Monday, December 2, 2013

Making Your Patio a Good Place During Winter

Many of us prefer to spend a lot of time in the patio even if it is winter because of the fresh air and ample space. Except in places that have the worst and lasting winter, there are ways to make your beautiful patio still a good place to hang out even in the chilly days.

As the old saying goes, “if there’s a will there’s a way”. Aside from making your patio a good place during winter, putting your patio into use has additional benefits. It lets your patio furniture, outdoor shades, outdoor umbrellas, and the patio itself get warmed up evaporating some of the accumulated  moisture.

So here’s what you can do to turn your cold patio into a cozy place. Get a good patio heater or fireplace.

Simply put, chilly temperature is the reason that restrains us from using our good patio. You can use a patio heater or a fireplace but only the right one, else, you’ll end up not getting enough heat and wasting your money.

Using electric patio heater is an easy option, it provides radiant heat efficiently and conveniently. It probably adds cost to your electric bill so make it a worthy choice by knowing how to use efficiently. Proper placement matters, face it directly to where you are seated, this way you get heated and you don’t have to set it to its maximum setting.

Propane patio heaters are also radiant. They burn gas and super heats a metal screen then radiate it down in circular pattern. This can be great for providing comfort to a group of people sitting around it. They consume propane or gas fuels so you have to consider it and find out if it is cheaper to buy gas fuel than wood or electricity.

Another type is an infrared patio heater. It also use electricity to operate and it produces radiant heat. It heats persons and objects directly so somehow it is very efficient to use in an outdoor setup. It just bypasses the cold air in between and provides comforting heat.

A fire pit also works great if it is allowed in your place, you’ll enjoy the heat and the flame. Additionally, you can use it for some grilling activity. The only downside is that they’re just not that hassle free to use. You need to haul wood and fuel. But anyway, it’s a little effort to get the comfort you need.

Another great idea is installing a patio cover, temporary shelter, or some kind of wind barrier. Many people have done it and building is not so difficult. The goal is to contain the heat and prevent cold air from entering.

Adding comfy cushions and throw pillows to cuddle is also a great help.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Seal Your Deck for Protection, Here’s How To Do It

A deck, usually made from wood, is vulnerable to harsh weathers and other outdoor elements so it should be protected. The heat from the sun, the water and moisture from the rain and even winter can do a lot of stress to the wood. All these contribute to the fading of color, warping, cracking, and splintering.

Sealing is generally a necessary routine in deck maintenance. It provides a better protection and at the same time, it gives your deck a better appearance.

Here’s how it is done.

Cleaning and Fixing:

First, you have to remove all outdoor furniture, outdoor umbrella, and other furnishings.

Next, check your deck for some damages such as cracks, splintered surfaces, and popping nails and do the necessary repairs. Cracks can be repaired with wood crack filler which is commonly available in hardware stores. Splintered surfaces can be sanded and if there are large splinters they should be removed and then patch it with wood putty. Drive the popped nails or replace them if necessary.

Then, thoroughly clean your deck and let it completely dry for at least a day. After that, your deck is ready for the sealer treatment.

Applying the sealer:

The sealer should NOT be applied under the sunlight because it would dry quickly. Let the wood absorb the sealant to bond deeply for a better and lasting protection. Find the perfect time to apply the sealer such as early in the morning. Or, you can use some cover such as your sun shade sail or awning.

First, read the instructions of your sealer. It may have a specific guide before using.

Use a paint roller or a sprayer on large surfaces. Use paint brush on the areas that cannot be covered by paint roller such as corners and railings.

At first, evenly apply a thin coat of sealer. Let it be absorbed by the wood until it dries.

Then apply a second and final coating using the same method.

Finally, let the sealer dry completely for at least a day before you can step in and rearrange your outdoor furniture and other deck furnishings.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

How Prepare Outdoor Patio Furniture for Winter

Winter is not so much terrible. There are just things that cannot withstand the freezing cold however. An outdoor patio furniture for instance, some of the materials just are not suitable for this season. Additionally, we should never take for granted that there are other elements that ruin patio furniture during winter. Some elements of winter are the worse enemy of the furniture and not the season itself.

Outdoor furniture are generally made for outdoor style and comfort during summer. They are manufactured without winter protection in mind. Additionally, there some cases in which we would tend to use them on winter. So, if you want your patio furniture to last longer and be looking gorgeous for the next summer, you should make the effort to prepare them and protect them against the harsh winter.

Wood Patio Furniture
Some types of wood such as oak are resilient to the harsh winter. It is tempting to just leave them outside in the harrowing winter temperature. But ideally, they should be treated well and stored under a shade or cover.

Moisture is the main element that is worst for  wood. It can accumulate through dirt or anything leading to decay. Moreover, the freezing temperature will dry and crack the wood.

If you choose to store your furniture, it is advisable to clean and dry the pieces thoroughly. You can buy wood cleaning agents but you can make your own as well. Mixing two parts of mild detergent and one part bleach in a bucket of warm water would suffice to do the job.

Making your wood furniture look new can be done after winter but it is better to do it just before storing. It is an additional measure of protection and getting them ready to be brought out early in the spring or summer. After your furniture is thoroughly cleaned and dried you can apply stain to look new  and finish it with water resistant coating. Ask your local hardware for the right wood staining and finishing products.

Cast Iron and Wrought Iron Patio Furniture
Cast iron or wrought iron made patio furniture possess their own natural beauty that is a good complement for patio and garden setup. These common types of Patio Furniture are basically made of iron that rusts in a wet, moist, or humid environment. They may have some protective coating but that cannot guarantee full protection. Tiny rust may appear eventually and that would surely get big.

The best you can do for these types is to store them away into your garage or indoor and keep them dry. If you cannot take them to storage, you can cover them securely and tightly so that no moisture can get in. Just take into account that your cover is waterproof.

Before the first snowfall, clean your furniture and apply sealant to further the protection. Thoroughly clean the surface removing dirt and rust. Completely dry your furniture before applying the protective coating. There are several types of sealant you can use such as rust inhibiting paints and protective finish. Ask your local hardware store as each has different methods of application.


Aluminum Patio Furniture
Aluminum made patio furniture is popular for its versatility and durability. This type does not have immediate problems with moisture because it does not rust. However, you still do have to take care of them to preserve shine and beauty.

Though aluminum is rust-resistant, they can get corroded. This metal will also oxidize making its surface rough. If your aluminum has colors, it will get faded eventually.

Because they are not as delicate as iron made furniture, you can just provide them a waterproof cover. As an added measure, clean the surface thoroughly and apply a coat of car wax or silicon spray.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Simple Ways to Keep Warm in Winter

As winter comes people used to prepare to stay warm and comfortable. There are plentiful ways and solutions to survive the discomfort of freezing cold during winter. Preparing your fireplaces and winterize your entire home are just a few of the many. Apparently, these are the hard ways.

There are simple means that will also bring you comfort when the chilly days come. These too will help you reduce your energy bills and cut your expenses on fireplace fuels.

Dress in layers
Basically we use winter clothes as a primary protection against the cold weather. Yet, you can also show off your favorite fashionable clothing during winter by dressing in layers. By layering, your body heat will be trapped to keep you warm longer.

Snuggle Up with a Blanket
At home, get a thick blanket and snuggle with it. The thick blanket will keep the chilly temperature out and at the same time it traps your body heat to stay warm. You can then set your traditional or electric fireplace at low heat. You can do this while watching TV or reading books.

