Outdoor products made of wood look great and are resilient and long-lasting. It’s why many homeowners opt for dog houses, gardening kits, gazebos, playhouses, and pergolas made of wood. Cedar is the commonly used timber in all of these features. Cedar has several qualities that lend themselves very well to the construction of outdoor structures such as the ones we just talked about.

Qualities of Western Red Cedar Wood

Western Red Cedar is naturally resistant to water, decay, and bugs, ages gracefully and is exceptionally sturdy. Its grain has inbuilt air pockets that protect it from changes in temperature. It is also very heavy and can withstand windy conditions well as long as the structures have been installed well.

Aside from this, Western Red Cedar is also low maintenance and extremely cost-effective, which makes it the perfect material even for large scale outdoor projects. We at Outdoor Living Today have a wide variety of outdoor products made of Cedar that provide excellent value to our customers.

There are many other hardwoods like Redwood, Cypress, White Oak, Ipe, Teak and Mahogany and more that can be used to significant effect in outdoor areas. Regardless of the wood used, you would need to maintain the features well to keep them resilient.

What Causes Wood Decay and Degradation?

Before we take a look at how to reduce premature wood decay and degradation of your outdoor products, let’s understand what causes these problems. Decay fungi break down the cellular structure of wooden structures which results in strength loss.

The fungi secrete enzymes or produce chemical reactions that dissolve various constituents of the wood cell walls. This kind of activity is apparent when the wooden features become either lighter or darker than the surrounding wood. Sometimes, it may develop cracks or checks and will also become much softer than what it originally was.

Wood degradation isn’t the same as decay in wood. The three main reasons for wood degradation are weathering, insects, and fungi (decay/rot). Also, fire can degrade wooden features. 

Tips To Reduce Decay And Degradation In Outdoor Wooden Structures

Decay fungi need oxygen, water, moderate temperatures, and food (wood) to survive. Depriving these fungi of their food source is one of the best ways to prevent premature wood decay. Some of the things to do include:

  • Outdoor features should be built with natural Western Red Cedar wood or chemically impregnated pressure-treated wood. The timber is treated using chemical wood preservatives, and these chemicals seep into the wood fibers making it resistant to fungal decay. In our opinion, choosing the natural cedar option is far superior.


  • Even when pressure-treated wood has been used, you need to control moisture as that will slow down the fungal growth that your outdoor features are exposed to. This also means the wood preservatives alone can’t prevent the wood from absorbing water. It is necessary to supplement the protection with a specialized water-repellent finish. This will also reduce the amount of time you spend checking and weathering any of the exposed wood features on your property.


  • If you have noticed some signs of wood rot on the structure, you need to take specific steps to prevent it from spreading to the rest of the pergola, gazebo, or other feature. To stop dry/wet wood rot, you’d have to kill the fungus by eliminating the moisture and then poisoning the microbe.


  • If you do not necessarily want a natural wood finish on the outdoor features, you can choose to get them painted. Opaque paint has a very high pigment content. The optimum film build provides long-lasting protection for the wooden surfaces and protects them against weathering. It’s best to get the wood factory painted. However, if you are painting the pergola or any other feature on site, it would have to be primed/undercoated. The next step is to apply a topcoat; this will protect it from the elements.


  • When painting, make sure that the surface moisture content doesn’t exceed 16 percent. The rule applies to any wood species.


  • Clear varnish and unpigmented oil are another option to protect the wood and prevent premature degradation. These are non-film-forming or may have a very low film build. The finishes allow the grain and character of the wooden surfaces to be visible and will protect them from moisture. However, they do not offer any UV- protection, which means the wooden feature will change color with age. If you are planning to paint the structure in the future, it’s best to avoid oils that have wax content. Our recommendation is to always discuss your painting and staining questions with a qualified retailer such as Benjamin Moore.


  • Wood stains offer a certain amount of protection from the weather and can help reduce degradation of your outdoor product. They do not have a high pigment content, and you can see the character of the wood very clearly. Re-application is needed every few years to maintain the protective layer.


  • Translucent coatings give the wood surfaces a paint-like film finish, but you would still be able to see the character of the wood through the finish. Depending on the location of the feature, you may need to re-apply the topcoat. This will keep the deck/structure looking new, and the wood will be fully protected as well.


It prevents moisture from seeping into the wood and reduces premature degradation of the feature. It’s crucial that you use boiled linseed oil and apply it correctly to provide weather protection for your deck.

As you can see, there are several ways in which you can reduce premature wood decay and degradation of your outdoor product. For any more information about our Cedar products, feel free to contact Outdoor Living Today at 888-658-1658.

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Why a Pergola or Gazebo Will Increase the Value of Your Property – Outdoor Living Today

When it comes to creating a beautiful backyard garden, a Pergola or Gazebo is the perfect design element. I remember five years ago when my husband and I bought our family house, we were looking for a home with a gazebo or enough space in the backyard to build one. 

We understood that we needed time and a place to rest, relax, and catch our breath occasionally so having this space was very important to us. Well, it took us some time, but we finally found a home with the best space to build a gazebo, and within our first month we had it up and checked off of our to-do list.

