Although summer is now officially past its halfway point, there are still plenty of sweltering hot days and blissfully cool evenings left to enjoy. At Home Improvement Leads, we think there is no place better to soak up every last second of sun than your very own backyard. If your own personal outdoor paradise is slightly less than idyllic, you still have time to make it right. Here are a few of our top tips for creating the ultimate backyard paradise this summer—and every summer after.
Give your deck a facelift
Homeowners who spend most of their time outside know that a deck is the perfect transitory space between the interior of your home and your backyard. However, decking is notoriously difficult to maintain, so make sure yours is up to scratch with regular staining, resealing, and repairs. If you want to create a decking space that stands the test of time and makes a statement, consider investing in porcelain pavers, interlocking deck tiles, or structural wood tiles. We love these non-traditional options because they require very little maintenance and can be replaced easily without having to remove entire portions of your deck.
Install a pergola or awning
If you have a wide open or south-facing backyard, shade can be difficult to find. Pergolas or wall-mounted awnings are relatively inexpensive and easy to assemble, giving your deck area comfort and respite from the heat. Pergolas in particular also give your backyard a sophisticated style reminiscent of Mediterranean estates and all-inclusive resorts, which is perfect for entertaining.
Make a fire pit
A summer soirée is not complete without a lazy evening spent in front of the bonfire. Creating a fire pit to give your backyard parties an unforgettable edge is easier than you might think: either build your own in a flat, open space with bricks or stones, or buy a small standalone fire pit or chiminea from your local home improvement store. If your outdoor entertainment area is undergoing a large scale renovation, consider incorporating your fire pit into the deck itself—just make sure the area is a safe distance from the house and any trees or other overhanging structures.
Upgrade your entertainment space
For many homeowners, summertime is all about outdoor entertaining. Give your backyard an instant lift with updated seating, dining, and barbeque areas. All-weather furniture made from rattan, wicker, or other wipe-clean materials will stand the test of time, but rain covers are a good idea if you’re particularly worried about any of your furniture warping or becoming damaged as the seasons change. Check, service, or even upgrade your grill, making sure to stock up on charcoal or gas before any big get-togethers. We promise that spending a bit more time and money on these upgrades will be worth the investment. If you love your outdoor entertainment area, your friends and family will, too.
Tidy up your landscaping
All the decking, furniture, and entertainment in the world will mean nothing this summer if your yard isn’t up to scratch. Take the time to maintain your lawn, trees, and flower beds, outsourcing the job to professionals if it becomes too much for you to complete alone. For most busy homeowners, less is more when it comes to backyard landscaping—lush green grass, tidy paving stones, and a blooming flower bed or two will give a far better impression than an unkempt Secret Garden style yard.
Are you thinking about re-doing your deck? Do you have doubts about the materials to use? Let’s talk about wood.
Wood has a comforting effect on the human mind, which perceives it as a warm material, creating a relaxing feeling of intimacy. Many studies are now focusing on the psychological consequences related to the choice of materials and decorations for the house, the place in which we feel welcomed and protected, and scholars seem to agree on this. If you choose wood for the porch, the patio, an outside walkway… you will automatically create a natural extension of the indoor space, which usually gets cut out by the use of colder and less welcoming materials.
For those who love spending time on their patio or porch, because they consider them places where they can sit, relax and feel at home, wood is undoubtedly the best option available.
Another reason to opt for this material is its natural strength. The kind of trees the wood is derived from for the best decking solutions comes from live, moist environments. These trees have faced the most difficult weather conditions daily, and have developed a series of natural, incredibly effective defenses. If you decide to choose wood for your deck, you will also sign up to take advantage of all the natural strength of this incredible material: following an ecological path, and without using plastic or other chemicals, the floor will remain perfect, no matter the weather. Considering this fact, wood also becomes doubtlessly the best choice for walkways and the surfaces surrounding swimming pools.
A Fashionable, Easy Choice
Wood is very fashionable. This is a trend strongly related to the Japanese tradition, which famously brings together water, plants, rocks and other natural elements in order to blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces (here is a magazine you should explore, if you are interested in Japanese architecture). Furthermore, wood is fairly easy to install. If you choose this material, in fact, you will be able to place it on the existing pavement. This is a big advantage, especially if there are pipes running under the floor. In case of leaks and other kinds of water damages, it won’t be too difficult to access the pipes and solve the problem. If you are already facing a similar issue, and you need to find the exact location of the damage; there are highly qualified professionals who can help you.
One last thought: remember to always choose quality, especially when it comes to wood. The right wood will last for years and it will never feel old or used. It will always be there with its welcoming vibes, its warm smell and its beautiful colors. It will be your bridge between the intimacy of your home spaces and the equilibrium of the natural world. Wood can allow you to breathe in particles of magic and relaxation: it can truly help your entire house to move a step closer to perfection.