Simple Patio Makeover with a
Big Heart on a Small Budget
could be just what the doctor ordered…
Summer is finally here and I’m so happy to write this short post sharing my simple patio makeover with a big heart on a small budget.
I’ll start off by saying this up front: …we took our time and did all the work ourselves. We were in no rush and relish the feeling of do-it-yourself home projects and especially- on a tight budget. And I mean real budget-friendly.
There is no real secret or tricks I can share with you here. Home projects take planning and patience. And if you have these two, it takes only determination and a little money that yields big results!
What it takes to create a simple patio makeover with a big heart on a small budget:
- Going easy on yourself and the team. Start with a draft list of only the real key project tasks you want to get done. Then number them in order of passion and importance. Make sure the family is right there with you through this one. Everyone needs to be on board with what is most important. Don’t rush this one, unless it is totally unanimous. The next step may cause you to adjust and renumber your list based on…
- A budget. Once you have your simple list of priority projects, it’s time to make a solid, researched budget. I can’t say enough about using the web to get answers here. See the list of tasks for our patio below. We used this to prioritize exactly what and when we would do each one in priority order.
Simple patio makeover with a big heart on a small budget List of Tasks:
a. Do you need new furniture, or can you restain or repurpose yours or a used set? We restained ours and bought new cushions. A much cheaper and beautiful alternative. Our set cost $900 back in 2010. It looks brand new with some stains and new cushions. The cushions and stain cost $200.
b. Do you need shade? We priced a new awning- $1000. No way. We just spray-painted our old umbrella with fabric paint and put in a new pully cord (Thank you YouTube). New patio umbrellas cost around $400 to $600. Our paint and cord cost $60.
c. Do you have more wood to stain? We have a pergola and spa that need staining each year-or at leased touched-up. We used staining gel and all the wood came out so professional and beautiful. We decided to do the staining ourselves, at a very slow pace so we did not burn out. A real success factor when doing it yourself. The stain costs $75. If we hired someone, it would cost us around $700. The pergola alone is very challenging to stain, yet when we took our time (3 weeks). We were amazed at what a good job we did. I also could not get any recommendations for quality companies or references. Everyone I spoke with that had theirs stained was very disappointed. No way!
d. Last, notice the flagstones in the above picture. Yes, we put these in back in 2005. Now in 2021, some of the stones needed to be lifted, releveled and set again. We used sand to fix them and viola! Now we just fill a few cracks and stones every once in a while. The sand cost $20.
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3. Take your time. Please add enough time for “cushion”. In other words, if you think restaining will take two days, factor in a few more days for incidentals and things that get in the way. Your motivation will soar when you get things done before you think you will.
4. Patience. This is the most important. Most of us give up on do-it-yourself home projects because we think we don’t have the expertise or knowledge to get them done right. With some good research, (YouTube to the rescue), you will start to get the right direction and information to do a stellar job with any project. And with good time factored in, this helps with mistakes and adjustments. We all need to regroup from time to time and change courses to get things done the right way.
5. BELIEF IN YOURSELF! I can’t stress this enough. We had no clue how to paint an umbrella, but YouTube did. We had no idea how to paint the pergola. But we took our time so it would look professional without injuring our wrists. That’s a lot of staining. Break things down into bite-size steps. Our minds love to think we can get things done, not that things are too much or overwhelming.
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Until next time.
I’ll leave you with this:
Life is a do-it-yourself kit, so do it yourself. Work. Practice. Buy less, choose well & do it yourself! Do what you can, with what you have and do it now! Work hard and figure out how to be useful and don’t try to imitate anybody else’s success. Figure out how to do it for yourself with yourself.