So why put up a gazebo? Our choice of the gazebo came down to one specific thing – gazebos add beauty and value to your property. Understanding why provides you with a great opportunity to increase the value of your home. In this post, I have chosen to show you how a gazebo or pergola will add value to your property.


Let’s cut to the chase – the one thing that we can all agree on is that outdoor home improvements tend to get much more use in warmer climates or during the summer months. In areas such as California or Florida, a pergola will be used much more as we look for ways to escape and take shelter from the heat.

This means that anyone who is looking for a home in a warmer region will be ready to spend more on purchasing your home if you already have a gazebo or pergola. The structure is likely to add additional value.


The cost of putting up a gazebo or pergola will vary from location to location. The cost of the materials will be different in Minnesota compared to California due to different types of demand. 

Adding such home improvements in high-end property markets such as New York City will mean you spend more but you will easily recoup the costs. It’s a great way to achieve the best Return on Investment (ROI) in relation to the demand for such home structures in a booming market by region and in terms of the installation cost versus value.


The style and type of gazebo/pergola you choose can also determine the value added. There are several types of gazebos and pergolas.

These types range in size and design, and the type of material used, and will affect the cost of installation and maintenance. The cost of putting up a pergola will vary depending on the size, style, and type of material used.

More durable materials will add more value, style, and class. Some of the most common gazebo and pergola building materials are as follows:

  • Cedar
  • Teak
  • Fiberglass
  • Aluminum

Some common pergola and gazebo designs are:

  • Pergola with retractable canopy Pergolas with a pitched or gabled roof
  • Bayside panelized octagon gazebo
  • Open-topped pergolas (flat or arched)
  • Penthouse cottage or garden shed.

NOTE: Wooden pergolas are some of the most sought-after designs. They are aesthetically pleasing and will blend in with any style of home, however, they do require more maintenance as time goes by – they may need to be resealed or repainted. Proper care and maintenance will ensure a long, happy life span for your pergola. Wooden options might cost more to purchase but still have one of the best resale values.

Fiberglass and aluminum on the other hand are strong, long-lasting, and easy to maintain, but they lack the beauty and style of cedar.


Keep in mind that when it is time to sell your home, the value will be greatly determined by how large the gazebo or pergola is. In many instances, it follows that the larger the gazebo, the greater its appeal, and the more value it holds.

It is very important to remember that the structure of the gazebo is properly scaled with the other elements of the backyard and that it blends well with the landscape surrounding your home. Outdoor structures that have a unique appeal will add character to outdoor spaces and structures like gazebos and pergolas offer a lovely, romantic charm, and awesome architectural interest.

Such styles, when chosen with care to fit in your backyard will easily provide an appealing look and great style. And remember, the more stylish your home is, the more valuable it becomes.

Additional Tips

While outdoor structures such as a gazebo or pergola don’t technically add to your home’s total square footage, they provide a great functional outdoor getaway space for you and your family to enjoy.

Many people crave a quiet, peaceful retreat and are willing to pay for it. Properly fitting the gazebo or pergola with the right furniture, music systems, lighting, and any other entertainment extras you require will provide you with countless hours of family time with your loved ones or a romantic evening with your spouse.

Considerations When Putting Up a Gazebo

While you are the only person who can decide if the new outdoor structure you want to install is the right choice for you, it is important that you understand the other implications that might arise. It is very important that you have a well-thought-out plan and design.

To ensure a successful project consider the following:

  • Determine your budget.
  • Choose the style and design of your outdoor structure.
  • Decide the best material for your area and design.
  • Decide on the correct measurements.
  • Decide what you want to use the structure for and choose one to fit your needs.

NOTE: Based on your budget, style, and priorities, it’s a good idea to have a well-built structure that will offer good value beyond simple enjoyment. This means that it will add to the value of your property.

Regardless of the gazebo style that you choose, having a beautiful outdoor structure in your backyard will enhance not only your living space but also the value of your property. It will encourage you and your family to spend more time together and enjoy the outdoors more often, and when the time to sell comes around, it will boost your overall home property value. Make sure that you keep it in great shape so that it retains its original unique appeal and prospective buyers will easily dream of get-togethers, summer barbecues, romantic nights under the stars, and all sorts of entertaining ways to use the gazebo. These additions make homes more appealing, and welcoming, and leave you with more usable outdoor space to create the best atmosphere for your dream lifestyle.


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With winter gone, it’s the perfect time to get your gardening touchback. The best
way to do that is by sprucing up your yard. From the waning lawn grass, shrubs,
and even yard trees you can give your yard a new breadth of life after months
of heavy blanket of snow and ice. Follow these awesome tips to help you get
your yard looking lovely and pumping with beauty once again.

Have a Landscape Plan

The lawn’s beauty will easily add to the value of your home. Having the perfect
landscape plan, before you start, is the best way to get what matches your lawn
needs and also leaves you with a cool finish.

If you don’t have any exterior design skills it will do you so much good to hire
an expert to help you out before you start working on your lawn. Remember, if
you can imagine it you can easily achieve it too.

Clean Up a Little

Start simply. That has always been what I tell my readers. With the winter killing
most trees and keeping the yard under heavy snow for months, chances are you
will have so much damage outside there.

The dullness of the trees, fallen leaves, debris, and twigs gather massive amounts
of dirt. Having a cleaning session first before thinking of anything else will
be ideal. Use rakes, gloves, and blowers for an easy experience.

