What if you could enjoy the comfort of your lounge from your backyard? By transforming your home’s outdoor space into a living area, you can relax and socialize while soaking up the fresh air. Here are just several tricks for turning your backyard into an outdoor living area.
Choose the right surface
Turf isn’t always the best surface for an outdoor living area – you’ll have to keep trimming grass back and tackling weeds, which could mean having to move furniture. While you may still want to keep a section of your backyard as a lawn, it’s worth choosing a different surface for your outdoor living area.
Decking, patio paving, and gravel are the most common types of surface. Each has its pros and cons, which are worth considering.
Decking is the most expensive option. It can, however, add a lot of value to a property. Decking is ideal for uneven ground as you can raise it onto platforms. The drawback is that you’ll likely need a building permit when building a raised deck. Maintenance for decking can also be high and may involve regular sealing and cleaning.
Patio paving is the mid-range option and can also add value to a property. Patios need to be built on flat ground, however, you won’t need a building permit for them. Over time, they can get dirty and may require a jet-wash, however, they generally don’t need as much upkeep as decking.
Gravel is the cheapest option and could be ideal for those on a budget. Most people lay gravel on flat ground, but it doesn’t have to be completely flat. You won’t need a building permit and you won’t need to worry too much about maintenance (other than raking it occasionally to keep the gravel even).
When it comes to replicating the comfort of a living room, decking may be the best option. Some people even go the extra mile and lay down outdoor rugs to lay over the top.
Invest in high-quality furniture
Outdoor furniture comes in all styles from black cast iron benches to cheap white plastic chairs. However, for true comfort, you’re best opting for an outdoor lounge set. Wicker rattan is a popular material for these lounge sets – this could be a natural wicker rattan or a synthetic version. There are also metal lounge sets with waterproof fabric cushions. Both these options are cozy, sturdy and weatherproof, but you’ll generally pay a little more than you would for traditional outdoor furniture.
You could also look into an outdoor dining table set for eating al fresco. This rattan dining set at http://www.mazerattan.com could be a great option for when you have your next barbeque party or for when you want to simply have family dinner outdoors.
Provide shelter from the elements
Having some shelter from the elements could allow you to use your outdoor space to rain or shine. Patio umbrellas are the most basic option – these tend to be designed mainly for providing shade but may provide some cover if there’s a sudden passing shower.
A gazebo or a marquee could provide a greater level of shelter. Gazebos tend to provide shelter from above, while marquees or more like tents, providing shelter from the sides too. This could be a temporary gazebo or marquee that can be easily taken down or a fixed gazebo/marquee that may remain up permanently.
You can also install canopies and awnings that are attached to your home. These could be fixed or retractable. You can find companies that can build customized awnings at sites like http://austinpergola.net/ – this could be useful if you fancy something unique and personalized.
Fixed structures will generally require a planning permit and are likely to be a bit more expensive. They will, however, add value to your home.
Regulate the temperature
To make your outdoor living space that extra bit cozier, it could be worth looking into ways of controlling the temperature. There are many ways to provide outdoor heating including fire pits, chimineas, and patio heaters – each has its own pros and cons.
Fire pits are great for recreating that cozy huddling-around-the-campfire feel. They’re fixed structures that are often built into patios (you obviously won’t be able to build them into decking). You do have to be careful with fire pits as they can be a hazard – you’ll want to have enough space so that you can position furniture far enough away that it won’t catch alight.
Chimineas can also provide a natural source of the fire. The advantage of them over fire pits is that they’re portable and the fire is contained making them safer. You also don’t have to tend the fire as much. They may not disperse heat as much as a fire pit, which can be the only condition.
Patio heaters meanwhile require the least work – you don’t have to fuss around starting a fire and can turn them on and get instant heat. Some patio heaters run off gas, while others run off electricity. There are portable versions that can give you the freedom to position them as you want, but some people may prefer a fixed patio heater.
On top of heating, there may also be ways of cooling down the temperature on a hot day. Outdoor fans exist at sites like https://www.modernfanoutlet.com and could be a great option for adding to the ceiling of a fixed canopy. Outdoor A/C units exist but are a lot more expensive.
The final obstacle to contend with when creating a cozy outdoor living area (and the one that often gets overlooked) is the problem of pests. If you’re eating or drinking outdoors, you’ll inevitably attract wasps. Some areas meanwhile may be prone to mosquitoes, which can also stop your outdoor living area from being as relaxing.
When it comes to wasps, you could consider looking into wasp traps. These contain sweet substances that attract wasps before trapping them inside, distracting them from any other food or drink sources. A fake wasp’s nest could also be an option – wasps are territorial and have been known to be deterred by these decoys.
Mosquitoes meanwhile can be more difficult to deter. Many of these bugs don’t like the smell of citronella – buying candles and lanterns from sites like https://www.samsclub.com could be an option, or you could grow citronella plants. On top of this, you should consider eliminating any stagnant water sources nearby, as this is where mosquitoes will nest and lay their eggs. Ponds and swimming pools are big culprits, although adding a filter can sometimes be enough to ward off mosquitoes by keeping the water flowing.