These days you can create extra living space almost year-round by giving your outdoor areas the TLC they deserve. Decks and patios can be outfitted with all the plush comforts of indoor rooms, with mood lighting courtesy of Mother Nature. Create your bucolic space with tips from the experts.
JENNIFER NAEGER, AMAZING WALLS & WATERFALLS
• ‘Pondless’ water features offer no-maintenance impact. A waterfall ending in gravel or rocks will also be kid-safe because there’s no standing water.
• An outdoor fireplace transforms your patio into a three-season living area. Build it with custom storage for a weatherproof flat-screen TV, and enjoy!
• Natural stone is a classic choice for patios and can be fabricated with a smooth surface for safety and comfort underfoot.
STEVE ALLEN, ALLEN OUTDOOR
• Sprinkler systems are an earth-friendly convenience. Precise coverage, with timers and sensors customized for your garden, mean no wasted water or effort.
• Ponds and waterfalls add another dimension to your outdoor space. Keep them sparkling without chemicals by adding natural enzymes and using a filtration system.
• Traditional clay brick isn’t the best choice for a patio because it can develop moss and be slick underfoot. Paver brick is a better choice and it’s available in lots of colors.
GARY MEYERS, EPOXY STONE
• Bring new style to an old driveway with natural aggregate or pebblestone resurfacing.
Customize a worn pool deck with decorative inlays or borders. The epoxy surface is non-skid and available in a range of colors.
• Create an inviting path to your front door. Sidewalks and porches can be resurfaced with smooth riverstone in less than a day, with little or no yard damage.