exterior & outdoor living

Backyard Budget Breakdown

stock images for social media

I know you’re probably really sick of seeing backyard posts and I promise this will be the last one! So many people had questions about the budget. I thought it would be easiest to breakdown each project and link the corresponding post. You can click through to see exactly what we spent on each component of our yard. Yes… it’s personal, but it’s also helpful if you’re trying to recreate a similar space in your own yard. This year one of my blog goals was complete honesty / transparency and I think it’s really appreciated. Click through for our backyard budget breakdown…

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I’m just going to jump right in and itemize / link everything. A lot of this doesn’t include basic tools (like shovels, rakes, wheelbarrow, trowels, etc) because we already owned the tools. If you don’t already own a lot of these tools needed for the projects, that’s something else you would have to factor into the budget.

I also didn’t include things like trenching in the electrical, because I’m assuming most people would hire an insured electrician to take care of that rather than DIY. Our situation is a little different since Emmett is like my personal handy man. Obviously labor and our time is also NOT included in this itemized list.

P E R G O L A

Backyard Budget Breakdown - roomfortuesday.com

total= $1,134.00

Click here to see images of the finished project and pergola.


P A V E R    P A T I O

Paver Patio

total= $1,396.00

Click here for a detailed tutorial on installing a paver patio.


P R I V A C Y    F E N C E

Privacy Fence

total= $3,796.00

Click here for a detailed tutorial on installing a vinyl privacy fence. We saved a ton of money by tying the fence into our neighbor’s fences. You can read all about it in the linked post.


C U S T O M    S E A T I N G

Custom Seating

total= $1,092.00

Click here for a detailed tutorial on installing a custom outdoor sectional.


L A N D S C A P I N G    +    S O D

Landscaping + Sod

total= $3,972.00

Click here to see more of our landscaping design plan and the finished result.


I R R I G A T I O N

total= $780.00


C O O L I N G    +    S H A D E

Backyard Budget Breakdown - roomfortuesday.com

total= $1,291.00

Click here for more information about adding shade to a pergola and installing an outdoor fan.


A C C E S S O R I E S   +   G R I L L

Accessories + Styling

total= $2,232.00

Click here to see all of the styled accessories in the finished space.


F U R N I T U R E

Outdoor Furniture

total= $1,025.00

Click here to see the furniture and floor plan in the completed space.


C U S T O M    C O R N H O L E    S E T

Custom Cornhole Set

total= $130.00

Click here for a detailed tutorial on making a custom cornhole set… complete with downloadable patterns!


G R A N D    T O T A L   =   $16,848.00

That’s honestly not too shabby, considering the transformation and all the work we put in! Remember the before images? The highest quote I received from a contractor was $38,000… and that was even considering we already had the materials at the job site (aka, our backyard).  The entire project from beginning to end almost took us two months, but I have to say it was worth it. We both have full-time jobs, so most of the project was progressing on nights and weekends.

Keep in mind, our backyard was really rough to start, and it’s a really big lawn in terms of square footage. We had to spend a lot of money getting it in a state to even start the project (bringing in additional topsoil to level, etc). Every project is different… sometimes you’ll spend more and sometimes it’s less. It all depends on your situation and scale of your project. Hopefully this will help to give you a realistic picture of what each project roughly cost based on our materials, labor, and size. We’re certainly glad we tackled the intimidating backyard project sooner rather than later so we can enjoy it the entire time we live here.

I’m happy to answer any budget related questions in the comments below!

