Published at Monday, October 17th, 2016 - 11:45:53 AM. Patio. By justin.
Seven Best Shopping Tips For Buying Outdoor Patio Sets - And Getting Money Back! Practical ideas for buying outdoor patio sets... When shopping online for outdoor patio sets, consider buying a complete patio set package, when you buy separate pieces, you may have a hard time at a later date, to actually find exact match pieces for your original purchase. When you purchase separate pieces at first, trying to save a little money, you may find out later that maybe a package deal would have been a better practical choice. # 1 Shopping Tip - Design your patio space... A practical idea for all patio furniture shoppers is to sit down and design a simple patio area layout, make a drawing of what you would like your patio furniture to consist of, how many people would be using the patio furniture on a regular basis, and how much actual space do you have for the furniture you are thinking of buying. Having a basic vision of how you would like your new outdoor patio area to look is very important, are you able to see your family and friends sitting at your new patio set and relaxing?. # 2 Shopping Tip - Fitting your family, friends and guests to match your patio furniture set... Measure the square footage of the patio area you have, then determine how many patio chairs will be required for the patio area you have, always remember to have a couple of extra chairs, so plan accordingly. Determine what size of table will be the best choice, making sure you have plenty of room to move the chairs around, not having to squeeze or fall over a guest that is relaxing. Most often all dimensions, and product information is described in the details section, of the product of choice page. If you are not sure, email the supplier with your specific questions. # 3 Shopping Tip - Using the internet to find practical patio sets... Shopping and making your purchase online gives you control of what product choices you really want. Never having to put up with sales pitches or being pressured to buy now and save. Most sales people are paid by commission, and never really having your interest in mind. Online purchases are guaranteed, if you are not happy with your product purchase, you have the option of returning it. With credit card payments you always have a way of getting a refund, also available are other secure payment options. # 4 Shopping Tip - Materials of practical choice... This is the big decision, you need to decide on what material your product of choice is made of, do you want recycled plastic which is virtually maintenance-free and available in many colors, this plastic product is available in a natural wood look. Metal patio furniture often comes powder coated, or a sealed coating depending on the manufacturer, also available is aluminum, wrought iron and other metal choices. If choosing wood materials like cedar, pine, teak or other hardwoods some maintenance will be required to keep a fresh look. Many practical colors, styles and textures of patio sets and outdoor furniture is available, this is where you will need to do some research, spending a couple hours on the net will give you a much better idea of what is really practical. # 5 Shopping Tip - Comparison patio sets shopping... By now you have a better idea of what to look for, and how to start the process of finding good deals at fair prices. After you have decided on what style, color and price range for your patio set, it`s time to do some comparison shopping. Search the net for products that are exactly what you want, if you look at different suppliers selections, you can find match products. Keep notes, drink a couple cups of java and enjoy the easy online shopping process. #6 Shopping Tip - Shipping to your door... Most online suppliers have a good reputation, offering low cost shipping or free shipping for most patio furniture orders. When shopping online, go to the suppliers shipping page and see if they offer free shipping, if not email the supplier and ask for free shipping. Many times if your order is $200.00 or more, you may receive free shipping. Many suppliers will have your order shipped to you after final payment is done, normally within 10 business days. The real benefit buying online is that you can order your product, and never have ask a neighbor or friend for the use of their truck to haul the furniture you ordered. #7 Shopping Tip - Saving Money by Thinking... Saving money is very important, here are some easy ways to get a better deal. Having already mentioned asking for free shipping, even if the supplier has not offered or will grant your email request for free shipping, you can scan the net and find a supplier that will. Most average patio set orders are approximately $600 and up, this gives you power to find a supplier that will accommodate your request, chances are you can get what you are after. By buying online, consider a savings of approximately $50.00 if you were to purchase your patio set at your local furniture store where you live, do they always deliver for free, it is very doubtful that they would on a average cost patio set order of $600.00, if you live out in the country forget a free delivery. If you do proper research and find exact match or comparable items that you want, you can ask the supplier for a 10% - 15% discount on your order, depending on what size order you place. If you purchased a patio set for $1000.00, your discount at 10% would be $100.00 in your pocket. Check with your local state tax authority, and ask if any sales taxes apply for your online out of state purchase, this could save you another 9%. Shopping online is a smart way of finding great deals at affordable prices.
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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