5 Backyard Deck Ideas on a Budget

Creating a backyard deck you love doesn’t have to break the bank.


ard deck ideas on a budget

Key Takeaways

  • By opting for cost-effective materials and projects, you can achieve a stylish outdoor space without going over budget.
  • Consider your budget, timeline, and skill level when deciding between tackling a project yourself or hiring professionals.
  • Explore various design options, repurpose materials, and consider alternative solutions to make the most of your budget and create a personalized outdoor oasis.

Transforming your backyard into an inviting oasis doesn’t have to break the bank. With some creativity and smart planning, you can create a stunning deck space that suits your style and budget. Whether you’re looking for small DIY projects or larger undertakings, we'll share some budget-friendly backyard deck ideas to inspire you.


How to Budget for Backyard Deck Renovations

Creating your dream backyard begins with a budget. How much can you realistically spend renovating your backyard, and where is that money coming from? Let’s look at how to budget for your affordable backyard deck.

  1. Assess your needs and prioritize: Determine your renovation goals and prioritize them based on importance and budget. Whether it's repairing existing structures, adding new features, or simply refreshing the look, understanding your needs will guide your budgeting process.
  2. Research costs and materials: Take the time to research the costs of materials, tools, and potential labor if you're considering hiring professionals. Compare prices from different suppliers and factor in any additional expenses such as permits or delivery fees to ensure an accurate budget estimate.
  3. Allocate funds wisely: Focus on essential elements first, such as structural repairs or safety upgrades, before moving on to cosmetic enhancements. Consider dividing your budget into categories like materials, labor, permits, and unexpected expenses to avoid overspending.
  4. Plan for contingencies: Be prepared for unexpected expenses by setting aside a contingency fund of around 10-15% of your total budget. This buffer will help cover any unforeseen issues or changes during the renovation process without derailing your project.
  5. Consider long-term maintenance: Investing in high-quality materials and finishes may require a higher upfront cost but can save money on repairs and replacements in the long run.

By following these budgeting tips and considering the specific needs of your backyard space, you can plan and execute your deck renovations while staying within your financial means.


DIY vs. Professional Deck Installation

Evaluate the costs and benefits of DIY versus hiring professionals for your backyard deck project. While DIY projects can save money on labor, be realistic about your skills and the time commitment required. Factor in the cost of tools and equipment rentals if necessary and compare it to the convenience and expertise that a professional can offer.

If you prefer a hands-off approach or have a larger budget, hiring professionals for deck installation might be the right choice for you. Professional installation ensures quality craftsmanship and can save you time and effort.

Rough cost estimate for a professionally installed deck:

  • Labor and materials: $25 - $50 per square foot
  • Total professional cost: Varies based on deck size and materials, typically ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 for a 10x10-foot deck.
  • Timeline/Effort: Professional deck installation can typically be completed within a week, depending on the complexity of the project and contractor availability.
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Backyard Deck Ideas on a Budget

DIY Floating Deck

DIY Floating Deck

A floating deck is an excellent DIY option if you have limited space or uneven terrain. It’s relatively easy to build and can be completed over a weekend with basic carpentry skills. Here’s a cost breakdown for a 10x10-foot floating deck:

Materials (pressure-treated lumber, concrete blocks, screws): $300 - $500

Rental of tools (if needed): $50 - $100

Total DIY Cost: $350 - $600

Depending on your skill level and availability, building a floating deck can take anywhere from one to three days.

Stain and Seal

If you already have a deck but it’s looking tired and worn, a fresh coat of stain and sealant can work wonders. This DIY project is relatively inexpensive and can breathe new life into your outdoor space. Here’s a cost breakdown for staining and sealing a 200 square foot deck:

Stain and sealant: $100 - $200

Applicators and cleaning supplies: $20 - $50

Total DIY Cost: $120 - $250

Depending on the size of your deck and drying time between coats, staining and sealing can typically be completed over a weekend.

Stain and Seal
Pallet Furniture

Pallet Furniture

For a charming and budget-friendly seating solution, consider repurposing wooden pallets into outdoor furniture. With a little sanding, painting, and creativity, you can create custom pieces that fit your deck space perfectly. Here’s a cost breakdown for a pallet furniture set:

Wooden pallets: free or low cost

Sandpaper and paint/stain: $20 - $50

Cushions and pillows: $50 - $100

Total DIY Cost: $70 - $150

Building pallet furniture can be completed over a weekend with basic woodworking skills and some creativity.

Modular Deck Tiles

For an instant deck makeover without the hassle of construction, consider modular deck tiles. These interlocking tiles come in various materials and styles, allowing you to customize your deck surface quickly and affordably. Here’s a cost breakdown for covering a 100 square foot area with modular deck tiles:

Deck tiles: $200 - $500

Total DIY Cost: $200 - $500

Installing modular deck tiles is a straightforward DIY project that can be completed in a single day.

Modular Deck Tiles
Built-In Seating

Built-In Seating

Maximize space and functionality by incorporating built-in seating into your deck design. This project requires some carpentry skills but can provide a seamless and stylish seating solution. Here’s a cost breakdown for building a built-in bench along one side of a deck:

Lumber and materials: $150 - $300

Tools (if needed): $50 - $100

Total DIY Cost: $200 - $400

Depending on the complexity of the design, building built-in seating can take a weekend to a few days to complete.


What is the least expensive deck to build?

The least expensive deck to build is typically a simple DIY floating deck. Floating decks are built close to the ground and require minimal materials and labor compared to elevated or attached decks. Here's what makes a floating deck the most budget-friendly option:

  • Minimal materials – pressure-treated lumber, concrete blocks, and screws – keep costs low
  • No excavation needed: floating decks can be built directly on the ground or a shallow bed of gravel, saving both time and money.
  • DIY-friendly
  • Flexibility in design and layout. You can adjust the size, shape, and placement of the deck to suit your backyard space without incurring additional costs associated with complex framing or support systems.

Overall, a floating deck is the least expensive option for creating an outdoor living space, making it a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners who love a good DIY project.

No matter your budget or skill level, there are plenty of options for creating a beautiful backyard deck. Whether you choose to tackle a small DIY project or invest in a professional installation, with a little creativity and planning, you can enjoy your outdoor space for years to come.

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