Category Archives: Balcony/Patio

Wood Patio Furniture – The Traditional Look

For those who prefer that rustic look and feel in decorating their patio, wood patio furniture is probably still the preferred choice. Qualities range from top of the line durable teak or cedar to the softer redwood with pressure treated lumber being the cheapest option. Granted plastic resin furniture has come a long way in mimicking the looks of real wood but if you like wood the feel of the fake material will not really entice you.

Folding wood patio furniture just like the fixed pieces has a certain look about it which simply cannot be rivaled by their plastic or resin imitations, although these have improved a lot. The oil present in teak and cedar or redwood trees provides natural protection against the hot sun, harsh rain and suntan lotions for example. Thanks to this oil there is no need to treat the wood thereby saving you a lot of time and money on maintenance.

The popularity of wood patio furniture might be on the decline because the plastic or resin alternatives are being advertised as being a lot cheaper and requiring little or no maintenance, but as long as you buy a furniture set made from durable wood such as teak, cedar or redwood there is no reason you would have to spend more time and money on maintenance than when owning an aluminum or plastic furniture set. Just presuming that you took on the job of laying flagstone patio all by yourself wouldn’t real wood furniture be a great enhancement to the natural look of a flagstone patio.

Photo By: Colorhome

Teak is grown in Southeast Asia and is the most durable wood around. It’s been used to build ships and if it can withstand sea water it surely ought to be surviving the scorching sun, harsh winds or snow if used for patio furniture. Should you wish to restore the color of your teak patio set to when you just bought it than merely sanding it a little and applying some natural teak oil will return it to its original brownish color. Without this treatment teak will turn to a soft gray color over the years.

A softer wood but still very much in demand because just like teak the wood contains a lot of oil which makes it very low maintenance and naturally resistant against weather conditions is redwood. It does require a little more maintenance than teak but is surely a viable alternative. So these are really your three best options if you want to preserve that natural look and feel of your outdoor patio furniture while using the best wood on the market.

Popular Fan Looks For Outdoor Ceiling Fans

A hot summer can make spending time outdoors feel more like a punishment than a way of relaxing.  No matter how well you have your porch or patio set up, a hot day can make that space completely unusable.  With an outdoor fan, you can add just enough of a breeze to make some of those hot days feel a little bit more inviting.  Outdoor ceiling fans come in designs built to fit in with almost any home style, so you should always be be able to find the best outdoor ceiling fans for you.

Popular Outdoor Ceiling Fan Options:

Fans That Include Lighting – Getting lights on an indoor fan is generally a non-issue, but outdoor ceiling fans aren’t quite that simple. The outdoor options that come with lights are generally damp rated, which means they are safe underneath a covering like a covered porch or patio with an awning.  Some waterproof lighted options exist, but the price is generally much higher when compared to waterproof outdoor ceiling fans without lights.

Tropical Ceiling Fans For OutsideTropical style ceiling fans that uses large blades in natural materials to push air at a slower speed than standard fans has gained quite a bit of popularity for outdoor use.  These fans can work pretty well for many areas, but make sure you choose a fan that comes with more than three or four blades to get the best cooling results.

Unusual Modern Outdoor Fan Styles – If you are interested in having a more modern look outside, consider one of the many outdoor ceiling fan options done in modern or contemporary styles.  If these options keep a standard form factor they should be perfectly capable of cooling your space just as well as any fan.  If you notice an unusual shape, try to see it in action before you make a purchase to make sure it will work well.

Shade Sail Repairs for Common Damages

Purchasing a shade sail is an investment that needs taking care of. It is not uncommon that it will need some shade sail repairs for cuts, tears or rips from the wind or falling branches. Sometimes the damage is easy enough to repair by the owner; though other times, the damage is too severe that an expert is needed to repair it.

Knowing what to do in cases like this is crucial to the owner because if the damage is not dealt with immediately, it may worsen. Here are several tips on how to make simple repairs for owners of a damaged shade sail.

What are the Common Damages incurred by a Shade Sail?

  • Sagging: When sagging happens, it means that the canvas is not tensioned properly. The fabric sags due to leaves or branches that fall on it. They cause the tension of the canvas to loosen due to their weight.
  • Tears or Frays: Tears or frays happen due to the weight of the objects that fall on the canvas. The wind can also cause small tears or frays that can develop to bigger tears and will be very expensive to fix or replace.
  • Cuts or Abrasions: When the canvas gets cut by sharp objects from branches or even the posts themselves, they should have immediate attention so that they will not get worse.

What are the Common Repairs for the Common Damages incurred by Shade Sails?

