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Attractive Additions for Your Backyard

backyard additions
Your backyard is a sensational place to entertain friends and family, especially during spring and summer. Barbecues and pool parties are awesome ways to enjoy the beautiful climate with people you love. But first you need to make sure that your backyard is incredible enough to be a venue for entertainment and fun.

If it is not, transform it and create a new outdoor living space with a few simple yet beautiful additions. Apart from giving you extra space to entertain and relax, a few easy additions can give you a little extra privacy and make your outdoor space your favorite spot at home.

What is an Outdoor Living Space?

Any form of outdoor space that that helps in bringing out indoor comforts to the outdoors, such as a deck, gazebo, outdoor kitchen, patio, pergola, or a screened porch. With these spaces, you can enjoy the incredible outdoors while still getting the protection you need from the elements.

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Think about it – the new pergola that you install will prevent the occasional rainstorm from ruining your BBQ party. With a screen porch, you can enjoy cool summer nights without worrying about mosquitoes.

Get a Pergola

For decades, gazebos and sunrooms have been popular backyard structures, but they often lack functionality and are expensive to build. A pergola is a marvelous alternative as it is easier and cheaper to construct. It is an open-air frame that typically has latticework roofing, offering a simple design that can accommodate almost any function and any budget.

Pergolas are traditionally shade structures that have mostly open roofs and sides. However, many modern designs incorporate canvas-covered or solid elements that offer better protection from the rain, sun, and wind. This means that your outdoor entertaining season can be extended into the fall and winter.

Design and Placement Tips for Pergolas

A number of factors need to be kept in mind when you choose where your pergola will go. Apart from accommodating the shape and size you desire, you will have to decide if you want a partial-cover or solid roof and whether you prefer a structure that is attached or separate.

pergola placement
When a pergola is situated within your yard landscape, it will be visible from your indoors and provides a visual element that draws attention to the landscape. For the placement of a separate structure, consider where you will spend the most time, where the view would be best and whether there are any areas that are naturally sheltered.

An attached pergola is a terrific option if you want to extend your indoor space onto an outdoor patio or ensure that your dinner parties are kept close to the kitchen. However, keep in mind that attached structures may block outdoor light, darkening interior spaces.

Add Fire to Your Backyard

Whether it is covered or uncovered, concrete, stone or metal, stately or simple, nothing adds a little something-extra to a backyard space than a touch of fire. In addition to adding ambience, light and warmth, fire pits can make entertaining easy and cooking fun.

Fire has a quality that brings people together and makes everyone feel at home. Plus, a fire pit can be a stellar focal point of your backyard’s design even when you do not use it.

Design Consideration for Fire Pits

You can make installing a fire pit as simple as you want. You can purchase a portable unit or construct an elaborate built-in living space with incorporated seating. A wide range of materials are available for built-in fire pits, including brick, concrete, stone, and tile. While most pits have a circular design, you can easily design an L-shaped, square, or triangular space.

fire pit
In general, keeping the pit as centralized as you can is a wonderful idea with seats that envelope the fire. That way, you ensure that everyone has a terrific view and faces each other while they enjoy the fire.

Sink Your Patio

In recent years, sunken patios have become popular in backyard landscape design. If you have a small yard, you can get visual interest and depth by having a sunken area and also, the overall space will seem larger than it actually is. In an expansive yard, you can better delineate the architectural scheme of your outdoors with a sunken patio and create a slightly “separate” space for entertainment or relaxation.

Design Options for Patios

You can add dimension to a flat yard with a recessed patio as well as incorporate them into irregular and sloping landscapes. An inset patio can be circular or semicircular or square or simply blend naturally with the existing landscape.

With a sunken patio that has broad, paved steps, you can easily add plenty of built-in seating for your guests while a graduated border can give you extra room for terraced plantings so that you have added privacy.

In areas where fences would be obtrusive, you can get some isolation minus the eyesore with a below-grade patio. You can take in the scenery in your backyard and enjoy some much-needed isolation at the same time.

You can start enjoying your backyard area, fully without worrying about privacy issues, lack of space to entertain and the elements. All you need to do is create an outdoor living space by adding a few awesome additions.

With a simple design, the right materials, and solid construction, you can transform your backyard into your own private oasis.

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About the Author

Greg Bailey is a partner at Outdoor Living Manufacturing Ltd, a value added forest company specializing in do-it-yourself western red cedar kits. He has been in the forest industry for over 30 years and an owner at OLM for over 10 years.

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