By: Danny Lipford
Danny shares some ideas to help you transform your backyard into a comfortable outside living space complete with an outdoor kitchen for entertaining or simply feeding the family.
Two different approaches to creating an outdoor entertaining area are looked at in the episode:
- The first includes an adding a covered patio and brick outdoor kitchen with stainless appliances, fireplace, and granite countertops, all of which seamlessly become an extension of the already great-looking backyard.
- The second project involves building an approximately 1000 sq. ft multi-level deck using TimberTech TwinFinish composite decking with a new concealed fastener system. The 3-level deck also includes a covered bar, swing and benches.
Although very different projects, each looks at how to address foundation and drainage issues as well as how to choose the right materials and when to hire a pro. Without a doubt both homeowners spent much time planning their projects and it shows.
I thought this show would never make it out the door! Seems like there was one delay after the other when it came to building the composite deck down in the St. Pete area. After several delays, though, it finally got kicked off and we were able to meet up with the homeowners and contractor and start shooting footage. The TimberTech material is awesome, to put it mildly. I know it costs more to use composite materials, but it sure is worth the extra cost when you look at the next-to-nothing maintenance you’ll have by using it.
While we’re on the subject of decks, this is one of the most attractive methods for adding an outdoor entertaining space and, in essence, adding on to the square footage of your home. But before you run out and buy some lumber, here are a few things you should consider.
- Before you do anything, make sure you know what you can and can not do in relation to your local building codes. This is especially true for all you do-it-yourselfers out there. Structural stability, location and size are main factors to consider before the first post goes in place.
- Don’t overbuild the deck. A huge deck next to a small house simply doesn’t work. If you really think you need a lot of extra space, build the deck in several layers. This will break up the expanse and also add some character to your entertaining area.
- Spend more for low maintenance. I know I already said it, but it bears repeating. This is especially true if you do a lot of entertaining. The deck needs to be able to stand up to traffic, moving furniture back and forth, kids, pets, line dancing….you get the picture.
- Shy away from boring lines in the deck boards. Mix and match the layout to have some diagonal patterns, inlaid designs or other features to bring some life to your deck. Give it personality!
- Consider functionality. Adding built-in benches, planters even built-in cup holders in the railing can enhance your entertaining space.
Sometimes the biggest hurdle is designing the deck and creating the materials list you need. All I can say is thank goodness for the Internet! Check out this free design service. It won’t provide you everything to really customize and personalize your deck, but it sure is a great starting point.
Finally, for homes without decks, don’t forget that even the simplest additions can create a fabulous entertaining area outside, if only for one or two people! A spot for a couple of chairs and a chiminea, maybe a water feature or a bench beneath an arbor can provide a very nice spot to enjoy the outdoors. Again, look for hints online to create your space. Here’s another website for choosing a chiminea.
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Other Tips From This Episode
Many homeowners will use a paint brush just once or twice and then toss it out. Consequently they end up buying really cheap paint brushes. Another approach is to buy a good quality paint brush, clean it really well after each use and store it properly so it’ll last for many paint projects to come. To keep paint brushes in tip top shape clean with warm soapy water after each use and follow this by running a brush comb through the bristles. This will help straighten the bristles and remove any dried paint chips. Once the bristles are straight, wrap the brush in brown craft paper, fold the end over and secure it with a rubber band. Make sure the rubber band is placed on the metal ferrell of the paint brush otherwise it will deform the bristles. If you still have the original packing for the paint bush you could simply place it back in there each time to help the brush keep its shape. (Watch This Video)
Who wants to work in the yard or garden, clean the car or even barbecue and then have to run inside to clean up? With the Reel Smart Outdoor Sink Station you can do all your prep work and clean up right outside. Treat the sink station hose reel combo as a prep area for your next barbecue, a potting station or a clean up area for practically any outdoor project. And, there’s no tracking any of the mess indoors. The automatic hose reel is powered by standard water pressure from any household spigot so if you need it on the back patio one day and then next to unit is easy to install and can be wall or floor mounted. It also has a swivel faucet, large capacity sink, two fold-out top shelves for work space, shelf supports with hooks for cooking utensils or garden tools and a handy storage shelf. Not bad for just under a hundred bucks. The Reel Smart Outdoor Sink is available at The Home Depot.
Around The Yard with Tricia Craven Worley:
Water Conservation Tips
From catching rainwater to raising the height of your mower to two inches there is much you can do to conserve water. Lawns cut too short expose roots to the sun which just dries the grass out even more – requiring more watering. Other things you can do to avoid unnecessary water run-off include checking all hose connections, using a shut-off control on your hose, grabbing a broom to clear sidewalks of dirt and debris instead of the hose and applying mulch in your gardens and landscape to help retain moisture.
(Watch This Video)