There are several ways of repairing the damages incurred by the canvas of a shade sail. One sure way of dealing with the damages is to have them fixed by a professional or the manufacturer of the canopy. Another less expensive way is to repair the damage by doing it yourself. The following tips below are the proper ways of maintain and repairing the damages of the shade sail.

  1. Adjustments: The best way to fix sagging canvases is to monitor the canvas from time to time. If the canvas becomes a little too loose, then re-tensioning is the proper way to have them fixed. The proper way of tensioning the fabric back to its original state is by carefully doing it so that the fabric will not tear or get ripped.
  2. Stitching: Although stitching is best done by professionals, it can also be done by the owners of the canvas. Professionals usually use specialized threads to patch up the tears. These threads will lessen the creases and will prevent more tears and frays on the fabric.
  3. Patch-Ups: Patch-ups will help mend the holes of the canvas done by branches or the wind. If the hole is too large, it is better to have a professional get a look at it. Sometimes, having a professional take a look at it will improve the chances of the canvas to be properly repaired.

Prevention and monitoring will still prove to be the best way to avoid costly repairs. A shade sail will be at its best functional self if it is maintained well.

Patio Roofs and Covers

Choosing to build a patio in your yard is a great way to increase your living space by moving it outdoors. With the right patio cover or patio roof, it becomes a part of the garden area, with plants, art work and lighting to provide a wonderful entertainment area for your family and friends.

There are different types of styles to choose from. Start with the post. Choose iron, wood or plastic in any style you like. With iron post or the right wood post you can train vines up them for a Roman beauty and fun design. This is a popular way to go with your pergola, trellis or arbor as well.

Photo By: Luis Tamayo

If you live near the beach or lake, or you just dream of living near the shore, choose a sail for your patio cover. It is a billowy and beautiful cover to protect your from UV rays and provide a soft light. These shade sails are made popular from Down Under, the Australians have brought us this design. It can be mounted to the home or a stand alone pole or other patio structure.

Using metal poles and a solid patio roofs adds a permanent feel to your patio. It can be used in any type of weather at any time of the year. On cold nights, you can set up a small heater for your feet and enjoy watching the stars change through the night. This heat source could be a portable patio fireplace or a more commercial-style patio heater that you’d find at your local bar’s outdoor patio space. These can truly cast a warm glow for up to a 10’ swing around.

There are so many ways to create a wonderful patio. Once you add one to your home, you will love the extra room and the outdoor feel of fresh air, sun light and happy times together with your family. This is made even more possible with the other patio accessories that the proper roof and cover allow.

Great Choices of Patio Covers

Perhaps patio covers may not be the first things you’ll notice about someone’s home or garden. It might be the furniture, the nice ornaments, or the surrounding lush garden that might grab your attention. But no matter how mundane a patio cover may be, its protective functions and aesthetic effects are undeniable. Whether your garden boasts a cozy outdoor patio or your home directly connects to an indoor type, patio covers can go a long way of protecting not only you but your interior furnishings as well.

Outdoor patios look best when paired with natural-looking patio covers. Wooden covers with earth colors and shades blend well with your garden, while patio covers made with synthetic materials still work best when they come in hues that blend harmoniously with the surroundings. For best results, it would be wise to check some of the best outdoor patio covers online. But if you want to check some patio covers up close, you might want to visit your nearest store for some patio covers on display.

On the brighter side, we set our eyes on something interesting as well. Sure, everybody needs a healthy dose of sunlight. But, if you can’t seem to get enough of regularly basking yourself under the sun, then you might want to try transparent patio covers. The technology applied in creating these types of patio covers has been around for decades, but it was only until recently when these materials have been appreciated for home and garden use. Transparent patio covers allow sunshine to pass through without the harsh effects of wind, rain, snow, or dust—the very elements that substantially limit your furniture’s life.

The internet is a rich source of information about any products that you might want to purchase for your home. Thanks to competition, more online stores go the extra mile: from 24-hour customer service to good bargains on patio cover kits. What’s more? You could also find yourself getting good bargains from outdoor furnishings to patio window blinds.

Outdoor Fireplaces and the Joy they Bring

Ever wanted to take a little mini vacation, but can’t ever find the funds or extra time? Maybe life is just too busy to take some much needed time off. A little getaway is now not so far away. In fact, it could be right in the backyard!

