Archive | Outdoor RSS feed for this section

Function and Fashion in Patio Covers

18 Apr

Function and Fashion in Patio Covers

Recreation and relaxation usually happens at home or in the garden. After spending the weekdays over busy and stressing work, it always feels good to sit in your backyard and loosen up. But unwinding can be healthier if you have purchased comfy styles of wicker furniture. Items nowadays are not just created for indoor comfort but for outdoor as well be it made from wood or soft fabric cushions. The dilemma is to give enough protection to these items regardless of the weather condition. Good thing patio covers are made public. There are various styles that guarantee protection to any type of element that may ruin any of your pieces.

These patio furniture covers are made of different materials like canvas and vinyl. There are also types that are plastic made and heavily coated to assure that it provides enough protection from harsh weather conditions. Some contain coating for shield for a variety of elements like water and fire. Scratches on the exterior of the furniture can also be encountered so a number of patio covers are styled with an inner lining made from soft cotton.

Patio-by-texas-custom-patios-at-flickrCovers with lining may also work for tables with umbrella at the center point. You just have to take off the umbrella first then apply the cover securing all edges with elastic to keep them in place. In addition, to preserve your fashion interest, there are lengthy range of designs and colors to choose from. You will surely find the pieces that will perfectly suit your items, whether they are wooden garden furniture or rattan wicker garden furniture sets.

In cases of special occasions and your cover does not fit your motif, it can be easily detached, folded and stored. Because of this, you can also make use of them during camping or any other activities outside the home, giving your items more personality and telling everyone it is you.

Purchasing either vinyl or patio coverings are excellent choices to care for your investments since it has the ability to work with wooden, cane, rattan or metal furniture. Considering all outdoor items are treated with less care than the ones located inside your house, they still require extra attention to guarantee long use and extended life. It does not only add beauty to your furniture but it also avoids fading during the day. Given this, you are also preserving the look of your entire collection and not just one item. Allotting a portion of your salary to patio covers isn’t bad at all because of its variety of functions. It can keep your fashion sense while providing protection to your other investments at home. Above all, you will have that relaxing view at home that you always dreamed of.

Different Types of Manufactured Log Homes for Purchase

29 Mar

Different Types of Manufactured Log Homes for Purchase

When buying a log home there are several types one can choose from. You may have heard of the term Manufactured Log Homes. Basically, they are of three types: site built log cabin homes, modular log homes, and manufactured log cabin homes. The differences between the three become especially important because of the restrictive covenants and deed restrictions. One must examine the deed restrictions carefully before buying a land for a log home construction.

Site Built Log Cabin Homes

These homes specifically refer to log homes built directly on the site for which the owner wishes to have his home. They are also called “stick-built houses”. Of course in doing so, papers abiding by state, local, and regional codes should have been completed before any construction is begun. This type of log home generally increases in value in the long run.

Modular Log Cabin Homes

These refer to log homes put up in sections at a factory. What happens here is when the sections are completed in the factory; they are transported to the site on truck beds. By then, contractors join the sections together. Local building inspectors help ensure that the structure of the home meets standard requirements. They also check to see that the finished work is done properly. Log cabin modular homes tend to be less expensive than site built log cabin homes. They also have the biggest demand for vacation rentals because they are built in less time without compromising quality.

Manufactured Log Cabin Homes

Unlike the two mentioned above, these types of manufactured log homes are made with non-removable steel chassis. Although it is still built in a factory, it is wholly transported to its building site on their own wheels. Home units with multi parts are joined together on destination. Building inspectors check the structure but are not required to approve it. Among the three, these are the least expensive, but eventually decrease in value.

Decorating the Log Home

Log HomeOnce you have decided which manufactured log home you intend to buy and the structure is in place, the task of decorating becomes the next important task to get done. This is not an easy task. On the outside, the view of a log home is very inviting and warm. Of course, guests will expect that the inside is inviting and warm as well. With most houses looking so contemporary in the 21st century, we are so used to seeing decors which are very modern or futuristic. When it comes to decorating a log home, it is much simpler. However, coordinating colors and tones as well as arranging furniture should be carefully planned so as to create an image of elegant simplicity- and not messy simplicity.