Here are some of the most vital things that you can keep in mind during the cleanup
process for your lawn.

  • Remove any forms of
  • Prepare your flower
    beds by weeding and removing dirt
  • Apply pest and weed
    control options
  • Prune the shrubs

NOTE: Debris isn’t your
best friend when left in the yard. They can easily stick up the mower or block
fertilizers from being absorbed by your new lawn.

Prepare the Soil

The best way to do this is to apply fertilizer on your lawn. You should also use a pre-emergent and a weed killer and if possible amend the soil at this stage. If you don’t have fertilizer you can opt for green manure.

If you do this at the very beginning of the spring it will be awesome. It fights
any dormant weed seeds that you might have had on your lawn and allows you the
perfect timeline for reapplication.

This is a great way to prevent crabgrass. Most lawn care brands will offer the best
pre-emergent combination with weed killer so that you have a single
application. This is good at minimizing costs and time of application.

Mow Pretty Early

The biggest mistake most homeowners make is to mow late into the spring and mow
once a week during the springtime. This is bad for business especially if you
wanted healthy grass. Mowing early and often is a great way to keep the grassroots reproducing pretty easily and quite properly.

Once you mow you can build up cool some of the best relaxation setups for your
family and friends too. You can take a choice from any of these tips.

are some great ideas that will bring your family closer as they work together.
Simply give them a slight lesson on how to use a screw gun, safety when
building outdoor kits in the backyard, and types of screws and tools typical
for working in the backyard.

NOTE: It is advisable to mow every five days in the spring and also depending on the type of weather that you experience. This will be a great way to ensure that you get a thicker and fuller lawn.

Mulch It Too

Picking good and heavy mulch will be a great decision once your yard is cared for. All
you will do is edge out the lawn and also trim dead branches on the shrubs
that could be lying around. This helps to preserve the soil’s moisture and keep
the grass looking healthy and green.

A good mulch to go with is hardwood tree back mulch instead of the dyed brown
wooden chips. They usually look great and will last longer too.

Give Trees a Trim

You will never know if the tree in your yard has dead branches unless you move in
up close. Dead branches that haven’t been trimmed will easily fall off and
leave your lawn looking really bad.

The best way to stop this from happening is to get a trimmer and prune your trees once after every three years. Just remember to do this at the beginning of the spring time rather than the winter.

Wait Until the Fall to Seed

If you are still re-applying your pre-emergent or even the weed killer your grass
seeds won’t also germinate. While the pre-emergent kills the weed seeds, it
will also kill the grass seeds too. The best thing is to apply fertilizer to
the lawn and allow it a few more weeks for the shoots to grow over brown spots.

Even better, you can also use sod – chunks of lawn mounds with grass to hide the
patches. Sod is a better option for the seeds.

Additional Tips

Technically, what we have looked at is good enough if you want to have the yard ready for
entertaining guests, simple gardening, playing with your loved ones, and enjoying with your family. Nonetheless, you can also add the following.

  • Have a routine cleanup
  • Use a tiller to break
    new lawn ground
  • Building raised beds
  • Make use of landscape
  • Planting rabbit proof

These are some of the simplest tips that you can go with once spring comes around.
Don’t overthink. Keep it simple always.


Giving your yard a breadth of life after the snowy winter isn’t always impossible
especially if you have the right tips. The best thing to do is to start 
early preparation and to make the right choice of plants.

Most things around here are easy DIY programs and you won’t have to hire an expert
to help. That’s why caring for your yard is the best thing if you wanted to get
your aesthetic or gardening touch back in a heartbeat after winter.

Finally make sure you go through a few more posts, tips, and blogs before you start
out. It will help you to gather enough tips, borrow new ideas to try out and
maximize your imagination. This is super cool if you want the best yard for the

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If you entertain a lot and want to spend time outdoors, an outdoor kitchen will help you combine both interests with greater ease. Whether you have a large garden or a small yard, an outdoor kitchen that is well-designed can help you spend time outdoors, cooking and serving food even as you spend time entertaining family and friends. The design of your outdoor kitchen will depend on the space availability, budget, and the types of gathering you plan to host.

Counter Tops

Your outdoor kitchen needs a countertop where you can place the grill, ingredients, and trays that will hold the food you want to serve. Granite countertops are a preferred choice for outdoor kitchens as they are durable and not very easily damaged by exposure to UV rays and moisture. They are easy to clean and maintain.


Gas or charcoal grills can help you prepare food outdoors. The choice of the grill will depend on whether you can pipe gas to the outdoor kitchen with ease or not. Moreover, piping gas outdoors might also require permission from the local authorities. If your outdoor kitchen is close to the kitchen you can install a gas grill, otherwise, press the button for a charcoal grill to serve hot and delicious food outdoors.

And yes, your food should taste a lot better than what McDonald’s serves.


The outdoor kitchen should have at least some storage facility. This will enable you to store basic ingredients, cutlery, and plates in the kitchen, saving multiple trips back to the main kitchen for essential items. Having salt, pepper, napkins, and cutlery as well as a few sauces and condiments will mean the difference between rushing back to the main kitchen and spending time, enjoying the company of your guests as you prepare and serve the food (of course you could have some help or a child run quick errands for you back and forth). Stocking up the outdoor kitchen before a party or get-together will make for a better meal time for sure.


