125 Front Yard Ideas on a Budget

Front Entrance Patio Red Door

A typical American homeowner may spend anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 to landscape their front yard. But to hardscape your yard, you may be looking at a final bill of $10,000 or more. That is a lot of money to spend on your back and front lawn.

However, a home’s curb appeal increases its sale value by seven to 14 percent. Also, when you continuously enjoy nature’s bounty in your yard, you are more likely to calm down and experience less stress in the long term. And your memory and concentration will improve.

If you don’t have much money, giving your front yard, a new look can be quite a challenge. But having a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t landscape your front yard. By thinking outside the box and implementing cheap landscaping ideas, you can still beautify the front of your house.

Front Yard Landscaping Ideas on a Budget

You have several options concerning implementing front yard landscaping ideas on a tight budget. Below are strategies you can use to create a focal point.

Use Raised Flower Beds

Flower beds are a great way to introduce a focal point within your landscape in an inexpensive way. Ideally, you should consider using raised garden beds, with less soil compaction and better drainage. In addition, they tend to warm earlier during springtime.

A raised bed featuring different types of colorful flowers and surrounded by a lawn could work wonders on the front of your house. And you can create them in any shape you like, depending on what would work for your beautiful front yard.

A typical flower bed costs an average of $2,050. However, some are as cheap as $500, while others cost as high as $6,000. It’s all about what kind of products you use and the professionals you hire.

For example, if you opt for a raised garden bed kit, expect to spend $104.18 to $210.46. And if you put in some sweat equity, you would eliminate a significant percentage of the cost.

Add a Trellis

A trellis can add some drama to your landscape while providing support to your creeper plants so they can grow vertically. It can consist of lattice, open frame, or interwoven pieces of various materials, such as metal or wood.

A free-standing trellis provides an easy way for you to create a focal point. If it is well-designed, it can look beautiful and provides support to attractive perennial plants, such as trumpet vine, climbing hydrangea, and bittersweet, among others.

Also, trellises can increase privacy in one section of your front yard or accent the garden feature you have chosen as the focal point.

If you opt for a trellis, expect to spend $650 to $950 to install it. That makes it an easy way to improve the overall look of your front yard if you don’t have a lot of money. Installing the structure and including perennial plants on either side, can make all the difference.

Front Yard Desert Landscaping Ideas on a Budget

Landscaping a front yard in a desert location is much more challenging due to water. So, you need to implement cheap landscaping ideas that will require low maintenance, especially concerning water.

Create a Rock Garden

A rock garden is probably the best way to implement a landscape design at the front of your house in a dry region. When creating such a garden, it would be best if you used large rocks and small ones to create an attractive pattern within your landscape.

First, you can spray paint some or all of the rocks to add more color to your front yard. But you could use river rocks to bring in different types of natural color instead of spray painting them.

Secondly, installing large rocks could create different designated seating areas within your rock garden. Large rocks and boulders will come in handy if you choose to use this approach, especially if you don’t have much money. But they would make your landscape design visually pleasing and functional, thus improving your home’s curb appeal significantly.

In addition, you can create a rock garden that also divides your beautiful front yard into various functional sections. And the river rocks you incorporate could act as a creative pathway within your landscape design.

A typical rock garden will cost anywhere from $460 to $1,000. But you can significantly reduce the cost by sourcing rocks yourself and doing some or all of the installation work. You can also ask for help from your family and friends to cut costs.

Incorporate Desert Plants

Incorporating low-maintenance desert plants is also a great way to enhance your rock garden. But you could also plant them on their own. These plants include pencil plants, bunny ear cactus, Queen Victoria agave, and golden barrel, among others. Find what works for your area and budget, and plant them.

In addition, some wildflowers are hardy and can do well on a desert front lawn. So, they are an inexpensive way to add color without spending a lot of money. Examples of such flowers include the California poppy, desert marigold, and desert sage.

You could source wildflowers by the roadside and in abandoned car parks. But you can also buy them affordably from your local flower nurseries and plant them yourself.

Curb Appeal Front Yard Landscaping Ideas on a Budget

Your home’s curb appeal influences people’s first impression. Buyers consider it first when looking for a home. So, you need to think carefully about it when considering the best way to give your front yard a new look.

Add a Water Feature

If you have never considered incorporating a water feature on your front lawn, do so now. A simple fountain or a free-standing waterfall is an excellent water feature to add to your front yard to make it more aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable. And if you do it correctly, it can be low maintenance, taking up very little of your time.

Water features are not just focal points on their own. They can be placed among the different plants to enhance the overall appearance of your front yard. In addition, they will provide much-needed water to the birds and bees. As a result, these animals may create a home in or around your yard, making it more productive due to increased pollination and improving its natural feel.

Water fountains vary significantly in price. But most projects will cost $854 – $4,494. If you don’t have much money, you can do the work, source for your materials, put in sweat equity, and only hire a professional as a consultant.

On the other hand, you could spend as little as $450 to get a small waterfall by buying a DIY kit. And even if you opt for a standard 12-square-foot pool to give your front yard a new look, you can limit the total costs to $1,000.

Light Your Pathways

One European study shows that people are more likely to buy a home with good outdoor lighting. Therefore, do not underestimate its effect on your front yard. It can have a positive impact on your home’s curb appeal. Also, outdoor lighting lets you enjoy your front yard in the evening hours. Additionally, it improves security.

It is a good idea to install solar lights, instead of their electric counterparts. Over the long-term, you would pay less for solar lights because the sun is a free renewable energy source, thus also making your landscape design more eco-friendly.

Small Front Yard Ideas on a Budget

In areas like Vermont, lot sizes could be as big as 73,979 square feet, while those in Nevada could be as small as 4,386 square feet. But the average residential lawn is 10,871 square feet, with most front yards being smaller than the back yards.

