Do you want to spruce up your outdoor area? With or without DIY, there are many ways you can do so!
While there are many inexpensive DIY ideas for renovating your outdoor area, you might be looking for something big to change or add that you don’t want or can’t do yourself.
From changing the fencing to installing new features such as water features, screen enclosures, and outdoor kitchen, you can already change the way your backyard looks. Going a non-DIY route will be more expensive, so if you’re curious about how much these backyard renovation ideas would cost, continue reading below!
Whether you have an existing fence you want to upgrade or a space to fill, changing or installing the fencing of your backyard can make the whole area look different.
Before we discuss how much installing a fence would cost, you will need to determine how much fencing you will need for your backyard. Fences are measured by the linear foot, so you will need to measure the property lines. Once you get the measurement, you just have to multiply it with the estimated cost per linear foot to give you an idea of how much you would spend.
The cost of installing a fence is around $13 to $50 per linear foot. In total, this could amount to $1,100 and even up to $5,000 for those who prefer high-end materials with add-ons such as a gate. The height of the fence can also affect the price, so this is another factor to consider.
Among the materials, a chain link is one of the more affordable ones while wrought iron is in the more expensive range. For wood and vinyl, the cost will depend on the quality and type of that certain material.
To be specific, a chain link fence would cost around $12 to $18 per linear foot. The metal can be coated with aluminum, galvanized zinc, vinyl, and more, provided that it protects the steel from corroding or rusting.
A more durable alternative is a wrought-iron fence. Fences made out of this material have a long lifespan and would only need to be repaired a few times for years. That’s why it’s not a surprise it costs $24 to $34 per linear foot, which has the highest range among the four materials. If you prefer sturdiness and security, this is a great option!
But for some people who prefer a rustic look, the go-to choice is a wood fence. It is more expensive than chain link fences, priced around $17 to $25 per linear foot. Sometimes it could even cost up to $50 depending on the type of wood. The common types are cedar and pressure-treated pine since they are less expensive than redwood.
Cedar is slightly more expensive but both types can deter rot and bugs. While it is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, wood fences are harder to maintain as they require regular painting or staining.
If you prefer a low-maintenance fence that has the similar rustic look of wood, you can try a vinyl fence. They don’t need to be regularly maintained and are easy to clean while having the same styles as wood fences. This material is just going to be more expensive as it costs around $19 to $35 per linear foot.
To summarize, here's a price guide for each fence material:
Average cost per linear foot
$12 – $18
$24 – $34
$17 – $25
$19 – $35
2. Screen Enclosures
Another great way to change how your outdoor area looks as well as keep the bugs out and add privacy is by installing a screen enclosure.
One of the popular types of screen enclosures is one with a screen roof or a pool cage. You’ve probably seen this in your neighborhood. It is a large structure with an aluminum roof screened-in with a mesh. Not only does it keep bugs out, but it also prevents leaves and other debris from getting inside the pool area, making it easier to maintain the pool and keep the pool drain clean.
The cost of this type of screen enclosure depends on many factors such as size, materials, and inclusions. For screen enclosures made of premium materials with permit in engineering, a one-story 20x40 will cost around $12,000 while a 30 x 50 will cost around $19,000 to $20,000. This excludes the concrete or foundation work, which could double the numbers when included.
20 x 40 screen enclosure
30 x 50 screen enclosure
$19,000 – $20,000
For high-quality materials, it’s going to be worth it rather than going for something less! When hiring a contractor, don’t go for builders grade enclosures. You might be tempted with the less expensive option, but this also means cheap materials. If you do, don’t expect the structural integrity and appearance of that enclosure to last. You’d probably spend more frequently calling them for maintenance.
You should always get high-quality fasteners such as Nylotech or those that come with a warranty, and screens such as Phifer or polyester screens (better for areas with small bugs). The structure should also have a powder coat finish so that it retains its appearance.
3. Water Features
If you prefer something smaller, a feature or accent, you can add a water feature. Structure such as ponds and waterfalls can bring more life to your backyard. Some people find it relaxing to hear the trickle of water or splashes from fishes. It is also nice to look at the sparkly water as the light from the sun or other light source hits it. These structures can even attract insects that are beneficial to your lawn.
Another great thing about water garden structures is they are very flexible! You can get a small or big one, whichever you prefer or fits your outdoor area. Now, this is where the costs come in.