The outdoor kitchen should also have a sink and water supply. While a sink can be installed with ease, water supply will require you to lay a pipe and obtain planning permission. However, a sink and faucet will help you wash your hands, the glasses, and other dishware after you serve the guests. This will also help in expediting the entire cleaning-up process. Since you can wash the used dishes in the outdoor sink and stack clean dishes together to be taken inside if necessary.

You can do this while still experiencing gorgeous outdoor moments and activities.


As most outdoor cooking and entertaining happens in the warmer months of the year, a refrigerator will enhance the comfort and value of your outdoor kitchen. You can store cool drinks and ice in the refrigerator apart from chilled salads, sauces, and even ice cream. This makes it easier to host an outdoor event, as guests can simply grab a cool drink as they wait for the meal to be served. A compact refrigerator that can fit under the countertop will help you store party essentials close at hand, sparing you the hassle of rushing back to the house every time someone wants a cold drink, some ice, and so on.


An outdoor kitchen should have plenty of task lighting over the countertop and cooking area. This will enable you to use the space in the evenings and nights as well. Whether you are planning to host a poolside party on summer evenings or want to spend time outdoors on moonlight summer evenings with your family, adequate task lighting over the countertop and cooking areas will mean that you can spend time outdoors even as you prepare meals and eat them.


You can fix permanent seating close to the outdoor kitchen in the form of wooden or wrought iron benches and tables, or use stackable, movable, chairs and tables. The permanent benches and tables will mean less work when you are hosting a gathering as you do not have to arrange tables and chairs.

However, if you have a small garden or want to have flexibility in the seating arrangements, you could invest in foldable, stackable furniture that can be used in multiple parts of the garden. For instance, you can use the same set of plastic chairs close to the outdoor kitchen, near the pool, and on the patio or deck, depending on where you want to spend time outdoors. Moreover, this type of furniture can be stacked and stored in the basement or attic when not in use or when the weather is very hot or cold.

But an outdoor shed is much better for this type of furniture!

A properly planned outdoor kitchen is a terrific way to increase the time spent outdoors. By simply transferring meal preparation and meal times to the outdoors, you can spend more time soaking in the sun or enjoying the fresh breeze in the evenings. Spending time outdoors will help you relax and unwind and mentally prepare for the day or week ahead. Grilling your favorite foods outdoors will enhance the flavors and make mealtimes more enjoyable.

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A gazebo or pergola in your backyard is undoubtedly a prized possession for many. Making your property investment last takes a bit of care and maintenance to help keep a pergola in top shape for a long time. If you looking for ways to maintain your pergola and keep it in astounding shape for years to come, here are a few basic tips that can help.

Traditionally, pergolas are built from cedar wood which is strong and can last for many years. However, being outdoor structures, the wind, sun, and rain can take their toll on a pergola. And since we have no way to control the elements, taking care of and maintaining your pergola would be the only way to keep its appearance and increase its longevity.

Care for the wood

Wooden pergolas are made of durable treated wood like cedar or pine. Red cedar, for example, contains natural oils that prevent insect infestation and natural decay and simultaneously help retain the external shine and texture of the wood. The natural color of a pergola can be improved and preserved by coating the wood with a waterproof sealer―a transparent varnish that improves weather resistance.

As wood ages it changes color, acquiring a more rustic with the passage of time. When applying the sealant, consider the amount of weathering needed. It is recommended that the sealant be applied every two or four years to maintain a fresh look. For further information about weathering ask the pergola dealer for details about the wood and how its color could possibly change with weathering.

Ensure that the wood is coated with a sealant to prevent even the slightest damage including warps and cracks. Sealants are available in many different brands so a dealer would be the best person to get advice on brands that will best suit a particular pergola and help keep it in pristine condition.

Acrylic painting of a pergola

When it comes to selecting the type of paint for a pergola, acrylic paint is the best as it is weather resistant and lasting. The best time to apply the oil-based paint is during the driest seasons when the humidity is very low. Painting at this time will ensure that while the paint dries quickly, water particles do not become trapped inside the dried paint making it brittle over time.

How to clean a pergola 

The treated wood of almost all types of wooden pergolas can be cleaned with the same products that are used to clean the porch or deck of a house. Vinyl-coated pergolas are almost maintenance-free. However, in case they do require cleaning, use mild soap and water. It would be prudent to refrain from using power washers on wooden pergolas since that can damage the wood.

Restoring an old, unused pergola

Cleaning a pergola that is unkempt would take a bit of work. However, working step by step it is possible to almost restore such a pergola back to its original condition.

First, use a bristle brush to knock out all the dry dirt and cracked paint from the pergola. Since most pergolas are made of wood make sure not to scrub too much since that may damage the natural texture of the wood.

Make sure that the wood is smoothed down by removing loose splinters. Use a very light sander to even out the wood. This ought to be done slowly since over-sanding the wood may damage the surface with ugly scratches.

Check for mildew and stains, which must be taken care of immediately. Mildew can wreck a pergola’s appearance. Mildew can be removed using a mild solution of bleach and water. Corroded fasteners like bolts and screws can stain the surface of the pergola making the wood look detestable. Wash the stains and replace the fasteners if possible.

