By Alek. Patio. Published at Thursday, October 04th, 2018 - 20:08:28 PM.
Outdoor Patio - How You Can Enjoy It More An outdoor patio is the ideal spot for relaxing and rewinding after a hectic day. Even though landscaped lawns and gardens do provide relief, it might not be possible to spend your time there during daytime in weekends. The ideal answer for all these problems is the outdoor patio. Patio offers several advantages like exposure to Mother Nature, pure wind and air. Hence, patio canopies had been gaining in popularity of late. Made-to-order canopies are available in all cities and towns, though the delivery time could vary between three and four weeks from date of ordering. Outdoor patio could be arranged either as front area home patio or as backyard patio, depending on the free area available around the built-up area of the house. Outdoor patio would protect you from the rays of sun, rain, snow, and other natural hazardous elements. Modern outdoor patio canopies are equipped with roof tensioning, water proof materials and the other required supports to prevent water buildup on the canopy. Further, most of the modern patio canopy materials are fireproof, UV and waterproof to give you maximum protection and safety. Outdoor patios need not be limited to separate areas. Swimming pools, large outdoor areas in the front, sides, or backyard areas could be fitted patio canopies to protect them from the natural elements for using them as relaxation areas. Many companies offer steel-structured patio canopies with lot of flexibility and retracting ability. You would be able to extend the patio canopies or retract them when you do not need them, like when you wish to take a sun bath and tan yourself to a beautiful golden hue. On the other hand, you might be the type that is allergic to the rays of the sun and your patio canopy might not be able to prevent sunlight from entering into the patio area in the mornings and evenings. If you have such a problem, you would do well to install patio window shades or blinds all around the patio. This would help you to control the light effect in your patio to the maximum without any adverse effect. The patio window blinds come in many colors and you could create a patio that is completely unique. You could even change the color blinds from time to time, since they are not too costly. When people visit your home after some time, they would be really surprised and impressed by your outdoor patio design change. Another advantage with these patio window blinds is that you could lower them and raise them, since they have a clutch system for easy operation. When you use your imagination to use your outdoor area as home patio or backyard patio, the options are plenty. You would be surprised how much you would be able to achieve without spending too much on your patio. An outdoor patio canopy of 10x10 size with powder coated steel frame would cost around $300, which is not much, when you consider the time that you could spend outside your home in clean air. Install your outdoor patio and enjoy your free time in a leisurely fashion.
Patio Furniture and Clearance Information You are looking to purchase furniture for your patio so you can have nice place to spend a summer evening with a good book, a relaxing meal or an after dinner drink. When you ready to purchase of patio furniture consider the following: style, size, type, location and cost. Patio furniture has two common characteristics - durability and weather-resistance. The most common materials used in the construction of patio furniture are plastic, recycled plastic, resin, wrought iron, aluminum and cast aluminum, wicker and wood. If you live in an area of the country that is extremely hot, then metal furniture may not be your best choice. On the other hand, if you live in a very cold climate, resin may not be the best choice because it can crack in a cold environment. Plastic is the cheaper and less durable than other types of furniture and offers more limited choices; however it is comfortable and low maintenance. It is an excellent choice if you are looking to furnish your patio cheaply. Patio furniture made from wicker tends not to hold up to the elements as well as other types of material, however, if you are looking to furnish an enclosed patio, wicker are an excellent choice. Aluminum and cast aluminum furniture is a very popular choice because it is rust resistant and light weight. Wrought iron is also a common choice but not necessarily as comfortable as the other types of furniture. It will stand up very well over time and handle the elements. Teak wood furniture is very durable and does not need special treatment to protect it from elements. Cedar wood is also an excellent choice because it is also durable and popular because it appears natural in an outdoor patio environment. Cedar is strong and resistant to bacteria and fungus. The cheapest way to furnish your patio may be to purchase a patio set rather than purchase the furniture items individually. Patio sets come in various prices and styles, so you have plenty to choose from to fit your style, your patio space requirements and your budget. Patio sets consist of a patio table and patio chairs. The table size varies as does the number of patio chairs that come with a set. A patio set can be purchased with as few as two chairs or as many as eight chairs. Some patio sets include a table umbrella. It is easier to purchase a patio set than to purchase the furniture separately. It is more cost effective and it takes the stress out of trying to find patio furniture that matches. If you are not in a hurry to furnish your patio, it is best to wait for end of season when stores offer patio furniture clearances. If you do not want to wait to the end of season for clearance sales, look for wholesalers or manufacturers that sell patio furniture directly to the public and not through a middleman. But cutting out the middleman, the patio furniture may be purchased at a lower price. With a simple Google search, you will find several websites that offer discount patio furniture, and that may very well be genuine. Remember to take into consideration shipping costs because patio furniture is not cheap to ship.
