A $25 Backyard MakeOver

A $25 Backyard MakeOver

Fixing up the outside of our home has never been our strong suit.  I can make a room look beautiful, but put me outside and I am lost.  You may as well ask me to pilot a shuttle to the moon.  It’s that out of my comfort zone.

But we do have a house with a yard and some green stuff, so we occasionally have to repair things and figure out ways to make it look better.

Our backyard was the worst.  The back of our house had this “Welcome back to 1971” awning/overhang/ugly thing over the patio.

I have been complaining about that thing for 10 years and a few weeks ago James and the kids tore it down.  Yippee!

It’s a good thing I have a big, strong husband around for these “man” jobs.

But then we had a new problem.  The back of the house went from ugly to boring.  Now what?  I didn’t need another seating area, I can’t grow plants there (or anywhere for that matter), I can’t spend any money on it, I didn’t know what to do.

So I headed to my favorite local spot, the Habitat ReStore.  I found some shutters for $1.50 each.  Even though they were plastic and like 6 feet long I thought, “I can work with these.”  $9 later I was on my way home with a part of a plan.

I cut down the shutters and painted them a charcoal color.  Then just screwed them to the house.  Easy breezy.

You don’t even notice that one of the windows is “shutterless.”  We tried different configurations and this one looked the best.

But the door still needed to be dressed up.  When I stepped back to try to figure out what to do with it, I realized for the first time that the steps aren’t centered under the door.  How did I live here for 10 years without noticing that?

Now it’s going to bother me, so I decided to cover the steps with deck boards to even them out.

I wanted to add some of the charcoal color to the door, so I painted some 2x4s and just screwed them to the wall.  It may not be traditional house trim, but it looks pretty good and it didn’t cost me anything.

Then, to give the back door a little more definition we painted some 4×4 posts (that we dug up a few weeks ago from the chicken yard) and mounted them between the roof and the new steps.  I painted the steps with paint left from the newly painted front porch floor and now it looks 1000x better.

That door in one of 3 doors that leads into the house from the backyard.  It goes into our utility room, so it isn’t the preferred door for guests.  I thought it would be fun to add a sign to the door reminding us to use it only for utility purposes.

Now the back of our house looks much better.  And the best part is I only spent $25 on the whole thing (not including paint, which I did buy but used on many other projects also).

I can’t believe the difference $25 and a few days can make!

Hey!  Maybe I could pilot a shuttle into space.

Linking to: Transformation Thursday


  1. Cute!

  2. Looks great!

    Mary, also outdoor-challenged

  3. Who says you don’t know how to make the outside of your house look beautiful?!

    • Jacqueline, It is turning out ok, but I have to REALLY stretch my brain to think of things. Whew! I’m exhausted. Lisa~

  4. Anyone who can manage a household, a family, a homeschool, a business, and do it so gracefully could definitely manage a space shuttle. :)

    • Antbed, I don’t know how graceful I am….LOL! But thanks for the compliment. You always make me smile. Lisa~

  5. Looks great! It made such a big and great difference… I’m inspired by the steps :) Thanks for sharing.

  6. Were those shutters brown originally? Just a few weeks ago, we donated 6 ft plastic shutters to the Habitat Restore and those look a lot like them, just charcoal. They certainly look better on your house than ours! What a beautiful outside makeover!

    • Melissa, they were brown and there were about 20 of them. We went back to get a few more but they were all gone. Wouldn’t it have been funny if I got YOUR shutters? LOL! Lisa~

  7. Love it! I could come plant some things for you…I’m good at that. Why don’t you just do pots of flowers out there….a little watering is usually all it takes.

    • Charity, I’ll take a visit anytime! The problem with that spot is it is in FULL SUN all day and gets really hot. Every plant I’ve ever tried to grow back there burns up. I don’t have time to baby anything, so no plants there. But you can come anyway! :) Lisa~

      • Lisa, have you thought of potting succulents? Hens & chicks and portulucca? I had great success with them in the baking sun around our pool : )

  8. Great job, Lisa- looks amazing!

  9. Look at you, handy-woman! Miss you more than ya know.

  10. I am going to choose to believe that they were our’s. :-) I’m glad they went to a good home!

  11. I like the little chicken peeking out in the one picture! Super job!

  12. You are so resourceful!

  13. Maybe it was the dated, uncentered awning that distracted you from the uncentered stairs. 😉 The update looks great! Amazing what a bit of “mascara” and “lipgloss” can do. lol


  14. Donna, those chickens think they are in charge of everything around here.

    Autumn, thanks! Can’t wait to see you soon!

    Kristin, LOL! You’re so right….it was just make-up but it did help. I am definitely hoping to do some real cosmetic surgery in the next few months though.


  15. Very nice!!! I really like how it turned out!! 😀

  16. It looks amazing! I love the color and the cost! Look at your strong man holding up the roof!! I am decor challenged. I love going though your photos and hoping one day, I will have the guts to actually try and decorate! I’m bummed I can’t make it out this weekend, but a visit to your home is on my to do list :-)

  17. Great work. Smart use of money,and big improvment…Use some of your wood or shutters to make raised plant beds…and savlia greggi is great in full sun.Also rosemary and they smell great. We planted Vetek trees in our super sunny…all this survived last summer and rocks this year…another great one is Mexican Hummingbird bush…the Hummingbirds love them..
    If you do raised you will have good drainage..first time on your site I will be BACK

  18. Wow! That transformation is huge! Who would have thought that such small changes could have such a big impact? Not me! You have inspired me to do something with my small deranged yard. Btw…I love your little pop-up post on the bottom of the screen. I might be here for days ; )