In doing this, a month of planning and preparation may be essentially beneficial to a do-it-yourself homeowner. You do not need to max out your credit card or bank savings by buying new stuff that look rustic as an addition to any room in the log home. Even the old stuff can create wonders in a room. Many experts suggest to cut out pictures from magazines or surf the net, and put all your inspiration on a wall to have a clearer and more concise vision on what you would want every room of the log home to look like—and that includes the dining room, kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom.

Aside from decors and furnishings, one important aspect in beautifying the log home is lighting. Any tone of light can create drama. There are shades of light as well that provide different results once they make contact with walls or furniture. For example, if your kitchen cabinet has a darker tone, you might want to ensure that the lighting in the kitchen brighten up the whole room despite the presence of dark-shaded objects.

Useful Container Gardening Info

28 Jan

As the name implies, container gardening is when you grow your plants in containers or pots. There are tons of ways for gardening this way and the possibilities are endless. You can plant all of kinds of things like vegetables, herbs, a full range of flowers, ferns, shrubs and even small trees. You are not limited to the development of your plants outside, but can bring them when they bloom, literally bringing your garden into your home. Read on below to know more about container vegetable gardening.

Patio, terrace or balcony, no matter how small, can be a place for your container garden. Even the smallest of the area can accommodate several pots productively. If you live in a house or apartment, you can create a container garden on your patio or balcony. If you are renting and do not want to develop a garden for your landlord, consider planting in containers. Also, if you want to move you can take your garden with you.

Why container gardening?

Growing plants in containers can be extremely useful, and as with any type of gardening, tending your plants can be very therapeutic.

Container gardens have the advantage of being portable. If you change your house, you can have your garden with you, or you can simply change and reorganize your pots. In a very short time, your garden can have a whole new look. Container gardens are not subject to the usual plane size of the garden, but they give you a measurement of height. Use pots of different heights or put them in the banks. You can use multiple layers of plants. This is great for hiding a wall or dirty areas. Style and appearance of your garden is limited only by your laptop creativity and imagination.

Being able to increase your container garden off the ground and ease of maintenance means that the garden is ideal for older people or people in wheelchairs, where a bend on the ground level and the use of a heavy garden tool are not options. This is one of the most positive benefits of growing plants in pots, and shows how versatile it can be.

The supplies needed for container gardening like pots, soil and plants are readily available from garden centers, department stores and supermarkets.

Is container gardening for you?

If you are a passionate gardener, or just someone who likes to tinker in the garden; and you have limited space or a disability that prevents you from doing the usual gardening, container gardening is for you. Thanks to the ease of creating, maintaining, and simple aspects of accessibility, anyone can be a container gardener. A good container gardening idea is growing cilantro indoors.

Solar Power Systems and Panels for Your Home

11 Dec

Solar Power Systems and Panels for Your Home

Solar power systems (also known as photovoltaic, or PV systems) are a clean, renewable way of producing electricity. This article will look at different types of PV systems, and different types of solar panels.

There are two types of PV systems you can install- off-grid (standalone) systems, and on-grid systems.

Off-grid systems, as the name implies, are meant to be independent of the grid, producing all the energy needed for the household. On the days of the year with the least direct sunlight, enough electricity must be produced to meet the household’s daily energy needs. Energy is collected throughout the day, and the surplus electricity produced is then stored in a battery system for evening use. Such a system should also have a backup generator, for extended overcast periods. Off grid systems allow you total energy independence, but because of the extra solar panels needed, as well as the battery system and backup generators, they tend to be significantly more expensive.

On-grid systems are connected to the electricity grid of your city or town. During the day electricity is produced by your PV system, and the surplus energy that isn’t used is fed back into the grid. Your energy provider pays you for this in what is called a Feed in Tariff. During the evening, you buy energy from the grid in the traditional manner. Depending on how much electricity your system produces, and how much you use, you may reduce your electricity bill, eliminate it all together, or even turn a profit feeding energy back onto the grid.

Click here for a look at the cost of installing solar panels in the United States.

Solar modules (or solar panels) are where the electricity is made. Solar radiation loosens electrons in silicon, creating an electrical charge. This charge is collected from your solar panels, converted from DC current to AC current, and fed to your house to be used as need.

