3 Ideas for Budget-Friendly Backyard Escapes

At Long Island Hot Tub, we are all about getting outdoors and enjoying whatever bit of earth we happen to possess.
But what’s an outdoor lover to do when they are concerned about costs and limited space? Actually, there is a wide range of options open.
1: Budget pergola and fireplace kits can be half the price of custom ones and you can get a clear picture of what they will look like before hand. Such kits can produce a beautiful outdoor stage for a Great Room – the perfect spot for star gazing and sharing good times with family and friends. Such kits come in a wide range of styles -- from elegant classic column and beam arbor style to Douglas Fir and Redwood stained kits for more rustic charm.
2: A hot tub can be an ideal budget option to a pool. In addition, by surrounding it with rocks and a small garden, or creating a ‘spa deck’ or ‘spa patio’ it can suggest that “in-ground” look even if it’s not.
3: Gas fire pits are a good choice over wood-burning ones because they are smoke-free and sparks and embers don’t blow around whenever there is a puff of wind. They can be plain or you can get kits to give them the kind of appearance you like.
Multi-Level Trex Deck
This multi-level composite deck includes a curved bench from the same material — a very durable substance that won’t fade, chip, or splinter. Note: building it at ground level eliminated the need for a railing which saved some expense.
Hot Tub Deck with Pergola
In lieu of a more expensive pool, this Bullfrog Spas’ portable hot tub is practical because it has less plumbing than others. An attractive pergola not only allows shade, but helps add to a sense of comfortable intimacy.
Hot Tub ‘In-Garden’ Effect
Surrounding this hot tub with rocks and a small garden gives a truly beautiful ‘set-in-garden’ effect even though it’s above ground. Such an installation is much less costly than custom in-ground spas but it’s still a beautiful ‘backyard escape.’
Budget-Friendly Outdoor Fireplace
A more affordable option for an outdoor fireplace is this “Inspiration” gas fireplace, with Venturi flame technology. It has only one flame but gives and intense tornado-type appearance through use of mirrors. Add two Adirondack chairs and you have a backyard escape to enjoy your garden and starry nights. Photo: courtesy of Outdoor Great Room.
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  • Wm Flannery Wm Flannery on Nov 30, 2015
    "Budget Friendly" is a relative idea and this budget friendly project is for families making $100,000+ a year with moderate to light monthly expenses. The Bullfrog Spa costs around $6,000 (on the cheap end). Composite deck boards (1"x5.5"x16') are almost $40 (a board) X's about 110 boards equals $4,400. Countersinking, stainless steel decking screws (350 count) around $64 (you'd need around 3,000 of these). Pergola, posts, cement, whatever was laid down to prevent weeds from growing, the small railing, bench, etc... all more money. I was surprised to see the 10 person outdoor dining table set. That's another $3,500-$4,000. Add the costs of delivery, assembly, and installation and you easily have yourself a $20,000+ project. Now, does it look nice? Sure (minus the big blue umbrella). Is it cheaper than a pool? In most cases. Is it really budget friendly? Not for most families. Also, quick safety note, you should NEVER have a real fire on a composite deck. I'm not sure who thought it would be cute to place logs in a circle of rocks so that this scene could have a "fire pit" in it but that is an excellent way to burn down your "budget friendly" project. Possibly your house as well. Let's be a little more responsible than that.
  • Thanks for your thoughts. Whether or not readers will find each suggestion cost-friendly is, as you say, subjective. However, we stand by our ideas as opportunities to fully enjoy outdoor living is less costly ways.