Design Inspiration

30% of Homeowners Will Spend $10K on This Upgrade Before Summer Ends

And three ways to refresh your backyard on a budget.

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Photography by Marie Buck

It’s almost Memorial Day weekend. Which means your outdoor space is probably due for a refresh. If that’s the case, a survey conducted by Thumbtack reveals you aren’t alone. Nearly half of those who responded (48 percent) plan to spend $10,000 or more on home projects this year, and among them, 32 percent are turning their efforts outward. According to the results, the exterior projects that are top of mind for homeowners can run you anywhere from $200 to $15,000. Here’s the full list of the most popular updates people plan to tackle this spring and summer, plus how much they’ll cost.

  1. Landscaping and design: up to $5,720 on average
  2. Tree trimming and removal: up to $2,839 on average
  3. Fence and gate installations: up to $7,000 on average
  4. Concrete installations: up to $10 per square foot on average
  5. Exterior painting: up to $8,117 (for a 2,500-square-foot home) on average
  6. Gardening up to $65 per hour on average
  7. Deck and porch remodel or addition: up to $15,329 on average
  8. Gazebo installations and construction: up to $1,500 on average
  9. Sod installations: up to $2,409 (for 2,500 square feet) on average
  10. Play equipment construction and assembly: up to $50 on average

To keep you on the lower end of the spectrum, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite budget-friendly backyard upgrades. 

Install a Wabi-Sabi Fence

Photography by Jenna Peffley

Japandi vibes meet you at the front gate of this Los Angeles home, where Shanty Wijaya gave the facade a makeover with accoya wood—a one-and-done material that can last up to 70 years. In addition to the siding and front porch, Wijaya used it to create an abstract fence where the boards seem as though they’re sprouting up like grass. The generous spacing means fewer materials used, which can be a good thing for your wallet depending on what variety of wood you go with.

Go Grassless

Photography by Marie Buck

The owners of this San Clemente getaway wanted a fully functional outdoor space from front to back, and with the help of landscape designer Molly Wood, they decided to skip pricey sod altogether. Though the ipe-wood deck was a splurge, adding a bocce ball court in place of grass made use of a big empty space in a cost-effective way.

Get Crafty With a Cabana

Photography by Sophie Carpenter

A sad, lattice-covered pergola in Sophie Carpenter’s Los Angeles backyard got a quick and easy makeover when she and her husband decided to give it a white coat of paint and a brand-new “roof” made of bamboo sheets that only set them back about $25.