Upgrade your backyard.
By February, everyone is sick of being cooped up indoors. One antidote for cabin fever is planning out backyard improvement projects, so you can enjoy that warm, springtime air. In addition to upgrading your gutters to LeafGuard’s top of the line, maintenance-free gutters, check out these ideas to make your backyard your favorite warm weather hang out.
Outdoor Fire Pit
If you’re just itching to get outdoors, consider a fire pit. One can tolerate lower temperatures if you’re sitting around a fire. As long as the snow has disappeared, you can create a space for a fire pit (unless you plan to dig a pit–then you need the ground to thaw). Here are a few ideas and tips to help you make a plan to cozy up by the fire.
Option 1 – Create space on our deck for a portable fireplace. Many may rule this option out, because of the whole wood deck and fire dynamic, but don’t fret. A few stone blocks will provide the insulation against the heat that will protect your deck. Find a portable firepit that you like, a few comfy chairs or seating and get yourself some firewood.
Option 2 – Build your own patio or brick/stone fireplace. Easier said than done, but these options can create the space your tiny oasis deserves. Many fireplace kits are now available and with a little DIY spirit, a permanent fireplace can anchor your hideout. Obviously, this option will require that the ground has thawed.
Option 3 – Create a fire pit space away from your home. Those with a medium to large-sized space have options of where you might want to place those future fires. With a bit more space to work with you may want to create a secondary space in your yard for entertaining. You can either build your fireplace or purchase a portable pit. Here are some pictures to get you inspired.
DIY Outdoor Lounges
Backyards are an extension of your indoor living space. During summer months, take your indoor entertaining outside. There’s nothing better than getting together with a group of friends and enjoying dinner and adult beverages al fresco. There are tons of DIY hacks out there to help you up your comfy furniture game without breaking the bank. Follow either of the links under the photos, and pick out the couch that works for you. Bonus: people will be super impressed that you made your own patio furniture. Some important tips for your outdoor lounge: match your indoor and outdoor aesthetics, measure–make sure that your furniture will fit, and hunt for free stuff–pallets can often be found for free in dumpsters of businesses or from homegoods stores.
Shade Providing Plants and Structures
Maybe you already have the perfect furniture for your deck or patio, and you have a firepit that you love. Awesome, now all you need in order to enjoy maximum outdoor time is to escape that afternoon sun. Shade is extremely important, and you might not think about it until the sun is beating down on you. When there are no clouds around or trees in site to bring some kind of shade, you’ll have to retreat indoors to escape the sun’s harmful afternoon rays. If you don’t like to DIY, you could go with a manufactured solution such as a canopy or a pergola.
Plants are also an excellent, green way to create your own shade. Some tips for your DIY plant areas are to create some natural green shade. You can even use old rain gutters (Hey! How about the ones you replaced with LeafGuard® gutters) to create a container garden that also doubles as a privacy wall. There are some exceptional choices of plants you can use that not only grow tall to help with shade, but come back year after year that are cost effective. I would also suggest choosing plants that help the environment including: the Black Eyed Susan that is a vibrant yellow with a black middle that attracts butterflies and bees, varieties of phenomenal types and colors of Roses, an assortment of Grasses, and variations of Lilies that attract humming birds, the list goes on and on. If you need a larger source of shade you could go with a vibrant Burning Bush, if you need something even bigger you could go with different types of ornamental trees such as the Oklahoma Redbud or larger yet maybe you would like an Oak tree.