Setting out to improve your home’s curb appeal can seem like an expensive ordeal. However, there are many cheap simple front yard landscaping ideas that do not require thousands of dollars to pull off.
One of the best things about front yards is that there are numerous ways to achieve a beautiful front-of-house look with them. For most homeowners, it’s only a matter of taking inspiration from the right ideas on a budget – ideas that do not compromise style.
We’ve inspected a lot of homes in Dothan. And I’ve found that a combination of simple materials, thoughtful planning, and cute accessories can give your front yard a facelift of a lifetime.
Revamping Front Yard Landscaping in 7 Steps
Some homeowners find it surprising when front yard landscaping serves as an introduction to the backyard. But looking at completed projects online or in person can make it seem like their designs were put together in a matter of days.
The truth is that many of the best landscaping projects take years to come together. Ultimately, the amount of money and effort you choose to invest into your yard landscaping project is up to you. But the landscaping ideas in this post should serve as an excellent starting point for more sophisticated front yard designs.
Sprucing up the curb appeal of a house is always a good idea whether you’ve just moved into your dream home, are renting a beautiful cottage, or looking to sell your home.
But how can your landscape your front yard on a budget while also making it look like a million bucks?
Here are seven yard landscaping ideas that serve as steps in the right direction:
#1 Find What Landscaping Doesn’t Fit in the Yard
Step number one to beautifying your front yard’s landscaping is not adding but removing elements. To pull off cheap simple front yard landscaping ideas, you will first need to rid the space of anything that takes away from the charm of the yard. Removing these elements will give you more space to decorate.
Don’t start ripping the front yard apart right away — survey the yard in the morning, at noon, and at night. Note the elements that bring you the most joy and those that don’t look as good.
Additionally, take note of the elements that look out of place or are in poor condition since these elements also make the yard look less attractive.
Coming to terms with what design and decor elements to get rid of is rarely straightforward. You may find that certain elements look gorgeous but do not look good in the yard for some reason.
For instance, the flower beds that that previous homeowner added may look attractive, but you may not have the time or money to keep them looking tip-top. In such cases, it’s best to see if a neighbor would like to keep the flowers in their yard and plant some resilient, pocket-friendly plants in the same spot.
When you decide to get rid of some elements from the yard, know that you don’t have to trash them. You can give these items away at local donation centers, at a nearby school, or to someone interested in the item on an online forum.
#2 Set a Sensible Budget
Setting a budget for your new front yard is not an idea but rather a necessity. Going into redecorating your yard with cheap simple front yard landscaping ideas without knowing exactly how much you want to spend on yard landscaping has many risks.
You may end up overspending or having an unfinished yard that looks worse than before.
Having a fixed budget on paper is much more important if you have never done landscaping before. You might not have any idea how much perennial plants, potters, hedges, and other items for your yard cost.
It’s best to begin by making a list of everything you want to add to your front yard, then research the costs online to come up with a realistic estimate. You could also speak to your gardener or neighbor about where you can find some elements and for how much.
Bear in mind that the costs of some items may be higher or lower than expected depending on where you live and whether you choose to install them or hire someone to help.
When you have a conservative estimate about how much it’ll cost to design your new front yard, decide how much you can afford to spend on your cheap simple front yard landscaping ideas. Next, split up your wishlist into four columns:
- Things you have to install now
- Things you would like to install now
- Things you can install in the yard later
- Things you might install someday
Your budget should accommodate all the items in the first column and some items in the second column. If you have a smaller budget, the items in columns three and four may have to wait, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
#3 Use Mulch, Rocks, or Alternative Grasses Instead of Artificial Turf
Homeowners believe that putting artificial turf in the front yard will save them money on landscaping and watering.
Artificial grass or artificial turf is a low-maintenance alternative to grass. It’s hard to tell that it’s not real grass since it has a natural variation and is easy on the eye. But good quality turf can be quite expensive. Not to mention, it’s a petroleum-produced product – which isn’t great for our environment.
While cheap turf is not hard to find, it looks more like a green and waxy carpet than real grass. It’s also hot to the touch – think puppy paws and baby feet.
Besides being low-maintenance, quality artificial turf looks great throughout the year and in every part of your yard. Additionally, it removes the need for watering, mowing, and fertilizing, and the turf is environmentally friendly.