Covered Patio Designs - What Options Do You Have? Almost certainly, one should prefer to relax in the shade rather than being totally exposed. If not, you can immediately skip this section and proceed to the next. Nowadays, covered patio designs come in many different shapes, sizes, colors and styles. You may choose among the wide variations that vendors offer, reinvent on your own or even make some combinations. Each will surely have different styles and tastes but most importantly, is what you like. Having a covered patio would definitely be wonderful. Therefore, if you have decided to have one, start looking for a good variety of covered patio designs. Putting up one will somehow help you realize the relevance of spending quality time with your loved ones and the importance of establishing good relationship. Anyway, bear in mind that there are many different options to cover your patio. There are some patio covers or fabrics that will be better for shade than rain and visa-versa. Here is a brief list of some of the ways to cover your patio. 1) Arbor An arbor provides the least amount of guard from rain and sun in any covered patio designs. Usually more of an aesthetic choice than a practical one. Arbors come in a variety of different designs. Even if you know how to build an arbor, many homeowners consider DIY arbor kits for convenience. These kits come complete with all the required materials and instruction guide. Even with a DIY arbor kit, some homeowners may still find it difficult to construct an arbor. For this reason, you may need to hire a professional to complete your project. After the arbor structure is complete, the you can paint the arbor in your favorite color. 2) Sun Shade A sun shade provides full guard from the sun. This covered patio designs is the easiest to install and often requires minimal work on the part of the homeowner. While there are a big variety sun shades available in varying price levels, it is best to consider spending a little more on a durable sun shade so you can enjoy it for many years. 3) Patio Awning A patio awning is made of a solid cloth that provides full guard from the sun and some protection from the rain. There are both permanent and temporary patio awnings and a good quality awning covering should last for a couple of years. Although there are several variations within each type, there are two main categories of patio awnings. Fixed Patio Awning - A fixed patio awning makes use of a semi-permanent or permanent structure to support a canvas overhang. Once it is assembled and put into place, a fixed awning will normally stay in place for an entire season. Generally, fixed patio awning is usually less expensive than other types of awning. They are quite easy to build or readily available DIY patio awning kit. After the fixed patio awning is installed, they require no maintenance other than removing debris or dirt caught by the canvas roof. They are unlikely to break or need constant maintenance compared to other awning types. Retractable Patio Awning - Although retractable patio awnings are more expensive, they are generally easier to use and install than fixed patio awning. Retractable patio awning make use of a mechanical system to roll up the canvas overhang, protecting the canvas from fading and tearing when not in use. A retractable awning allows you to decide when you want to use your awning with minimal fuss. Retractable awnings can use electricity or manually powered to move the canvas overhang. Needless to say, electric retractable awnings are much more expensive. However, they are extremely easy to use and encourage responsible use of the awning. During bad weather such as heavy winds or hailstorm, either type of retractable patio awning can be removed to prevent damage. Patio awning is another common covered patio designs that many people prefer to use. 4) Patio Roofing If you live in a particularly rainy or hot (tropical countries) of the world, knowing how to install a patio roof can increase the usefulness of the patio. In addition, a roof can also be constructed over an existing arbor, if you find that the arbor does not provide enough protection. Professionally designed and built roofs can be quite complex but the main advantage is that it can convert a patio into a true outdoor room. Roofs may also be constructed if the patio is adjacent to the house in order to help shade part of the house as well as the patio itself. If you really have interest in a covered patio roof designs, it is best to discuss your options with professional roof builders who has experience with outdoor planning. Other covered patio designs that you can choose for your patio are, • Umbrellas • Offset Umbrellas • Sail Shades • Trees • Gazebos • Pergolas • Corrugated Metal Roof • Traditional Roof • Aluminum Patio Covers You may realize the significance of coming up with just an extension or what really a particular covered patio can do? Well, it would be so much better to experience a change or effect on your own.
