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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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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The consideration and exercise of these safety tips when building a shed should be a part of the planning and building of a garden shed. People tend to take safety for granted at times. Imagine the pain that you go through and the time you lose to nurse a painful black thumb nail or cut finger, remove a sliver from your hand, or any other injury that may happen while you are working on your structure. It pays to be careful. Being careful can save you time and discomfort! And do not forget it can save you money too! There are safety tips that you should pay attention to so that you can lower the chances of these injuries. Building a shed for your garden should be an experience that you enjoy and have fun with, not a painful one. 5 Safety Tips When Building a Shed Here are five safety tips that you should follow to prevent accidents from happening and injuring yourself:
  1. Wear protective gear – Whether your shed-building project is big or small, it is important to make sure that you always wear proper protective gear at all times. This will ensure that you do not injure yourself while you are working. You should make sure that you always wear safety glasses, hard hat, protective clothing, and leather gloves when you are building your garden shed.
  2. Handle materials properly – It is important that you take proper care when you are handling materials to avoid injuring yourself and others who may be working around you. You can lower the chances of getting slivers or cuts in your hands or fingers by wearing suitable leather work gloves. You can also prevent bruises and cuts to your arms and legs by wearing protective clothing. When you need to move heavy sheeting or lumber, be sure to ask for help so that you avoid injuring your back.
  3. Clear the working area – It is important to keep your work area as clear as possible so that you do not stumble and fall or trip on something and hurt yourself. You should make it a point to organize your sheeting, lumber, and other supplies in neat piles. This will ensure that you can easily and safely pick up what you need without the material falling all over the place and avoid injuring yourself.
Safety Tips when Building a Shed
  1. Use hand tools with caution – Hand tools, especially those for sawing and nailing, can be dangerous when they are not used properly. It is important that you always handle them with caution. When you are sawing materials, make sure that they have proper support and keep your fingers away from the cutting edge. Always use a proper hammer, usually a claw hammer, when you have nailing jobs. Also, be sure to be careful when holding a nail. You could hit the wrong nail and end up with an excruciating black thumb nail. You can prevent these kinds of injuries with a little care and practice. There are tools that may be easier to hold without gloves for a better grip, so you will need to take extra precautions to avoid getting injured.
  2. Follow safety rules when using power tools – When you are using power tools, always make sure that you follow safety rules and the manufacturer’s instructions. Also, make sure that your full attention is on the job at hand. As mentioned earlier, make sure that sheeting and lumber are well supported and hold them in a solid position before you turn on your power tool. Make sure that you are always aware of what could happen if chips fly or the piece of wood slips, or if your fingers get too close to the cutting line. Remember that you need to be in control at all times and keep your focus on the task to avoid sloppy work and possibly injuring yourself. You can also damage a power tool if you are not careful of course that is better than hurting yourself.
DIY projects can be fun and they are a salient way to make good use of your time and skills. Instead of hiring a professional to build a garden shed or any other structure for your outdoors, you can do it yourself, provided you use the right tools and materials. A marvelous advantage to building a shed yourself is that you can save a lot of money. Home improvement can be expensive and when you do the job yourself, you can make sure that you stick to a budget and save some cash. Safety Tips when Building a Shed Whether you are building a shed or a pergola, you need to make sure that you take safety precautions at all times. DIY projects involve different types of materials and tools, some of which can be dangerous if you do not exercise caution. By following important safety rules and tips, you can avoid injuries to yourself as well as others who are around you. And your own pets! As you know, some injuries can be serious and that is why you need to be extremely careful when taking on a DIY project. No one ever had fun in an emergency room! So if you are building a shed, always make sure to make safety a priority to avoid or mitigate the chances of getting injured.

Safety Tips when Building a Shed

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It’s time for yard cleanup this fall! When autumn comes, it means that it is time to start preparing your garden for winter. Preparing it right now will help in saving time and energy when spring comes, and it will also keep you and your family safe in the yard throughout the year.