While these benefits are attractive, you may not save any money choosing to put turf in your yard instead of grass. The reason is that while turf doesn’t cost much, installing it is challenging for the average person.
You will likely need to hire a professional to install the turf, which can cost about $5 per square foot or more, depending on where you live.
Turf installed by professionals can serve you for up to two decades, but if you install it yourself and don’t do a good job, you may have to install it again in a year.
The savings from installing turf will amount to the cost of the turf in about five years.
Therefore, if you intend to rent out your home or sell it, it’s best to stick to real grass or the following alternatives:
While mulch doesn’t fit everywhere in a yard, you can use it to frame walkways, fountains, flower beds, and any other focal points in the front yard. The nice thing about mulch is that it is quite cheap, with one bag covering about 8 square feet and costing less than $5.
Crunching the numbers for your cheap simple front yard landscaping ideas, you could cover as much as 100 square feet of your yard for less than $60 with mulch.
Putting together a rock garden is a nice way to decorate the yard on a budget. Rocks cost about $140 per ton, and if you’re ready to do the work yourself, you can cover 100 square feet of the yard with 3″ of rocks for around $150.
Covering the same 100 square feet with turf costs over $1,000, so this is one of the most cost-effective ways to revamp your yard.
If you believe there is no replacement for greenery in the front yard, you could purchase low-maintenance, low-cost alternatives to turf. Fields of chamomile and meadow of wildflowers are two of many landscaping ideas that are both charming, cheap, and easy to maintain.
It’s also worth growing your own ornamental grasses if you’re patient and want to give your yard a special look.
#4 Make Focal Points with Plants
If you have fancy taste, you may want an English garden for your place in Miami. But maintaining this garden will be expensive in the short- and long-term. It’s best to stick to plants that thrive in the locality’s weather.
Shortlisting cheap simple front yard landscaping ideas can be challenging if you’ve only thought about what your dream home’s front yard should look like. One nice way to gather landscaping ideas is to walk around the neighborhood. Look at the front yards of homes with the same orientation to the sun as your home.
Besides giving you some inspiration, you will also see what plants thrive in homes with similar sun exposure as your home. Besides the potted plants, it’s also worth taking note of the bedding plants you find in neighbors’ yards. These don’t cost much yet have a massive impact on the front yard look.
It’s also essential to look at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Hardiness Zone Map before deciding which plants to put in your front yard. The map divides the country into 11 zones based on a few different factors, and the idea here is only to use plants that thrive in your gardening zone.
While the plants you put in your front yard are entirely up to you, you won’t be able to enhance curb appeal or save much money if you’re constantly replacing dead plants.
On that note, here are some plants that you could put on your flower beds without breaking the bank:
These perennial plants look great, cost less, and rarely die, making them one of the most popular plants for any flower bed. If you live in zones 5 to 9, these are the best plants to put in your front yard.
The catmint plant is a member of the mint family with a gray-green stem and beautiful blooms. The relaxed look of the plant makes it the perfect option for cottages and farmhouses. These plants can grow to two feet and don’t cost much, making them the best plants for homes in zones 4 to 8.
Queen Anne’s Lace
Queen Anne’s Lace is the best plant for you if you’re looking for a plant that takes up a lot of space without looking intrusive. Besides being pocket-friendly, the plant thrives in zones 1 to 10, making it an excellent landscaping idea for homeowners anywhere in America.
#5 Place Unique Garden Decor
Placing attractive garden decor in your front yard is a simple and economical way to add to your home’s curb appeal. Here are some cheap and effective front yard landscaping decors you can consider placing in your yard:
When someone talks about percussion instruments, wind chimes are rarely the first thing that comes to mind.
However, these simple and beautiful decorations are percussive instruments played by the wind — all you have to do is hang them from your front porch to give the space a sense of harmony.
Of course, you’re not restricted to hanging the chimes on the front porch. You can hang them from any outdoor space that you feel could be more peaceful.
Wind chimes are available almost everywhere, but if you want a unique piece that fits your space seamlessly, you may need to look harder since big-box stores have limited options.
Garden stakes are cheap and colorful, making them an excellent addition to a flower bed or grassy area. Since there are many styles and designs to choose from, they easily give your front yard the character and complexity you desire.