Comfort Food and Drinks
Winter comfort food and drinks are best to consume during the season. The recipes will not just satisfy your mouth and fill your tummy but will also enhance your body to generate heat and feel warmer. Satisfying foods like vegetables soups, mashed potatoes, and chocolate cakes and soothing drinks like hot chocolate, cider, coffee, tea and even with milk can help kickstart your day.

Tip! Grasp the cup or mug as you drink and sip the comporting drink. By doing so, your hands will get warmed up and you feel the comfort instantly while enjoying the taste in your mouth.

Get Together
Winter season is one of the best time you host or join a gathering, a family get together, or get along with friends and have a little tea party. The atmosphere of a place will get warmer as more people are gathering together. It is because the body heat generated from each one will accumulate. Simultaneously, the heat is furthermore intensified when people are interacting with one another. So, the connection we make will not just bring us closer but also make us warmer.

Get Physical
When our body is idle it relaxes gets colder. And so we cannot fight the freezing cold effectively. However when our body is doing a physical activity it generates heat within itself. So it would be much better to have a little bit of physical activity from time to time. There are so many indoor and outdoor activities to get or body active.

Portable Heaters
These days there are portable indoor and outdoor patio heaters and fireplaces for one or two persons. These heaters are sufficient to help you feel a little warmer with a little cost. The portable heaters can be electric or gas powered.

Together with the solutions above, a little portable heater will surely help you go through the winter.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Some Helpful Question and Answers About Electric Fireplaces

These are some of the most common questions we found about electric fireplaces.

Q: Do electric fireplaces really look real?
A: Yes but not all.
Modern electric fireplace effects technology have impressively improved. So latest releases are remarkably realistic that would surely fool one’s sight. However, don’t get fooled by too promising ads especially from cheap electric fireplaces. You may end up frustrated by the actual product.

If realism is what you want invest on it. Best electric fireplaces these days have an heirloom quality.


Q: Do electric fireplaces actually work?
A: Yes they really do.
This kind of home appliance have gained acceptance and popularity. They become a necessity especially in urban living where building a traditional fireplace is prohibited or impossible. The notion of being a heater enclosed in a fancy box makes people think they are just made for decoration with a little heating feature. Well, electric appliances cannot be underestimated. Just like cooking stoves, they can even become more powerful and efficient.


Q: Can electric fireplaces lower electric bill?
A: Well they use electricity, thus, they would certainly add to your bills. Alternatively, if the question is if it costs less than gas fuel or wood burning, there is no clear answer for this whether yes or no. The cost of fuels and electricity vary on your location and local rates.

There are factors in which we can say that you can save on cost using an electric fireplace. You can save on cost if you choose the right electric fireplace for your home. Purchase those that have a true zone heating capability, multiple heat settings, and time. Heat only the place where you need it and only the time you need it. Add to that the time and money you saved instead of spending for traditional and gas fireplace maintenance.


Q: How do electric fireplaces work?
A: The most interesting about electric fireplaces is on how they work. They are easy to use, hassle free, and quick heating. They may be shipped unassembled but the pieces can be put together easily. After that, you just plug it, turn on, and enjoy heat. They do not produce soot or ashes so no hassle maintaining the unit.

Aside from heating, a fireplace is also a decorative addition for your room design.

The same as portable outdoor patio heaters, there are electric fireplaces built with wheels. You can move them easily from room to room enjoying the looks and warmth of a fireplace where you wanted.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Keeping Your Patio Dry in Winter

Why do you have to keep your patio dry?

There are several reasons why we should keep our patio dry. One of them is that water or some moisture can easily ruin the color, texture, and durability of some types of pavers or concrete. Moisture can also make mold and green algae appear on some parts of your patio. These doesn’t look good for your patio design and they make troubles at the same time.

Here are some solutions that you can make:

Retractable Awning and Outdoor Umbrellas
You can install an all-weather retractable awning to cover your patio. It should provide a cover against meltwater and snow. The best thing about retractable awning is that you can pull back the canopy to expose and let your patio dry under the sun whenever available.

An outdoor or patio umbrella would also help you put some cover on your patio. A large one can provide enough protective shade for your patio and the outdoor furniture items in it. You can also take its canopy down to let your patio dry under the sun.

Shade Structure
You can also erect a permanent structure such as pergolas and gazebos to protect your patio. Building the structures would cost more time, effort, and money, but you can enjoy this stable and beautiful shade a long time.

Temporary Shelter or Tent
Setting up a temporary shelter or tent is an easier and quicker solution. It will provide a sure protection but you may not be able to use your outdoor space for a while. Besides, keeping your patio and outdoor furniture items dry is more important in this season.

Tips on Drying and Protecting
Keeping your patio completely dry is not entirely possible. There are other elements that make it wet aside from snow and meltwater. Winter is still humid so it also adds moisture to your patio. As said before, mold and greens can grow on wet places which can ruin some spots in your patio.

Here are some tips on how you can protect your patio even more.

Seal
Sealing your patio pavers and concrete provides protection against water and sunlight too. It will strengthen the surface and make the color or finish last longer. Sealants can also prevent molds.

There are different types of sealant for each type of material. Ask assistance from you local hardware.

Clearing
Drying in the sun is free but you need to remove anything that blocks the sunshine.

Use It
Use your patio sometimes in winter, you may not notice but it really helps drying out the moist. And as you use it you introduce some warmth or some heat from your fireplace, patio heater, and from your grilling that helps evaporating water or moist.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Winter-Proof Your Home and Save on Energy

Winter proofing ensures your home is safe and warm while going through the freeze. It also help you save on energy consumed by electric fireplaces or heaters and on the soaring cost of fireplace fuels. Energy saved is money saved.

Winter proofing prevent heat from escaping and cold from entering your house. Trapping the heat provides warmth longer, thus, your heaters and fireplaces do not need to work so hard generating heat and consume more energy or fuel.

Fix Damaged Areas and Weak Spots
Check your home and find locations where air can penetrate. It is possible that there are worn out and damaged areas somewhere around your house.

Find the weak spots because these can be ruined during the freeze and cold air gets a chance to get in. It may be too late to notice these when the worst of the winter strikes. Before the problems come, take actions to prevent them. Repair and reinforce any weak spots you can find.

Protect the Pipes
Pipes are also an easy target of the freezing winter. When not protected, the water on the pipes will be frozen and would create a pressure that would eventually break it. Protect the exposed pipes outside the house with insulation sleeves. Then do the opposite inside the house. Expose the pipes so that they can get some warm air preventing the freeze. It is also helpful if you can keep a tiny flow of water on your faucet. This allows water to run through the pipes, a little help to prevent the freezing.

Prevent Ice Dams
Ice dams formed when ice melts at the top of the roof and flows down and hardens again at the edge of the roof or gutter. As the water continuously flow, they can be trapped at the ice dam then seeps under the shingles and find its way inside the house.

To prevent this, you should keep the top roof surface cold or at the same temperature as the outside. Insulate well the roof. If you have an upper room or attic, you should consider preventing the heat from accumulating in that area. Keep the room ventilated.

