Swimming Pool Solutions for Smaller Backyards

Swimming Pool Solutions for Smaller Backyards

Just because you have limited backyard space, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a summertime swim in your very own pool, you just need to use the space you have wisely. There are plenty of contemporary pool solutions that can fit in any backyard space, whether your backyard is just small, unevenly shaped, or even both. While you might not be able to do Olympic laps in one go, you will certainly have the chance to create your very own private oasis and enjoy leisure time with your entire family!

Courtyard pools

These pools are ideal for small backyards as they are compact in size but offer a variety of features for comfort and physical activity alike. They also come with numerous benefits, such as a swim jet system, spa jets and a curved seating area for some much-deserved rest and relaxation. The pool provides the entire family with relaxation, entertainment, and exercise opportunities or it can simply serve as a backyard centrepiece.

freeform pool

Freeform pools

Freeform pools are extremely versatile and can be introduced in almost any backyard setting due to their irregular shapes and naturalistic styles, with flowing lines and curves able to adapt to fit your backyard perfectly. These pools are also known as naturalistic pools as they are made out of natural materials and are often decorated with natural elements, such as rocks, islands and waterfalls. Depending on your backyard potential, you can upgrade your freeform pool into a secluded oasis of privacy and comfort.

Plunge pools

If you are dealing with an exceptionally small backyard, but still want to enjoy the benefits of owning a pool, then plunge pools are the way to go. These plunge pool designs are created with elegance, leisure, and entertainment in mind, offering numerous features like spa jets, walk in steps and seat aeration. This type of pools is also excellent for families with smaller children, as it has a solid, even floor, perfectly designed for the kids to learn how to swim and play without fear.

spa

Spas

The spa pool is a perfect fit for extra small spaces in need of an extended, outdoor bathtub. The spa is beneficial for improving sleep, decreasing stress and helping with numerous medical conditions, such as arthritis, muscle soreness, cramps, and joint pains. Equipped with water jets and various seating options, spas offer a wide range of leisure and relaxation option, perfect for spending the afternoons in a tranquil environment with a favourite book in hand. Given their compact size, spas can easily fit on patios, rooftops or courtyards.

Swim spas

Swim spas are ideal if you have a bit more room and simply cannot decide between a swimming pool and a spa, as they combine the best of both worlds in an efficient solution for the entire family, able to meet everyone’s needs. While you take your time relaxing in the spa, your kids can play around in the swimming area, separated only by a spill over bridge in between sections. The spa area consists of ample seating space. It is usually enough for six adults, along with contoured turbo seats with various settings, while you can easily heat the two areas of the pool independently.

Having limited space in your backyard does not mean you cannot enjoy the full benefits of an outdoor pool or spa, it simply means that you need to implement one of these modern solutions into the space you have. Moreover, smaller pools are easier to build, insert and require fewer resources to maintain them year-round. In turn, they enable you to make significant savings in terms of upkeep and installation.

 

Summer Project Bring Shade to Your Deck or Patio

Summer Project Bring Shade to Your Deck or Patio

While some people wait for summer in order to undertake interior remodeling projects, the best thing about this season is that it allows you to spend most of your free time outdoors. Sure, you could go to a park and simply sit on the bench, but the satisfaction of making a real-life oasis of nature in your own backyard is simply much more appealing. The most important part of this garden during the summer should be your deck, patio or even a gazebo, where you can sit and rest with a group of your closest friends.

Now, the aforementioned gazebo always comes with a roof construction, which means that shade is not an issue, alas, the same could not be said about your deck and patio. With this in mind, here are few projects that will help you make your patio into a pleasant place even during the hottest summer days. Let’s take a look.

Buying a Parasol

Those who intend to cover a small area of their patio (just enough to cover the seating) should definitely consider buying a parasol. The advantages of this solution are quite obvious and even straightforward. First of all, it costs next to nothing (compared to some other methods), it is highly portable which makes it easy to remove during the colder part of the year. Most importantly, however, you can buy it in person or order it online and install it on your own. This is actually a simple procedure and you won’t need more than several minutes to set it up. All in all, most people would agree that, while going with a parasol may not be the most creative, or stylish, solution, it is definitely the most flexible one out there.