Whether you decide to go traditional or eclectic, garden stakes stand out as one of the best front yard landscaping ideas for those on a budget.
Originating from Japan, rain chains move rainwater from gutters to drains while boosting your home’s curb appeal.
You can find these chains displayed artfully just about anywhere. It’s not uncommon to see them in botanical gardens, but many humble cottages also use them.
You can find some that suit your home and place them at the front of your home, but you can also make a custom one for yourself, making rain chains one of the best DIY cheap simple front yard landscaping ideas.
The right front yard statue will add to its appeal throughout the year, but it will stand out more in the colder months when your flower bed is not blooming.
You cannot go wrong with a statue of a cute animal, but if you’re looking for something more exciting, you could pick more modern pieces.
There is no shortage of statues in the market, and it will be easy for you to find one that is right for your yard and within your budget.
#6 Consider Installing a Bird Bath or Pond
While there are several cheap simple front yard landscaping ideas that you could do yourself, constructing DIY water features may be the most challenging of them all.
However, investing the time and effort into building one can have a massive payoff since water features serve as unmissable focal points in any front yard.
Installing a bird bath in your front yard does not require much time and money, but it can be a beautiful addition to the outdoor space.
When positioned correctly, a bird bath will complement the yard landscaping while giving the local birds a space to bathe and drink. Bird baths have a sweet charm and add a lot of character to a front yard at a low cost.
How To Install a Bird Bath or Pond
Building a bird bath yourself is one of the most exciting DIY projects you can take up, but you also have the option to buy a ready-to-install bird bath. Regardless of your decision, you can be sure that adding a bird bath is among the best DIY landscaping ideas for a front yard.
If you have a lot of DIY experience, you can consider building a pond for your front yard. But even the inexperienced DIYer can take this up if they have a little help or use a pond kit. Pond kits come with the molding of the pond and all the required materials for the project.
#1 Search for Inspiration
To build a pond from scratch, you must begin by searching for inspiration and suitable landscaping ideas online. Remember that fish enjoy sunlight and position the pond where it receives a lot of it.
#2 Set the Depth
Next, determine how deep the pond has to be before lining the pond with carpet padding. The padding has to be covered in bulky butyl rubber.
#3 Choose the Edging
Finally, pick an edging of your liking to improve the front yard landscaping. Remember to put a curb to prevent the pond from overflowing.
If you intend to introduce fishes and other living creatures into the pond, make sure you speak with an aquarium expert. Don’t neglect to prepare your pond for the winter.
#7 Introduce Outdoor Lighting
Lighting can give any landscaping new life, and today’s market offers a massive range of inexpensive lighting options for front yards.
It is easy to find solar-powered options for your yard, so you won’t need to spend any money hiring an electrician to add mood lighting to your front yard landscaping.
Some great cheap ways to enhance your front yard with landscaping include:
These lights illuminate the path from your front door to your driveway, giving your home a chic and sophisticated look. You can place these lights in the dirt, grass, stone, or mulch, wherever it makes the most sense.
Since these lights are inexpensive, you can also purchase a few to illuminate other landscaping areas, such as a rock garden or flower bed. Lighting up the space around a mature tree is also a nice way to affordably enhance your front yard landscaping.
Cheap and always in style, string lights give front yards a warm and inviting look. You can wrap the lights around a tree top, string them between trees, or loosely hang them from the front porch rafters.
10 Cheap Simple Front Yard Landscaping Ideas
Here are ten tried-and-tested cheap simple front yard landscaping ideas that will enhance your front yard:
#1 A Stone Pathway
Building a stepping-stone walkway is a foolproof cheap landscaping idea. The only involved expense is for the slabs or stones, and you can install the walkway yourself without needing to hire someone.
There are many ways of installing the stepping stones, with the most common method being buying the stones and simply placing them on the ground as required.
However, you can also dig holes into the ground where you want the pathway and fill the holes with cement.
A stone pathway gives your front yard a classic look, and since the stones range between $10 and $30 per stone, you won’t have to break the bank to put one together.
Digging holes and filling them with cement is not a project novice DIYers should take up since getting it right demands a good amount of experience.
