How to Install Pavers for a DIY Patio On a Budget
Concrete pavers with artificial grass is a great way to add curb appeal to a space. Check out this DIY patio on a budget that you can create! Keep reading to see how we extended our front porch with this DIY patio on a budget!
I am so excited to share with you one of the top requested DIY projects from the exterior of our home. Actually, it happens to be my very favorite one too! It seems like some of you are wanting to update your outdoor spaces this year, too. This DIY patio on a budget is perfect to both expand your outdoor area and also to add curb appeal and charm to any home.
However, to fully appreciate why this DIY patio on a budget is my favorite, let’s take a quick walk down memory lane to 2017…
The “before” story of our DIY patio
The first thing that might make you cringe could be that bright color, right? No offense to those who love bright colors, of course. I actually love them in small doses, but not all over the exterior of my house! You can see why we were ready to dump white allllllllll over the exterior of our home!
We also knew we really wanted to add an extension to the front porch. For the size of our home, it’s a rather small concrete pad that acts as a porch. Especially coming from our former home that had a wrap-around porch, I was desperate to make this not only look inviting, but to be a space we could truly enjoy.
We had to wait a year and a half to let the dust settle on the extensive, whole-house renovation on the interior. However, as soon as we were able to consider options for the front porch and landscape, I literally couldn’t wait!
Living in South Florida, we deal with very strict building codes and permits. After some investigation, adding more concrete and building out the front porch was going to require extensive permits that would put us way over our budget.
With the help of a fresh eye from a local friend, we put together this design and got to work.
Should I DIY or hire someone?
I think it’s important to insert here that in the home décor/DIY world, we can get caught up in thinking we have to do everything ourselves. Let this be your gentle reminder that it is perfectly fine to hire someone to do the jobs that you either don’t have time to do or don’t know how to do! In our case, my husband and I both work full-time. It was actually more cost effective for us to do our jobs and pay someone to do part of this DIY patio on a budget
Pro Tip: Weigh the time involved and get help if you want or need it! It could save you money in the long run!
What is the best wood for a pergola?
We paid a local builder to build and install the pergola areas. Because they are free-standing, we could avoid a lot of headache with building codes.
The columns are deeply buried in concrete and have already withstood a small hurricane and multiple tropical storms! We used cedar wood for the pergola so it will last us for many, many years to come, even with our extremely hot and humid climate.
On either side of the cement front porch, I really wanted spaces that felt like an extension of the interior and gave some extra curb appeal.
Our home has a little bit of a southern look in the style and way that it is built. With the extra tall windows and a little creativity, we were able to add a ton of charm here.
How do I give my house more curb appeal?
The projects that we have done to get the most significant update in curb appeal were to paint our driveway. On THIS post, you can get all of the details about how we saved thousands of dollars by painting our driveway as a DIY rather than hiring a pro.
Secondly, we had the pergola built that extends our front porch and adds so much depth and character to our home. If you are able to build on or add a real porch area, that is wonderful. However, for us, it was much more cost effective to go with the pergola option. Plus, I love the casual and inviting style!
Thirdly, we added this DIY patio with pavers and artificial grass. I’ll share all the details of this DIY patio on a budget in this post! Keep reading!
There are many projects you can do to improve the curb appeal of your home. We are still working on our list, but have found that focusing on one big project at a time allows us to balance our time and budget. At the same time, there are a lot of small things you can do in the meantime.
How do I update the exterior of my house on a budget?
Try these 16 favorite, budget-friendly project ideas under $100!
- Paint your porch.
- Install new door hardware.
- Replace or paint your mailbox.
- Add new planters by the front door.
- Replace tired plants with these beautiful faux, UV and weather resistant topiaries.
- Add lights around the patio or porch. (We love THESE!)
- Add solar lights to a walkway or around a patio.
- Refresh your outdoor rug or doormat. Consider layering two for an extra welcoming look.
- Add gorgeous battery-operated candles around your outdoor space. I love these with a timer that flicker on each evening. Plus, they are weatherproof.
- Use a pretty stencil to paint your steps, porch, or patio for a really fun touch and to make a big statement for low cost!
- Hang a pretty basket on your door and keep it refreshed with seasonal faux flowers.
- Add these magnets to upgrade your garage door.
- Update your mailbox with pretty house numbers.
- Add realistic faux flowers around a pot or planter.
- Spray furniture and pillows with protectant to keep them looking nice.
- Hang pretty curtains around your porch or covered outdoor space to bring the indoors out.
How to Install Pavers for a DIY Patio On a Budget
DIY Patio on a Budget Step One: Clear the space and level the ground
We enlisted the help of a college guy to help with some of the grunt work and make this project move along a little faster! The most difficult part of the project was clearing the space and making it perfectly level.