These task is considerably a must to ensure you'll have a livable home during winter. So when preparing your backyard patio and protecting your outdoor furniture, do not forget to prepare your indoors as well. Get a heating appliances such as electric or gel fireplaces if you cannot get or build a wood burning fireplace. You can also find portable heater stoves and patio heaters if you need something mobile.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Prepare Your Electric Fireplace to Become Efficient and Safe this Winter

As part of winter preparedness regimen, you will need to ready up your heating equipments at home such as fireplaces, heater stoves, and patio heaters. Having them checked, conditioned, and polished will ensure you
can get heat beautifully and safely.

Electric fireplaces today are getting more widely used at home and even for businesses. They are easy to use and may also look so simple. But they are a bit complex or technical inside. If you don’t know how, don’t bother looking inside its circuitry. As long as they still work, all you have to do is do some maintenance and checking externally.

Cleaning
Cleaning an electric fireplace is really easy because they do not produce soot or ash unlike the traditional fireplaces and stoves. Only foreign matters can get accumulated even inside the equipment. With a piece of dry cloth, just wipe out dust and dirt from the inside and out.

As a reminder, please do not skip this step. Cleaning is also important to remove any particles that can cause damage or hazard to it. Also read from the manual on how you can open the parts and for safety.

Polishing
Electric fireplaces are beautiful pieces that are a good centerpiece. They can be used to create an interesting focal to a room design. They usually display intricate woodwork and metalwork. However, they somehow lose some of the charm when looks becomes dull and faded. To bring back the looks, we need to polish them.

After cleaning thoroughly, you then apply some polishing. You can buy polishing paste or liquid for wood, metal, and glass from a hardware store.

Check the Parts and Components
An electric fireplace uses air to warm a room. It takes air in and out. Check the air vents and make sure they are not clogged or blocked. Check the wires if it is not worn or torn. Check the plug if it is in good working condition and make sure no loose parts or screws.

Test
Before you finally put the unit in its place, put it to the test first. Adjust the volumes from minimum to its maximum. Watch out for any irregularities. Check the vents again, the air intake and exhaust. You should observe it for several minutes. If you found problems or something strange, better consult an expert.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Methods on Protecting Plants Over Winter

Winter is coming! It is time to prepare you patio or deck, close down your sun shades, outdoor umbrella, and secure your patio furniture. But don’t forget your garden and plants.

During winter season, plants have to go through frost, cold temperature, and very wet soil. Without proper protection, your plants will suffer from frostbite and root decay. You need to exert extra effort to help the plants survive in this harsh outdoor condition. Depending on the type of plant, how you plant them, and where they are planted, there are useful methods on protecting them over winter.

To be very effective, you need to identify your plants if they are able to survive the winter and how much warm, water, and light needed for them to thrive.

Greenhouse and Temporary Shelter
Greenhouse can keep plants safe from the freezing temperature. You can build a small one in your backyard for your plants. And If moving your plants cannot be done, then build a temporary shelter right in their place.

Building a greenhouse or temporary shelter is easy using common materials found in home improvement and hardware stores, and even scrap materials around your house. You can use either solid plastic tubes, metal tubes or rods, or wood for the frame. Then you can wrap it using plastic sheeting or with some unused clear glass panel.

Mulching
A mulch has lots of uses such as stabilizing soil temperature, preventing weed growth, and keep soil moisture longer. These uses are also vital for plant survival during winter.

Materials for mulch can be organic or inorganic but the effect is pretty much the same. It can insulate the soil from the freezing winter temperature.

Cover
Putting cover on is the easiest, quickest, and a practical method. But you should take off the cover when the sky is clear so that the plants can get light and air.

You can use a thick plastic, a piece of cloth, or a tarp. Put it on the plant and tie it down securely.

Bring It Indoors
If you have ample space indoors or in your garage or shed you may also bring your plants in. This is easy for potted plants and if you can you may also want to transfer your plants in a container. It would be better to place them near the windows or in any spot that they can get some light.

Some of your plants may not be suitable in an indoor environment. However, they’ll have a good chance of surviving until spring inside a shelter than left in their freezing habitat.

You may not be able to save all of your plants, but  with these methods, you will be able to bring back your patio, deck, and garden to bloom soon as winter ends.

Monday, September 9, 2013

How to Prepare Your Patio or Deck for Winter


A patio or deck, specifically the wooden portions, is potentially prone to deterioration during and after winter. Therefore, to avoid greater adversity, preparing your patio or deck is necessary. Taking some good preparatory steps should prevent damages and lessen the problems caused by snow and moisture.
Preparing your patio or deck for winter is easy. The steps are fairly similar to maintaining your patio that you do every year or season by season. It includes cleaning, refinishing, and sealing. You’ll also need to do some repairs even if it is just a little crack or chipping.

Clearing
Before you can actually thoroughly clean your patio, we will need some clearing operation. It means taking away items that can cause damage and items that can be ruined during winter.

Remove items that cover your deck or patio flooring. Usually we use floor mats, carpets or rugs to cover our floor and as additional outdoor decoration. These will catch and hold moisture. The materials can be a good ground for mold and other organisms that aid in their deterioration and the materials where it is on.

Things like some patio furniture items especially those made of wood or real wicker patio furniture sets are vulnerable to rot. You can store them inside your house or garage. They can be left outdoors but be sure they are properly sealed and provided with cover.

The same goes to patio umbrellas. You can store them away but make it sure they are properly cleaned and dried to avoid mold and rust. Some umbrellas such as fiberglass and aluminum patio umbrellas can be left outside. Just provide them a protective umbrella cover and securely tie them down.

Cleaning
Here is a useful article on how to clean your patio and on how to remove mold. In addition, here is how you can clean a wooden deck.

A dishwasher soap would suffice in regular deck cleaning. A mixture of about ¼ cup of the soap and a bucket of water is enough. Wet your deck, brush or scrub the mixture, then rinse.

For hard stain, a good pressure washer is best for the job.

Refinishing and Sealing
Sealing your deck or patio adds a protective coating to prevent finish and surface deterioration. In preparation for winter, you should choose a waterproofing wood sealer.

You should remove old or unwanted finish and apply a new one before you seal your deck or patio. You would not want an old and dull looking but newly sealed deck right?

There are many products on removing wood stain or finish and deck sealers. Ask your nearest home improvement and hardware stores for the right type and combination.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Best Ways to Clean a Patio

Have you ever wonder what is the best way to clean a patio? There are many ways. However, there is one that gives a better result for a specific type of material your patio is made of. Another factor to consider in finding a better way is the kind of stuff that you need to get rid. Stuff like weed, molds, oil and other stains require some tough job or strong solutions. Most of the time you would need special tools and chemical formulations.

Before going over to the best ways, let us consider the basic patio cleaning first.

First, you need to remove all your outdoor furniture items and fixtures out from the patio and place it in a safe spot. You do not need to move them far away, a large plastic cover will be good to protect them while you are working. This will clear your patio for easy cleaning, plus, it allows you to see all the surface including those little spots that are supposed to be covered by the patio seats, tables, and outdoor umbrellas.

Then simply sweep and wash away the dirt and debris.

The good thing about doing the basic cleaning is that you will able to see clearly the type of stain or dirt that cannot be removed easily. It makes it easy to determine which cleaning way that you need to apply.

A patio can be made of many different types of materials. But generally, they are made of concrete and stones. These two have different texture and so requires different approach.

Concrete Patio Cleaning
The best approach to cleaning a concrete patio is by using a power washer or pressure cleaning. With a good power washer you can transform a dirty and dull concrete patio to look like new.