Sealing Your Patio Pavers - 11 Keys to Successfully Sealing Your Patio When my neighbor first decided to install a paver-block patio behind his home, he chose paver stones for several good reasons. He thought they would last longer than other materials like wood, or poured concrete, he thought they had a really "rich" elegant look to them and most of all, he thought that they would be maintenance free. Well, he almost had it right. They do look great and theyre incredibly durable, but it wasnt long before he learned that they arent completely maintenance free. After several seasons of rain, snow and sun, the patio just didnt look as good as it first did when he had it installed. The sun was beginning to fade the color in some areas, the sand between the stones had been washed away by the rains and weeds had started growing in the gaps between the pavers. He even began to see ant colonies beginning to form using his precious paver sand as their new home. Well, the solution to his problem was fairly simple. It was time to clean the patio up and seal it for protection. And though he was somewhat reluctant at first to attempt this project on his own, once I began to walk him through the various steps, he decided it didnt sound that tough and he ought to be able to seal his patio himself. I concurred. "Just observe these simple 11 keys", I told him, "and when youre done your patio will look like it was done by the Pros!" 1. First, take your time With every project that I undertake, I cant stress this point enough. From the beginning to the end, with every step in between, take your time. When you rush a project through you make mistakes, and mistakes are what the pros are able to avoid. Sometimes its just a matter of cleaning the surface a little better, or rinsing things off a little more. Maybe its allowing a little more time between coats for your sealer to dry or waiting a few more hours before re-installing your patio furniture. With every step of the process, take your time. The chances are much better that when the work is all done and the tools have been stored, youll look at the finished result and be satisfied that it turned out just as you had hoped it would. 2. Acids can be great cleaners Often times when you inspect the patio, prior to washing youll notice stains. Leaves that have remained on the patio can leave tannin stains. Iron furniture that sits on the patio will most likely leave rust stains. Whatever stains you find need to be removed prior to sealing or they will be sealed in and become permanent, so now is the time to work on them. The simplest way to get the stains out is by using an acid cleaner. Conventional muriatic acid works well and its cheap, but I hate it. If you get it on your skin it burns and the vapors from it are just terrible. Instead, I use a "safer" cleaner, such as Defy Safer Masonry Cleaner. For severe stains, I simply pour a little cleaner at full strength on the stain and give it a few minutes to work before rinsing. If the whole patio is fairly dirty, dilute the cleaner 4:1 (four parts water to one part cleaner) and using a garden-type pump up sprayer, spray the entire surface with cleaner. Allow the cleaner to remain wet on the surface for 5 minutes or so, and then begin the rinsing process using a power washer. 3. Clean, clean and then clean some more In regard to the prep work, sealing you patio isnt much different than staining your deck or painting your house. Much of the quality of the job comes down to how well you prepare the surface. Patios that have weathered will often times have mildew, moss and algae growing on the stones and in the sand between the joints. Weeds that have begun to grow as well as any other foreign debris need to be removed, and for a patio that means a good cleaning. The easiest way to clean things off is with a power washer. Make certain that you select a washer with enough power to do the job. I try to never use anything rated less than 2400 p.s.i. Select a tip that will fan the water out slightly, 15° or so. Also, always work in sections. Patios should be constructed so that water runs away from the home. So begin working near the house or the high side of the slope of the patio. Rinse debris down the patios natural flow, away from the house. Youll loose some of the sand between the joints during the cleaning process and thats ok. Well replace the sand once the patio is cleaned up. Just be careful not to blow out more sand than is necessary while doing your cleaning. 4. Now this ones on the "level" With the patio now cleaned, look around and inspect the condition of the pavers. Over time, paver stones can settle or shift, making them unlevel. If you have some bricks that are out of place, using a screwdriver and a stiff putty knife, pry the uneven stones out. Once removed, you can add a little sand, smooth it out with the blade of your putty knife, and re-install the bricks. A couple of taps with a rubber mallet to make things perfect and voila, the bricks are level once again. 