Many Americans will be looking to the backyard this year as their new ‘holiday’ space. Where there is no deck or patio… a place to relax will be constructed. Where there is only the hot beating sun… shade will be the new normal. Where there is but a bare unadorned space of spotty grass and weeds… decorative garden elements will be incorporated into this new space! It’s a logical spot for sipping morning coffee, watching the birds, monitoring weed growth or keeping an eye on the children playing out back. Yes, it’s time!

At the very least, a patio or deck should be comfortable. With some effort, it can be transformed into a cozy retreat. The key will be to choose the right foundation (deck or patio), the right kind of shade structure (permanent or retractable), livable furniture, lively accessories and lush plantings that will pull it all together.

Whether you already have that ordinary slab of cement outside your door or have tapped into local or WEB based resources to build a new deck / patio, you have a few things to consider as you move forward. Home Porch & Patio Kits can help with a few of those considerations. You should make your choices in a way which brings the garden to the patio / deck and also brings the patio / deck to the home.

As an extension of your home, thinking of your deck / patio as an outdoor living room will help make your decisions. As a result some will only require a retractable patio awning to ward off the noon-day sun in an otherwise shady spot. However, for those with a southern exposure, a more permanent solution might be necessary. Aluminum patio covers come in all sizes and a great price range depending on the materials. This would be perfect to achieve that long sought after shade, while having an unfettered access to the backyard. Still, others will require the protection that comes with a fully screened area. The hard top screen enclosure systems combine the strength and shade protection of a permanent roof along with a low maintenance aluminum screen wall framing system; perfect to create that bug-free shaded space where you can enjoy the outdoors – indoors!

Whatever your choice, be sure to plan ahead. Consider making deck steps deeper and wider to safely accommodate clustering several groupings of pots together, using different sizes and heights. Consider the furniture arrangement so that you view the most attractive part of the yard. Create a natural exit from ‘relaxation area’ – either by adding or changing railings and steps or by altering furniture layout – so people step off the deck / patio toward something visually pleasing. When considering your furniture for the area do you want to blend with the surroundings or make a bolder statement with color?

To our mind, outdoor spaces should be designed to be as maintenance free as possible. Accents like trellises can be made of wood, iron or vinyl. Wood and iron will require maintenance; vinyl not so much. The same applies to furniture selection. Your furniture selection should also take into consideration being left outdoors all year and, if necessary, covered for protection in the winter. Some brands of all-weather wicker will take freezing weather… same with cast aluminum and wrought iron.

Make 2018 the year that you stop being on the inside looking out! If carefully planned, your new backyard will ultimately add value to your home and you can create a backyard oasis that will serve you and your guests for many years to come.