Let’s first talk about ponds. If you prefer a bigger one, it’s going to cost around $3,000 to $8,200 per acre. But if we’re only going to be talking about measurement in square foot, you’ll be spending around $2.50 to $7.15 per square foot. In total, this could range from $1,233 to $5,168.
Other factors that can affect the price are the material of the structure and the liner. The structure can be made out of concrete, fiberglass, or the less expensive option, plastic. For the liner, it is usually a plastic shell or a sheet.
Another water feature you can install is a waterfall. The cost range for this type of structure is larger as there are no-installation options. To put a number on it, a waterfall can cost around $300 up to $20,000.
That’s a big jump, right?
The price really depends on what type of waterfall you want for your outdoor area. Are you happy with a pre-manufactured, small, or simple design, or are you looking for a large or custom-made waterfall? A no-installation freestanding waterfall can cost around $300 to $2,000, while the larger or custom-designed can cost between $5,000 to $15,000.
After determining whether you want a waterfall or pond, or maybe both as well as the budget, the next part would be choosing the right style. Finding the perfect water feature design for your home is challenging. If you have no clue, you may want to check out these water garden structure design ideas for your outdoor area.
4. Outdoor Kitchen
Not only will an outdoor kitchen change your outdoor area’s appearance, but it is also a great way to utilize a vacant space in your backyard. With this feature, you can now cook and dine outside as well as have a new entertainment area for your family and friends.
Getting an outdoor kitchen seems expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. You can have a basic outdoor kitchen with great features that will also fit small backyards. But for those who prefer a fully-functioning outdoor kitchen complete with the works, then that’s an option, too.
How much would this cost? A small outdoor kitchen can cost around $2,000 to $10,000, while a luxury one can land you around $50,000 to $100,000. The cost would really depend on the location, materials, appliances, and other features you want to install.
For the location, you can either get a standalone outdoor kitchen or one attached to your home or patio. The standalone one will be more expensive since it has to be a fully-functioning one. It’s like setting up an indoor kitchen, complete with drains and other utilities. For this type, some appliances you’ll probably need are a refrigerator, which can cost around $400 to $1,000.
You might also want to get a sink so you don’t have to go back to your indoor kitchen. You can get a stainless steel sink for around $100.
On the other hand, if you get an outdoor kitchen attached to your home or patio, you can opt not to get appliances and other utilities since you can use the ones in your indoor kitchen. To make it more convenient, you can even get a window passthrough between your indoor and outdoor kitchen.
Next, you have to decide what materials and paving you want for your outdoor kitchen. For the construction expense, expect to shell out around $5,000 to $12,000. For the framework, it depends on the material. The raw frame would cost around $200 per linear foot. This frame is used to hold the appliances and is installed on-site. Then you will need a finish or a veneer to bring it all together.
Average cost per square foot
$15 – $25
$25 – $35
Natural stone veneer
$25 – $45
If you’re not on a tight budget, it is recommended to go for a natural stone instead of a stucco base.
For the countertop, a bluestone countertop costs around $35 to $40 per square foot while a basic ceramic tile countertop costs around $39 to $44 per square foot. A granite countertop and a poured concrete countertop will be more expensive, ranging from $60 to $70 per square foot. For those who have space in their budget, it’s better to get a granite countertop instead of the ceramic tile countertop.
Now, for the must-have of most outdoor kitchens: grills. This appliance can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands. Similar to your outdoor kitchen, the price will vary depending on the size and features. But something different you need to consider is the type of grill. For more information on this, you can check out the different types of grills and recommended high-end and affordable models in this article.
Now, don’t go spending your entire budget on this appliance. What’s the use of having a top-of-the-line grill if your entire outdoor kitchen doesn’t match it. Balance the budget between the cost of the structure and the features. If you want a less expensive grill that you want to use indoors and outdoors, you might want to get a portable grill instead.
Other appliances you may want to consider are a deep fryer, warming drawers, and pizza oven. It’s also important to have a storage area in your outdoor kitchen, so you don’t have to cram everything in your indoor one.
Another way to spruce up your outdoor kitchen is by installing an entertainment area. You can do this by placing an outdoor television or some speakers. It would also be great if you have a wine chiller or some sort of beverage center so you have cool drinks, which is perfect to have during a hot afternoon.