While a small front yard requires less work, it is not without its challenges. Small patios can become cluttered with many different plants and other garden features. But a small front yard is also easy on the pocket if you implement the correct design strategy.

Install Window Boxes

Window boxes are simple garden accessories you can create or buy and install on your windowsill for planting purposes. They come in handy in small spaces because you will place them on an already existing part of your home.

You could create or repurpose old planters or containers and install them as window boxes after making drainage holes at the bottom to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

However, you can also buy window boxes. Their prices will vary, depending on the window boxes’ quality, size, and brand. But you could find some as cheap as $10 or less on e-commerce sites like Amazon.

Add a Flower Pots

Flower pots are also a good idea because they work well in small spaces. For example, you can hang or install multiple flower pots on an accent outdoor wall or pergola, place them on windows and on the side of the front door, and even creatively arrange them on the green grass on your lawn to act as a focal point. In addition, you can place them along your garden pathways and on your stairs.

It is a great idea to use flower pots because they are versatile. And they are available in various shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. So, you can find and select what works for your front yard theme, no matter how unique your landscape design is.

If you repurpose old containers, you may not need to spend any on flower pots. But you could also buy them at your local stores for $15 to $100, on average.

Sloped Front Yard Ideas on a Budget

With a little bit of creativity, you can convert your sloped front yard into an attractive outdoor area.

Build a Retaining Wall

It is a great idea to build a retaining wall on sloped land. First, the wall holds the soil in place and thus reduces soil erosion. And that ensures you get to keep your fertile topsoil.

Secondly, a retaining wall will create several vertical layers within your landscape, thus making it interesting and improving its curb appeal. Also, most retaining walls, once built, are low maintenance over the long term.

Generally, homeowners pay $20 to $60 per square foot when building a retaining wall. But the materials alone tend to take up $5 to $50 per square foot, leaving a lot of room to save money if you and your loved ones invest sweat equity into the project.

Put in Some Ground Cover

Since soil erosion is always an issue concerning sloped yards, it is a great idea to include ground cover in as many ways as possible. And you can start by planting some green grass to keep the soil protected from the rain and wind.

Artificial turf is more expensive upfront. If you choose to install it, you will pay $5.50 and $18.75 per square foot. But it will cost you less in the long-term since it is low maintenance.

But when money is an issue, you may want to consider natural green grass as ground cover. It does require some maintenance in the long term, but you can plant the grass yourself, and the materials are affordable. Hydroseed will cost you $0.50 to $1.00 per square foot, while sod will cost $3.50 per square foot.

Creeper plants are also worth considering as a ground cover option. You can plant different plants on the edges of your front yard terraces or every few yards along the slope to stabilize your slopes. And if you implement your landscape design well, you could end up with a colorful ground cover carpet that enhances your front lawn.

Examples of creeping plants you could incorporate on a slopy front yard include sedum, phlox, prickly pear, flowering thyme, and lilyturf. Remember to select correctly, what works for your region and the sunny and shady areas of your sloped front.

Simple Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Sometimes, it’s the simple landscaping ideas that are the most pocket-friendly.

Enhance Your Front Door

Consider your front door as part of your landscape design. After all, it is one of the first things people see when they reach your property.

For starters, you can paint your front door to make it stand out. A bold color, like red, could help it become the focal point. And then, you could design the rest of your front lawn to compliment your front door.

You can also place flower pots with attractive plants on each side of your front door. Alternatively, you could drill support hooks along the side of the entrance to support a lovely vertical creeper so that it frames the entire door.

Installing a glass front door is one of those simple landscaping ideas that significantly improve your yard’s appearance. It could act as a mirror and reflect the beautiful landscape back at the viewer, thus creating an illusion of a much bigger yard. At the same time, it would provide the people inside with a beautiful view of what’s in your front yard.

Create Pathways

You can install low fencing or plant flowers on the pathway leading to your home. It would serve to direct the eye towards your front door. A stone path can also work just as well.

The cost of flowers is pretty low. Stones are affordable and could be free. And fencing kits are also affordable. Alternatively, you can recycle old items, such as old door frames, metal, and leftover wood, to create the low decorative fencing you desire.

Front Yard Patio Ideas on a Budget

The patio’s primary function is to provide exterior living space for when you want to enjoy your front yard.

Create Cheap Seating

Create a seating area where people can relax and enjoy nature by using old furniture. Of course, it’s always best to revamp it and make it more resistant to the elements. For example, if you have old furniture made of wood, you could use exterior wood paint to make it less susceptible to water damage.

Alternatively, you could use old crates and repurpose them into attractive seating for your patio.

Add Some Plants

You could create focal points within the patio by bringing in plants on raised beds or planters and placing them in strategic areas. Alternatively, you could also repurpose old containers or tires and use them to incorporate different plants.

In addition, you can plant flowers along the patio floor edges. These will help frame the usable space and separate it from the rest of your front yard.

Creatively Incorporate Shade

You can incorporate shade in various ways. However, not all of them are pocket friendly.

If you are on a tight budget, you could plant a fast-growing tree with a broad canopy in your front yard. But position it carefully to avoid root damage on the patio.

A pergola would be too expensive when you don’t have much money. But if you build a square trellis or repurpose old wood or metal to create one, you could grow creeper plants and even grapevines to provide shade on your patio eventually. On the other hand, a trellis attached to a planter could help add privacy to your patio.


Hubert Miles | Licensed Home Inspector, CMI, CPI

Hubert Miles is a licensed home inspector (RBI# 2556) with more than two decades of experience in inspection and construction. Since 2008, he has been serving South Carolina through his company, Patriot Home Inspections LLC. As a Certified Master Inspector, Hubert is dedicated to providing his expertise in home inspections, repairs, maintenance, and DIY projects.