Build a Pergola
Time required: A weekend if you're very handy, potentially a lot longer if you're not. Hiring a professional may be in order, as you will want sturdy foundations for your structure.
Starting budget: If you use cedar to build a DIY 8-foot by 8-foot pergola, it will run you around $700 to $1,000 in lumber.
These architectural structures define outdoor rooms, and you can suspend items like candleholders, paper lanterns and hanging plants from their rafters.