How Much Does It Cost to Redo a Backyard?

Homeowners start looking at their backyards and imagining what else they can do with them. While it’s served a purpose, backyards can start to look plain and homeowners would like to see something that is prettier, and better suited for outdoor entertaining. 

How much does it cost to redo a backyard? You can initiate a redo with a DIY project to keep it under $1,000 or you can go all out with all the water, outdoor kitchen, fire pit, landscaping features you want that could run upwards of $100,000 or more. It’s up to you and your budget. 

The article below details how to calculate a backyard redo and gives tips on prioritizing needs. 

Understanding Costs

One thing to keep in mind about a backyard redo is how much each feature will add to your home’s value. Some things add more value than others and you don’t want to spend more on the redo than the value it would add to your property. 

The good news is landscaping renovations can recoupe 83 percent of your original investment by raising your property’s value. Some things, like a fire pit and an outdoor kitchen, make a home highly marketable if you listen to real estate agents.

Other things like a pool may not bring in the value and marketability you would expect because they appeal only to niche markets.

To that end, you need to decide how long you may live there. Moving within five years may mean you invest in less expensive things that add the most value. Staying there to raise your kids may allow you to spend more on a backyard the family will enjoy for years to come while your property value catches up to what you spent. 

You also need to understand that backyard renovation costs aren’t just installing something. Costs are also going to include taking away things that get in the way of installations. That may be tree stumps, rocks, uneven lawns, bad grass, and several other things. Demolition has a separate cost before installation. 

Read: How To Build A RC Track In My Backyard?

The Cost of Features

The price you pay for various backyard projects depends on your area and your specific landscaper or contractor. However, it’s good to know the national average costs of some projects. 

Landscape designers state many homeowners can get a whole new look for $10,000 but it was their recommendation to spend at least $20,000 on a landscape renovation. The general rule is to spend 10 percent of your home’s value on landscaping.

The average cost of installing landscaping is $3,366. It can range between $1,232 and $5661. Decks, patios, or pathways can cost between $4,136 to $7,713 on average. Installing sod costs an average of $1.979 and re-sloping a lawn comes with an average price tag of $2,021. 

Things like pergolas, water fountains, and ponds range in cost from $2,672 to $3,968. Gazebos cost $5,794. 

Inground pools are the big-ticket items because they can cost between $45,000 and $50,000 even before you consider maintenance costs.

Those are things most people think of when they consider renovating their backyard. Yet, other costs come with services that aren’t as thrilling but are necessary. 

Removing a tree stump can cost $334 on average. Repairing a deck has an average cost of $1,891 while sealing or waterproofing has an average cost of $897. Delivering mulch, soil or rocks can cost $731 and that doesn’t include the purchasing cost. Retaining walls cost $5,699 on average. 

Those who want to hire a landscape designer will be paying $4,481 on average and that is without the work is done. 

There are things like installing an outdoor misting system that costs $2,715 on average and soil testing, required in some projects, that has an average cost of $1,410. 

Read: How To Make Your Backyard Smell Better?

Getting Started

Experts advise starting your backyard redo with a list of uses you want for your backyard. Spaces should have several uses to get the most out of them. That means there shouldn’t be heavy boundaries and some things like furniture should be movable.  

For instance, a patio shouldn’t have a permanent fire pit in the middle because you may want to use it for dancing for a party or a children’s party. It would either be better to have a portable fire pit or have it more to one corner. 

Once you get your list together, go back and figure other costs associated with each item. That includes demolition, grading, fixing slopes, irrigation, drainage, design, and maintenance. 

Then, scale back your plan to your high-priority items. Start with the most expensive items that are must-haves and work your way down to the least expensive things to tailor your budget. You should also figure in an additional 20 percent extra on cost because of unexpected changes or issues. 

Landscapers say the cost of skimping should come by nixing extra amenities, not foundational elements like irrigation and drainage. 

Read: How To Find Gold In Your Backyard?

Biggest Bang for Buck

Both landscapers and real estate agents agree the one thing you can add that is both the most cost-effective and adds the most consistent value to your property are trees.

Planting trees is something you can do yourself and are inexpensive if you get smaller plantings. Yet, their growth adds value to your home every year. 

Read: What Is The Cheapest Way To Landscape A Backyard?

The Design

It may be tempting to get right to work in the dirt but you need a design first. Even if it’s you drawing out a plan, you still need a blueprint of what you’re going to do. 

You may want to consider timing in your renovation plans. Everything is expensive with inflation but it likely won’t go down anytime soon. Some contractors offer better deals during the “off” season and you may need to consider product-supply chain issues in your redo as getting some supplies may take weeks or months. 

Those with an overall plan may want to break up projects into phases based on cost and need. 

Read: How To Build An Underground Room In Your Backyard?


Is a backyard renovation worth the investment?

A renovation that is well-thought-out with planning is always worth the investment. It raises the value of your property and also makes your property more marketable should you ever sell it. 

Do plants add value to your home?

Landscaping adds value to your home when it is carefully planned. Mature trees can add 10 percent in home value, according to the USDA Forest Service. 

What is a popular thing to put in your backyard?

According to landscapers, the number one installed backyard item is a fire pit. Requests for fire pits are through the roof. However, it needs to be well-built to add both safety and value. 

What are simple ideas of things to add to a backyard?

Those on a tight budget may want to start with raised flower beds or container plants.

Propane-powered torches or string lights can be put up inexpensively. You can install a hammock or create a reading nook with some used furniture from a thrift store.

What are a couple of cool things I could put in my backyard?

The one cool feature that will add value to your home is a summer outdoor kitchen. It doesn’t have to be a gourmet kitchen but it will add value and allow for entertaining. A couple of other neat, trendy things is an outdoor projector screen for family movie nights and an in-ground trampoline.