3 Outdoor Living Projects to Enhance Your Summer
If you’re like most homeowners, even if you love your house, there’s probably something about it that you would like to change. A renovation project may be just what your home needs to make it the perfect summertime hangout. Check out these ideas…
If you’re like most homeowners, even if you love your house, there’s probably something about it that you would like to change. Outdoor spaces, in particular, get neglected, but with summer fast approaching, now is the perfect time to do something about that. The warm weather means that we can spend more time outside, and it’s so much more pleasant to do so when you have a great outdoor living area to enjoy!
A renovation project may be just what your home needs to make it the perfect summertime hangout, so consider the following options:
A Water Feature
Just the sound of flowing water can have a soothing effect that makes it easier to forget just how hot you are. Installing a water feature outside can make your outdoor living areas much more inviting. If you put in a water feature, there’s an enormous variety to choose from. You could do something very simple, like a small fountain, or you could double down on the idea and install a larger fish pond, a full-sized fountain, or even a stream that winds across your backyard.
Keep the terrain of your backyard in mind as you plot out where you will install it, particularly when dealing with bigger water features.
One of the main concerns to keep in mind with a water feature is the plumbing that will be required to keep the water feature functional. Factor those installations into your calculations both for the time it will take to complete and for the extra cost of materials and labor.
While a pool may be similar to a water feature, its purpose is usually quite different. In warmer cities like Miami and Houston inground pools can be a fantastic addition to your property. They provide gathering places for friends and family or cool place to relax on your own.
There are three different types of pools that you can choose from of various materials and prices. As a rule, as the price goes down, so does your ability to customize the pool. Fiberglass frames are the least expensive and take the shortest length of time to install; however, they also only come in a few shapes and layouts. Vinyl pools are made by stretching vinyl sheets over metal frames. They are slightly more easy to customize than fiberglass frames, but not by much. Concrete pools, also referred to as “gunite,” are the most customizable, but they’re also the most expensive and take the longest to install. A concrete pool can be built in whatever shape you want, but it can be costly, and you’ll still have to wait for months for it to be completed.
When you design and install your pool, base your decision on your particular needs. Each pool is different, so let yours become an expression of your personal style.
An Outdoor Fireplace
An outdoor fireplace can be a great focal point for your yard when you have guests over. Set up a comfortable seating area around it to encourage conversation. When the weather is clear, it can be a nice treat to read outside by a warm fire while a cool breeze blows through.
A fire pit can be a nice alternative to a fireplace. You can gather around the fire on cool summer nights and just chat with friends or roast marshmallows and hot dogs together. You can set up a simple fire pit, basically just a place to burn wood, or you can create a natural gas fire pit. In the second case, remember that you will need to be able to connect the fire pit to your natural gas line.
Wood-burning fire pits have a classic feel and mostly just require an open area to ensure that nothing else catches on fire. A gas fire pit is more expensive and you’ll very likely have to run some additional piping to feed the fire. Maintenance is much easier, though, and rather than struggling with traditional lighting methods, you can usually turn them on with nothing more than a flick of a switch.
Take a good look at your backyard space and your lifestyle to figure out which project you want to take on. Summer is coming in hot and your backyard is waiting to become all that you want it to be!
Bio: Lee Flynn is a freelance writer that loves all things home. He has spent years honing his preparation skills, and spends most of his free time thinking up projects that he can do to make life more enjoyable until the apocalypse. Catch him @lee_flynn_ on Twitter!