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patio reno

Three years ago we renovated the entire backyard. Patio, new lawn, sprinkler system and landscaping. Our budget was $20,000 and it took us V E R Y far with everything we wanted to accomplish.

At that time, we had just finished our kitchen and entire lower level of our house. The idea of having another contractor or mess in house sounded horrible, so we decided to focus on the outside for improvement. Our backyard was not that great when we bought our house. The lawn was all weeds. We had a small 12 x 12 deck off of our house that had seen better days. There were a million different pavers randomly placed around the patio. Landscaping was, well nothing. Weeds. A lot of those! And it was just time to started planning out what we wanted to make of it.

We like to entertain our friends and family so my initial thought was to create a space where we could lounge on one side and we eat on the other. I decided a giant poured concrete patio was best route since we live in Michigan and the winters can be quite unfriendly. We poured a patio that was the entire length of our house and about 15 feet deep. Surprisingly, that only cost us $4,000. I was thinking closer to $7,000, but hey I’ll take the better price any day! Once the patio was poured we had the pergola installed. I designed it with the help of our wood working friend. I wanted something really simple, not a lot of detail and that was exactly what we got. The pergola measures about 12 x 11 and is made completely out of cedar for longevity. Out of pocket it as $1,500. We also added a privacy screen to match the pergola -that came to about $700.

We bought the furniture – some new, some from an antique store (ie those black rocking chairs that we rehabbed) for about $4,000 for two couches, two rocking chairs, one coffee table, one dining table, two benches, two chairs, and one umbrella. Pretty good for all of that! Side note – I’ve seen the black rocking chairs on Chairish for close to $2,500 a piece. I bought them for $100 each. It pays to shop local!

We hired out the landscape, sprinkler system install and new lawn. The three of those things were about $8,000. Landscaping was the most. We brought in 13 trees (two very large evergreens and 11 arborvitaes), three viburnums, six large annabelle hydrangeas, six other small flowering bushes for the side of the house and a number of cranesbill geranium and other small perennials. In total the landscape came to about $4,500 and that’s with taking out small trees, clearing brush, cutting new beds and bringing in endless yards of mulch. The new lawn was about about $2,000 and the sprinkler system was $1,500, but we have a small to mid-sized yard so do keep that in mind when you are planning for your own. I tell you these numbers because renovations are expensive and I want to be a realistic as possible, unlike some design shows where they say you can get a kitchen for $10K.

We actually came in under budget for the backyard reno, which was great because we added it the bathroom reno budget savings for the following year. In all, our total was $18,000.

To see all of our backyard sources, click here.

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