10 ways to create a stylish outdoor space

Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our partner lenders, which we will always identify, all opinions are our own. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to herein as “Credible”.

During the pandemic, interest in household projects has increased as the home has become the center of work and play. In a recent HomeAdvisor Survey, 41% of consumers have undertaken home improvement projects to better meet new lifestyle needs. And stylish outdoor spaces where people can relax and congregate in a controlled environment have seen a surge in demand.

If you’re looking to turn your backyard into an oasis, there are plenty of great ideas to choose from, depending on your space and budget.

Here are 10 ways to improve your outdoor space — and how much you can expect to spend, on average:

  1. Put on a new coat of paint
  2. Install a fireplace
  3. Add an outdoor dining set
  4. Add ambient lighting
  5. Build a fence
  6. Add a hot tub
  7. Refresh your sidewalk
  8. Improve landscaping
  9. Install a terrace
  10. Install a swimming pool

1. Apply a new coat of paint

How much does it cost: $600 to $2,958

Whether it’s the exterior of your home or the deck, a fresh coat of paint can brighten up the space, make any surface look brand new, and help create a cohesive color palette. Using the right colors can even increase the resale value of your home, according to a HomeLight report.

The cost of this popular home improvement mainly depends on how much paint you need, what brand of paint you use, and whether you are doing it yourself.

Install a fireplace

2. Install an outdoor fireplace

How much does it cost: $700

An outdoor fireplace is a great way to add a conversation area to your outdoor space and keep you warm in the colder months. These can be built for around $700, or you can pick up a modest one for around $150 to $300.

To maximize space, buy a fire pit that fits the layout of the yard and place outdoor furniture around the fire pit. But remember to follow the laws in your area, as some local governments do not allow residents to install certain types of fireplaces.

Add an outdoor dining set

3. Add an outdoor dining set

How much does it cost: Around $800 or less

You’ll be much more comfortable in your outdoor oasis if you have a place to relax, have conversations, and enjoy a meal. Adding a dining set or swing set can help create an inviting environment.

Outdoor furniture will take a beating from the elements, so be sure to buy furniture made for the outdoors using weather-resistant materials such as teak, wicker, aluminum or metal.

Check Out: 15 Simple Summer Decorating Ideas

Add ambient lighting

4. Add ambient lighting

How much does it cost: $2,000 to $4,500

Outdoor lighting allows you to maximize time spent outdoors, increase safety and add style to the outdoors.

For around $100, some of the cheapest options include string lights along the fence or hanging from the porch, tiki torches on the deck, and candles on the table.

High-end lighting includes strategically placed lanterns, incandescent lights for the path and patio, as well as motion and solar-powered lights.

Build a fence

5. Build a fence

How much does it cost: $2,841

Adding a fence to your garden can help create privacy for a truly relaxing space. There are several options to choose from, such as vertical or horizontal wooden fences, large planters, green hedges and outdoor screens. If you only have one porch, consider adding curtains around the main opening or adding large plants around the perimeter.

Learn more: Should you refinance to pay for home renovations?

Add a hot tub

6. Add a hot tub

How much does it cost: $3,400

Hot tubs are a great way to relax and can even have health benefits. It’s also a good compromise if you want to dip your toes in the water occasionally but can’t afford an in-ground pool.

Refresh your sidewalk

7. Refresh your sidewalk

How much does it cost: $4,740

If the sidewalk surrounding your home is crumbling or has numerous cracks and potholes, repaving can help improve the safety and aesthetics of your yard. It costs an average of $4,470 to pave a 600 square foot area – the size of an average US driveway – or $1,000 to $3,500 to repair the area.

Modest decorative enhancements include engraving, pattern stamping, stenciling, adding a border, or staining the concrete.

Improve landscaping

8. Improve landscaping

How much does it cost: $4,750

Landscaping upgrades give your garden a lush feel. And according to a National Association of Realtors Surveya standard lawn care program is one of the most effective ways to delight current homeowners and attract future buyers.

Some modest improvements may include mowing the lawn and planting a grass thickener, installing a walkway, adding stone planters, adding mulch around shrubs, and planting flowers. and trees.

Install a terrace

9. Install a terrace

How much does it cost: $7,641

If your garden is mostly grass, it can be difficult to place patio furniture or a grill on the surface and keep it sturdy. A deck or patio creates a landscaping area with designated cooking and entertaining space. Remodeling 2021 cost/value ratio claims that adding a wood deck yields a 65.8% return on investment.

Install a swimming pool

10. Install a swimming pool

How much does it cost: $51,907

If you imagine yourself lounging on a pool float all summer long, hosting get-togethers in your backyard, and adding acrobatic swimming to your exercise routine, a swimming pool can help you achieve those goals. But it’s important to understand the costs involved, since swimming pools are one of the most expensive home projects.

While swimming pools earned the highest “joy score” of 10 in the NAR survey, real estate agents say homeowners typically only get back half of what they spend on the project.

More: 18 home improvement projects you can do in a day

How to pay for backyard improvements

You have many options for paying for your backyard improvements, including tapping into your home’s equity or taking out an unsecured loan.

Refinancing by collection

A cash refinance allows you to use the equity in your home to take out a larger mortgage. You borrow more than you currently owe, pay off your loan, and keep the extra cash, minus closing costs. This extra money can then be used to pay for home improvements or any other expenses.

Cash-in refinances may come with lower interest rates than personal loans and credit cards, but that’s because your home secures the loan.

Be sure to shop around and compare rates with multiple lenders if you decide to opt for a cash refinance. You can do it easily with Credible – and you’ll be able to see your pre-qualified refinance rates in just three minutes.

Get the money you need and the rate you deserve
  • Compare lenders
  • Get money to pay off high interest debt
  • Prequalify in just 3 minutes

find my loan
No annoying calls or emails from lenders!

Personal loan

Personal loans, such as home improvement loans, are generally unsecured, meaning you won’t need to use collateral to secure the loan. You will receive the loan as an initial lump sum payment and repay it in fixed monthly installments over a specified number of years.

Home Equity Loan

Best if: You don’t want to refinance your home and you know you can make your payments

A home equity loan gives you a lump sum of money, much like a personal loan. But since a home equity loan is a second mortgage, your home acts as collateral.


A home equity line of credit also uses your home as collateral. You can tap into your line of credit at any time during the “drawdown period”, pay off the balance and replenish the credit limit, much like a credit card. Once the draw period is over, you will be required to repay the balance with interest.

Credit card

Credit cards are another type of line of credit, but they are usually unsecured and come with higher interest rates. You may qualify for a credit card with a promotional APR of 0%.

With this benefit, you won’t pay interest on your balance as long as you pay it off before the end of the introductory period. It could be cheaper, faster and easier than taking out a second mortgage.

About the Author

Kim Porter

Kim Porter

Kim Porter is an expert in credit, mortgages, student loans and debt management. She has been featured in US News & World Report, Reviewed.com, Bankrate, Credit Karma, and more.

Read more