Monday, March 31, 2014

How To Build a Fire Pit Yourself

Building a fire pit is an easy Do-It-Yourself project. And in just a few days, you’ll finally enjoy the heat while lounging in your backyard or patio even on a cool summer night. Aside from heating and creating ambiance, your fire pit would also serve other exciting functions like melting marshmallows and heating or roasting food stuff. Your family and friends will surely have a great time together.

You don’t need expensive materials and sophisticated tools. You don’t need technical skills because this project is fairly easy to accomplish that even some kids know how.

To build a good fire pit, you’ll need a little bit of planning, but first you should make sure there are no restrictions and your neighbors would not be bothered. Once you have completed this initial step, then we’ll start with determining the materials to be used.

Typical fire pits are made of concrete, bricks, stones, and in any combination of these materials. Choosing which one is totally up to you.

There are two ways you can build your fire pit. You can lay it flat above the ground, or a little bit lower. However, it is ideally be laid approximately a foot deep. I am sure that digging a hole in the ground is not hard. Dig a circular hole, about four feet in diameter and make the bottom flat. Once the hole is done, it is now ready for the construction of the fire pit wall.

Laying down the walling requires effort, but it is relatively easy. Even if you are a complete novice, you will find it a fun project.

Form the circular wall starting from the bottom of the hole. Burying the bottom of the walling adds stability. Then build the structure layer by layer up to a foot high. Fill the bottom of the pit with gravel, this will act as a lining and as a drainage for your fire pit. Once done, the main part of the project is completed.

Finishing Touches
The final step is to smooth up your new fire pit. Either you paint it or stain it. You can also add decorative accents like molding, or build a ring of pavement around to make it stand out with your backyard or patio design.

Other Options
If for some reasons you cannot make a fire pit you own, but you really wanted to have, you can purchase a pre-made one. There are fire pits that are designed portable so that you can put it in your backyard without making any alterations to your landscape. Also, there are fire bowls that can be fueled with gas, electric patio heaters, and portable fireplaces for an instant heating solution.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

DIY Patio Ideas for a Newbie

These tips are for beginners who want to make or design a patio with their own hands, in other words DIY. There are just a few basic elements to make a good patio. These are;
  • Flooring or Paver
  • Shade
  • Lighting
  • Heating
  • Decoration

For beginners, you can start with concrete. It is an easy and a quick way to create a patio place. It is just a matter of pouring concrete mix into the prepared ground for patio and wait until it hardens. After that, you’re off to a good start. Then you can paint your patio according to your liking. The design choice is limitless, but ideally, your patio should look natural. Some people use to stain their concrete patio floor to mimic a natural stone finish.

Alternatively, you can add a carpet. This way, you do not need to pay too much attention to your patio flooring’s finish.

On the other hand, bricks are also a good choice to start making a patio paver. Though it requires a bit of skill, the good thing is that you can rearrange them if you found your design is not pretty good. It gives you an opportunity to try another design without wasting much of the materials.

Outdoor furniture items help define your patio. In fact, a patio will not be complete without them. Basically, you’ll just need chairs, benches, or lounges to start. You can add more patio furniture sets and fixtures as you’ll improve your patio design further.

Add a shade. A patio should have a shade in addition to your furniture. Not only does it give a cool shade, but also adds to the design of your patio. There is a lot of options you can choose that fits your shade needs. You can use an awning if your patio is physically connected to your house. Use the versatile patio umbrella if you want mobility. There are tilting and offset umbrellas that give you the flexibility to choose which way your shade is directed. A pergola is also an interesting patio structure, it adds a sturdy shade but not make your patio dimmer.

If your backyard has large trees, then you’re lucky as a beginner. You can build your patio under the tree’s canopy. It gives a cool shade, plus it saves you from spending on buying or building a shade.

Lighting is also a good thing to consider in building a patio. They are more important for your patio at night. The main use is to illuminate your patio, but they can make your patio even better. They give personality to your design and they can add ambiance.

Choose the type of light, color, and intensity to set the type of mood you want to create.
  • Lighting in assortment of color makes a festive mood.
  • Lighting in warm color shade makes a warm ambiance.
  • Dimmer lights in warm colors make a romantic feel.

For beginners, a simple fire pit should suffice your heating needs. Commonly, folks just dig a medium hole in an open ground and then arrange rocks or bricks around it to make a quick fire place. If you don’t want the hassle or, digging is not possible in your place, then just buy a ready to use fire pit or fire bowl. They are much cheaper which is great for starters.

Finally, add a touch of nature. Use planters and pots to add plants and flowers. Bird bath and feeders are great to invite birds into your patio. Water features such as fountains and ponds are a wonderful addition. They make a soothing environment, especially on warmer days.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Defining Your Patio Space

A patio is more than just an extension of a home, it is a valuable outdoor space for recreation and for entertaining guests. That is why we have to design it well to achieve the goal.

Defining your patio space involves several factors and determined by the purpose. You have to think about the structure, design, and other amenities you want to add. You should also make sure that there is a good amount of space left. These factors have a great impact on the overall experience your patio has to offer.

At the very basic, you patio is first defined by its structure. The materials used in building and how they are formed and laid have effects to the patio design. Different materials make a starting point to create a specific theme for your outdoor room.

Here are some ideas:
  • Brick pavers is great for creating a garden themed patio.
  • Concrete is good for patios with water features like pool. However, adding gravel and stones makes an appealing accent to the water feature. 
  • Other stone materials and tiles makes a heart-warming and soothing patio.

Pool and Water Features
Pool and other water features like fountains make a cool and refreshing outdoor space. This is a great design choice for summer and for places with warmer climate. But it is not for just hot areas. If your family love the refreshing feel of a pool, then it should be great for you as well.

The choice for nature lovers and those wanting the goodness of flowers and veggies. It is very easy to add plants to a patio no matter what your patio structure is. If there is no space for gardening, then you can add plants using pots or try vertical gardening. You might find it a relaxing and enjoyable type of setup.

Well, a patio without a set of outdoor furniture will not be complete. It provides a place to sit and to lay down while enjoying the space.

Additionally, outdoor patio furniture items play a great role in defining your patio space not just in the experience but also in the appearance. Choose those that complement with your theme. The type of furniture should go well with the structure of your patio. Like  wooden furniture sets for example, they are good for heart-warming and nature inspired patios, while glossy resin and aluminum furniture items look great for patios with pool.

The type of covering you have in your patio contributes to defining your patio space too. They are made to cover you from the sun or limit your exposure to sunlight but they can also add to your patio design.

Sturdy pergolas are used because they are elegant and well-built shade structure. However they are expensive and cannot be built if you have a limited space. If space limits you from building one, then you have many other options in the form of awning, shade sail, and patio umbrellas.

Proper lighting defines you patio space at night. They are used not just to give light to be able to use your patio after the sunset but also for creating mood. Different lights of brightness and colors affects the overall feel of your patio. They can mimic daylight, can make you feel warm, and can create a festive surrounding.