After removing the stains to the best extent possible, clear the pergola of dirt with the help of a brush. Remove the debris which is likely to collect near the grooves in the wooden planks. Then use a hose and rinse the surface with a mixture of water and bleach. Use a mild soap to further clean the area if required.
Once the pergola is clean, make sure that it is completely dry before you go ahead with a paint job. A couple of coats of oil-based acrylic paint followed by a water sealant will have the pergola shining. For the most part, your restoration project is sure to pay off with your pergola looking as terrific as new.

Keep up the fine work and periodically take time to check the pergola for wear and tear, structural damage, insect infestation, and cracking paint. Fix the problems immediately to prevent further damage. With proper maintenance, a pergola will remain a prized possession in your backyard for years to come.

Making Your Property Investment Last

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Winter is coming, and it is time to start planning get-together with loved ones. Nothing beats outdoor entertaining, but with the cold, it can be tough to have a party outside. This is why you need a backyard fire pit.

One solution is to build a fire pit in your backyard. You do not even need to hire a professional to do the job – you can make it a DIY project. You can save that money for something more technical such as installing in lights or bringing in a plumbing for a water fountain and so on. There is nothing wrong with pocketing money and doing a job yourself. With this money, this could be more money towards your kid’s college education.

A few simple steps is all it takes to get a heat fire pit for your backyard. When you are done, you can do all the entertaining you want in your backyard and on your property.

How to Make Your Fire Pit in 4 Steps

So are you ready to make your own fire pit? If yes, let us get started! But before anything else, you need to get your supplies together:

  • Mattock, shovel, or any other digging tool
  • Gravel to fill your pit
  • Colored spray paint
  • Rubber mallet
  • Masonry adhesive
  • Concrete landscaping stones and if you want, a metal fire pit ring. You can buy the stones in a kit that includes the metal ring or by themselves.


Step 1: Outline Your Backyard Fire Pit: Put your stones’ bottom ring in the grass where you want your fire pit located. If you are planning to use the metal ring, you can use it to make a circle by placing the stones around in the area for your fire pit. Remove a couple of stones so that there is some space between them. Then, using the spray paint, mark where the outside of the stones would be. Now, you can remove the remaining stones and get your painted circle completed.

Step 2: Dig Your Backyard Fire Pit: Using your mattock, shovel, or whatever digging tool you require or have, dig out the circle the circle you painted 6” deep. This is will be an easy or a more challenging task depending on the area you live. In some areas, there will be a large number of rocks in the soil as well as grass with really strong roots. If you live in such areas, you should be prepared to do quite a lot of hard work to dig a hole for your fire pit.

Step 3: Fill Up Your Backyard Fire Pit: After you have dug a large 6” hole, the next step is to pour the gravel into the hole. You will need to pour gravel until the gravel and ground are level. This is important as the gravel will provide a crucial drainage area for your fire pit when it rains.

Step 4: Build Your Backyard Fire Pit: It is now time to start placing the first ring of stones around the gravel circle’s edge. The rubber mallet will help you tamp down the stones, flat and even. Again, if you are including a metal ring to make your fire pit, you can keep it in the middle so that you can make sure that you fit your stones right up against the metal ring.

When you are placing the second row of stones, use the masonry adhesive and place some on the bottom of every stone so that you can stagger the second row’s placement. This means that each stone’s middle should be sitting on the end seams of the row of stones beneath it. Use the rubber mallet to tighten and even the placement of the stones. Repeat this process with the third row as well.

Building a Fire in Your New Backyard Fire Pit

When the time comes for you to actually build a fire in your new fire pit, you should start with a smaller collection of newspaper, sticks and dry leaves that are may have piled up together. After you have lit the starter pile, you can start adding small logs and a few big branches, and then start placing bigger pieces of wood as the smaller ones start catching on fire.

After having a couple of fires in your fire pit, you may want to scoop out most of the ashes so that they do not accumulate and build up too high and blow around. You can also use a shop vac to vacuum out the ashes or just use the same shovel you used to dig the fire pit in the first place.

A Few Small Tips

Before you start making your fire pit, you will want to check on your area’s recreational fire code to make sure that you are allowed to have a fire pit on your property. Also, you should build your fire pit at least 10 feet away from any trees, building structures, fences, or other obstructions. Make sure that you do not have branches that hang directly above the fire pit even if the base of the tree is 10 feet away. If your backyard is large, the fire pit could be much further away, 30 feet or even 20 meters away from any fence, home, or structure.

As you can see, it is not tough to build your own fire pit. You do not even need to hire a professional to do the job. With the right materials and tools, you can make a DIY backyard fire pit without any hassles at all. With your new fire pit, you can get friends and family over and have fabulous parties and get-togethers.

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Are you looking for backyard ideas where you can entertain friends and family, but unable to afford it? What if someone told you that there are many cheap and easy ideas to help you get a backyard that is perfect for all your entertaining needs?

You will be surprised by just how much you can do to transform your backyard into a beautiful space where you can have loads of fun with friends and family.

