19. May 2016 17:05
Whether it’s a front courtyard, expanded deck, or backyard barbecue, plan for outdoor entertaining when you are designing your new home! [More]
6. April 2016 09:36
In years of home design, we often heard homeowners requesting specialized spaces for their own unique needs...Using this feedback, we created what we call a Signature Space™ - a small flex space that can be used however the homeowner wishes. [More]
30. March 2016 09:36
Covered outdoor spaces are a "natural" opportunity for additional finished living space when you are evaluating home plans for their sustainability for you and your household. [More]
14. March 2016 10:08
"In our neighborhood, they won't allow any sheds or storage buildings. What am I going to do?" "I have to keep the garage doors down because there's so much stuff in the garage it's embarrassing when people drive by." "I need a place for the patio furniture when the snow starts to fly." [More]
15. May 2013 10:42
Getting your patio and backyard ready for the warm summer months is about a lot more than restocking your Tiki torches and cleaning the grill (although that may very well be part of it). It’s about making your yard, patio, or deck ready for lots of summertime activities. It may take a little work to get everything in shape, but as you enjoy the beautiful yard and patio throughout the summer, you’ll realize that it was worth it.
Wash the Patio
First things first: get out the hose and start washing off the patio. A pressure washer is the most effective way to clear out the residue that builds up over the winter months, but just keep the pressure below 1,000 psi on wood surfaces to avoid causing any damage.
Check and Repair Patio Damage
If you have a cement or brick patio, check for cracks or crumbling areas. Cracks can be fixed with various patching compounds, and any broken bricks or tiles should be replaced. If you have a wood deck, you may notice splintering or rotting in some places which you can sand down. Be sure to hammer in any nails that have started to stick up and repair any beams or planks that have st
arted to split.
This may also be a good time to reseal the surface of your patio to prevent further weathering, abrasions, or moisture problems. Spring means a lot of rainfall in some areas, and this will help you extend the life of the patio.
Check and Wash the Furniture
All the snow and rain of the past few months has probably left a lot of unwanted dirt and residue on your patio furniture. Wipe everything down with warm, soapy water to clear away that dirt and clean any cushions or other coverings. Your furniture will see a lot more use if it doesn’t look like you have to dust everything off before taking a seat. You should also check for any rust buildup and make sure all the bolts and screws are still solidly in place and make any necessary repairs.
Treat the Yard for Weeds and Pests
en the weather turns warm, a lot of things start waking up and moving into your yard. Spring may be the time for flowers to bloom, but there are a lot of weeds and pests that want to stretch out and take advantage of the weather, too. Treat your yard for the local weeds and pests to make sure they don’t get the upper hand throughout the season.
Refresh the Lawn
Rake the lawn to remove excess thatch (decaying plant material) and let water and light reach the ground, and put down some fertilizer to give it a head start on the summer. You can also aerate the lawn for better oxygen and nutrient exchange. Now would also be a good time to reseed bare areas and make sure the sprinkler system is working correctly.
Trim the Trees and Bushes
Overgrown trees and bushes can crowd your patio and give everything a shabby appearance. Get out the trimmer/clippers/saw and cut back the overhanging branches and start shaping those bushes. Clear any pathways and find and remove any dead branches. Be careful how you cut, though, because you don’t want to lose the shade around your patio.
Take All Safety Precautions
Now that it’s warm and family and friends are running around your yard and enjoying the patio, make sure you’ve taken all the necessary precautions. Protect your children and guests by clearing out any poisonous or thorny plants and always put away any dangerous tools and landscaping implements. Check your fences to make sure they’re still secure so kids and pets can’t run out into the street, and keep toys and play equipment where no one will accidently trip on them.
Enjoy your summer and be safe!