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  • Reply
    Sally
    August 9, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    An excellent, informative round-up of costs – it’s refreshing to see a blogger do this and is much appreciated! I am also totally envious of your very enticing garden – please hop on a plane to the UK and come and do the same in mine!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 9, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      Thanks so much, Sally! Ohhh… that sounds super enticing!! I love english landscaping (if you couldn’t tell). So gorgeous! xo

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    August 9, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    So so helpful!! We are personally evaluating where it would be worth it to do a paver patio (your DIY price ~$1,400) right now vs a contractor installed stamped concrete patio (~$4,000). We have never tackled an outdoor renovation project together so these figures really help with evaluating. Thank you for the transparency!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 9, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      You definitely save a TON of money taking the DIY route, but it does take a lot of time and work. In our experience, it was worth it. Happy to help, Elizabeth! xo

  • Reply
    Ashley
    August 9, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing, I appreciate the transparency! But what about the costs for all those burritos and margaritas?!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 9, 2017 at 11:28 pm

      HA! Why didn’t I think to include those very important details?! I think we spent more on carryout and booze than the cornhole set. lol

  • Reply
    Lori
    August 10, 2017 at 1:24 am

    Hi! Landscaper here, and I’d like to suggest that for big projects like this, it can be wayyyyyy cheaper to have materials delivered in bulk. It’s generally half the price of buying it bagged at a big box store. You can even have a bunch of different stuff delivered at once on a flatbed. They use “supersacks” on a pallet that hold a yard & use a forklift to put them where you want them. Always check your local rock yard/landscape supply company before you buy big box bagged– it’s nearly always dramatically cheaper!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 10, 2017 at 2:15 am

      Hi Lori! Thanks so much for the tip. We actually did get a lot of materials in bulk (like the cinderblocks and sod) that were delivered on palettes. I probably should have noted that in the post- such a good point. Many of our backyard projects were sponsored by Lowes, so we tried to support them as much as possible. We definitely shop local too though! xo

  • Reply
    Marie
    August 10, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Thanks so much for these wonderful posts! I love the detail you give for all of your diy projects. We are planning to do this to our yard in the near future so all of this information is very helpful. Beautiful job!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 10, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      Thank you so much, Marie! I’m glad you’re finding them helpful. Once you tackle any of the projects in your own yard, I’d love to see the results :)

  • Reply
    Liz
    March 3, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Thanks so much for doing this post and being so honest about the costs of things! I’m planning on doing a patio this spring and will definitely be drawing inspiration from you!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      March 4, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      Of course!! Thank you, Liz! I didn’t realize how much I loved having a nice / finished backyard entertaining space until we had it. It’s one of my favorite things about our home / property. xo

  • Reply
    Haley
    April 2, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    I’ve been so inspired by this blog series! My husband really wants an awesome yard like this; I’m so excited to show him this. I thought it would have cost so much more. Thank you so much for including this break down of costs!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      April 2, 2018 at 3:02 pm

      So happy to hear it was helpful, Haley! We definitely saved a ton of money doing it ourselves. xo

  • Reply
    Sarah
    April 28, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Hey Sarah, What are the dimensions of your patio? We already have ground dug for ours but are wondering if the pricing will be the same. Ours is currently 22 feetX12 feet. Thanks! Sarah

    • Reply
      Sarah
      April 30, 2018 at 9:18 am

      Our patio is around 16′ x 20′ – good luck finishing yours, Sarah! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. xox

  • Reply
    Jessica
    June 16, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Hi Sarah,
    Love love love your blog and found it via Lowe’s when searching for a step by step paver installation guide. In the pergola section of the budget, you list the pergola kit and ten bags of concrete. What did you do with the concrete in relation to the pergola assembly?

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 18, 2018 at 12:16 pm

      Thanks so much, Jessica! The concrete is to anchor the pergola into the ground. You’ll need to set the four posts in concrete.

      • Reply
        Jessica
        June 27, 2018 at 3:28 pm

        Ah, got it. Does the sun shield fabric also offer protection from the rain? Meaning, if it was raining would you be able to sit under the pergola without getting wet? From the rain coming through the top of the sun fabric?

        • Reply
          Sarah
          June 27, 2018 at 4:34 pm

          It does provide a barrier, but once so much rain collects it drips. It’s kind of a thick mesh. I have sat under there when it’s sprinkling outside and didn’t get wet, but if it were really raining… you’d get wet.

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