Get Solar Lights: Do you have an old chandelier that you do not use? Do not be so quick to get rid of it just yet. You can use it to decorate your outdoor space and add light and beauty. Replace the old light bulbs in the chandelier with solar lights. Solar lights are fantastic as they are inexpensive and also help you save money in the long run as you do not have to use electricity. Hang it from a tree branch and get a gorgeous decorative item that provides outdoor lighting and magical charm to your backyard ideas.

Play Glow Games: Do you and your family love to spend time playing outdoors? Well, you do not have to limit those to the day. Get glow bracelets and necklaces and play fun rounds of ring toss at night. This is a poignant way to have a bit of fun with your kids and the glowing neon bracelets and necklaces looks super-cool and add more to the fun!

Tie Vases to Your Fence: Are you planning an outdoor party but not sure what to do about the plain-looking fences? Do not think about doing anything too drastic and expensive. A simple yet gorgeous idea is to tie vases to your fences and fill them with flowers or plants. If you do not have vases, you can use old glass bottles too. They will add loads of charm to your backyard space and you can be sure that your guests will adore your decorating idea.

Spray Paint Metal Folding Chairs: Are you panicking because you have nothing but old metal folding chairs for your outdoor party? Relax! There is a super-quick and easy solution. Just spray paint the folding in bright, vibrant colors and transform them into pretty chairs for your backyard party.

Everyone has several of these chairs lying around in the garage or basement, but are hardly used because they are considered quite ugly. But now you can beautify them with some spray paint and have some bright, funky-looking folding chairs. No doubt your guests will ask where you got them from!

Get a Splash Pad: Want a swimming pool, but cannot afford one? What is the next best thing? A splash pad! They cost a few thousands, but that is still much cheaper than getting a pool. Plus, they are much safer as there is no risk of drowning. Splash pads are loads of fun for kids and adults alike. If you want to entertain on a warm, sunny day, this is the perfect solution. You can bet that everyone will love your idea and start getting splash pads for their own homes.

Make Mosquito-Repellant Tiki Torches: Do you need outdoor lighting for your backyard party? No problem. Just make a couple of DIY tiki torches that work as mosquito repellants as well. All you need is old wine bottles, citronella oil and thick wicks. They will look great at night and keep your guests safe from irritating mosquitoes so that they can have fun without getting bitten. If you have old wine bottles, keep several aside as you will find many ways to reuse them around your home.

Use Glow-in-the-Dark Paint for Outdoor Lighting: Other backyard ideas are to get some neat lighting for your outdoor space. Coat a few planters around your backyard with glow-in-the-dark paint and you have instant lighting for those nights you are entertaining. They are safe, help you save money, and look amazing. You will love the effects the paint gives off at night, and so will everyone at your party.

Use Mirrors to Make Your Yard Look Bigger: Is your backyard slightly on the smallish side? Well, not to worry because all you need is an illusion to make it look bigger, especially when you are planning to have friends over. A magnificent trick is to hang mirrors on your fence to make your yard look more spacious than it actually is. Use old windows as frames for the mirrors and you will have a unique and beautiful way to do up your fence while creating an illusion of a bigger yard.

As you can see, there are many simple and cheap ways to get the backyard, you want, especially if you are planning to entertain loved ones. Forget about spending a fortune on giving your backyard a makeover – just get creative and use your imagination to create the perfect backyard for parties and get-togethers with friends and family.

Backyard Ideas

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Looking for garden party ideas? The days are sunny, warm, and longer which can only mean one thing – it is the perfect time to throw a garden party. What better way to celebrate the season and have a little fun with the people you love? Whether you want elegant and sophisticated or hipster and rustic, there are many amazing garden party ideas that you can use as inspiration.

You do not have to spend hours or a fortune preparing for your outdoor get-together. Here is a list of incredible ideas to help you throw the best garden party anyone has ever been to.

Food and Drink

The first thing you need for any party is food and drinks. Here are some awesome ideas to make sure that you are all set when it comes to eats and beverages. There is nothing wrong with some Taco Bell but of course the fresh food from your garden will make everyone happy. Well, the people that feel like eating healthy at least.

Beverage Station: Why stress yourself out running around after everyone and serving them? You should be having a good time too. Have a beverage station at your gathering where guests can help themselves to anything they want while you enjoy the party too. You can have a friend monitor this area as well. Could be wise, certainly if alcohol is being served.

Watermelon Keg: This will definitely be a big hit at your party. Forget beer kegs – get a watermelon keg with a refreshing drink in it. It is easy to make, fun, and most importantly, it is delicious. You should certainly use this idea for your garden party.

Potato Salad: You cannot have a party without having a giant batch of easy-to-make potato salad. This is something that almost everyone can eat and because it is so easy to make, it will buy you more time to get other things ready.

Pizza Dip: If you are looking for an easy yet tasty snack for everyone to enjoy, you cannot go wrong with a pizza dip. Just make a batch of this yummy cheese and tomato dip and little toasts – everyone can help themselves to this no-fuss snack.

Iced Tea: You cannot have a garden party without refreshing iced tea. It is super-easy to make in no time at all and is sure to keep everyone refreshed while they enjoy your outdoor party. You should definitely not forget this one for your garden do.

Edible Cup and Saucer: You obviously need cups and saucers for your garden party. But why not surprise your guests by giving them this yummy option that they can munch on once they have finished their drink?