Alternatively and in addition to pressure washing, you can use bleach to remove tough stains and mold. Dilute a cup of chlorine bleach into a bucket of water. Apply it using a brush. It is important to apply the bleach into the entire surface area and not just some spot because it may result into an uneven color shade afterwards. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes to react with the stain and mold, then rinse.

If the concrete is stained with grease, a degreaser which is available in stores is all you need. Same simple steps, apply it to the area stained with grease, scrub it off, then rinse.

Stone Patio Cleaning
Pressure washing is also the best way to clean a patio that is made of stone. However, it has some limitations and precautions. Some stones cannot withstand high pressure from power washer. Water pressure can chip off stone pieces. Some stone patio paver are decoratively laid with gravel and sand between the gaps and these can ricochet and hit something or someone. Wear some eye protection and thick clothes when you do this.

If you found out that pressure washing is not applicable, then, here are some alternatives.

You can simply use soap mixed in water. Pour it directly to the stone and leave it for at least a couple of minutes. Then scrub the stones with a stiff brush. If you found it hard to remove stains and mold, you can also use chlorine bleach diluted in water.

In conclusion, it seems like pressure washing alone can do best. Yes it does and not only that. Pressure washing helps you clean your patio without using chemicals that pollute the soil and are directly harmful to the plants.

Additional tips!
Declutter your patio. Do not place back in unnecessary items. It will make your patio design to look neat and organized.

Clean your patio furniture and outdoor patio umbrella as well to make them look new on your patio.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to Remove and Prevent Mold on Patio Concrete and Bricks

Molds are very unpleasant. They multiply easily and quickly invading and ruining your patio design. They can even creep into your outdoor furniture and fixtures inflicting some damage. So removing them as soon as possible becomes important. But do you find it hard to remove mold on patio concrete and bricks? Do feel frustrated seeing that only a few have removed after all your efforts? Well, removing nasty mold on concrete and bricks is easy if you know how.

Fighting mold is struggling against a resilient enemy. To defeat them, you just need to know them very well.

It is a common knowledge that mold grow on humid and moist areas. Now, here is what make them more resilient. Dirt and dust can easily caught on the porous concrete and bricks. They will eventually build up between the grooves and brick lining. The trapped dirt hold moisture making a great recipe for mold to grow, but that does not end there. The absorptive characteristic of concrete and bricks maintains a moist area for molds to thrive even after cleaning.

What makes it so hard to remove? Because concrete and bricks are naturally porous, mold grow deep within the material. Or, perhaps the chemical solution used is not of the right amount and proportion and maybe you did not do it right. There are  great ways, like the following, to make removal easy.

Removal
Mold removal can be so much better if you use a pressure washer.

The first solution is commonly available in every household, chlorine bleach. Mix the bleach with water and apply it with spay to the affected area. Let it set for a few minutes giving it time to react with the mold but do not let it dry. Rinse thoroughly and see the result. If you noticed it did not remov the mold completely, don’t worry, we will take another step.

The next solution is muriatic acid. This is a very effective cleaning solution but dangerous. Extreme precaution must be applied before using this one. Be sure to wear safety gears such as thick rubber gloves, safety glasses, boots or shoes, and a respirator. Wear used clothing but make it sure that you use long sleeve shirt and pants to cover all your skin.

Before making the mixture, be sure to have a plenty of water and have a running water hose on your side. It will be used to dilute the acid and wash off when some will come in contact with your skin and some unwanted spills.

Important! Keep children away from the working area. After using, dispose the empty bottles properly or rinse it a few times to be very safe. If you keep muriatic acid at home, store it safely away from the reach of children.

Using a plastic bucket, mix 1 part acid to 3 parts water. Wet the area and apply the solution using a cleaning brush. Brush as you go to let the mixture set in the surface thoroughly. Let the acid to react with the mold for about ten minutes and then rinse it thoroughly.

Lastly, if you don’t want to go through these task, then it is best to hire a professional to do the job. Look specifically for mold removal and remediation expert.


Prevention
We know that the mold problem is caused by dampness. An area that is humid and retaining moisture is most likely to get mold even after cleaning thoroughly. Its is wise to take actions to prevent them from coming back.

Killing mold spores is not applicable in a patio. What we need to do is protecting the concrete and bricks and minimizing the moisture retention.

Consider sealing the brick and concrete. Sealing does two in one, giving a good appearance and protection.

Making your patio dry in a day is also helpful. It minimizes the chance of mold growth. It can easily be done by using the sunlight. Identify areas that are blocked by sunlight all day long. If possible, clear the shades that block the sunlight to let much of the patio space receive a full sunlight even for few hours.

Try to rearrange patio furniture and take rugs and carpets off sometimes to expose your patio paver to sunlight. If you are using a patio umbrella, you may close it sometimes when not in use to let the sunshine in.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How To Make Your Patio Concrete Look New

An old patio concrete looks dull, pretty boring, and maybe untidy. Sometimes, we do not notice it especially if your patio has a lot of patio furniture and fixtures around. It can also be concealed with by a large carpet you put on the floor. But in reality, it makes your patio space a lot less interesting.

If you are worried about it and want a change, then, there are foolproof solutions.

What about pressure washing? Yes, it will work, but not enough. If you have tried it and found not satisfying, then it’s time to consider the solutions that guarantee great outcome.

Concrete Staining
Concrete staining is an inexpensive way to change an old patio making it new once again. It is basically similar to painting that effective change the color and appearance of your patio concrete. However, the procedure, materials, and coating solutions are entirely different.

Concrete stains available in the market today come in many colors. With the right combination, the colors can simulate many types of finishes for the concrete such as stone and even wood colors.

There are many effects that can possibly achieved with concrete staining. At the very basic, you can make the whole patio concrete a huge slab of marble. But with the wild imagination, an entirely different appearance can be created. You can make grooves or cut on the concrete to make it look like a tiled floor. Stain each block with different colors to mimic a checkerboard. You can also make geometric shapes and stain each piece to create a structured or abstract design. You can find many concrete patio design ideas to start in the internet.

Concrete Resurfacing
Resurfacing a patio concrete is a very different approach. This type of transformation is more expensive, but it yields great and solid result. It adds a new layer of concrete, thus, giving the concrete a new look and feel.

Also, resurfacing is the only best solution if you want to change or improve the surface texture of your patio concrete. But please note that it does not fix damages even for small cracks. They are especially made for surface improvement only. You have to repair the damages first with additional cement or with concrete sealant.

Concrete resurfacers has the same color of newly poured concrete, gray. But you can add colorants to make a different concrete surface. With different colors, you can also simulate different flooring effects like tiled and stone finish.

Either of these solutions, you can give a new look for your patio. Making a new patio concrete finish is very helpful to recreate the mood of your patio. With so many finishes achievable, you can easily make a new look that matches with your existing set of patio furniture and fixtures such as metallic, teak, or wicker patio furniture sets.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Patio Paver Materials and Their Advantages

Laying patio pavers can be really easy or very difficult depending on the type of materials, let alone skills. There are a number of different types of materials to choose from in which each of them has different ways to build. The easy way can be just laying the materials down on the ground similar to assembling a jigsaw puzzle, and the harder way would require some masonry skills.

There are factors to consider when choosing the right paver material. First, it should mix and match with your house because a patio is an extension to your home and it should not look odd. Then you can choose the right surface texture and color.

We would love to consider the cost, cheaper is better, but it can affect the quality and durability. It would only add very little value to your property.

