s just best to get help from a pro. You may not even need a full-scale contractor; instead, you can have a handyman service take care of these tasks, which can take a lot of pressure off of you and prevent additional issues for your house. The average cost of hiring a handyman in San Angelo is $929, but costs will vary based on the time it takes to complete the job.

Trying to take on certain home repair tasks on your own can have major consequences. So, make sure you know when it’s okay to DIY and when to call the pros. That knowledge can protect your home, as well as the people living in it.


Ray Flynn | Guest Blogger

Ray Flynn is a civil engineer and co-creator along with Bret Engle of DIYguys.net.