Outdoor chiminea are an affordable way to make a backyard a weekend (or anytime) retreat. They can be purchased at home improvement outlets or online. Basically, there are two main types of outdoor fireplaces the fire pit and the chiminea. Fire pits are a small metal pit which when the kindling is lit produces an open flame. Fire pits can be a great way to cook over an open fire, and are a great hit at backyard parties. They generally do not take much room, and are ideal for those who have a smaller space to work with. Some models may come with a chimney which assists in keeping smoke filtered. An outside fire pit is an affordable, yet enjoyable investment.

A chiminea is different in design and function than fire pits. They are front loading, and their chimney design helps clean air to be filtered throughout the area. They are clean burning, efficient, and the way they enclose the fire can protect people and property. Chimineas are made out of many materials such as clay, sheet metal, cast iron, copper, sheet aluminum, stainless steel, and cast aluminum. Clay chimineas are popular, but they require intensive care. Sheet metal is a step up, but is prone to rust. If buying one of these cheaper makes, make sure the fire pit is covered when not using. Cast iron, copper, sheet aluminum, and stainless steel are of medium make, and are relatively affordable. Cast aluminum is a pricier make, but if looking for a longer life span and minimum maintenance, cast iron is the way to go. Less likely to rust, and may only require a recoat of high temperature safe paint every few years.

Chimineas and fire pits can add to the value of a backyard or patio. Both are affordable. They can provide both joy and a chance to just kick back and relax.

Installing Patio Lights

Patio lights serve a good purpose for your patios and even for your gardens as they add elegance and a warm glow either for daily use or for special occasions. This traditional type of lighting is available in a wide array of colors and styles. With these lights, you can enjoy staying in your patio after the sunset.

These lightings illuminate your patio at night thus providing sophistication and promoting safety at the same time. They are available in the market nowadays. All that you have to do is to choose the style and have it installed in your patio. You can do this by simply following these steps:

  1. Measure the area where you’ll be installing the patio lights. Decide on how much illumination you want. Choose whether you are after the ambiance or if you are using the light to have your entire patio illuminated. If you just wish to set up a mood, there’s no need to purchase a lot of lights. You can position them in areas that allow them to create unique shadows.
  2. Choose the type of lighting that you want. These lights can be bought from any home development center. They come in different styles and colors – enabling you to choose what you really want.
  3. Lay out the lights along the floor of the patio to assess the spacing you want. After establishing how you’re going to place them, you can now proceed with the installation.
  4. Screw in attractive hooks alongside the patio railing or use electric staples to grip the wirings in place. Insert the staples or screws following a 12-inch interval.
  5. Use extension cords to plug the lights into the closest outdoor receptacle. You can hide the cord by arranging it through the flower beds, shrubs or about 2 inches beneath the dirt.

Installing patio lights is actually not a hard thing to do if you have some knowledge on lighting installations. If you know how to install them, doing this yourself is cheaper than hiring labor. The solar light is also a good option for your patio.

Tips for Finding the Right Pergola Cover

A good pergola cover will provide the area beneath the structure with ample protection from rain while still allowing much needed sunlight to penetrate below.  There are many types of covers to choose from but plastic and fabric seem to be the most popular choices.  Plastic covers are the most durable.  The material is typically easy to handle and can be purchased in small sized panels that can be cut down to fit any size structure.  Cloth or fabric covers are also easy to install and can be custom ordered to the specifications of the structure in need of a cover.  Make sure you look out for a material containing UV ray protection.  UV protection is essential to you and your family but it also helps lengthen the life of your outdoor furnishings and textiles.

You can find various types of pergola covers online and at home improvement stores.  Be sure to measure your structure before ordering or purchasing a material to cover it.  If you purchased your pergola from a distributor, you should contact them directly to see if they offer a custom cover for your specific type and size of pergola.  This can save you time measuring and creating your own cover.  Some companies sell covers that can easily be attached to just about any structure using Velcro straps.  Such covers are fast and easy to install but you will definitely want to remove the cover when bad weather or high winds are in the forecast.

Most pergola designs are not intended to provide shade or complete protection from the sun, rain and other outdoor conditions.  In fact, a pergola patio cover is usually chosen for its architectural beauty and its ability to enhance the landscape of a home.  You can grow outdoor plants in, around, and on a pergola structure.  The plants use the structural parts of the shelter for support and eventually enclose the structure with natural beauty.  The structural beauty of a pergola design is an excellent addition to any backyard landscape regardless of other structural elements of the home or landscape.  Adding a protective but unobtrusive pergola cover is the ideal way to enhance the area and make it more functional for all sorts of outdoor activity.