Here is a list of patio paver materials:

Concrete
Concrete is slightly cheaper and is a good start in building a patio. At the very basic, it can give you a solid and plain base for your patio furniture and fixtures.  However, its versatility made it famous. It can be made into different finishes and textures that you can imagine. Possible textures can be done in many ways such as brushed, acid washed, and stamped. Effects like brick, flagstone, and other stone and decorative patterns can be achieved with stamping.

Tile
Tiles come in many types, textures, and colors. Texture ranges from a very smooth surface to rough stone-like features. With the right type, you can also simulate different effects such as bricks and stones.

This type must be the choice if you want a smooth and fine finished patio.

Brick
Brick pavers are classic and has been the popular choice for a long time. A creative mind can get the most out it because bricks of different shapes and colors can create endless design possibilities.

Bricks can help create a cozy ambiance through the classic and traditional appearance. They are also great for creating a garden patio.

Stones
For nature lovers, stones are great for simulating or emphasizing a nature inspired patio landscape. There is a wide array of stone types with different textures, shapes, sizes, and even colors to help create a unique patio environment.

Stones like limestone, sandstone, slate, and granite are most widely used. You are lucky if you are located near quarries because they are cheaper there, otherwise, they are costly. However, a well designed patio created with these stones adds a significant value to your property.

Anyway, you can combine some of these materials to create your patio. A combination of several types might even yield greater results. Imagine sitting on a lounge chair under a lovely patio umbrella in your fine tiled patio with stone pebbled borders. Or relaxing under a tiki umbrella in your tropical-themed stone patio. There lots of design ideas around. You can find more of them in the internet.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Two Ways of Home Improvement and Their Advantages

A home improvement project can do a lot of great things to your property. Aside from adding a new interest, it also brings part of your home back to its mint condition. It is also a great opportunity to detect and spot damages or issues that needed to be addressed. Repairing a small damage right away is crucial as it prevents potential problems to aggravate.

A good home improvement project also increases the value of a property.

There two ways a home improvement can be accomplished. One is to do it yourself popularly known for its acronym DIY. Another is by hiring a professional to do the job. Choosing which way to go depends on your budget, time to spend, skills, or deadline.

These two ways have advantages and disadvantages. It is very helpful if you know them to help you decide which route you should go.

Do-it-yourself (DIY)
Basically, DIY is cheaper and it saves you a significant amount of money. It is a good activity for your family especially on weekends as a great time for bonding. Doing it yourself allows you to decide what exactly you want for your home.

However, a DIY project requires time, energy, and skills. Time is not a problem at all if you are not a really busy person. We can always find time during weekends or during work day-offs at least. As for energy, you really need some. Skills are also needed but most of them can easily be learned. Besides, you can find really easy DIY project instructions in the internet.

A patio is a popular home improvement project. It is really easy to do once you get the idea. As an example, here is a list of what you need to create a patio place.

To get started you’ll need a backyard space. You don’t have to construct a structure for a roof. Just lay some bricks or concrete for the flooring. Place a set of teak patio furniture, wicker outdoor furniture set, or a little bistro set. Add a patio umbrella or a cantilever umbrella for your shade under the sun. Add some decorative accents like potted plants, and voila, you now have a patio place.

Hiring a Professional
If you don’t have the time, energy, or skills, then hiring a professional is a better option. Of course you should hire an expert and you need a bigger budget.

On the other hand, you have many advantages going this route. You can now have the project done in a short period with great results because the professionals have all the tools and essential skills.

You’ll only need to sit down with the professionals and discuss the plans, the budget, and the fees for the project. It is important that the project is well coordinated so that you can get your expected results. Once the planning is done, you’ll just sit back, relax, and see the project as it progresses.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Simple Maintenance to Keep Your Patio Livable

A simple maintenance care is a great help to keeps anything from degrading and losing its brilliance. It also applies to a Patio. Without maintenance, your patio would become uninteresting and unlivable.

There are a lot of simple maintenance tasks to keep the beauty and functionality of your patio. But let us examine first what makes a patio livable.

A livable patio is both pleasing and functional. The size of the space does not matter, as long as it is breathable and that you can easily move around. The design and decoration should look relaxing and well organized. It should include a set of patio furniture that you can comfortably sit and lean on.

A good ambiance is another important asset for a patio. Patios usually have a nice breeze that you can breathe. But it is not enough because as humans, we need the comfort of warmth especially in the cold night. With the use of a fireplace or a patio heater, we can easily create a comfy ambiance in a cool outdoor space.

Cleaning
The very basic maintenance care is cleaning. This alone eliminates the elements that negatively affect the look and feel of the place. This should be done on a regular basis or as often needed to avoid dirt build up as it would become hard to clean.

Clean the space including the covers and outdoor furniture and fixtures.

Furniture Maintenance
Outdoor furniture items are the essential additions to your patio. They add beauty and functionality to your backyard space. Without them, your patio would be like a barren place.

However, any outdoor furniture cannot completely withstand the punishment of harsh outdoors plus the frequent use. Somehow they will suffer wear and tear, losing the original appearance, and then degrade. So maintenance care is very important to maintain their appearance and condition.

Furniture maintenance is not intensive and really easy if you act fast on every problem. Once you see even just a little issue such as loose screws on a metal furniture, a tiny scratch on wooden chair, or a loose strip on a wicker chair, fix it as soon as possible because these small things can become a bigger problem.

Keep the Covers and Shades On
Patio covers such as patio umbrellas, shade sails, and awnings provide protection for your furniture and fixtures aside from keeping you safe from the sunlight. Their presence is crucial for the benefit of everything and everyone so they need to keep functioning.

Keep the Ambiance Available
Maintain your fireplace making it sure that you can still use it anytime you need. Clean it to allow it to give off heat well. Also make sure that you have some fuel stored to use for the next use.

If you are using an electric fireplace or a portable patio heater, keep it in good condition. There is just one good way to do it, use it. Turn on the unit even for just a few minutes occasionally.

Problems usually arise when they are inactive for a while. Sometimes you can blame insects and pests that make it their lairs. But there’s nothing you can do about it when it’s already late.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Small Enhancements That Greatly Improve Your Patio

A patio is created for relaxation and recreation. It is important that the place should be kept comfortable and pleasing. Aside from cleaning and restoring your patio, its glorious appearance can also be greatly improved by these small enhancements.

Transformation
Being in one same place frequently can sometimes be boring and a home patio place is not exempted.

One solution is re-arranging the patio furniture and fixtures. This is an easy patio enhancement task at a little or no cost at all. If done well, this simple project will result into a winning transformation.

Try to create a new focal point or a new interesting feature of your patio. Another trick is to change the direction your seating sets are facing bringing your view into a new horizon that you can enjoy.

Set a Mood
Setting a mood is like putting some flavor into your patio. You can make it feel like a tropical paradise, a romantic place, or a festive outdoor space.

Creating a mood is not a difficult task and you can make it yourself. You can plan for it based on your experience or on what you feel. Otherwise, you can find design inspirations from the internet.

If you can’t find an idea to start with, try it creating a mood can be based on color trends. Every year, fashion and design organizations release color trends for a particular year.  Then the designers, decorators and even artists use the color for their works. Search for the color tends for this year and you can get exciting ideas.

Ambiance is another element that helps set a mood. Warmer atmosphere means comfort. This helps in creating a romantic place. If it is cold outside, a handy outdoor heater is your best companion.

