Friday, May 30, 2014

Pergola Roof or Cover Options

A Pergola in one of the popular shade structures. Aside from patio umbrellas, awnings, and shade sails, pergolas are also best for patios and backyards. This type of structure provides a good shade in the beating sun and even from the snow and rain. It also provides protection for your patio furniture and fixtures from outdoor elements to keep them in good condition so you can enjoy them for months and even years.

Building something like a pergola in your backyard is a great weekend backyard project. You can physically exercise, enhance carpentry skills, and exercise your creative mind. But if it’s just far too complex for you, or you may have no time for it, it is a good idea to hire a carpenter.

The most important part of a pergola is its roof or cover. It defines how well you are protected and how the structure looks. With regards to the looks, choosing the right type of covering depends on what is the best for the design of your home and the appearance of your surroundings. It should blend well with the colors, structure, and materials around it.

Wooden Roof
Pergolas are traditionally built with spaced wooden roofing. Even if it is the old style, wood covering is still the best practice. You can easily get created with it as a wood can be arranged and easily formed or carved according to your choice. Since homes are mostly built with wood, then it can easily blend in.

Spaced wooden roof is only for places that rarely rains. Enjoy the sunny outdoors under the shade of a pergola. Just get a patio furniture cover when it rains, it is sufficient to keep them safe.

Bamboo Roof
Bamboo covers are famous because they are unique and attractive. It makes a cool patio that feels like you’re in a tropical place. This type is easy to make with just little carpentry skills.

Using bamboo is an eco-friendly practice. Many trees will be saved because a bamboo can grow and regenerate quickly so we can have another supply in the next season. By the way, a bamboo is not a tree, but a type of grass, the tallest grass.

Reed Roof Cover
Much the same as bamboo, reeds provide a tropical feel. In its natural beige color, a reed cover would blend well in your backyard patio design or garden. This material is lightweight, which requires minimum support. Great for beginner do-it-yourself project.

Fabric Type Covers
Fabrics or textile for covering is great for adding exciting colors in your patio or backyard. However, they are used more for a temporary shade. They can be placed loosely or tension stretched over the rafters on the structure.

Some fabrics like canvas, Sunbrella, or Olefin, which are also widely used for outdoor umbrellas, can protect us from the harmful UV rays of the sun. It is the best choice for use during hot summer days. If you want a protection from the rain, there are water-resistant fabrics too.

Louvered Roof

Louvered roof types are technically more advance but of course, a bit expensive. They can be adjusted by tilting the louvers from fully open to enjoy the sun, into fully closed for a full protection. That is  the great advantage if this type.

Whenever you build a pergola, always keep in mind to choose the best type that fits your need, your area climate, and the type of surrounding you have.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Easy Patio or Garden Walkway

Building a patio or garden walkway requires time, effort, and money. It can be a tough job but, there are easy ways to accomplish. It can be done whenever you have time and is a great task during weekends. A great do-it-yourself project.

Just like any other projects, you need to have a plan beforehand. Determine how wide your walkway is, which way it should go, and how should it forms. Take note that you have to sacrifice a good amount space and good growing grasses if you want a wider walkway. It is better to choose areas that are not suitable for growing grasses and plants. Then form your walkway according to your landscape no matter what shape you would come up. In fact, irregular walkway forms look great in many cases.
Tools and Gears
It does not require sophisticated tools and gears to make this task easy. Just a few backyard and garden tools needed to get the job done.

Make sure to use work gloves for your safety. Your hands do not just get dirty, but would also suffer from the work. Your gloves will protect them.

You need garden pruners if you need to remove hard grasses and large roots. Make sure you also remove any debris to avoid problems like sagging.

Spade is needed to repair ground holes and spots. You will also need it for shaping up the landscape. Then, use a garden rake to level the ground.

For an easy patio or garden walkway, use stones or bricks. These pavers make building your walkway fast and easy. All have to do is lay and arrange them on the ground and you’re done.

When arranging the stones/bricks lay them in patterns. You can find many design ideas over the internet.

Add some nice features for your walkway to make it more look inviting which leads towards your patio area. Add some lights on the path for easy access during the night. Edging would also add a highlight along the way and that there will be a nice separation. If your walkway is large and long, you can line up some patio furniture such as benches and small patio umbrellas along the way as a nice stopover feature.