5. Its time to fill this joint The last remaining step in getting the patio ready to seal is to re-grout the joints between the stones with fresh sand. This step isnt hard, but it does take a little time so be patient. To do this, I use a fine grade of run-of-the-mill play box sand. Pour a small amount on the patio and begin sweeping it into the joints using a push-broom. Sweep in both directions; back-to-front and left-to-right to insure the joints get completely filled. As the sand gets used up by filling the joints pour a little more onto the patio and keep sweeping. 6. Break time This is the part youre going to love. Go take a break! Remember when we started I said to take your time? Well now its very important that you take your time. After all of the cleaning that we did, the ground under those pavers is soaking wet and needs to dry out. Give the patio a couple of good, hot sunny days to dry out before applying any sealer. If you dont, you could end up trapping moisture under the sealer and the whole project will turn a milky-white color...yuck! 7. Take a look at Waterborne Sealers Its time to pick out your sealer now and the choices are solvent-based products or water-based products. I hate solvents! "Why?" you ask. Heres why: 1. Theyre bad for our environment. 2. If they get on my grass or flowers, they kill them. 3. They smell terrible. 4. Everything has to be cleaned up with messy solvents. Water-base sealers are a much better choice. Besides being both easy to use and easy on the environment, they offer another amazing advantage. They "stabilize" the sand. When cured, water-based sealers such as Defys Epoxy Fortified Paver Sealer, will harden the joint sand and lock it into place. This prevents it from washing out during future rains. 8. Read the can, follow directions Every manufacturers product can be little different so always read the directions. It only takes a few minutes but it will ensure that you have all the right information before you get started. Pay attention to details such as how many coats of sealer to apply, how long to wait between coats, how to properly apply the product and how to clean it up. There are any number of variations to these questions and more. Read the label first and youll be likely to get it right the first time. 9. This sprayin stuff is easy Now the fun stuff begins...applying the sealer. To do this, I love to use a garden-type pump up sprayer but Ill warn you in advance, dont buy a cheap one! The better sprayers (they usually cost over $50 bucks) have a metal fan-style spray tip and do a much better job than the inexpensive weed sprayers. When youre looking for a sprayer, the key here is to look for a "fan-style tip". The patio edges can be cut-in using a 4" nylon brush and then youre ready to start spraying. Water-based sealers normally require two coats to be applied. Once youve cut-in the edges, spray the entire patio with the first coat. Then wait for the sealer to dry enough that it can walked on, and do the same thing all over again...two coats! If you get things on too heavy and the sealer starts to puddle, use the brush to get rid of the puddling by simply brushing it out. If you want to see what this process looks like, you can visit defyinfo.com where you can find a streaming video detailing each of the steps that weve taken. 10. MORE is definitely NOT better Ok, if a little is good then a lot must be better, right? No! Remember, were sealing concrete paver stones and these stones are sitting on a bed of sand. When the sand gets wet and then the sun comes out, these pavers need to breathe, meaning they need to let any water vapors pass through them. When too much sealer is applied, the water vapor can no longer pass through, which results in a white "blushing" effect or even potentially peeling. Dont be fooled, I know how great this stuff can look if you really lay it on, how cool that high gloss finish is. But it will blush and peel. Limit your application to two coats and you wont have a problem. 11. How about a little maintenance Ok, great job, now just one more thing. How about a little maintenance? Blow the leaves off when they fall to keep them from staining. Rinse the dirt and debris that seems to just show up over time. And as the weather begins to dull down the finish and the patio loses its luster, simply rinse it off and apply a light maintenance coat. Catch it before the patio gets too weathered and its really that simply. So thats it. Thats everything. Eleven keys to sealing your patio. Go ahead and try these eleven keys for yourself. See what the results are when you set out on your next project to do it like a pro. You might just surprise yourself!
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