Freshen Up
Plants and flowers are the best additions to freshen up an outdoor space. Additionally they also introduce good feelings.

Water features are decorative in nature, but they too are beneficial to a patio setup. They add sensational freshness plus the sound of the flowing water is so soothing. It aids in relaxing your mind and body. Water features include fountains and mini waterfalls.

Additional Decor Items
Adding decor items and embellishments is just a small part of designing a patio and usually cost less. But these small things can have a great impact on your patio’s appearance.

You can use rugs to highlight the floor or a centerpiece making it more interesting.  Hang some curtains which add luxury and smoothness. Throw some cuddly throw pillows for more comfort.

Patio umbrellas and shade sails are also a must especially for an uncovered patio. Surprisingly, they too are decorative. They add style and luxury aside from protecting you under the harmful sunlight.

Restoring your good old patio furniture is another enhancement that can greatly improve your patio. Restoration also prolongs the life of your investment.

Monday, July 8, 2013

How to Create an Outdoor Living Space for Less

An extra living space outdoors is one of the great projects most home owners wished for. People wanted to have it for different reasons. Most of us think of it as a place for relaxing and for leisure activities without realizing first the value it adds to our property.


However, some people are hesitant and thinking that it can be expensive and labor intensive to create. Well, it is really expensive. The good news is that there are ways in which you can make an outdoor living space at a lesser cost. The best way to accomplish it is to do it yourself.

One of the basics of saving is spending less and it means to buy only the things that are necessary. So, what could be the necessary things we need for an outdoor living space? Here is a short list.


Seats
It can be a simple chair, a lounge chair, love seat, or an outdoor wicker set. Seats and other patio furniture can be as many as you want but buy only as many as you need.

Shade
A simple patio umbrella would be enough to cover you from the intense sunlight. Another choice would be a shade sail or a simple awning.

Heat Source
Building fire pit is easy and simple that you can do yourself. Just make a small shallow pit on the ground and lay some stones or bricks around sides.

If you want something easier to operate, portable electric heaters come cheaper these days.


An outdoor living space is somehow incomplete without decorations and accents. You can find many decorations for less these days. But it seems DIY decoration and accessory making is ideal for less expenses. You can find brilliant ideas in the internet like in bhg.com. Unleash your creative side and save more. You can recycle and reuse common items in your kitchen such as cans, bottles and mason jars to create interesting and unique decor items.

Incorporate gardening as it makes your space full and beautiful without the need of fixtures.

Notice that you still need to buy stuff for your home backyard project. In order to spend less, find items that are on sale on online, and offline stores.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Knowing Outdoor Furniture to Get the Best Outdoor Experience

Backyard outdoor experience can be perfected with a set of outdoor furniture. These essential outdoor items are also known as patio furniture while others called it garden furniture. Actually, they are made much like the same as any furniture including those that are made for indoors. However, they have some characteristics to endure the assault of harsh outdoor environment.

There are many types of outdoor furniture and each has special qualities useful for outdoors. Each type boasts a unique beauty that can be exploited in an appropriate backyard design.

Somehow, choosing the right type of outdoor or patio furniture is important to make sure you’ll get the best outdoor experience. Here is a short list of outdoor furniture types and what they can offer.

Wood Outdoor Furniture
Wood outdoor and patio furniture sets are well known for its natural looks. Most people tend to love the grains, natural lines, and colors of wood. We loved it not only for its beauty but because they are warm and comfortable. But you’ll have to take care of them. They must be treated to endure the moist and keep them dry always because they are prone to molds, fungus, and eventually will decay.

Although wood can stand a hot sunny outdoor weather, it’s their looks will degrade in the long run. But it is not really a big deal because you can easily restore them and even enhance their beauty.

Metal Outdoor Furniture
Metal outdoor furniture are preferred for sleek and modern design. This is the choice for designing a minimalist style backyard design. They are shiny and finely finish items.

Metal pieces can be made of Aluminum, Stainless Steel, and Wrought Iron. Except for aluminum, they are prone to rust so you have to take care of them. An outdoor area is usually humid which causes rust. Always make sure that the steel or iron materials have protective coating.

Wicker Outdoor Furniture
Wicker patio furniture sets are popular because of their fine beauty. They can look classic but are also really great to add on to modern design.

Be watchful when you buy because there are two types of wicker, natural and synthetic.

Natural wicker furniture items are much like wood when it comes to maintenance.

If you want the looks but not the hassle of maintaining, try a synthetic resin wicker set. Synthetic wickers are new and they are made of All-Weather Resin. They are said to withstand most of the abuse of nature, another reason they are popular for outdoors.

Plastic Outdoor Furniture
Plastics are not as strong and durable as wood and steel but can perform pretty well. They are the best choice for a quick setup.  Just keep in mind that they are susceptible to sunlight and won’t last long. The material will degrade and impossible to restore.

Outdoor Covers
This is additional information. Backyard design will not be complete without the covers. Covers can be patio umbrellas, shade sails, and awnings. They too are considered outdoor furniture and can be made of different materials. You also need to know them before you buy. Here is a useful post about patio umbrella types.

Another reason I include the covers is that they have an important role for your outdoor setup. Covers such as garden and patio umbrellas will get you protected from the harmful sunlight. Once protected, you can stay longer and you’ll get the best outdoor experience. Not only that. They can protect other patio furniture as well.

All in all, outdoor furniture items don’t just sit there in your backyard. They add property and esthetic values to your home. The key is to choose not just the best one, but the best for your outdoor or backyard setup.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Choose the Right Patio Furniture and Make an Attractive Backyard

The choice of patio furniture makes a big difference in a patio or deck. It adds style and decoration to your backyard. But there is a wide array of design, style, and finish so choosing which one is the best is a little complicated. Well, here are some tips to help you choose the right patio furniture to help you on your shopping.

Seek Some Inspiration
Finding some inspiration is an effective way for a beginner to succeed in any designing or decorating task. Decor inspirations can found in many places but the easiest and the most abundant source is the internet. You can search for pictures and ideas of an outdoor setup. You can also find inspirations from well known related websites and authors like Martha Stewart.

The Right Type
The very first thing worthy of considering is choosing the right type of material a patio furniture is made. Remember that outdoor furniture types such as wood, aluminum, steel, and plastics have different characteristics. Each of type is well suited for just a single or couple type of outdoor weather.

Any type of patio furniture can have an appealing look. However, you must remember that not all type can go well with an existing design or setup. For example, if the theme of your backyard is classical, then it would be great to add wooden outdoor furniture.

The Right Combination
You cannot just purchase a furniture item even if it looks so great. Choosing the right one will also depend on the style, type, and color of items you previously have or chosen. For an attractive patio or deck, combine the right type and the kind of furniture.

Try these examples. If you want an appealing tropical outdoor setup, try combining a wooden bistro table, lounge chairs, and a tiki outdoor umbrella. If you want a modern and sleek backyard look, try aluminum table and chairs coupled with an offset umbrella.

The right combination will save you some space as well.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

How to Design a Small Backyard and Make a Great Outdoor Space

Decorating a small backyard is not difficult. A small space can easily be filled with furniture items and decorations on a relatively less budget. However, the size leaves us just a limited number of outdoor features we can get. It is hard build a pool, a large garden, an outdoor kitchen, and a sofa altogether.

