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I Really Cant Deal Patio Problems Solved
Sizeproblems. Shade problems. The wind-is-blowing-our-cocktails-overproblems.
Summertiiiimeand the living is supposed to be easy — but not if you live on ahot mess of a patio.
Whetherit’s dyingplants, aview of your neighbor’s garbage cans, or mosquitos that threaten todrain you before you can drain a beer, patios tend to develop somechill-disrupting problems. Here’s some of the more annoying ones,and how to fix them.
#1My Patio Is Too Small
Traina vine to grow up a wall, hang plants from the roof, or set pottedplants on shelves on the wall. “Anything that draws the eye upwardmakes the space feel larger,” says Brian Patrick Flynn, designerfrom “HGTV Dream Home.”
Tyingthe patio space visually to your yard will also make it feel larger,too. Layer plants around the patio’s edge — short ones at thefront and taller ones as you get farther from the patio. Don’t haveplanting beds? Use containers of plants to get the same effect.
#2My Patio Is Near a Busy Street
Nothingkills a patio buzz like a swarm of noisy traffic. A masonry wall isthe best way block the car horns and sirens, of course, but that’sa large and expensive project.
Acheaper, simpler option: Make a living wall of plants. A denseplanting can cut noise by as much as 10%.
Orcreate your own noise. Try installing a fountain. Even thoughthe sound of gurgling water won’t drown out all the street sounds,it will mitigate them and soothe your noise-battered soul.
Playingmusic or white noise over an outdoor Bluetooth speaker can also knockdown noise. Try some rainforest-themed white noise to make your patiofeel like it’s surrounded by jungle birds, not a highway of V-6engines.
#3There's Too Much Shade — I Can't Grow Anything!
Yes,you can. You can grow plants that like shade. Ferns, hostas, palms,banana trees, and a gaggle of other plants will adore your shadypatio.
Theyhave nice leaves, but don’t bloom much. If you must have flowers,plant them in containers and place them in sunny spots in the yard.Move them on the patio when you have guests over.
Ifmoving 25-pound containers of begonias isn’t your thing (fair), gowith fake flowers.
Puta bouquet of iron or wooden yard-art flowers in a pot, hang someflower-themed art on a wall, or upholster your furniture in abotanical print to add color to a patio or deck that’s overcome byshade.
Note:Never use silk flowers. Ever. They’re perfectly suitable forcemeteries, but that’s about it. Unless you’re going for auniquely morose patio theme, steer clear.
#4There's No Shade!
Asail shade is the simplest, fastest, and cheapest solution to provideshelter from the sun. It gives you shade where you want it, when youwant it.
Ifyou can wait a year for shade, train vines to grow overhead on apergola, which is a more permanent (and value-adding) solution than ashade. Not only will the vine shield you from the sun, but also itwill lower the air temperature, thanks to the magic of transpiration.
Whenthe air heats up, the vines’ leaves release water into the air.It’s nature’s air conditioning. The best solution: Keep that sailshade up until the vines have covered the pergola.
#5My Neighbors Are Too Close
Ifyour neighbor’s gaze is an uninvited guest at every patio party,put space between you and them with plants.
Installa sheet of lattice on the side of your patio closest to theneighbors, and train a fast-growing, leafy vine like ivy or jasmineto climb up the side of it. Looks like a garden, acts like a privacyfence.
How’sthat for polite but effective? If you want privacy faster, line up arow of big planters filled with tall evergreens along the patio’sedge. Outdoor drapes work, too. Close them when you want somepeep-proof outdoor time.
#6The Wind Is Blowing Our Cocktails Over
Seeabove. A lattice wall or row of heavy planters filled with tallplantings can make a great windbreak as well as a privacyscreen.
Ifyour nuisance wind comes from varying directions, put the containerson rolling plant stands and move them so they block the wind asneeded. Another solution: Heavy-dutyoutdoor curtains made of marine-grade fabric withweighted hems.
#7My Patio Has No View
Ina perfect world, a knockout view is just part of the patio package.In reality, you might be gazing at the neighbor’s swing set or theside of their garage. If painting a sunset mural on the garage is outof the question, adjust your gaze inward, rather than out with afocal point on your patio.
“Hangan outdoor mirror, install a sculpture, or water feature, or create awall covered in unique materials like stacked stone or painted abright color,” Flynn says. Even stringing twinkly party lightsaround the edge of the roof, or on your oversized plants, willmake your patio more scenic and give you something to look at.
#8We're Being Carried Off by Bugs
Yourgentle breeze is an insect’s hurricane. Make your patio a permanentCategory 5 for pests with an outdoor fan. At night, use an LED bulbwith a Kelvin rating lower than 3,000. It produces a yellow lightthat’s less appealing to bugs.
Orbattle nature with nature. Invite bats and birds to your yard.They’ll eat the bugs that are trying to eat you. Hang a bird feederand a bat house, and provide a source of clean water for them todrink. (Use a fountain to keep the water moving, so mosquitos won’tbreed in it.)
Anddon’t be silly. Bats won’t hurt you. Scare the bejesus out ofyou, maybe. But you’ll get used to them. The bugs won’t.
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