#2 Plant a Tree
A front yard tree is an attractive and budget-friendly way to give a front yard a facelift. Trees look particularly beautiful in small front yards since the limited space drives the eyes straight to the single tree in the small yard.
While investing in a mature tree will instantly improve the home’s curb appeal, a mature tree will cost more money. Buying a seedling is a better go about it since it can save you hundreds of dollars.
Younger trees cost around $100, whereas if you choose to plant a full-grown tree, you will need to pay over $1,000 to buy it and to the laborer who plants it in your front yard.
#3 Think about Xeriscaping
Xeriscaping involves making a landscape tolerant to droughts by planting plants that use less water and covering the plant bed with gravel to help the soil preserve moisture.
Xeriscaping originates from places with a hot and arid climate but is quickly becoming more popular across the country because of its simplicity and low cost.
Besides, xeriscaped yards have a cool, minimal look that suits most modern homes. Furthermore, since you only need to plant a few plants, you don’t have to spend much time planting and can save a lot of money on your cheap simple front yard landscaping ideas.
#4 Place Boxwood Borders
Boxwood is an evergreen shrub that demands little maintenance and grows fast. People have been using the shrub in their yards for decades to create borders for various areas and give their outdoor spaces a beautiful look.
One of the best ways to incorporate boxwood borders into your front yard is to create an edging from your driveway to the front door. Boxwood has a striking green color, giving it an attractive contrast against black mulch.
#5 Place Large Rocks on the Yard
Putting big rocks in your front yard is one of the best landscape ideas on a budget since all it takes is a few rocks to give the yard a bespoke modern look. You can get your hands on some large rocks for free if you live close to the mountains.
However, your local home improvement store, garden center, and landscaping retailer may also be selling some for cheap.
Giving your front yard a sculpted or tiered look is easy, even for an inexperienced DIYer. However, you will need to take the time to dig the ground properly so the rocks stay in place.
#6 Chandelier Planter
If you have an old chandelier you don’t want hanging inside your home, you can repurpose it as a planter and place it in your front yard.
All you have to do is put small terra cotta pots where the bulb holders are, and then you can put colorful flowers in them. This is one of the easiest cheap simple front yard landscaping ideas on this list.
You can also consider changing the color of the chandelier to match the exterior of your home, and using spray paint is the easiest way to do this.
#7 Make a Gravel Path
Putting together a gravel path is an inexpensive way to add curb appeal to your home. It is the right choice if a stone pathway is too coarse-looking for your home. Pea gravel is also a lot cheaper than stone. Besides, gravel can also be used to fill the flower beds in your front yard to give them a more appealing look.
But the best thing about gravel is that you can make a pathway without someone’s help. Working with gravel is easy even for DIY beginners, and the resulting look is worth every penny.
#8 Place a Traditional White Picket Fence
A white picket fence is one of those front yard landscape ideas that will never go out of fashion. Besides giving your home a soft, suburban look, the fence is also quite cheap to put together.
You can install one around your front yard for as little as $500, but you can expect to pay more depending on the yard’s size and the fence’s quality.
Since white picket fences are very vibrant, you won’t need to use other cheap simple front yard landscaping ideas. A nice lawn and some flowers to complement the fence are the most you will need.
#9 Address Number Post Planter
A wooden post with your address number on it can improve curb appeal if you take the time to personalize it. The DIY front yard landscaping idea involves attaching a hanging basket holder to it. You can then put plants in the planter according to the season to make it look attractive all year round.
#10 Incorporate Garden Edging
What better way to finish a garden bed than to incorporate an edging?
You could consider installing steel edging. It costs only a few dollars and is quite easy to install. Furthermore, steel edging lasts several years.
Besides making a clear distinction between the planted area and other areas, it will also ensure that the flowers don’t enter other areas.
But if you want a more attractive look, you could make a garden edging with pavers or bricks. You will need to take the time to dig around your plant bed and place the bricks in the ground. But the design payoff will be worth it. You might also consider these 9 Awesome Concrete Patio Ideas on a Budget.
From inexpensive plants to string lights, we have covered several cheap simple front yard landscaping ideas for your home in this post.
If you aren’t sure what’s right for your front garden, take some time to research homes that look similar to yours online and figure out what makes their front yards beautiful. You should know what’s right for your front yard in no time.