7 Budget-Friendly DIY Deck Ideas For Your Backyard Renovation

Seasoned home renovators may be ambitious enough to cut the costs of building a deck by designing and erecting their own by hand. If you're building a timber veranda from the ground up, there are a few common deck design mistakes to avoid so you can ensure you're creating the best possible outdoor space. But for those of us who balk at the commitment to create a new deck entirely from scratch — whether you're doing it yourself or contracting a professional — there are other ways to maximize your outdoor space using an existing deck and a few creative touches.

Maybe your old deck needs a refresh, or maybe you're just looking for some finishing touches to make your veranda area homier for the approaching warm-weather season. There are plenty of ways to revamp your outdoor space, even if you're renting, or otherwise unable to make permanent changes to your home's deck. Get ready for entertaining guests or simply relaxing in your yard with these savvy deck DIYs that keep your purse strings in mind.

Add simple slat walls

Create more privacy and shade for your deck with simple slat walls, like these from TikTok user @fromhousetohome. For this DIY, they first cut and stain slats of wood that are uniform in length, then nail them in rows to two 1-by-1 inch support beams from the hardware store, repeating the process on different sides of their deck. @fromhousetohome speeds up the assembly process by using a nail gun and cutting the slats to length with a table saw. But this DIY could easily be replicated without power tools by having slats cut at the hardware store, sourcing slats that are already uniform in length, or using a drill or hammer and nails to secure the wood in place.

Expand your decking area with plastic or wood pallets

You may have heard that you can transform free wooden pallets into a backyard deck for little to no cost. But did you know that plastic pallets can be used as the foundation for new deck surfaces as well? TikTok user @divingwapryl shows us how they laid the groundwork for a deck using plastic pallets. They first prepared the ground with a layer of pebbles, then placed plastic pallets in their desired deck shape. Then, they added wooden supports to the pallets for stability and nailed timber planks to the top.

For an extra budget-conscious version of this DIY, lay the foundation of your new deck area with plastic pallets, then use the uniform — and often free — wooden pallet pieces as the decking on top. Installing and staining pallet timber for decking is just one of the many ways you can upcycle pallets for your outdoor area.

Revamp your outdoor space with deck tiles

TikTok user @kokodesign demonstrates a quick and easy way to make an existing deck or patio a warmer space for socializing. They use composite deck tiles to cover their concrete patio, simply snapping the tiles together for immediate use. The result is a waterproof, splinterproof, walkable surface that adds charm to a previously cold concrete space.

Though they have "deck" in their name, deck tiles can be used in a variety of outdoor spaces, like the patio in @kokodesign's video. You can also use deck tiles to upgrade a small apartment balcony. Unlike other types of tiles or decking, no nails or grout are required for installation, making them an ideal solution for renters or those who like to redecorate often.

Elevate your deck décor with a DIY fountain

There are few better ways to add charm to your yard than with a water feature, and as TikToker @the_dealparty shows, it may be easier than you think to have a pretty fountain of your very own right on your deck. @the_dealparty first takes a large concrete planter with a plug at the bottom and fills it with water. They then place light-up faux lily pads and a floating solar fountain in the water. The water feature works as long as the sun is out to charge it. If your deck doesn't get much direct sunlight, you can also make your own garden water feature with a submersible pump plugged into a patio outlet, such as this one from Amazon

Add lighting for ambiance

From college dorms to garden parties, string lights are a go-to for easy, beautiful ambiance on a budget. TikTok user @hausofkerrs teaches us how to install string lights specifically for your deck. They take two suspension bars and attach them to their deck railing with hex screws. Then, they add a strong adhesive hook to support the string lights where the suspension bars don't reach. Finally, they secure the lights with zip ties. With solar string lights available from Amazon for less than $15, it's easy to illuminate your deck on a budget with this DIY. If you have some stairs that need extra illumination, you can even add a few solar step lights to your Amazon cart. 

DIY a fire pit

There's nothing better than sitting around a fire pit on a balmy summer night, and TikTok user @sellingthesuburbs offers a cheap and stylish DIY alternative, perfect for a cozy deck. They fill the bottom of a standing planter with rocks and sand, then place three tiki torch canisters evenly spaced on top. Filling up the rest of the planter with heavy rocks to stabilize the canisters, they then top off their creation with terrarium pebbles. All you need to do from there is light the canisters and refill as needed — a great way to safely contain a flame on your deck without breaking the bank. If you want to customize the look, play around with different pebble colors or select a larger planter.

Add greenery with a DIY plant stand

A good plant stand can add atmosphere to any deck, whether you're cultivating herbs in pots for kitchen use or letting indoor plants soak up some summer sun. There are many ways to DIY a plant stand, but this one from the YouTube channel Hometalk catches our eye. To create the plant stand shown here, Hometalk shows how you can use a drill to secure several milk crates to standing wooden supports, varying the heights for an elevated aesthetic. They paint the crates to taste, and voilà! The crates become cubbies for plants, with bonus storage capacity as needed. If deck space is tight, feel free to adapt the dimensions to create a taller, narrower version.