Follow this checklist of must-dos for your fall yard cleanup and make sure that your yard is ready so that you can get the most out of it when the new year comes rolling in.

Get Rid of Debris: Weeds and fallen leaves are the ideal place for pests to settle in when winter sets in. By clearing out flower beds, you can keep all types of critters away. You should pay special attention to rose beds because the disease can be fostered by their foliage over the winter.

Till Your Veggie Garden: After the final harvest, make sure that you pull out all old veggie plants, get rid of debris and till the entire plot completely. If you compost, this is the perfect time to add a layer of compost. This will help in nurturing your soil for next spring’s planting.

Trim Branches: If you see any out-of-place or large branches, trim them up so that they do not cause any trouble during the winter. You want to make sure that branches do not fall or break during the snowfall that will be coming.

Clean the Gutters Out: The yard is not the only place for a fall cleanup. This is the perfect time to clear out debris like leaves, etc. from rain gutters. Check and make sure that there is proper drainage, use a small garden trowel to clear out any blockages and finally, rinse with a hose.

Dry Your Equipment Out: Make sure that you drain all water from drip irrigation systems, fountains and hoses and store them in a dry place, like your garden shed. Your equipment may get damaged if you leave water standing over the winter.

Aerate: You need to break up your soil to prevent water pooling and make sure that nutrients reach the roots during the cold season. If you have a small yard, all you need is a garden fork, but if you have a larger yard, you may need a walk-behind aerator – you should be able to rent one at an affordable rate.

Keep Your Lawn Fed: Make sure that your lawn is fed with the nutrients it needs to survive the long and harsh winter cold. An autumn lawn fertilizer that contains a lot of phosphorus is a fantastic choice as it will encourage the growth of roots and give you a lush, green lawn when spring arrives.

Rake Fallen Leaves for Mulch: Fallen leaves can get the best of you – do not let them. If you leave them unattended, the grass can get suffocated. You need to rake and shred them up and make use of them as mulch for flower beds, shrubs, and young trees. You might even skip raking the leaves by using a lawn mower to mulch them instead.
Prune Your Shrubs and Trees: Fall is the time to cut back overgrown bushes and trees and trim any dead branches. If your garden has blooming perennials like roses or clematis, this is the perfect time to train the branches and prune them.

Mow It: This is a fabulous time to mow your lawn one last time before winter comes. Get your mower on a low setting and give your yard a close shave. This will help the soil in drying out faster when spring sets in, and this will give you a lusher lawn.

Divide Perennials: If you had fantastic perennials this year, divide them up and put them in other flower beds where they are bound to grow well. This will save you both time and money in the spring. But do not divide perennials that bloom in the fall like chrysanthemums just yet – you should do this in the spring.

Protect Plants Sensitive to Cold: You can keep sensitive roses, shrubs, and perennials in superb condition through the cold winter days. First is adding mulch to the base and then wrapping the plants in cloth barriers so that you prevent any damage from freezing. Depending on your climate and the plant’s hardiness, you can use a single blanket or sheet or wrap them in a combination of plastic and cloth.

Plant Shrubs, Bulbs, and Fall Annuals: There are certain plants that do very well when planted in autumn. If you want to add new spring bulbs like hyacinth or shrubs, this is the ideal time to plant them. Fall annuals, such as pansies, are another fantastic plant to add a little color to your yard while other plants hide away from the cold.

Protect the Deck: You should give your deck a terrific power wash to prevent the growth of mildew and mold. You can rent a pressure washer from a garden store if you do not own one. Once you have a clean and dry deck, make sure that you add a weatherproofing stain to keep the wood protected from moisture damage during the cold season.

Clean and Store Tools Away: Make sure that you do not just throw your gardening tools into the garden shed and forget about them until spring returns. Take a little time to get them cleaned up well. Make sure that you give them a light coat of oil so that they do not rust during the winter.