Your tableware will set the atmosphere for your garden party so you need to think it out carefully. Here are some prolific ideas to help you out.

Gold Foil Tumblers: This is a simple yet sophisticated DIY that will add a touch of class to any event. It is the perfect way to serve your drinks – your guests will love the idea!

DIY Vases: Who says you need expensive vases to decorate the tables at your garden party? Get simple mason jars and fill them with beautiful flowers. You can add ribbons and other small accessories to make them look elegant without spending too much.

Chalkboard Runner: If you are looking for a fun way to label everything you are serving, a chalkboard table runner is the perfect idea. This is a clever and considerate way to make sure that your guests know what is in the food, especially for those who may have allergies or are just plain fussy.

Confetti Tablecloth: Are you worried that your table will get ruined? An amazing idea is to use this DIY tablecloth which will not cost you much. Just get a plain white tablecloth and paint dots all over it, like confetti.  There you have it – a bright confetti tablecloth that looks adorable and serves its purpose of protecting your table.

Cutlery Pouches: Add a little style to your garden party and use cutlery pouches that have your guests’ fork, spoon and napkin ready. They are super-cute and are very easy to make. All you need is Kraft bags. Remove the top flap, cut them in half vertically and then sew a zigzag seam down the bag’s length. Fold the napkin with the fork and spoon inside and out fold them into the pouches. Pretty simple.

General Decorations

Every party needs decorations and there are many fantastic ideas out there. The best part is that you do not need to shell out loads of cash for them.

Candle Lanterns: Candles create an intimate atmosphere and a soft evening glow. You can make your own candle lanterns with DIY dyed baby jars and have cute colored lanterns glowing all around our garden.

Bunting: You definitely need bunting at a party – it is just one of those decorations that add that holiday look and feel. You can make your own without having to sew anything. Just get the fabric you choose for the bunting, get a length of ribbon and glue the bunting on to it.

With these ideas, you can make sure that your garden party is fun and pretty, without working too hard or spending too much. You can have a successful garden party where everyone has a refreshing time and cannot wait for you to throw another one!

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Do you often host outdoor dinner parties? Tired of pesky mosquitoes always ruining the fun? Well, you can stop stressing over the problem.

There are many ways to keep mosquitoes out of your yard and these methods do not involve buying chemical-filled pesticides or insecticides that do more harm than good in the long run. With a few safe and natural tips, you can make sure that you get rid of these unwanted intruders and enjoy your time outdoors.

Tips to Repel Mosquitoes from Your Yard

Here are some of the best tips to help you keep pesky mosquitoes away from your outdoor space:

Eliminate Stagnant Water: First of all, make sure that there is no standing water anywhere in your yard – check plates under flower pots, toys left outdoors or garbage in an open can. Kiddy pools, ponds, and yards that are not drained properly also attract mosquitoes. No one wants to lose sleep because of mosquitoes buzzing around your ears, that is not fun nor pleasant!

These pests lay their eggs in fresh standing water, so any stagnant sources of water provide them with an opportunity. Getting rid of any stagnant water is the first basic step to ensure that you do not have a mosquito problem in your outdoor space.

Plant Mosquito Repellants: Did you know that there are certain plants that can repel mosquitoes? You should plant them around your yard to naturally keep these pesky bugs away from your yard. Lemon balm, citronella, marigold, lavender, geranium, rosemary, pennyroyal, and many others are excellent choices to plant if you want mosquito-repellant flowers and plants for your garden or yard.

The bonus is that they are all really pretty so you can make your outdoor space visually pleasing while keeping mosquitoes away.

Trim Vegetation: Plant nectar provide a feast for mosquitoes when they are not buzzing around, looking for blood. They spend a great deal of time around bushes and shrubs and in tall grasses. If you have vegetation around your house, it gives these insects a damp and cool place to hang out, especially on these plants’ leafy tissue on the bottom. You can reduce the population of mosquitoes in your yard by trimming the vegetation around your home and making sure that your lawn is always well mowed.

Get Rid of Debris: You should take a look around your yard for areas where debris like piles of leaves and grass clippings collect. Get rid of twigs, branches, and leaves that have piled up against your fence or the corner of your yard. It is important that you do this as they can provide a point source or a place for mosquitoes to breed. Keeping your yard clean and debris-free is one of the most effective ways to prevent mosquitoes from making your outdoor space their home.

If they are outside your home they will eventually come inside. They are easy to kill at times but they are still pests and when they are bothering you when you cook, are lying on the sofa, or trying to fall asleep, this all detracts from your quality of life.

Install Bug Lights: Bug lights are a sensational option for keeping mosquitoes away. These yellow, opaque bulbs work wonders in keeping these insects away. They are effective because insects and humans perceive lights in different wavelengths – insects see shorter wavelengths from ultraviolet and blue while humans see longer wavelengths that go from blue to red. This is why insects are attracted to black lights and conventional light sources.

A bulb coated with a yellow, opaque finish is invisible to bugs. Since they cannot see the light, they are unable to swarm there. The only problem you have is that everything that you have in your yard now has a yellow tint.

