As winter slowly begins to turn into spring, many homeowners are wondering: How much money do you need to take your drab backyard and transform it into a backyard paradise?

The great thing about redoing a backyard is that the project is very budget friendly. Unlike a complete kitchen remodel, there aren’t necessarily “must do’s” you need to include — no obligatory $2,000 fridge here. Instead, you can pick and choose from a variety of available options, as well as get creative with what you already have. Here are some useful tips that can help make your backyard the gathering place for all your friends and family.

Lay Down the Basics
Although there’s a lot you can work with, you’re going to want a solid base. A deck or patio is the right way to start your project, especially since decks are estimated to have a 72% return on investment! Brick paving is also popular, and for good reason, too. For one thing, it’s flexible. You can lay bricks in any size or shape to fit your unique needs. For another, it’s durable. Even if something happens, it’s a lot easier to replace a single brick than an entire cement slab. While brick paving can be a DIY job, hiring patio pavers will likely leave you with a smoother, more even patio in the end. For those who want a natural look, travertine is a natural rock that forms in mineral hot springs around the world. Travertine tiles are a popular addition to many patio designs.

Figure Out What Sort of Vibe You Want
Do you plan on routinely entertaining 15 people, or is your goal more along the lines of making a small, intimate getaway for your immediately family? Are you a gardener at heart? Adding small water features can create a tranquil atmosphere; it will also help cancel out any outside noises from the street or neighborhood. An outdoor kitchen, complete with grill and refrigerator, can be a great investment for homeowners that want to make their backyard theplace to be. This makes sense, especially considering that 60% of grillers now say they use their grill year round — not just in the summer! And a portable outdoor firepit can be a great, affordable way to keep the night chill away in any backyard setting.