Six ideas for remodeling your backyard for summer


Six ideas for remodeling your backyard for summer

Little by little, the thermometer is creeping up and up.

We all know that it’s only a matter of weeks before we’re really starting to feel the heat. With that in mind, we put together a list of six backyard remodel ideas to help you improve your outdoor living conditions this summer.

Build a living room

If you have a covered patio, that’s the perfect place for your outdoor living room.

Decorate it the way you would inside: Buy a sectional sofa and group other chairs nearby so there is plenty of seating space. Have plenty of cushions and ottomans or coffee table.

Be sure to buy furnishings with fabrics that resist sunshine. You’re outdoors, but you still need to feel cozy and intimate.

Hang art on the walls or the pillars or the fences.

You need a focal point: Maybe a fireplace or a firepit or a water feature?

Do something shady

Adding more shaded areas — perhaps a sail shade for part of your swimming pool and/or your dining area — can change your attitude toward summer heat.

You can build a free-standing gazebo, ramada or pergola with concrete or wooden pillars and a permanent roof.

More affordable popular options can be shade sails or canopies such as the ones sheltering playgrounds in parks. They look like something on a sailboat.

You can buy a small shade structure with a stainless steel frame for less than $10 per square foot.

Some homeowners buy them and attach them to existing structures in the yard, such as their air-conditioning system, but it’s better to let the shade or awning company install stainless steel columns. That way, your mini-sail is less likely to blow away in a monsoon.

There’s often a 10-year guarantee on the fabric.

Add a pond or waterfall

The sight and sound of water can cool you off mentally. Plant native trees around a pond in your yard, add plants and you can have an area that is 10 degrees cooler, but will probably make you feel more refreshed than that.

Pond builders have built amazing water features on the back patios of townhouses and condominiums so you don’t need much space.

Check out the latest in misters and foggers

Misters have been around forever, but the newest misters for cooling off an outdoor living room are more exciting and efficient. For a long time, misters hung in tubes along the edges of ceilings of covered patios.

Now, you can bring the misters in to where the people are. You can even buy misters in ceiling fans that will broadcast cool spray in a 360-degree radius.

You can also mount the newest misters onto your existing shade umbrellas or you can have free-standing fans that blow mist over your seating areas.

Pumps can also put out clouds of fog to roll across your swimming pool and your patio. To create the perfect climate all year long, add a free-standing heat lamp or two for cooler evenings.

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