Buying good quality solar garden lights

With everyone worrying about global warming, there have been many products introduced in the market that  are not only energy effective but can help you save money as well. One of these is the stainless steel solar garden lights. These lights are mostly deployed in the garden or patio area where they will receive lots of sunlight and will be able to recharge effectively. If you have a garden and are now looking for lighting options, solar garden lights are something you should consider if you want something that is good for the environment.

How solar lighting works is fairly simple. There is a solar panel that will absorb the sunlight and store them as energy during the daylight when there is sufficient sunlight. All you have to do is to find the right spot in your garden to put the spike that holds the solar panel into the ground. Make sure that the spot you have selected is not covered by any tree or its shadow. On average, you should space out the lights in an interval of about 6 feet apart. That will give you good coverage for your entire garden if you have enough solar garden lights to go around.

If you want to know what are the best longest lasting brightest solar garden lights, the answer is to look for such items in one of the bigger shopping sites such as Amazon or Shopping.com. The trick is to look for garden lights that have received lots of positive reviews. Those items tend to high quality lights that has both a good functional built as well as being able to project bright lights. If you need more tips, you can try these few brands that well know for producing top notch solar lights such as westinghouse, moonrays, malibu.

Buying the Right Patio String Lights

Garden lighting has become incredibly popular over the past few years and this could be a result of solar powered lighting becoming very affordable. This however has give risen to gardens being decorated in all manner of lights which can look extremely un-tasteful and cheap. Before you spend some of your hard earned cash on lighting for your garden make sure that you have shopped around to find the most tasteful lights that you can. You don’t have to buy expensive designer outdoor lighting because there are now many forms of cheaper lighting that looks equally as good.

Outdoor patio string lights are one of those types of lighting that look good regardless of the cost. You could spend $50 of $5 on a set and at night they would look stylish and add some depth to you garden lighting scheme. Like many other garden lights there are many solar powered varieties available but in the case of string lights you may want to look for some that have a remote solar panel. Having the solar panel remotely positioned means that you can put it in the sun whilst the lights can be in an area that gets little or no sun and they will still operate. The remote solar panel really does offer the greatest flexibility when it comes to solar powered garden lights.

One type of light to avoid  – in my opinion – when buying patio string lights are the coloured varieties. Although in some situation they may look great most of the time when I have seen them used they look tacky and not very ‘designedly’. Whilst on the topic of colours of light you should also make sure that if you opt for LED string lights then you really should look for one with ‘warm white’ LED’s as these give out a much warmer looking light. Warm white LED’s look much more is similar to a regular incandescent bulb i.e. it is more yellow. Unless you are careful you will end up with a set of string lights that has a stark white-bluish light which doesn’t look very warm and welcoming. This type of LED is common in the cheaper outdoor lights so you need to carefully examine the packaging – if it doesn’t say then the chances are it is the bluish white light and should be avoided.

By applying the above guidelines when shopping for any type of light for your garden you should be able to find the perfect type of lighting, for the right price and will enhance and not cheapen the look of your garden at night.

Creating a Beautiful Balcony

Outdoor living spaces aren’t just for people living in the suburbs with huge decks and backyards.   With some creative planning and a little work, an apartment balcony or patio can be transformed from an unused space into an outdoor oasis suitable for relaxing or even entertaining.  With the addition of some seating, plants and accessories a balcony can become an additional living space for apartment or condo residents.

It is important to consider the size of the balcony before purchasing furniture.  For a small balcony a couple of chairs and a small table will make an intimate breakfast area.  For larger balconies consider a patio table and umbrella for a comfortable place to have dinner or drinks with friends.  Whatever your choice, you can always add color and style with patterned weather-resistant cushions.

A balcony is outdoors, after all, and the best way to make it look like the outdoors is by adding some greenery.  Potted plants are great for balconies, not only do the plants add color and personality, the pots they are planted in can add additional style elements.  If floor space is limited, hanging plants are an alternative.  It is important to choose plants that are appropriate for the amount of sun or shade that hits the balcony.

Outdoor area rugs or carpeting is a great way to define the space and conceal the cement balcony floor.   Outdoor carpets are inexpensive and come in a variety of styles and colors that will complete the look of your outdoor space.  If electricity is available, stringing holiday lights on the balcony railing is a great, inexpensive way to add ambiance to your balcony, allowing you to enjoy the space late into the evening.  If electricity is not an option, candles can be used to create a warm and romantic atmosphere.

Using the tips mentioned above it is easy to turn any balcony or patio into a beautiful, relaxing outdoor retreat.  Remember to check with owners of the apartment building to make sure all rules and regulations are followed.  Then with just a little planning and effort you will be enjoying your new outdoor space in no time.