Friday, September 28, 2012

Considerations Before Building a Fire Pit

Building a fire pit is another option to have the warmth so you can enjoy your time outside on cold nights. Aside from the cozy ambiance, this traditional heat source has additional benefits and uses. A beautifully built fire pit can add flair to your patio decoration. With the right wood fuel, it can also be used as an alternative furnace for cooking and roasting food and toast marshmallows.

Assuming, you now have time and budget to build a fire pit. You feel excited about it but wait; you have some last things to consider. These things will ensure that you will have no regrets in the future and avoid frustrations.

It is easy to get carried away thinking about what a fire pit can get you. But I suggest that you think again if you really need a fire pit because the work on having one does not end after you finished building it. As you use it, you have to take care of it and you have to haul wood for fuel. If heat is all you need then you have to consider that there are other outdoor heater alternatives such as gas patio heaters or portable electric fireplace.

Sure a fire pit can be a great feature of a patio design but you have to ponder on how often you need them. Remember that this is a permanent fixture in your patio that occupies a large space. There can be some other times that you will need the space for some occasions.

There are some components and items in a patio that cannot and should not be near a fire pit. The fire, heat, and smoke can affect them. Things like roofing, shade sails, fixed awnings, and the likes may deteriorate or even catch a fire. There will be no problems with retractable awnings and patio umbrellas because they can be closed when needed.

Also, the life around such as trees and plants can get affected.

Lastly, check with your local board or authority for restrictions and regulations in building a fire pit. Just be sure you know the rules to avoid future problems. Also, consult your insurance company if building at home does not affect your insurance. You should know the terms and conditions.

These are not discouragement but just some alternatives to make life easier and safer.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ideas for a Greener Patio

A greener patio does not literally mean by painting it with more green color. It means by planting more naturally growing live plants. But you can do the painting too anyway.

Plants have a lot of benefits. In fact, we cannot live well without them. They gave us food and fresh air to breathe. Having some of these greens to the patio can enhance the ambiance and the design. They can add more life to it.

Success in patio decorating involves planning ahead. Determine how you want your outdoor place looks and feels. This time, our goal is to create a greener patio. This is simply similar to gardening but the steps are slightly different for your patio.

Patio Design
If you are designing your patio for the very first time or you want to completely start a new patio setup, it is better to start with natural stone pavers and use wooden materials for construction. If it is possible, leave a little space of ground soil and for a little pond. This type of setup is very suitable for various plants.

The Cover or Shade
Any type of shade or patio cover will work, but it is better if you have a pergola or gazebos in which it would be easy to add plants on them.

Depending on your patio design and space size, you can use a patio umbrella, shade sail, or awning. For a unique look that could match with the addition of plants, a tiki umbrella is great.

The Furniture Sets
Among all patio furniture types, wooden and wicker patio furniture sets are the best choice. Other types will also do too; it is just a matter of adding accessories to make them look more suitable for a garden themed patio.

The D├ęcor Accents
Adding decorative accents improves patio design and the setup would become more interesting. As I have said earlier, you can add accessories to patio furniture set so that it can go well with the greener patio design. For example, you can add matching cushions or pillows to wicker patio furniture set.

The Greens
Now let us make our patio greener. We can this by doing some gardening. Although we can reserve some ground space for plants, it can also be achieved by using potted plants only and this way is best for patio decorating especially if you have an existing patio design.

There are so many plants that you can choose but you need to be careful. You need to determine what kind of plant is suitable for your patio design. Every other plant of its kind has a different level of sunlight, soil, and water requirement. Knowing these, you can pick which plant goes to the ground, to the pots, to the waters, and to be hung. And you can choose which will go well under the shade with less sun exposure.

Making a patio greener is easy. Using potted plants, you can easily and instantly convert a patio to enjoy nature’s goodness. These are just simple ideas tips. If you have some more to add, please share it by posting comments below.

Monday, September 3, 2012

What Really is a Market Umbrella?

The definition of a market umbrella is somewhat confusing though many articles are made to provide information. Now let us try to describe a market umbrella in just as simple as it possibly can.

Patio Umbrella versus Market Umbrella
Let us do a little comparison between a patio umbrella and a market umbrella like most writers do. Many people are being confused by these terms yet they are easy to differentiate.

The name “patio umbrella” is a general term that refers to outdoor umbrellas specifically manufactured to be used in a patio or outdoor space. Other outdoor umbrella names just refer to styles and materials used and that include our subject, market umbrella.

Here are other styles of patio umbrellas:
  • Offset Umbrellas also known as Cantilever Umbrellas
  • Wind Resistant Umbrellas
  • Tiki and Thatch Umbrellas
  • Wood Umbrellas
  • Aluminum Umbrellas
  • Tilting Umbrellas
  • Wall Mount Umbrellas
  • Others are named according to their canopy shape.

Beach umbrella is also another style but it is not commonly referred to as patio umbrella.

Some people are properly naming these styles by appending the term “patio umbrella” to the style name, that is, “offset patio umbrella” or “aluminum patio umbrella”.

Just keep in mind that the name “market umbrella” is just another distinct style of patio umbrella. This helps to better understand the differences between a patio umbrella and a market umbrella.

Market Umbrella Distinct Features
The style of market umbrella is considered more modern than a traditional patio umbrella.  We will see it by its distinct features.

Wind Vent at the top – Yes it is modern. This feature adds a unique style to the umbrella and has advantages. It allows the breeze to pass through at the top to maintain a smooth flow. It serves as an escape vent for stronger wind blows to lessen the force.

No Valance – Yes it is modern because the valance looks a little old fashion. Without it, the umbrella looks sleek and modern. A market umbrella will be the best choice to use with modern patio furniture and outdoor decoration. By the way, a valance is a skirting at the edges of an umbrella canopy.

Market umbrellas were first known made of wooden poles and ribs. But today, they are available in aluminum, the more durable fiberglass, or a combination of these materials. Wood market umbrellas are still very popular though.