With simple steps, your walkway shall be completed without stress. You can add anything you want to it. Use your imagination and creativity, and use the internet to search for design inspirations.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Building and Decorating a Porch

A porch is another well known outdoor room to extend your house area. It is a great outdoor place to pause and relax before getting in and stepping off.

The structure is similar to decks, but is having a more finished appearance. The looks is the same as the house and generally becomes part of the entire house building.

Start by planning the size and layout of your porch. Typically, the layout should be based on the structure of your house. The structure can be built either in the front or in the back side of your house. A porch structure has a flooring, posts, railing, roof and ceiling.

The porch flooring is usually built on wooden floor joist on top of support beams over a concrete foundation. The type of flooring depends on you, however, it is better to match it with the materials of your house. You can use wood, composite, and PVC floors. If you want masonry floors, your flooring foundation should be made of concrete slabs. Take note, it is important to make sure that the floor should have a little slope that runs away from the house to easily drain away rain and snowmelt.

Porch posts are intended to support the weight of the roof and ceiling. Since porch don’t have walling, the posts are barely visible. So this becomes an opportunity to make them decorative. You can use turned porch or even create an elegant porch columns. The number of posts depends on the size of your porch area and they should be equally spaced.

Railings play a big part when it comes to the porch decoration so you have to choose the best style and type to make a good looking porch. Railings are made of different materials such as wood, metal, stone, and synthetic. Choose the materials that can be best installed on your type of porch materials. Don’t get too excited with beautiful designs you find on display in stores or you might end disappointed to find out that it doesn’t match with your house design. Remember, a porch becomes part of your house, decorate it to complement with your house’s exteriors.

The materials, finish, and form of the roof and ceiling should match with the house. No matter how unique, if they look different, your design would look off.

Setting up and decorating a porch is the same as other outdoor rooms.

First, you need comfortable seats. A couple of reclining chairs are good for relaxing on a small porch. But if you have a large porch space, it is great to place a set of outdoor furniture. You can put a sofa set, lounge chairs, and a center table for a great conversation.

Second, freshen up with greens. You still can enjoy a little gardening in your porch. Add some potted plants and hang some plants on the sides. Then add some accessories such as carpets or rugs and framed decors.

The last thing needed for a great porch is a heat source so we can enjoy it even during winter and on cold nights. You can build a fireplace for your porch. The fireplace would also be a great focal point for this outdoor room. Another option is a portable patio heater which is easier to use and more practical for a modern home porch.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Vertical Gardening and Benefits

Growing herbs, flowers, and vegetables come easy with vertical gardening. It doesn’t matter how small and how inaccessible your area, gardening possible with simple innovation. Some garden lovers find it really easy to do with just a little carpentry skills. I can be done by hanging plants in pots and baskets on the walls, by placing them in racks or shelves, and by making a trellis.

Vertical gardening has benefits.

First, it is space-saving which is very helpful for small spaces. You can easily incorporate gardening in a small backyard or patio for a better atmosphere.

Second, vertical garden is easier to manage. You can tend them with ease, from growing to harvesting.

Third, they add an attraction to your outdoor space design. Healthy growing flowers and vegetables are like gems in your backyard.

Fourth, they can serve as a privacy screen alternative. More household owners and landscapers prefer this structure for privacy because it is not so obvious and look great.

Lastly, they provide a good sun shade. Plants are great at absorbing sunlight and block UV rays. Setting a patio furniture set under a trellis is a great idea. You enjoy a fresh outdoors while being protected from harmful UV rays. A trellis with a bunch of plants is a great alternative for patio umbrellas.

With some research for inspiration combined with imagination, any beginner will find it easy to get into vertical gardening. The tools and materials needed are really easy to find in many hardware stores.

If you are fond of recycling and reusing, that’s great because gardening using recycled materials and repurposed household items is popular these days. Countless materials have been used and they look great when properly reused, these include:
  • Plastic beverage bottles
  • Plastic containers
  • Tin cans
  • Empty barrels

Other materials that you might not expect of being used include:
  • Shoes
  • Cups
  • Mugs
  • Casseroles
  • Teapots
  • and many other kitchen containers

And take note, using these items is very popular these days.