DIY | 5 ways to create an outdoor living space on a budget

You don’t have to break the bank to create a breathtaking outdoor living space. With a little ingenuity and inventiveness, anyone can bring a new vibe to a tired space. Read on for some tips on how to achieve the latest look for less. Or get a professional in to do it, such as Additions Building.

1. Cheap landscaping

Landscaping doesn’t have to involve thousands of dollars and there are many ways to get materials cheaply or even for free. Contact your local council; they often give away free trees, mulch and compost. Call in some favours from your friends or contact local gardening groups. You can often get a lot of cheap labour and/or cuttings this way. Just be aware that you’ll probably have to return the favour at some point! Demolition sites are also an excellent way to pick up free bricks, stones and other materials but always seek permission before doing so.

2. Timing

You can often pick up trees, plants and other landscaping materials cheap if you pick the right time to purchase. Many garden centres and hardware shops try to get rid of old stock at the end of specific seasons so look into what’s available in your area. Buying younger (and smaller) plants is another way to save money as an established tree costs a lot more than a juvenile one.

3. Recycle and reuse

Before starting your project, look at what you already have. Can you recycle or reuse anything? Use your imagination and reflect on ways you can incorporate existing materials. That hideous garden gnome can be repainted and revitalized. If you are going for a theme, think about how you can include existing ornaments into your design. Spraying tired old objects with silver or gold paint can bring about an amazing transformation but be sure that they fit in with your vision of the finished area.

4. Get thrifty

Check out local car-boot and garage sales. Scour flea markets and second hand stores. Keep your eyes open at the charity shops, where you can pick up some great bargains for use in your outdoor living space. Read the local paper’s advertisements or spend time investigating bargains online and even on Facebook. People often give away items for free (or for cheap!) so get to know the best resources for your search. Spread the word that you’re ‘on the look-out’ for materials and ask your network of friends and other contacts to help you find what you’re looking for. There is power in numbers!

5. Think outside the square

It’s great to make alternative uses for stuff that you may have lying around. Drill some drainage holes in a pair of old boots and plant them up. Or use an old piece of drain-pipe as a planter box for wild flowers. The possibilities are endless! Old glass jars make great miniature herb gardens and shells gathered from your next trip to the beach ccan be threaded on to some twine and hung from a tree. Do you have tips of your own to share? Do you enjoy getting your hands dirty with DIY crafts and projects? Comment below and join the discussion!