Catch the Recap of our Outdoor Overhaul Makeover Challenger!
But a year ago I took our 30-day challenge and turned it into an outdoor makeover challenge! And I brought along RYOBI Landscapes since they’re all about making outsides look amazing.
Unfortunately, we did the outdoor challenge so late in the season it was too hot for many people to participate.
So this year, I teamed up RYOBI Landscapes who sponsored this challenge (and provided prizes) and I’m excited that we got started early enough in the spring that everyone could join in!
We kicked off the challenge on April 1st and we finished up in the first week of May because of lingering snow and cold temps. At the end of the challenge, several lucky challenge participants won some awesome RYOBI Outdoors swag!
But this really wasn’t about winning prizes. This was about getting off our butts and focusing an entire month on one part of our homes that is often forgotten: the outside.
We had to get those patios cleaned up for sitting, those flower beds ready for planting, and that grass ready for clipping.
Now let’s recap how everyone did!
Here’s how the challenge worked:
After signing up, participants received a Welcome email from me and, in return, emailed their “BEFORE” pictures of their outdoor space. Everyone’s pictures (with permission) were uploaded below to our challenge page, allowing us to check out each other’s outdoor space and cheer each other on.
Each week, challengers received weekly emails from me helping them with your makeover, along with motivation, tips for caring for your outdoors, and some info about my favorite RYOBI Outdoors tools to help get the job done. We’re also pretty active in our 30-Day Challenge Facebook group during challenges so we all checked in nearly daily to keep up with everyone’s daily progress!
At the end of the challenge, challengers sent me their “AFTER” pictures which were uploaded to Thrift Diving below.
Three lucky winners were randomly picked to win some RYOBI Outdoor tools--either a self-propelled lawn mower, a 2700 PSI electric pressure washer, or a battery-powered string trimmer!
(Sorry, my international friends weren’t allowed to enter to win, but they could still participate!).
Anyone could sign up to participate for free, and it was a great way to get motivated to make our outdoors pretty for this spring and summer!
Check out how everyone’s makeover turned out and learn more about RYOBI Outdoor tools for making your yard amazing!
Check Out the “BEFORE” and “AFTER” Pics of Our Outdoor Spaces!
Alys -- DONE!
Brandis -- DONE!
Danielle -- DONE!
Donna -- DONE!
Haley -- DONE!
Jenna -- DONE!
Jennie -- DONE!
Jodi -- DONE!
Karen -- DONE!
Kathi -- DONE!
Kaytee -- IN PROGRESS!
Kelly -- DONE!
Laura -- IN PROGRESS!
Maria -- DONE!
Marie -- DONE!
Nadine -- DONE!
Pamela -- DONE!
Patricia M. -- DONE!
Patty R. -- DONE!
Rita -- DONE!
Sara -- DONE!
Serena -- DONE!
Shaina -- DONE!
Susie -- DONE!
Ulrike -- DONE!
WEEK 1: Pressure Washing!
The weather here in Maryland was insanely odd--one day it’s 75 degrees and the next there were snow flurries.
Need I remind you that it was--ahem--April??
Somehow I think Mother Nature didn’t get the memo.
So when we had a random warm day, I suited up in my gardening boots, pulled out my new RYOBI 2300 PSI brushless electric pressure washer that they sent me to use for this challenge and got busy blasting away a year’s worth of gunk! Watch the pressure washing in action!
WEEK 2: Chainsaws and Trimmers and Mowers--OH MY!
In Week 2 it was all about getting the front of my yard clipped and cleaned up. It’s not easy adding some curb appeal to the front of your home, but clipping the hedges, mowing the lawn, and adding some mulch are some of the most affordable ways to give the exterior of your home a facelift for the spring and summer! Watch how I use the 40V RYOBI Hedge Trimmer, 40V Brushless chainsaw, and a few other RYOBI outdoor tools!
WEEK 3: I Planted Baby Ferns!
Week 3 for me was all about de-weeding the overgrown area next to my fence. I wanted something that would do well in that shaded area and would last all year long. On Earth Day I went to a garden sale at a local garden preserve and they recommended ferns. I know nothing about ferns but I was willing to try. It was a messy job, but with the help of my 40V RYOBI Cultivator, I mixed in nutrient-rich soil and surprisingly, the ferns are thriving! Check it out:
WEEK 4 & 5: A New Firepit and Raised Garden Beds!
I have been wanting a fire pit and raised garden beds since we moved into this house in 2010, but it never happened until now! This Outdoor Challenge was just the motivation I needed to create the backyard oasis I have always dreamed our yard would have. Watch these projects in action!
To be eligible to win, challengers must have worked on their before and after projects and must have sent pictures in by the due date (and they must live in the U.S.). And the winners are:
Congratulations, Patty, Haley, and Nadine! Please email me your address so that RYOBI Outdoors can send you the prize you’ve won! And congrats to everyone for finishing up the challenge!
Be sure to sign up for the next room makeover challenge coming soon!
