Budget Friendly Backyard Patio Ideas

Our backyard is definitely a work in progress. After raising 5 kids, numerous cats and several dogs it had seen better days. Early years of lush green had yielded to sand boxes, yard games, the sound of happy laughter and busy feet. Spending time with family in the backyard was a messy, cherished tradition.

 There’s a reason I’ve never shared this outdoor space on the blog! It just seemed like we were never finished with it. Or maybe I just hadn’t made it a priority or taken the time to slow down and enjoy its beauty.

Your home doesn’t have to be perfect to be loved.

Spending Time with Family in the Backyard - Marty's Musings 

I take absolutely no credit for any outdoor beauty at our house. My husband and I have always had the rule guideline that he takes care of the outside and I take care of the inside! Honestly, though, I’ve always had allergies and he enjoys puttering around outside so I’m perfectly content to let him “decorate” as he pleases.

So sit back and let me show you around!

Wood Deck Restoration with Behr Premium Deckover® - Marty's Musings

After an amazing deck restoration project it’s been even more enjoyable to spend time outside on our back deck.

Wood Deck Restoration with Behr Premium Deckover® - Marty's Musings

Throughout our busy parenting years we’ve hosted birthday parties, cookouts, a surprise graduation party, a sweet sixteen party (details coming soon!) and many holidays here with our extended family. 

Graduation Party Ideas for all ages - Marty's Musings

My husband works hard and rests hard and on most cool Saturdays I can find him mid-afternoon sitting by the fire pit, half dozing but mostly relaxing!

Tree Removal- Part One of Our Dream Deck from Marty's Musings

I have to share his ingenious (and budget conscious) patio ideas and fire pit.

Spending Time with Family in the Backyard - Marty's Musings 

This little path leading up to the fire pit  was created in the place our above ground pool was for many years. Tim used landscaping timbers,  pavers and crushed bricks to create a fun little walkway in the backyard.

Spending Time with Family in the Backyard - Marty's Musings

Come on down the brick path to our repurposed patio and fire pit.

Spending Time with Family in the Backyard - Marty's Musings

There are plenty of chairs for sitting around the fire and chatting.

Spending Time with Family in the Backyard - Marty's Musings

(No extra charge for the naturally distressed bench!)

Spending Time with Family in the Backyard - Marty's Musings

My clever hubby asked permission from our church to retrieve the brick patio from a home they tore down.

Spending Time with Family in the Backyard - Marty's Musings

In addition to those pavers and bricks he took the remnants of our old chiminea and built a fire pit around it. Talk about inexpensive!

Spending Time with Family in the Backyard - Marty's Musings

Inexpensive if you don’t count the cost of the old van with the broken axle that died a slow death in the driveway. 

Spending Time with Family in the Backyard - Marty's Musings 

In the background you can see hints of our gazebo which is actually the frame from a long ago two story tree house (that wasn’t actually in a tree!)

Spending Time with Family in the Backyard - Marty's Musings

If you were sitting by the fire pit gazing back at the house this is what you’d see. 

Spending Time with Family in the Backyard - Marty's Musings

You might just want to take a chance on that hanging chair. Sure looks comfortable!

Spending Time with Family in the Backyard - Marty's Musings

Tim is slowly nursing our grass back to a healthy green and eventually we will do more landscaping. 

But for now, my blog header says it all.

Home is where your story begins.

Spending Time with Family in the Backyard - Marty's Musings

Our backyard is a reflection of the years spent with family, laughing and fighting and playing together.

If you come visit this summer I hope this will be what you see. It’s the way summer was intended.

Spending Time with Family in the Backyard - Marty's Musings

If you join us in the evening we might even wrangle up some Snicker’s Smores for you!

Snickers S'mores Recipe #shop

Our big project outside this year has been the addition of a front deck on the house. I haven’t done a reveal yet but if you follow me on Instagram you can see the progress or you can read all about our plans for our dream deck.









  1. Your back yard is fabulous…and I love that your deck doesn’t have a railing. It just opens everything up. Thanks for asking me to be a part of this tour!

  2. it is perfect finished or not, decorated or not, grass or not…. especially if it is a place of peace for you or gathering for your family. My family loves our family pit just as much as you guys do. Happy summer!

    • Summer just isn’t complete without sitting around the fire pit but we use it a lot in the fall and I enjoy the cooler weather. I’m bad about just hanging out inside the house so this is good to get me out in the fresh air!

  3. I can’t think of a more wonderful backyard to spend family time in. You’re fortunate to have such a huge deck! I love hearing how all of you spend time bonding in such a wonderful space.

