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home : life : how-to October 20, 2014

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Backyard projects to turn the area into a treasured sanctuary

(BPT) - You love the days when you can go home from work, open the windows and enjoy dinner out on the deck. And it sure isn’t hard to rise early on those sunny weekend days to spend all day in the backyard. Those days are here, and it’s time to get outside to spend time with the grill, the garden and the deck.

Because the backyard is a space people like to develop with landscaping and gathering areas, they look for building materials that not only provide the strength and durability needed for the project they’re working on, but also those that have the aesthetic beauty preferred for a backyard sanctuary. If you’re planning to update your backyard this summer, consider these ideas:

* Add a deck or patio – A gathering space is very important in the backyard, and if you don’t already have one, you’ll appreciate the sense of community and togetherness a deck or patio provides your family once it’s built. As you plan your deck, be sure to consider the material you’ll use for building it. Natural wood like Western red cedar requires minimal maintenance when left natural. It will turn into a distinguished silver-gray that frequently matches or complements a home’s color. Plus, wood is a natural and sustainable material choice, as the manufacturing process is very low-carbon emitting compared to composite products.

Be sure to design your deck or patio to give you the most use of it. For example, if your family likes to grill, consider building in a grill. Or if reading is a favorite activity, add a couple of lounge chairs with a shade cover and a drink cooler handy; you’ll never want to leave the deck! Also, decorate the area with lights so you can enjoy the space well into the evening, long after the sun has disappeared behind the horizon.

* Enhance your garden spaces – Those who have a green thumb enjoy planting flower, herb and vegetable gardens. Consider the opportunities raised beds provide, saving you back pain and providing the plants with a barrier from some weeds, insects and other pests. Raised beds also have good soil drainage and look beautiful, giving the garden space a clearly defined edging. If built tall enough with seats, they provide the gardener and visitors to the garden area good places to sit and enjoy the space. Natural wood products like Western red cedar are perfect for building raised beds, because they won’t leak any chemical toxins into your garden. With your beds created and planted, you’ll be enjoying flowers and vegetables all summer long.

* Build a visual element – Not many backyards have a visual element, but when one is added, it completely changes the look of the space. Visual elements are often practical and decorative. For example, a pergola can provide a shaded sitting area or a structure for grapes or flowering climbing vines. A gazebo is a great location for reading a book in the shade or a romantic candlelit evening. Ponds, statues and even a decorative gate can enhance the overall appeal of your backyard, enticing family members to hang out when the weather permits.

As you work on your backyard project this summer, you can start dreaming about how much time you’ll be spending on your new deck, enjoying the produce from your garden or relaxing near the visual element you’ve added. It might be so nice, you’ll never want to go inside!


 





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