DIY Patio on a Budget Step Two: Treat with weed killer
Once that was done, it was sprayed well with weed killer and the paver part was begun. We chose to lay them on a diagonal to give a little more interest to the space.
Living close to Jupiter Island, I was inspired by this kind of design that can be found in those southern-style mansions! (Not that we live in a mansion, but any stretch of the imagination. However, curb appeal can add so much impact to even a tiny home!)
DIY Patio on a Budget Step Three: Spread filler material
Next, we spread a layer of fill material over the existing dirt and sand. A short black plastic border helped keeps things in order.
DIY Patio on a Budget Step Four: Create a firm bed
Fourthly, we rented a small compactor to form the loose gravel & soils into a firm bed.
ProTip: A hand tool will do the trick, but will cost you in time (and blisters!). If you can make it work, rent the mechanical compactor! This is for sure the most time consuming step–but the most important!
DIY Patio on a Budget Step Five: Measure and lay pavers
Finally, it was time to lay the pavers. It is important to measure carefully! A wet saw was used to cut the pavers to the correct dimensions. We chose to space the pavers 4 inches apart.
DIY Patio on a Budget Step Six: Cut the artificial turf and install
We choose to use artificial turf between the pavers so that no matter the season, this space would always look fresh and manicured.
This turf grass was reasonably priced and has held up incredibly well for almost 3 years now. It hasn’t faded or become worn, even though this pergola area gets all the weather elements.
UPDATE: After 5 years, this turf grass has not faded and still looks beautiful!
Next, we cut the turf strips to exactly 4 inches. Using stakes, we secured the turf every 12-18 inches, being certain to give it extra security around the border.
How to hang a porch swing?
We finished out this porch and pergola space with a pair of vintage swings that we picked up at a flea market for $30. Yes, thirty dollars for the PAIR! Talk about budget friendly! We will eventually need to replace these, but they have served us well so far. Our kids like to go outside and read and I love to see them using this space!
Pro Tip: The porch swings should ideally be hung at about 17 inches off the ground.
UPDATE: Our flea market found porch swings lasted for about 5 years before finally breaking down from the harsh Florida sun, humidity, and overall use.
This paver and turf idea would work great for any outdoor space where you want a hard, concrete space with a softer look. It would be great under a gazebo, beside a pool, surrounding a garden shed, or use it as a base to create an outdoor living area!
Add comfort to your DIY patio on a budget!
We had the outdoor coffee table custom built with the same wood as the pergola. I love how it ties it all together and is the perfect spot to rest your feet, a drink, a book, or all of the above!
Since this space gets all the weather elements, it was important to have a table built with wood that will stand the test of time (and weather).
There are lots of cute outdoor coffee tables available, especially in the spring, but a custom option worked great for us.
Here are 5 favorite outdoor coffee tables to add comfort and style to your patio:
How can I make my patio look nice on a budget?
Now that you’ve done all that work to create a gorgeous patio, how can you decorate it and still stay on a budget?
Outdoor throw pillows for the win!
Firstly, I invested in high-quality outdoor pillows for this space as well. I knew regular outdoor pillows would fade and fall apart within a year or two. These pillows are easy to clean up and look as good as new in no time! Even in several years, they haven’t faded, which says a lot in the Florida sun!
Next, I love the look of the black and white stripe and how versatile they are for every season. It’s easy to add some punches of different seasonal colors and décor to this space, or leave it simple and clean with just the black and white!
Other easy patio/porch decor I love:
UPDATE: This year, I added these gorgeous faux cedar trees. They have a UV protectant and are weather resistant. I highly recommend them for an easy way to refresh your porch!
Lastly, I added these beautiful faux flowers in white. Like the topiaries, they are designed to withstand the elements and have a UV protectant. I love how they are so easy to maintain and perfect for those spots that are hard to remember to water. Or in my case, just get so much sun that fresh ones don’t last without constant irrigation!
Follow my storefront for updated ideas to decorate outdoors on a budget!
I am continually adding new things to my outdoor design and decor storefront. You’ll find everything from furniture to accessories, to clever ideas for easy curb appeal. Whenever I see something new that I love, I add it there for more inspiration for you (and me too!).
I’d love for you to follow my storefront HERE and keep updated with all of my favorites!
Remember, curb appeal isn’t as much about what the neighbors think of your home as it is about how you feel when you arrive home!
Isn’t that the best part of all?!
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- How to Make Inexpensive DIY Outdoor Curtains
- Beautiful Driveway DIY for Affordable Curb Appeal
- 5 Things You Need for a Beautiful, Cozy Summer Bedroom
- 9 Beautiful Ideas for Your Summer Front Porch Decor
- Four Patriotic Decor Tips for Under Five Dollars