This is a salient checklist to follow. With it, you are sure to have a superbly winterized yard that is prepared to give you a lush, green outdoor space when the warm weather comes back. And we know many of you cannot wait for that!

Yard Cleanup This Fall

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Now that you are going to stow away your mower in the shed for winter, this is a good time to pick the best vegetables to grow and pack your vegetable beds so that you have a nice little harvest in the winter months. When you keep your garden going through the chilly months, you get to spend time outside in the fresh air, exercise and can give you some miraculous home-grown produce.

Up until October end, you can sow a good range as a supplement for the sprouts, parsnips, and leeks that should already be settled in. Here is a look at the top 10 best vegetables to grow  in the winter:

Broad Beans: Autumn is always a great time to sow broad beans. This veggie keeps nutrients from leaching through what is otherwise fallow soil, causing its structure to deteriorate. These beans are ready a month earlier than the ones you sow in April, and they also do not get black fly. Good broad bean varieties for autumn are Super Aquadulce and Aquadulce Claudia (AGM). And this is much healthier eating compared to Skittles and potato chips.

Asparagus: Nowadays, you will find asparagus varieties that you can plant in autumn, which is fantastic as it helps them establish much quicker. Although many people think that asparagus beds take a lot of hard work, if you can get the bed free of weeds, they take a lot less work than annual vegetables. It will take you two years before they can be cut, but this is a small price to pay for a gourmet wonder. It is much healthier than loading up on fried chicken all winter and swallowing cans of soda which is also terrible for your teeth. It is easy to gain weight in the winter, if you play it smart that will not happen to you and you will even save yourself a trip to the dentist.

Peas and Pea Shoots: If you want a late spring crop, it is a fabulous idea to start sowing seeds now, especially if you live in a mild area. If you sow direct into the ground, make sure that you plant them one inch deep and relatively closely, roughly one inch apart. This will help in making up for a higher rate of loss. With peas, keep in mind that pea shoots taste amazing – all you need to do is pick the tips off and add them to salads and stir fries. Now you are cooking (pun intended)!

Garlic: If you are looking for the easiest crop to grow, garlic is it. Plant the cloves individually 2.5 inches deep if the soil is light, and a whole lot less deep if the soil is heavy, but make sure that it is a minimum of one inch below the surface. Plant them at a distance of about one foot apart. You can choose from different varieties, like Solent Wight and Province. You can also keep the vampires away which is always a benefit!

Onions, Shallots and Spring Onions: You will find many different onion varieties from sets that you can plant in now. This is actually the easiest way to grow onions, and you can harvest them earlier on in the year. For red sets, electric is good while radar is a good yellow and Shakespeare is top when it comes to white sets. Springs onions like White Lisbon Winter Hardy are an excellent choice. Shallots like Jermor are always available during this time.

Lambs Lettuce: Lambs Lettuce is a good filler – it does not demand much, grows easily and useful when you need more ingredients to add to your salads. This lettuce grows well even in low temperatures, and you can sow it up until October outside. You can pick it until December or into the New Year with milder weather or with some fleece. If you have a shortage of space in your garden, you could plant a few in between your spring cabbages.

Winter Lettuce: You can sow incredible varieties that are hardy, like Meraviglia d’Inverno San Martino and plant it out under a perforated polythene sheet or under fleece. In milder winters, you can leave it unprotected as soon as it establishes. An astute new variety is Winter Gem, which you can sow in a cold frame right through the winter till January.
Sugarsnap Peas: Although it is not known for sowing now, choosing a variety like Snow Pea Gigante Svizzero, or Seeds of Italy, will give you slow growth over winter. This will produce a crop of small-sized edible pods earlier in the next year. Sugarsnap peas are a great choice because they taste really good, giving you that fresh pea flavor than the flavor you get when you use just the pea. Plus, they are highly versatile.

Spinach: This is another popular vegetable nowadays. Pick it when it is still young and wilt the leaves instead of ruining it by overcooking it. This is a superb veggie for salads. You will find a range of useful varieties that can tolerate being sown during this time until the end of October, like Merlo Nero and Riccio d’Asti. The advantage you get from sowing in autumn is that there is no tendency to bolt.

