Editorial

This is the best editorial for Oklahomans by Oklahomans.

The Simple Secret To Enjoying Your Patio Through Winter

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

by Margo Waldrop

It can be frustrating to have a beautiful outdoor living area only to be trapped indoors once the temperature plunges. But take heart, outdoor patio heaters can save the day, and extend your outdoor enjoyment well through the winter months. With several available options, you can pick the perfect patio heater to keep you warm and toasty. Here are three things to consider when choosing your heater:

Style

Outdoor heaters come in three configurations; mounted, table top and free-standing. Most free-standing posts are over 6 feet tall and will generate a great deal of heat – up to a ten-foot radius depending on the model. This is the style you typically see in outdoor cafes (Paris anyone?). Mounted heaters come in several sizes and can be attached to decks, brick or ceilings. These are great if you need to save space on a smaller patio. Table-top heaters are small, portable and generate less heat then their big brothers. They are great for camping, or tail-gating. Some models require electricity, so make sure to have a plug-in close by.

Type

Propane or electric outdoor heaters are the norm, and produce varying amounts of heat. Electric heaters use halogen or infrared bulbs and heat up very quickly. Propane heaters use fuel (gas grill) and create 10,000 to 50,000 BTU’s of heat through a flame. Some propane heaters may produce more heat, but you must be careful on windy days.

Cost

Depending on your region, propane can be fairly expensive. Therefore, you need to factor that into your cost. Propane heaters can cost more initially, and sometimes in the long run as well. Electric heaters are less expensive and use electricity, albeit, not much. Wayfair has a beautiful collection of both types of heaters with the added bonus of providing customer ratings for each product.

Fortunately, heating your outdoor living area isn’t expensive and is well worth the effort. By using your patio or deck into the colder months, you are getting more out of your home. Winter is a fun time and being able to use your patio without getting frost bite is a big plus for you as a homeowner.

for more information please go to http://www.okcbackyard.com
 

Tips and Tricks to Light Your Yard Like a Pro

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

by Margo Waldrop

The ambiance of outdoor mood lighting can’t be denied. Direct lighting can enhance certain outdoor features while soft illumination allows your manicured landscaping to pop. Create a striking setting that can be appreciated after dark with these lighting tips and tricks.

Illumination

Draw a quick sketch of your yard and what areas you wish to feature. Decorative shrubs, colorful flowers or growing trees can all benefit from pole lamps or spotlights. Homeowners are very proud of their landscaping efforts and soft lights can put their hard work on full display.

Stone paths are beautiful when bordered with short stake lights. Stake lights come in hundreds of styles and are an inexpensive way to feature paths for mood and safety reasons.

Pergolas, decks and pavilions are gorgeous when laced with string lights. Lanterns also add character and can create the perfect space for evening relaxation.

Solar lights are a great option for homeowners who don’t wish to run electrical wiring. There are no cords involved with solar lights, only a photo-voltaic cell that absorbs light during the day, allowing it to glow at night. Solar lights also come in different styles and don’t require an electrician to run wires.

Logistics

Most outdoor lighting requires electrical wires to be buried low enough in the ground to protect them from water. A licensed electrician can easily do this, and add an outdoor transformer if needed. However, if you are an excellent handyman, you may be able to connect low-voltage wires yourself. Lowes and Home Depot are excellent at providing guidance for DIY projects. And if you need inspiration, Pinterest is the way to go. Fortunately, there are so many great options for outdoor lighting that the possibilities are almost endless:

  • Torch Lights
  • Flood Lights
  • Spot Lights
  • LED Lights
  • Lanterns
  • Halogen Lights
  • String Lights
  • Lamp Posts
  • Deck Lights
  • Porch and Patio Lights
  • Solar Lights

And don’t forget to brighten up the exterior of your house. Up lighting around your home adds distinction and highlights smart design features like bay windows, or beautiful flowerbeds. With a good imagination and clever design, you can create the perfect lighting package to complement your landscape and your home itself. As the sun sets, your home will come aglow and give you good reason to enjoy your evening outdoors.


