Winter kept lingering longer than usual this year. Spring had a late start, so we’ve got a lot of catching up to do! And when the first warm weekend arrives, you are probably going to spend as much time outdoors as possible. But if your backyard is not set up for outdoor relaxation and entertainment, it may be problematic to find a spot to plant your roots, so to speak. Here are a few tips from our Maryland deck construction experts on how to make your outdoor space more usable this summer.
Add a Deck or a Patio
If you don’t already have a deck or a patio, adding one (or both) of them to your outdoor space will make a big difference. Without a deck or a patio you just have a yard covered in grass. It may be good for practicing sports or playing with your dog, but in order to relax and entertain, you need something better. You need a level surface to place furniture. You need an area clean of grass, dirt and ticks, so that you can easily run in and out barefoot. A deck and a patio can give you all of this, without taking away much from the size of your lot.
Create Drama With Lights
Life doesn’t stop after sunset, but it becomes a bit more difficult to see and navigate in the dark. By placing different lighting sources strategically throughout your outdoor entertainment space, you can make sure no one stumbles, falls or misplaces a glass. But don’t limit your design by only using functional lights—add a little drama with upward-facing sconces and LEDs that highlight certain features of the landscape. If you are going for a more laid-back, romantic vibe, choose soft, yellow-toned strings of smaller lights or go with twinkling candles.
Build a Gazebo
You can have a gazebo that is integrated with your deck or build a separate structure farther away. Gazebos come in different designs and styles, depending on what you are going to use it for. Deck-based gazebos can offer a comfortable, shaded area for relaxation or al fresco dining. If you have a picturesque view, a pond or a stream going through your property, place a gazebo nearby to provide a comfortable space for reading, meditation or afternoon naps. And you know what else is great about gazebos? They can be screened to keep all the pesky bugs away!
Install a Fire Pit
Bonfires are great, but wouldn’t it be nice to actually sit down around a small fire that you can easily control and safely extinguish? No moving in and out because the fire is too hot, no melted shoes or clothing items damaged by sparks. A designated fire pit installed in the middle of a stone or paver patio is the perfect entertainment for summer nights. And you can use it in fall and winter too! If you are looking for a more elegant setup, you could opt for an outdoor fireplace instead. It offers a more sophisticated design and will work great for smaller gatherings.
Get a Sunroom
OK, a sunroom is not exactly an outdoor space. But it if you want to enjoy the outdoors without actually being outdoors, this is your solution. Most of us like the sun and the warm breeze, but insects and extreme summer heat can be deal-breakers. A sunroom, on the other hand, can be fully air-conditioned and even heated for winter use. And if it rains, it’s no big deal—large glass windows will keep you from getting wet, while offering a view of the outdoors and letting through some fresh air. Sunrooms in Maryland are extremely practical for this reason.
Need help planning or building any of these outdoor structures? Contact North American Deck and Patio today to discuss your project. We build decks, patios, porches, gazebos, pergolas, sunrooms and other outdoor structures.