Spring Cabbage: If you look around the garden centers in your area, you may be able to find some spring cabbage plants. Plant this veggie 12 inches apart each way, while earthing up the soil around the stems so that they are protected against the cold. If you live in a place where it gets icy, cloches, or fleece will help a lot. This is a delicious vegetable that is tremendous for planting before winter actually sets in.

As you can see, there are many best vegetables to grow in winter. This means that you can still make use of your garden during the cold months and reap a fantastic harvest. There is nothing like home-grown veggies, so consider growing the ones mentioned above before winter hits home.

Best Vegetables to Grow

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Tips To Prepare Your Patio For Winter

In many places, winter can be a time of whipping winds, biting cold, and accumulating snow. We will tell you a few tips to prepare your patio for winter because we know most homeowners choose to pack up their patios once winter arrives and “hibernate.” However, you can prepare this part of your home for the harsh winter months with a few simple patio maintenance tasks.

You may actually be able to use your patio every now and then if you wish to. Here are a couple of outdoor patio ideas that will the transition to the winter season a little more bearable for you – you may even be able to enjoy your morning cup of coffee outside.

Remove Your Patio Furniture: The first thing you need to do before winter comes is remove all furniture and other large items from your patio. Clear away all tables, chairs, backyard tools and plants. Remove debris from all items by giving each a quick wash with a hose and then dry in the sun. If you have an umbrella, take it down from the table and give it a good wipe down to remove accumulated dust and dirt from the summer. Next, cover all the furniture, etc, with a large garbage bag and store them neatly in the shed, garage or beneath a large tarp.

Clean the BBQ Grill: Many people do not think to thoroughly clean their barbeque grill before the winter season sets in. This is often why it looks terrible when spring comes back. If yours is a charcoal, get rid of the ash and old coals.

Scrub it down with a degreasing agent and rinse it thoroughly with a hose. If you have a gas grill, make that you shut off and unscrew the gas lines safely, and then store the tank in a cool, dry place and have your local retailer take it back. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to store or dispose it properly.

Tidy Up: If you have trees close to your patio, sweep up the leaves and other debris before they get covered in snow when winter comes. Use a driveway or patio cleaning solution with a high-powered nozzle to thoroughly wash the cement surface or bricks. You need to make sure that your patio gets a fresh start so that when spring arrives again, it will be nice and clean and fully ready to be arranged.


Get New Benches and Lights:  If you think that you will be spending time on your patio during the winter, you will need to get weather-proof seating that you can move round easily. A sagacious option is a lightweight plastic bench that is made of recycled materials. Benches like these are usually attractive, easy to lift and move around and can accommodate quite a few people.

If you do want to spend money on a new bench, leave out two patio chairs and get them covered with a heavy-duty, weather-resistant furniture cover. Also, keep in mind that it gets dark earlier outside in the fall and winter, so it is a good idea to get some additional outdoor lighting for your patio, making it more welcoming.

Other tips to prepare your patio for winter that you can try are landscape lighting systems or mini holiday lights to give your patio a warm glow and great ambiance even on those cold, frosty evenings.

Get Ceiling to Floor Shades: There will be times when you crave spending a little time on your patio during the winter. Wind chill, however, deters you from doing so. So how do you solve this problem? A wonderful idea is to get ceiling to floor shades for your patio and reduce wind chill. You will find many different shades and blinds that are made out of natural materials like bamboo or wood.

These are inexpensive additions that will make your outdoor space look beautiful and make it more comfortable when you sit outdoors in winter. You do not have to spend a lot of money on beautiful shades or blinds. Another advantage of this idea is that you can use the shades even when winter passes and spring arrives and the weather gets warmer. It is also a clever way to get a little privacy in your outdoor sitting space.