See the Before and Afters!
“It’s not much, but I got my junk cleaned up. Most things were donated so the only cost was the plants (that my lovely mother helped me plant) which came in around $40, I didn’t have a set budget cuz I didn’t even think to. Unfortunately, my power washer broke so that was a fail. Thanks for the little bit of motivation to get this done!”
Danielle says, “Thank you so much for hosting this great challenge! It was so fun seeing everyone’s progress.”
Getting rid of the leaves from the fall, cleaning up the garden beds in time for planting, along with getting the kids involved in painting the cute little playhouse makes this yard feel homey and welcoming! Nice job, Haley!!
“We are nowhere near done but we did get some good progress made. Getting flowers at the plant sale tonight but they still can’t go out for a week or two. Extension on the grill table built to house the smoker will be painted soon.”
Karen was inspired by a book called The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection In Your Own Front Yard by Kristin Schell and decided to paint this table turquoise for her own front porch. It turned out great! You can read all about her table story over on her blog.
“We’re downsizing drastically and moving from a home into an apartment! Unfortunately, it has a teeny weeny patio that looks out on the parking lot…and doesn’t even have a gate for access. Oh well, I have plans to personalize it and green it up!”
Kelly says, ”
Marie said: ”
This project started while I was doodling from work. Made a rough drawing of my plans in the garden, sent it to my husband then he made an AutoCAD drawing in his computer.
I hired my yard guy to do the digging but with all the procrastination on his part plus the storms that passed while we’re doing the project, my husband and I ended up doing most of the work… We still have a pergola to put up, then tiles on the patio and replace the back door with french doors.
I’ve planted 50 boxwoods and hydrangeas, juniper trees, birds of paradise and a lot of annuals.”
Maria told me:
“We spent a lot due to the trees ($1,200) that had to be chopped down. That had to be done regardless. I spent around $50 for mulch, plants, soil and drip irrigation. And $94 for new outdoor lighting. I already had the paint I used to paint shutters, trim and fence. The front door had to be replaced ($795.85) since it was not sealing properly and that was costing us money. The flowers I planted along the house I already had. I was growing them in pots in the back, so those were “free.” The ones I planted in front of the house were discounted. I think I only paid like $20 when they were $8 a piece and I bought 10. Unfortunately, one of them already died, but I can take the dead roots back and they’ll refund me or replace the plant. Win! Win!
Kmart has a really good rewards program and every time I shopped, they would always send me some free cash, so I saved a lot of money by shopping for plants there. I did not get to paint the front door, but it’s on my to-do list (blue lake by Benjamin Moore that I bought ages ago). It’s gotten so hot here that I don’t want to keep the door open all day and let heat in. If I’m not forgetting anything, I believe we spent a total of $2,139.85 if you count the trees. I see it as an investment because we eventually want to sell this house and it needs a lot of work. So, when’s the next 30-day challenge?”
“It’s amazing what an extra week and fantastic weather can do for me! Hanging the conduit rods was a pain in the butt. I had HD Alan cut the rods for me. Sprayed the rods and all connectors [be careful, she advises; the paint is coming off from sliding the curtains]. Paint drop cloths for the curtains, made ties to hold the curtains. Changed out on old light. Painted the door. Planted our garden and mulched the front of the house.”
The total cost of her makeover was $117.01 Pretty affordable!
Patty wanted to update the front of her house, so she added a pop of gorgeous color to her front door, laid some mulch, gravel, sand, a welcome mat, flowers, and more. She even bought a small RYOBI pressure washer for just $99, which was a better deal than renting one and she can use it forever on everything! She only spent a total of $211! Her front exterior looks awesome!
“I enjoyed my coffee while sitting on our fresh & clean deck this morning and it was glorious! I am attaching my before/after photos and listed below is a total cost breakdown: 32 bags of mulch = $64, 2 hanging ferns for the deck @ $10 ea. = $20, haul away our 4′ h x 8′ L pile of brush, a small tree, and a large wooden swingset = $145, deck sealer = $40. Grand total: $269.
I really enjoyed this challenge, and my yard is now ready for a great spring/summer season.”
BEFORE & AFTER!
Sara says about her makeover challenge:
“A great challenge has come to a close, the extra week was so nice. I’m sure I would have gotten it done but the extra week took the stress off. I still have a ways to go but in the month of April and the first week of May, I spent $274.85 total. My budget was $250 -- $275 so I just barely made it.”
“This challenge was a great get off your butt & do that project already motivator. Mine may not be as dramatic as others but my yard looks soooo much better. Before this area was just rocks & now it has life. Once the plants fill out it will be just wonderful. =)”
Here’s what Susie had to say about her makeover:
“My space isn’t as big and my makeover isn’t as extravagant as everyone else but I wanted my front porch to look nice when people walked up to the door. And I wanted some place to go to relax. My budget was $100 but went over a little. I spent $148.89. I threw in a new mailbox and decided to get a better rug. But almost everything else is repurposed.”
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