But don’t despair because there is always a solution we can find. Even though we cannot have all the features we want in the backyard, we can still design your small backyard and make it a great outdoor space.

The very first thing that must be done is measuring the entire usable backyard space. Doing so helps us determine what we can create. It would help us estimate how many features that can possibly be added.

Commonly, the next step is to determine the purpose of the outdoor space. But we will skip that for this guide. Instead, we shall determine the features that we want and if they can fit in the area.

Maybe you are wondering by now on how we can fit many outdoor features in a small area. Well, it’s pretty simple. Minimize the things you add to maximize the use of the area. How do we minimize? Take note of the following tips.

Basics
We need the basic elements of making a great outdoor space. Whether you are building a patio or deck, you’ll need a shade, a heat source, and a good atmosphere.

The Shade
There is a lot of good outdoor shade to choose from. But the best option is to get a patio umbrella. Why? Because you can use it whenever you need it and then store away when not. Just one umbrella, especially the tilting and offset outdoor umbrellas can get you covered at any time of day.

The Heat Source
A fireplace is a must-have in a patio design but takes a big area. The best solution is getting a fire bowl or a portable firepit instead of building one on the ground. Surprisingly, a firepit can also be used for grilling. So now you’ll have an item with a dual purpose.

If you still need a little smaller heat source. Then the answer is a portable patio heater.

Adding a Garden
Do you love gardening? Here is the tip so you can add it in your small backyard area.

You can do grow any plant in a pot. You can also build plant boxes that can be hung on walls. This is the trend of today’s urban gardening. You can find so many creative ideas online that are as effective as in ground gardening.

Kitchen and Dining Function
Any outdoor space can serve a kitchen and dining function. How? There is a lot of outdoor patio furniture designs today that allows you to transform them and serve another purpose. For example, you want to place a bistro table and a dining table in your small patio place. Instead of buying separate tables, you can get a table that can be used as a small table on your tea time and be transformed into a large table for an outdoor dining.

As for the kitchen and other outdoor features, I’m pretty sure there is enough space left if you have followed the tips above.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Why Should You Use a Patio Umbrella?

To answer that question, we must always remember that protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays or UV rays is very important nowadays. UV rays are invisible but are really harmful. Excessive exposure to these elements can cause serious skin problems such as sunburn, rapid aging, or skin cancer. There are many ways to keep us healthy under the sun. Choosing which way depends on every situation and needs. One great way to keep you, your friends, and your family protected under the bright sun is using a patio umbrella. The following are additional information on why should you use a patio umbrella on your beautiful patio.

Quick and Easy
Unlike other outdoor shade, you do not need to build or make a platform for a patio umbrella. Once you have it in hand, you can easily assemble the parts and you can have a perfect shade for you patio. Standard outdoor umbrellas just need the canopy and base parts only which make it real quick and easy to assemble, then you can enjoy the rest of the day.


Portable
Yes, even large outdoor umbrellas are portable for two reasons. First, they can be disassembled into parts allowing you to carry them easily. Second, most of them are provided with base or stand that has wheels. You can effortlessly move them to any spot you like. Bring them where you need them.


Flexible
Modern patio and market umbrellas such as these cantilever umbrellas and tilting umbrellas can provide a flexible shade. They are designed to provide sun protection throughout the day. Their canopy can be tilted or shifted to an angle where you need to block the sunlight.

So, do you want a patio umbrella? You can find patio umbrellas as well as patio furniture online.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Unique Backyard Garden Design Ideas

One of the must-haves of every home design is a Garden. There are many benefits of having one. Top on the list of garden benefits include beauty, fresh air, and adds value to your property. So, are you planning to re-create your garden or planning a new one? These unique backyard garden design ideas can help you.

Incorporating a garden in your patio or deck design is not hard. You will only need to be creative to achieve it. But if it feels hard to be creative, do not worry. You can easily find garden and patio design inspiration in the internet using the words below to unleash the creative part of yourself.

Foliage
It makes flowerless garden, yet full of life. You can add the greenery and other colors but without the tricky and high maintenance of flower gardening. There are so many varieties of non-flowering plants which add beauty to your backyard.

Bonsai
Bonsai is an art to miniaturize a tree or shrub. This practice is originated from Japan. The plants are manipulated to retard their growth to normal size. Then they are trimmed to make a beautiful ornamental plant.

You can recreate the wonderful natural landscape miniaturized in your patio or deck. Bonsai garden is very rare. It makes a unique and attractive backyard that can impress your friends.

Topiary
Also a flowerless garden and can be a combination of bonsai plants. Topiaries help create a unique looking backyard. It is somewhat artificial but the plants are real and they help make a fresh environment. You can create a theme park with several forms like life-sized living and non-living things.

Depending on one’s creativity, any design can be made possible. You can create a maze, an artwork, or even an outdoor canopy to help you shape your a patio.

Feng Shui
Feng Shui is an ancient art and science from China. The practice thought to help balance the energies of a space to bring good fortune and for health. It is just about the proper arrangement of plants and outdoor furniture. It tells us how to position the outdoor patio furniture set and what direction should it be facing. Experts would also suggest what type plants to have in the setup.

Applying the principles of Feng Shui in garden design would make a beautiful garden at the same time.

Vegetable gardening and flower gardening are still great even though they are common. But if you want something unique, you can consider these ideas.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Beautiful Water Fountain Ideas and Benefits

Outdoor water fountain is the most sought after addition in almost all landscaping project. They add beauty, life, and balance to the design and they have so many benefits. They can be placed in any location but strategically to make a surprising feature. These water features has a great impact in the outdoor landscape.

The main purpose most people think about water fountain is for design and decoration. But most folks least recognized or seldom think about the underlying many benefits. Beautifully flowing water has a sound that is so relieving that helps ease stress. Water fountains also help the surrounding plants by providing humidity during dry season. In general, water is the essence of life and we can make them flow beautifully in a fountain.

Garden Water Fountain
A backyard garden is probably a great feature for your home. How about incorporating a water fountain? It would surely make the landscape a driving focal point. The water fountain feature is just a right addition that would go well with the garden and help your plants grow better also.

Corner Water Feature
If you do not have a space for a garden or for just a contemporary fountain, then we can use the corners. This is also a great way to add a water feature for a patio or deck.

You cannot simply put water fountains in the middle of a patio. However, if you wanted it along with your patio furniture setup, there are portable versions. With the little water fountains, you can enjoy the benefits of water while relaxing in a comfy chair and under a protective outdoor canopy.

Unique Wall Fountain
Wall fountains are not new but are uncommon. They can help create a unique wall that is entertaining, and relaxing at the same time. Do not just watch in an empty wall, make it beautiful with decorations. A wall fountain is a good focal point for the space in the wall.

The Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, these four elements of nature are the ingredients for creating a great outdoor place. The beautiful landscape is of the Earth, the sweet and smooth breeze is of the Air, the warmth and comfort from your patio heater or fireplace is of the Fire, and the soothing sounding fountain is of the Water.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Top Backyard Space Ideas

Are you planning to remodel your backyard or create something beautiful out of it? There are many options you can find online, in magazines, and even in your local community. But here are the top backyard space design ideas that you can start with.


Gardening

Most people choose backyard gardening not just because it is easy to make, but also because it is very beneficial. It makes a fresh atmosphere, you can get a good scent, and you can grow your own good food. These can be achieved by growing flowers, foliage, herbs, and vegetable plants.