Which Fence Style Is Best for Your Home?

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

by Margo Waldrop

Choosing a fence for your home can be both mind numbing and exciting. The important questions to answer are; what type of fence is best for your property and what look are you going for? Here are five types of fencing for you to consider:

Full Privacy Fences

Privacy fences are the most popular option for residential fences. They are the best way to keep your home and yard private, and can range from 6 feet tall on up, depending on your need. They are available in several materials including vinyl, pressure-treated and cedar. Privacy fences also come in a variety of decorative styles such as shadow-box, and can be used with wood or steel posts. If you wish to keep your backyard and home secluded, privacy fences may be your ticket.

Ornamental Fences

Ornamental fences provide more design function than privacy. The most widely used type of material for this fencing is wrought iron or its counter-part aluminum. While it provides little in the way of privacy, it allows you a visual for a beautiful backdrop such as a golf course view, or greenbelt. Wrought iron is extremely sturdy and does not wear with the seasons. If you are going for the ‘white picket fence’ look, vinyl is your best bet. While it’s lifespan is not as lengthy as wrought iron, it is durable and weather resistant. If you want to go rustic, split rail fences can give you that ‘country’ feel.

Security Fences

Security fences have many functions: to protect your home, keep in pets or prevent unintended dips in a swimming pool. Many jurisdictions require safety fences around swimming pools, especially if small children live in the home. These fences are more function than design, however, they can be ornamental and blend in with the outdoor environments for a pleasing aesthetic. Swimming pool fences come in iron, aluminum, vinyl and chain link. One of the most important components of a safety fence is the gate and its ability to self-close or self-latch.

Railings

Railings are mainly used for steep stairs, or to add a decorative touch to porches and decks. They are especially important for tall decks to prevent accidental falls. Most deck railings are built of wood while porch railings mainly use aluminum. Deck railings should get the same yearly maintenance as your deck, such as weatherproofing and stain.

Fencing is an important aspect of a homeowner’s property and serves a variety of functions. With so many available choices, you should have little trouble finding a functional fence that is pleasing to the eye. Fortunately, a properly installed fence should withstand most weather and require little maintenance. If you need a new or replacement fence, contact a reputable fencing professional to discuss your options.

 for more information please go to http://www.okcbackyard.com
 

Is Your Outdoor Deck Leaking? 6 Things to Look For

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

by Margo Waldrop

There is nothing like relaxing on your deck with a cup of coffee and a fabulous view. After all, outdoor decks are a great way to bring inside living outdoors. But what happens when your deck is absorbing water? You may have a leak. Deck leaks appear in several forms, so here is what to look for:

  • Water marks and staining – Unnatural staining or marks occur when deck protection doesn’t properly do its job. It’s probably time for a new coat of sealant.
  • Rotting wood – Decaying wood indicates failing sealant either from age or a cheap sealant product. The wood will need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Bowing or warped planks – If your planks are beginning to bend, then the deck sealant has become worn or thin and is allowing water to soak into the planks. Time for new planks.
  • Cracked flashing – Damaged or cracked sealant can allow water to seep into connection areas. Fortunately, flashing can easily be repaired.
  • Sinking – A slanted deck is an indication of collapsing ground beneath the framing of the deck. This is due to ground softening from water. This repair takes a professional’s touch.
  • Pooling water – Check the area around or under the deck. If you see pooling water or soaked earth, then water is seeping through your deck boards onto the ground below. This can cause your deck framing to sink, and cause rot and mildew to build beneath the deck. You may also have water runoff from your yard. A deck expert can work up a plan to level your yard, or the area beneath your deck and better seal the planks.

As with any home addition, decks require maintenance and occasional repair. If you suspect any of the above conditions are affecting the quality of your deck, be sure to call in an expert. Professional deck contractors will discuss your options and find the best solution for the health and longevity of your deck.






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