Tent Your Patio: If your patio is where everyone likes to relax and congregate, tenting it up may help in keeping mosquitoes from biting you and your guests. This way, you do not have to worry about having to spray repellent over food to keep mosquitoes and other bugs away when you are entertaining. You will find a wide array of canopy tents that come with mosquito net accessories – these are available in different styles, colors and fabrics, so you will find one that complements your home perfectly. You can even go for nets that can be attached to outdoor umbrellas.

Hire a Professional: If you can, you should hire a professional exterminator to check hidden areas like gutters, etc. where water can collect and become a prime breeding spot for mosquitoes. Professionals are terrific as they know secret spots where mosquitoes can breed or hide. They also provide treatments to eliminate these bugs, and prevent them from multiplying in your yard. If you want a non-toxic treatment, they will be able to provide it for you so you do have chemicals on your property that can harm you and your family.

As you can see, making your outdoor space mosquito-free is quite easy. You do not need to buy expensive equipment or get dangerous chemical treatments. You can relax or play in your yard and entertain guests any time without having to worry about everyone slapping mosquitoes and getting bitten. You can comfortably enjoy your outdoor space any time you want to.

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Although you may have your own thoughts and preferences about what vegetables would be best to grow in your garden, our backyard garden ideas will help you get the best return for your effort.

You need to make sure that you have enough space in your backyard garden. If space is limited for a vegetable garden in your backyard, you should reconsider which crops are best and easy to grow. You should also know which seeds are expensive to buy. Here is a look at some of the best vegetables to plant in your backyard.

Peas: When spring comes, one of the first crops you should plant is peas. Also, it is one of the first you can harvest with a short season of about 60 days. For this crop, you need well-drained soil and large planters and raised garden beds as they do well in these. You should also have a medium-height trellis of about 3 to 4’ for the peas to climb.

You can sow them directly into the ground from seeds and make sure that you sow them thickly. But you can also sprout peas indoors, which helps in ensuring success when conditions are damp. You can extend the harvest by staggering the planting time every 2 weeks. Peas are a poignant choice as they benefit your soil’s health by fixing nitrogen.

Peas are also delicious with rice. Peas are healthy and scrumptious. There are not too many meals better than a meal with rice, peas and some beef, that is a fantastic and healthy meal.

Broccoli: A member of the Brassica family, broccoli is a highly valued vegetable due to its nutritional value as well as long productivity period. It is also quite expensive to buy. Over winter, broccoli can provide new shoots with smaller-sized clusters of the veggie which is marvelous to have during the cold season. You should sow broccoli into the ground directly from the seed, or you could also sow them in small starter pots, depending on the space you have.

Experts recommend starter pots as they make it easier to protect the seedlings from slugs and birds and you can move them indoors in harsh weather conditions until they become strong enough to be transplanted in the outdoors. You should put brassica crops on different beds every year, meaning you should rotate them each year.

With mayonnaise, broccoli is spectacular.

Lettuce: When it comes to lettuce, there are a number of varieties available. You can plant large, head-forming lettuces like butterhead and iceberg single file in rows, which is marvelous and makes mulching easy. On the other hand, you can plant smaller leafy varieties thickly in 24” wide swaths for a great self-mulching effect. You can also intersperse small lettuce transplants throughout the garden wherever you have space.

‘Bolting’ is a common problem when it comes to lettuce and it takes place when the plant goes to seed and the leaves cease to grow. Bolting occurs when temperatures are consistently too high. If you want to stop bolting from happening in your garden, make sure that you plant your lettuce in a shaded area or plant them next to other crops that can provide shade, such as tomatoes.

Your salads will be scrumptious with your own lettuce. On top of this, your burgers and ham sandwiches and so on will be outstanding with your own lettuce as well.

Tomatoes: Everyone loves tomatoes and there are quite a few varieties that you can choose from such as paste, table, and cherry tomatoes. You will need to provide tall stakes which you should set when you transplant the plant. You can also use small wire cages.

No matter which one you use, you will need to tie the plants gently to the stakes as they slowly grow. If you want your tomatoes to do well, you should keep their leaves dry. You can construct a simple shelter to cover the plants with clear plastic sheeting – you can leave the sides open. You can keep rain from wetting the lower leaves with a layer of mulch. This will also help the upper soil retain moisture.

That turkey sandwich never tasted so good with your own tomatoes making every bite that much more fresh and tantalizing.

Peppers: Peppers are easy to grow and commonly planted early in small pots. You can then transplant them when the weather becomes warm enough outside. If you see any small peppers forming on transplants, make sure that you pick them off or it will stunt the plant growth.

You should also pick the green peppers when they reach size – this will help in stimulating new fruiting and increasing each plant’s yield. Leave a plant or two unpicked if you want the peppers to become sweet and turn yellow or red in color – however, keep in mind that fewer peppers will be produced in such plants.

You can do so much with the pepper it is just incredible. The only limit really is your imagination.

If you want to grow vegetables that give you a hefty yield as a reward for your efforts, the five mentioned above are some of the best choices. Spring is just around the corner and it is time to start thinking about what will go into your backyard veggie garden.

There is nothing like knowing that you are eating the freshest produce that you have planted and grown yourself. With these plants, you can have a fantastic harvest and have the healthiest foods in your kitchen every day. Check out more vegetables that you can grow in your backyard and start planting ASAP!

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