Talking about designing you backyard, this project idea alone offers a lot of opportunities. You can create a unique landscape using flowers and plants that you can cultivate, trim, and shape as they grow. You can buy potted plants, “bonsai”, or topiaries as a quick gardening solution. The style possibilities are many such as cottage style, country look, or a tropical inspired.

Save some money and grow your own food. You can do it in your garden and many have done it now. You can practice organic gardening too to produce naturally grown vegetables sometimes.

Outdoor Living Area

Creating an outdoor living area is also a popular idea. You can build a patio, deck, or an outdoor room. Though you need to shell out some money, these projects are so rewarding. Your backyard will become an extension to your house where you can use it for so many reasons and occasions. You can entertain your guests in a good place, spend your weekends, and host a party or get-together within your safe haven.

Patio
You can quickly create a patio with just some furniture and fixtures. First you need to lay patio pavers. There are so many paver options such as concrete, stone, bricks, and gravel. The choice can be based on the type of your house or your preference. Next you need to place some patio furniture items. Depending on the size and on what you want to achieve, you can put a small bistro set or a large outdoor wicker set to provide more seats. Then add a protective sun and rain cover. You can use a patio umbrella, or a shade sail which adds style to the setup.

Deck
Building a deck can be expensive and takes some time to finish. However, this is a valuable project that you can also enjoy. It adds value to your property if ever you will need to sell it. You can build a permanent shade but quick shade solutions can also be used. You can install an awning or use an outdoor umbrella.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Things You Can Do to Make a More Romantic Patio

There are easy things that you can do to make or transform a patio into a more romantic space. The key rules are simple; choose patio items that add a romantic mood, display items that have sentimental values, and choose a color theme that evokes a romantic feeling. With a little additional research and study, these tips will help you transform your patio or deck yourself.

Remove the Clutter
Just like any home makeover projects, the first thing you must do is to get rid of the clutter. This step will also help you achieve one important characteristic of a romantic place which is place with less distraction. So start eliminating unusable things and store away the items that are not necessary for the setup and arrange what is left to keep them organized.

Patio Furniture
The choice of outdoor patio furniture items has a big impact on how a patio looks. The designs and colors of furniture evoke emotions too.

Tulip Outdoor Umbrella
Though it does not mean that modern furniture designs cannot be romantic, it is just that a vintage or a classic design stands out. Their curves and smooth edges add a sexy and romantic look. For example, the basic form of a market umbrella is good, but look how romantic is a tulip shaped outdoor umbrella.

Color Theme
Colors can set a mood. This factor is very important in decorating and design. Color trends are constantly released every year as guidelines for design professionals. We can use colors to make a romantic space. They are introduced into the patio through the furniture item finish, outdoor cushion fabrics, wall paints, and outdoor sun shades.

Romantic colors are mostly the darker shades of most of the basic colors. Though a single color can create the effect, the creation of a real romantic place involves the combination of several colors and shades. You can find color palettes and ideas online like in Martha Stewart’s website for inspiration.

Ambiance
Ambiance is our last ingredient to make a more romantic patio. There are requirements to get a romantic ambiance or mood. First, the temperature must be at a level that is comfortable and warm. A comfortable environment temperature can be easily maintained using an outdoor fireplace or a portable patio heater. Then, we need a scent. We can easily add fragrance by using scented candles and air fresheners. Lastly, the freshness of the air can be improved with plants. We can also add fragrant plants and flowers such as lavender, honeysuckle, gardenias, or mint.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Must Have Poolside Furniture

A pool makes your backyard more relaxing and can be entertaining especially during summer. With the addition of outdoor furniture, it would also make your backyard a perfect place for a little party and get-together. Here are some must have poolside furniture items that make your pool area even more comfortable and functional.


Chaise Lounge
Chaise Lounges
Number one the list for your poolside should be a chaise lounge chair simply because we need a comfortable place to lie down and relax under the sun. The shape and style provide us a better posture so we can get the best relaxation while enjoying the sun and the breeze.

Outdoor Umbrella
An outdoor umbrella is the best companion for your poolside setup. It provides a good shade so that you can enjoy your backyard pool longer. Any type of outdoor umbrella is good for your backyard. The only thing you need to look out is the design and function. You can use a market umbrella, a beach umbrella, or an offset umbrella. Aside from sun protection, modern outdoor umbrellas also add style to an outdoor or poolside setup.

Adirondack Chairs
Adirondack chairs are another option for a relaxing seat in your backyard poolside. This simple rustic wooden outdoor chair provides wide seat and a long back that you can lean on. A typical Adirondack chair also features wide armrests for comfort and for setting food and beverages.

Bistro Sets
A set of two to four chairs and a taller small table that provides a good place for your things. A bistro table usually has a little hole for an outdoor umbrella. An addition of umbrella would be very helpful to protect you and your things especially during summer. This little outdoor furniture set is also the right choice if you love to have foods and drinks next to your backyard pool.

Outdoor Sectional
Outdoor Sofa Sets
Outdoor sofa sets including sectionals provide plenty of seats with comfortable outdoor cushions. Also, more outdoor furniture items make a great outdoor design. But remember to not over crowd your setup with furniture. More seats always make you prepared for unexpected guests. You will never know the time that you will have more guests or you would want to host a get-together.

It would be unnecessary to prepare more seats, but an outdoor sofa set is great to have for your family to enjoy in your poolside area.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Outdoor Lighting Tips

There is a wide array of outdoor light types, styles, and designs these days. From incandescent light bulbs which are still available in the market, to the fluorescent, and to the latest LED light. Each kind is made for different uses but all lights are just made mainly to make a bright place and to add aesthetic value to a setup.

Good outdoor lighting can help us create a great place for dining, get together, and receiving guests outside the house. Add an outdoor patio heater to the setup to keep a warm and comfortable ambiance and a patio umbrella for cover. Wide open space, fresh breeze, and relaxing outdoor views are the reasons we consider creating a functional outdoor place.

Lights are also great for adding aesthetic value. Good lighting draws attention so they are good to use for highlighting featured elements, patio furniture sets, and focal points to an outdoor space design.

Setting up a good lighting requires planning and a right choice of light. You can plan a lighting setup or design but materializing it needs some knowledge. If you do not have some technical know-how about lighting you need an advice or assistance from a professional. You can also find good guides from the internet.

Here are some tips to help you get started planning.

Determine the Purpose
It is best to determine the purpose of your outdoor setup first. This step will help you find the best and functional outdoor lighting solution. You must know that each outdoor space design has its own applicable lighting.

Light Color Matters
Surface colors do not work very well in creating a color themed outdoor setup at night or in a dark area. Daylight lighting works well for intensifying surface colors but it can be an impractical and expensive solution for you.

Colored lighting is a great alternative solution to get that color themed setup and to create a specific mood in your outdoor space. Light colors can create a great display as well as a specific mood.

Get Familiar with Light Types
Each type of light works and operates differently. It is helpful if you have some knowledge to help you choose the most applicable one.

Solar powered lights do not add to your electric bills but they are less bright. However, they are good for highlighting your garden and as a path light because they do not need direct wiring.

Battery powered LED lights are also popular today. They are handy, economical, and have many purposes. They are used to decorate, highlight, and even provide alternative room lighting. We can find them useful in outdoor getaway and camping. They are also used as a outdoor umbrella light.

On the other hand, electric lighting is a common and is good at providing brighter light.