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Frugal Deck and Backyard Landscaping

Updated on January 16, 2017

Easy, Quick, Backyard Ideas to Save Money in Your Home

This hub includes pictures of how to build a low maintenance backyard with your small budget.

Top deck with Golden Gazebo
Top deck with Golden Gazebo | Source

Other Saving Money in Your Home Tips

Backyard is 24 feet deep and 28 feet wide with an overhead wooden deck

Marylou never used the backyard. It was a wasted space. The weeds in ditch.
Marylou never used the backyard. It was a wasted space. The weeds in ditch. | Source
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wall coming down to make the deck
wall coming down to make the deck | Source
stained and done!
stained and done! | Source

Weed Whacking the Whole Backyard

This is a Do-It-Yourself- Project that you can do to save money with awesome results.

Suzzycue started by taking a weed-eater to the whole backyard under the top wooden deck. The grass was so thick and up to her waist, that a lawn mower was out of the question. Also there was a ditch that collected water near the front wall of the fence. This was a great place to recycle the weeds and grass cuttings.

TIP: You must wear long pants when weed whacking to prevent bugs and grass from hitting your legs.

Suzzycue took the back side of an ax and knocked every other board out of the front of the fence. Marylou's wish and Suzzycue loves to whack things. This gave the impression of a much larger yard and brought in her mountain view. A nicer view to see than a board fence.

The whole backyard was then covered with landscaping cloth to prevent the weeds from growing back. Landscaping cloth is not a permanent fix for weeds but it will work for a time.

Down Came the Wall


The wall was taken down with a crowbar and pounded from the back again with the axe. Once down on the ground the wall was pulled over four feet on the other side of the cement pad and leveled up with a two x four frame and stained. Always use what you have. The wall made a great deck and also let the sun under the deck in the morning to dry the morning dew.

Getting Into The Landscaping Job.

Our building supplies. The first of three loads
Our building supplies. The first of three loads | Source
4 -12x12 inch patio stones to extend the cement pad.
4 -12x12 inch patio stones to extend the cement pad. | Source
Bridge was donated by next door neighbour, who took an interest in our workand cheered us on.
Bridge was donated by next door neighbour, who took an interest in our workand cheered us on. | Source
Painted gate and postcaps around the fence red. The stones steps were built to add ease for Marylou to walk the small hill in the yard.
Painted gate and postcaps around the fence red. The stones steps were built to add ease for Marylou to walk the small hill in the yard. | Source

Red Mulch and More Red Mulch

We only had one load of supplies delivered from Lowes. The rest of the building supplies we delivered ourselves in Marylou's PT Cruiser. There was 2x4's,patio stones, three bags of cement,20 bags of topsoil and 30 bags of mulch to spread around. The three rolls of of landscaping cloth went down first and covered the whole backyard.


The twenty bags of topsoil was spread over the landscaping cloth to hold it in place and also stop the red mulch from sliding down the back yard slant. The backyard slanted all the way from the patio doors to the ditch then up the other side of ditch.


There were four red patio stones set into the front of the cement pad to increase the size of the pad. The cement pad was stained red to match the wooden deck. TIP:Always prime cement before staining it or it will peel off. Then there was a path made with rubberized garden edging we used in the footpath to prevent sliding on the path. This worked well for Marylou to walk confidently to her bridge.


A set of smaller patio stones and three larger cement blocks were set deeper into the backyard slant to make small steps to get to Marylou's lower yard and the bridge. The bridge floor and the railing were painted red to match the paint job of the upper deck. The bridge was set into place over the ditch and we were so grateful for the neighbor who donated it to us. The ditch was then planted with different kinds of ground covers and more of them will eventually be planted next spring to cover the whole back yard. The thirty bags of red mulch is covering the ground to prevent weeds from coming back until the spring planting.


The gate and post caps were painted red to give the fence some color without painting the whole fence. The fence will eventually be covered with climbing rose bushes. Did you notice the view through the front fence looks better with every other board removed?

Finishing Up this Huge Project That was Finished In Sixteen Days Due to Rain and 80-100 degree days.

Staining myself into a corner LOL.
Staining myself into a corner LOL. | Source
Yellow 10x10 foot octagon Gazebo with new ratan furniture.
Yellow 10x10 foot octagon Gazebo with new ratan furniture. | Source
The view from outside the gate.
The view from outside the gate. | Source
Wow what a finish!
Wow what a finish! | Source

Finishing Touches

The deck had to be cleaned and Suzzycue stained it a solid red stain to cover the minor age defects of an older deck. Marylou wanted the railing stained to match. This deck color is also the same as the below deck.



A Gazebo was brought and hauled home in the Pt Cruiser but we had the furniture delivered. TIP: If you buy the floor model of a Gazebo,at the end of the summer season, you get a big discount because they don't want to pack it up. But beware there were no directions on how to put it together and what fun that was...NOT LOL.

The ten foot square octagon Gazebo turned out to be twelve feet in some places so was a very tight squeeze to put it together on her deck.

The Rattan couch and two armchairs with the little coffee table were made for this octagon Gazebo.


This is the view from the outside of the gate. The whole finished project gave Marylou two places to relax, out of the sun, that were wasted, hardly used spaces before.

Yes, you did realize Marylou's favourite color is red and after this project we are still friends today. LOL .

Mulch or Not to Mulch?

Would you mulch a whole yard?

See results

Comments are welcome Thank you Faith Reaper for your help !

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    • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Britton 

      23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      @ Susan Hazelton Thank you for your comment and input. The backyard makeover was done for my Friends ,so they didn't have to walk their lawnmower half way around the block to access their backyard to cut it. They loved what I did but it was all Marylou's (the property owner's)decorating ideas, that I made work, for the project. I learned a lot and had fun doing it. Have a good day :)

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      23 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Mulch is a good solution to make the yard easier to care for. I love the look of what you have done.

    • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Britton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow Ericdierker your comment really touched my heart. My intention was to help my friend have a safe and non-physical garden for her to enjoy and I did not think of conservation of water. I guess this garden is really a win win situation of paradise.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      7 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I did not do it before but let me toot your horn. Awesome for you and yours to choose an asthetic and comortable healthy space without sucking in and using up the valuable resource of water.

      Your space is beautiful and conservation perfect. We do not need a scorched earth policy in our yards but we need environmentally sound architecture like yours.

    • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Britton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you Ericdierker. It was hard work but lots of fun.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      7 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Really cool. I like it.

    • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Britton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you ChitrangadaSharan for your comment. This is the work I love to do and if I can help someone all the better.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      7 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Wow, what a transformation! Beautiful description of transforming the backyard into a beautiful place. Your efforts have really paid off. And the pictures explain it all. Very nice and interesting hub and I am sure many will implement these ideas. Thanks for sharing.

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