Maintaining and preparing your patio for winter is not at all a difficult task. Removing and adding a few items is about all you need to do. Nowadays, you will find a wide range of outdoor furniture and other items that are made exclusively for winter.

Make your outdoor living space look chic and cozy for the winter and make sure that it is ready for spring as well by removing your patio furniture or using protective covers on them and add all-weather items. You can still spend time enjoying the winter air outside without damaging any of the furniture and other items you keep out during the rest of the year.

Tips To Prepare Your Patio For Winter

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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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Do you want to know how to secure your shed? Many people assume that their shed does not need protection. After all, it is nothing more than a storage shack where you keep out-of-season items. But while that lawn mower that you have been storing in your shed for many years may not be of much value on its own, have you considered the accumulated worth of the other contents in your shed – gardening gear, power tools, bikes, electrical cord, portable lights, rope, and lots more.

Despite many valuable items such as these stored in them, sheds are rarely secured properly. Whether or not your shed is attached to your home, you should make sure that the same level of security is provided to it as the rest of your property.

Here are a few tips to help ensure that your shed is as safe and secure as the rest of your home and the surrounding property.

Minimize the Risk of Structural Weaknesses: When there are obvious loose slats and patches of rot, your old shed will be able to provide very minimal defense against thieves. The first thing you need to do is identify the problem areas in the shed. Use new panels to reinforce the internal structure and make sure that you fix loose slats as well.

Replace rotten doors and windows and also patch up holes that you see on your roof. Secondly, make sure that your shed is difficult to for criminals to access. Always keep fence openings closed and secure that are around your yard, use thorny plants as a deterrent, by planting them around the shed and if you have overgrown shrubs surrounding your shed, trim them regularly so that they cannot be used as hiding places.

Replace Old Locks: Because many homeowners do not give importance to the security of their sheds, they use old locks. If traditional security is your preferred option, you should replace the old fastener with the strongest hasp and staple you can find with coach bolts. Next, add a strong padlock – preferable one that is rust-resistant or weatherproof – and make sure that you use it each time you close your shed.

Always remember that the harder you make it for a thief to enter your shed, the less likely they will be to try intruding in the first place, because it increases their chances of getting caught. If you prefer a more high-tech option, you should consider investing in an electronic door lock.

Secure Window AC Units: If the window AC units in your shed are not properly secured, burglars looking for access can quickly and easily remove them. You can make sure that it is much more difficult to remove your AC unit by installing a support mechanism that attaches to the exterior wall of your shed.

Although it may take a little more work, you should make sure that you also add a support bracket that can be securely screwed into the wall. This will make it extremely tough for any burglar to move the AC. Once the bracket has been installed, you should also invest in a window security bar. These are affordable improvements that can effectively prevent potential intruders from opening the window above the unit.

Replace Old Hinges: When the hinges of your shed door are exposed and loose, it makes them easy for criminals to unscrew. When this happens, the first thing you should do is replace those old hinges with a set that comes with a non-removable pin. You should look for carriage screws or coach bolts to install the hinges as well, because these types of fasteners come with smooth heads and cannot be removed from the outside once they are screwed in. This will make your shed door stronger and more secure, deterring potential intruders from trying to break in.

Poor Lighting: If your shed is situated in a corner of your yard where it cannot be reached by the porch light, it will make it difficult to see what is going on during the night. The best solution is to invest in motion detector lighting and have it installed. No criminal wants the spotlight on them so this will keep them away for sure. Depending on the strength and range of your lighting, it may also help in deterring intruders from the rest of your property.

There are many effective ways to make sure that your garden shed is properly secured and the items inside are safe. While some are expensive, you will find many affordable and easy ways to secure this structure. They will ensure that potential criminals have a hard time accessing your shed and getting their hands on your hard-earned property.

You can make sure that the equipment, tools, and other items that you store in your shed are safe from the hands of burglars and thieves. So do not neglect your shed and find ways to ensure that it is secure at all times.

How To Secure Your Shed

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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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