A Roof Construction

For those with more time, more energy and definitely a bigger budget, the optimal option would probably be to go for a roof construction. This way, you are giving your garden a lasting upgrade by putting a real roof over your patio. The best part of this solution is that it is durable, protects you from a sudden summer downpour (something parasol may not be able to do). Unfortunately, in order to make it you would either have to learn a thing or two about this type of construction or hire someone to do this for you. No matter the effort, it is undeniable that this is definitely worth your while.

summer projects

Shade Sail

Another great idea for protecting your deck or patio from sun would be to do it with some shade cloth. Shade cloth and mesh banners are impressive printing advertising tools, however shade cloth also serves another purpose. By using it to cover your deck or patio, you can decide on the size, shape and position on your own and perhaps even find someone who will allow you to print on it whatever you like. In this manner, you can turn this sun protection method into a great stylish addition to your backyard. You don’t even have to stop there. By adding few curtains to the mix, you can get that exotic Arabian Nights look, as well. Your only limitation is your own imagination.

Retractable Awning

In case where your patio is right next to your home (or some other construction) you could always invest a bit in a retractable awning. The ingenuity of this device is quite astounding. First of all, it provides you with the shade you so desperately need. Second, you can use it on your own accord and keep it retracted when you don’t need it. Finally, it covers a fairly large area, which will give you quite a bit of room to rethink and redesign your patio. Unfortunately, like the above-mentioned roof construction, it is quite immobile, which means that you will be restricted to the area it covers, without any possibility of further advancement or expansion.

hammock

Planting Your Own Shade

In the end, it is by far the most satisfying but also the most difficult way to provide your deck with some shade to just plant a tree above it. Nonetheless, this is a process that can take years (even decades), which is why it is recommended only for those who have settled there for good. Keep in mind that not any tree would do. You want fast growing trees that provide a lot of shade. Moreover, having a tree so close to the patio, will mean that in the autumn, you will have quite a bit of work cleaning the surface (especially if it is a wooden and not a concrete construction we are talking about).

As you can see, your options are quite numerous and it is up to you to decide which of them suits your needs the best. Naturally, for those who expect to relocate sometimes in the future, awing, tree and a wooden construction are not the best of solutions (although they add quite a bit to your home’s resale value). At the end of the day, this is mostly the question of finding a solution that fits both your budget and your personal taste.

Guest Post By:

Leila Dorari is a marketing consultant and a freelance writer from Sydney. She has been working with different companies for 5 years now. When taking a break from making new marketing slogans, she is either window shopping or exploring new ways to make her life more meaningful.

Hardscaping or Landscaping: What is Best for You & Your Yard?

Hardscaping or Landscaping What is Best for You and Your Yard

There are several factors to consider when you’re trying to enhance the curb appeal of your home or you’re trying to get the most beneficial use of your exterior space. When you begin exploring outdoor living and curb appeal, the terms hardscaping and landscaping will pop up. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong choice between these two outdoor design ideas, but there may be one that is more conducive to your lifestyle.

Outdoor Design and Entertaining

If you frequently entertain, hardscaping may be the best choice for you. Patios and outdoor kitchens are often considered as hardscaping features. Walkways that lead to your front door, the pool or other special areas are typical hardscaping design features. An outdoor fireplace is often the favorite gathering place for guests.

Gardening as a Hobby

If you enjoy planting flowers, trees, and shrubs, you would probably prefer landscaping over hardscaping. If gardening is a hobby that you find relaxing, pleasantly challenging and an outlet for your creative side, then designing a landscape that allows you to change the appearance of your landscape design each year would probably please you more than a more permanent exterior design that is created using stone, wood or concrete.

Consider the Maintenance

If you like spending your weekend working in the yard or don’t mind the frustration that comes with keeping lawn equipment in good working condition, a lush green lawn might be just the thing for you. If you have the physical ability and don’t mind planting, pruning, weeding and watering plants, then a living landscape design would probably please you. On the other hand, if you like a gorgeous landscape but aren’t crazy about spending all of your leisure time working to keep it beautiful, you can turn to professionals such as Bremerton Landscaping to do the maintenance for you.

Why Choose?

You don’t have to choose between hardscaping and landscaping. You can include elements of both in your exterior design. Hardscaping requires little maintenance and can increase the value of your home. You can add walkways, retaining walls, water features and other non-living elements to your yard to increase its beauty and functionality. Plants and flowers can be mingled in with the hardscape elements in your exterior design. Vines can be grown on a wooden trellis and stone containers or concrete planters can be placed on the patio and filled with flowers that bloom profusely throughout the summer or ornamental grasses that adds texture and movement to your outdoor living space. You could even get help from a professional, such as one from Nature’s Design Landscaping, who is experienced in both types that you can have both hardscaping and landscaping come together in a complimentary way.

When you figure in maintenance cost, labor expenses, replacement cost, such as replacing shrubs or trees that die, and how well a feature fits your lifestyle there’s a good chance that you’ll find that a including a few features from each option is the best way to go. If you enjoy the solitude of a private garden space, you might still appreciate having an attractive stone walkway leading to that garden area. If you decide an expansive patio entertaining area is a feature you want, you can add a few potted plants to the patio to add a bit of nature to your entertaining space.