  4. Marty – what a wonderful space to enjoy family time! Loving that ingenious fire pit your husband created!

    :) Linda

  5. Your backyard looks like the perfect place to relax with family and friends. Love your firepit and can’t wait to see your new deck.

  6. Love your entire back yard. Looks like a great place to sit back and relax. I want a fire pit! Sorry I missed the question marks, lol.

    • Kathy, I’m glad you missed my half finished sentence! It was so funny because I literally leapt into the air when I remembered I hadn’t finished that part!

  7. Marty, You husband did a wonderful job creating an area that your family and friends can gather! I would love to try the swinging chair! I’m all about relaxing in a swing!!! Snickers S’mores sound FABULOUS!

    • Yvonne, you just come on over when you’re in the neighborhood. I understand my friend Amy is coming to see you. What a treat to see your wonderful and visit with you. I’m jealous but you will have such fun!

  8. Marty, I love the way you share your home as it was before, as it is now, and as it is becoming! You and Tim are making such great progress into putting your “stamp” on every inch of this property, and it looks as if you’re enjoying yourselves in the process! Thank you for being so inspiring and for sharing your wonderful spaces with us. Love that outdoor firepit–that’s genius!

    • Hi, Richella. This space has definitely gone through a progression. Having older kids, I know you understand that! It was very kid friendly and photograph unfriendly for a long time, but it has served us well over the years. Now one day we’ll have grandkids to buy ride on toys for!

  9. Your backyard looks like the perfect place to sit, relax and visit. I love that fire pit, that is fabulous.

  10. The fire pit is awesome! We’ve been wanting one for a looong time but for some reason it always seemed like it needed to be hard… but your version looks so simple and beautiful! Maybe we’ll get one this summer!

    • Hey, Kelly! I don’t know what it is about a fire pit that says relaxing, but it does! My husband is so creative but he’s also a hard worker, and I benefit from it! You guys should get one for sure!

  11. This is such a wonderful space. Such a great place for making memories and entertaining. I love the deck and the fire pit!!! Pinning and sharing on FB>

  12. Marty, how lucky you are to have such a spacious back deck and I love the way it was built around that tree! I am dying to have a fire pit so I must show your photo to Leo. I would love nothing more that to sit around it and stare into the flames and make some of your s’mores!

  13. Such a great deck and fire pit area! I’ve got to get my hubby busy on one of those!

  14. Your deck is so pretty – love all the blooms and your fire pit! A great place to relax!

  15. I like that the deck is in a shaded area. Makes it easier to be outside on hot summer days. And I like how the deck is built around the tree! :)

    • Hi, Jennifer. Our front deck has no shade (new DIY project this year) but the shade in the backyard is totally welcome! It’s already hot here in NC. Thanks for visiting!

  16. Your backyard looks like such a relaxing place to spend time with family and friends! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  17. Everything looks so homey and wonderful ~ thanks for sharing a day by the fire pit! Have a wonderful week ~ hugs, Mary Beth

  18. Hi I would like to make this firepit aprox how many brinks did you use?
    4-5 dozen?

    • Cathy, I’m going to send this question to my husband and I’ll email you what he says. Thanks!

    • Here’s the info on the fire pit from my husband: Our pit is approximately 12′ in diameter and a rough estimate is around 350 brick pavers (slightly smaller in height than a full brick). I think if I had it to do again I would go another foot or so out. A big fire can get pretty hot and I have had some spark damage to the furniture. Oops!

  19. absolutely wonderful! i looove the tree in the deck, and the view looking back towards the house from the firepit area. enjoy!

  20. i am curious how the bricks stay in place in the circle fire pit. if they are just sitting on top of one another wouldn’t they fall down or lose their shape? thanks for any advice/feedback. i’m researching building the same exact fire pit.

    • Hi, Zach. So sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. Going through a family crisis. Here’s what my husband had to say: Good question but I have not had any problem with the bricks moving or falling. Of course, that may depend on the amount of traffic you have right around the circle or if you have small children or dogs that might bump the structure. I wanted this to be easily disassembled so I could clean inside and re-sand the surface underneath (brushing play sand into all the cracks between the bricks keeps them from moving and prevents weed growth). If you wanted to make your structure more permanent, you could put morter on just the ends of the bricks where they stack on each other. When dry, this will be just like a wall. One quick piece of advice; take the time to make sure your sub-surface is as level as possible and use that sand to totally level it out before you start laying the brick down. You won’t be able to correct this later. Tim.

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