3 DIY Home Improvements That Help The Whole Neighborhood

3 DIY Home Improvements That Help The Whole Neighborhood

When you live in an apartment, where you literally share walls, ceilings, and floors with your neighbors, it’s easier to remember that your personal lifestyle choices have a direct effect on your neighbors. This becomes a little more difficult to remember when you move into a home and your neighbors are a bit farther away. While living in a detached home provides more personal freedom, your home is still a part of the neighborhood and your exterior choices still affect everyone. Here are 3 DIY improvements you can do to be a great neighbor.

Refurbish the Exterior

Accumulated dirt build up can make your home appear dingy, faded and out of date. Remember that an attractive neighborhood is created by attractive homes. Keeping the exterior of your home neat, tidy and sparkling clean will make your home a valued addition to the neighborhood. And who knows, maybe you will even influence other neighbors to do the same, which will add value to your home as well as theirs.

Install a Maintenance-Free Yard

With water prices skyrocketing across the US, many homeowners are opting to install yards that don’t require as much water. If you’re not going to spend the time and money to turn your front yard into an outdoor oasis, you might want to turn it into a pleasant landscape instead. If rock gardens aren’t your thing, you can install synthetic grass. Eco-friendly synthetic grass doesn’t need watering or mowing and stays lush and green for up to 10 years so you don’t have to worry about a brown and yellow lawn in the summer. Again, the look and curb appeal of your home can raise home values in the entire neighborhood.

Outdoor Living Spaces

When you have a backyard suitable for entertaining, you have a tendency to entertain more – and this is great for the entire neighborhood. Whether it’s a backyard BBQ or 4th of July picnic, having a great outdoor entertainment space will help you connect with your neighbors and create a deeper sense of community. Best of all, cleanup after an outdoor party is significantly less than cleaning up after an indoor party and there are no muddy footprints or high heel marks to clean up from your floors. If someone spills an entire cup of red wine during the party – no problem, you can simply wipe up the mess without leaving a stain.

Being a good neighbor involves keeping your own home and living spaces in order so as to add value to the entire neighborhood. You can save yourself and your family a significant amount of hassle with the neighbors by keeping your property neat, tidy and orderly. You can be an ever better neighbor by inviting your neighbors over to entertain in your beautifully maintained outdoor spaces. If you’re ever wondering what other projects can help your home, and neighborhood, value, talk to a realtor like those at Cooke Realty.

How to Weld Your Own Barbecue Together for Spring Entertaining

barbeque

There is nothing quite like the taste of world-class barbeque, and now is the perfect time to start thinking about what type of hardware you want in your backyard this spring. Welding your own barbeque together gives you full control over its size, cooking power, appearance, and features. With a little patience and some hard work, you will be able to start cooking up mouthwatering meals for your family and friends in the customized barbeque of your dreams.

Choosing the Right Materials

One of the most important steps of building a barbeque is choosing the right material. Not only are some materials inefficient at maintaining a consistent temperature, but they might even be dangerous when exposed to flames. As a general rule, barbeques should never be made from aluminum, copper, or brass. Many professional pit masters prefer stainless steel barbeques that have been coated with a high-temperature sealant.

Tools

Anyone who doesn’t regularly work with metal will most likely need to purchase at least a few new tools including a stud welder, calipers, a small machinist’s square, center punches, and a drill press. Some companies, like Northland Fastening Systems, knows that if you are not sure of which tools you would like to invest in, then you might want to see if there is a local metalworking shop that allows does equipment rentals. Once you have spent a few hours learning how to cut sheets of metal and weld them back together, you will know exactly which features you would like to see in your own tools.

How to Weld Your Own Barbecue Together for Spring Entertaining

Dimensions

It might be tempting to build yourself an enormous contraption, but larger barbeques are very difficult to use properly. Most home cooks will only need a grilling area of around 500 square inches. Trying to control the temperature of a barbeque that is much larger than that is very difficult. When you are working on the height, you want to be sure that the grill itself is as tall as your midsection so that you don’t have to bend down or lean across open flames.

Additional Features

After you have chosen a type of metal and decided on the overall size, you can then start adding any features that you would like to see on the barbeque. At the very least, you should plan on having a small preparation table where you can put plates, sauces, and seasonings. Many pit masters also like having a warming chamber that will keep their food warm without overcooking it.

Once you have finally put the last few pieces on your barbeque, you should then heat treat it for at least a few hours before cooking any food. Even if you carefully clean the barbeque, there might still be lingering contaminants in the smoke chamber or firebox. Bringing the barbeque up to a very high temperature should destroy any dangerous toxins or chemicals.