There are various kinds of solar modules that you can buy:

Single crystal modules are the most expensive, but most efficient (their efficiencies are in the range of 10-17%). They are octagon shaped, the kind of panels you see on satellites or the Mars rover.

Poly/Multicrystalline modules are the second most efficient type of solar panel, with efficiency in the 9-14% range. They are often used in residential panels and are a blue-tinted color.

String ribbon and thin film modules are the cheapest, but least efficient (in the 5-8% range). They are the kind of solar panels found in toys and pocket calculators.

I hope that was helpful.

Good luck and stay prepared!

Read more from RamboMoe at

Our Three Top Outdoor Furniture Pieces

9 Oct

Our Three Top Outdoor Furniture Pieces

When it comes to finding the ideal furniture for your home’s outdoor space, you get what you pay for. The Palazetto Napoli Mosaic Dining Set, Oxford Garden Hampton Patio Dining Set, and Summer Winds Ashton Square Tile Top Patio Dining Set are well-crafted with exceptional design and durable materials to ensure they last for years. The manufacturers of these sets also provide a wide selection of patio furniture cushions that will accent each set according to your unique personal taste. These sets are all built to last and provide years and years of enjoyment.

Palazetto Napoli Mosaic Dining Set

The Palazetto Napoli Mosaic Dining Set Received has received widely popular reviews from some of the top consumer reports and review sites. The tabletop includes a combination of slate and marble which makes it a well-built, sophisticated centerpiece. The chairs are easily stackable for easy storage and are perfect compliments to any outdoor bar furniture set. This exceptional Palazetto Dining Set is is forged with the highest quality wrought-iron and includes the finest commercial grade adhesives to ensure it lasts.

Oxford Garden Hampton Patio Dining Set

The Oxford Garden Hampton Patio Dining Set is built with solid shorea wood which is highly resistant to the harshest weather conditions. The Oxford Hampton Dining Set includes six comfortable lean back chairs surround a generously large 76-inch table. It is well-crafted with the highest quality mortise and tenon joint construction that is stable and built to last. Don’t be discouraged by the slight higher price for this set as its construction will last for years and therefore deliver value over time.

Summer Winds Ashton Square Tile Top Patio Dining Set

The Summer Winds Ashton Square Patio Dining Set is a solid set that will stay where you want it to without sliding around. The table surface and 8 texteline fabric seats are resistant to the harshest weather. This a durable set with an extra thick aluminum table top measuring 63 x 63 to comfortably seat several guests.

We analyzed several outdoor furniture pieces and these three stood out far above the rest. The manufacturers of these sets have been creating award winning sets for years. Their collections are influenced by English, French and Asian styles and are proven to suit your unique individual tastes. Each of these pieces deliver excellent quality for their price and you may just find yourself not wanting to ever leave your garden or patio!

Types of Indoor Outdoor Rugs

7 Oct

Types of Indoor Outdoor Rugs

Indoor outdoor rugs are great for a variety of situations and climates. If you live in an area where you are outside for as much of the year that you are inside for, you might want to take advantage of an indoor outdoor rug. These rugs look and perform as great outdoors as they do indoors.

Finding the perfect rug can be a challenge, however, we have talked with interior designer, Adam Bate, to identify a few of the most popular types of rugs.

The Braided Indoor Outdoor Rug

This is a very popular type of indoor outdoor rug. The braided rug looks great in all sorts of environments, both inside and outside. The rug looks braided with its material and is quite elegant.

This braided rug comes in all sorts of different shapes, but the most popular is the round and the rectangle rug. It is this rug that you often find both at and entrance way in a house to take your shoes off one, or under a potted plant outside on a patio.

The Area Rug

The area rug is likely the most popular type of the wide variety of indoor outdoor rugs. Although there are many shapes and sizes, it is typically quite large and either square or rectangle in shape.

The area rug is typically used out on patios or decks when used outdoors. Many of the indoor outdoor versions are waterproof and so they make a great addition to any pool deck. They also come in a variety of materials but they always look great.

The Rug Runner

The runner is a simple rug that is long and thin. Similar to a table top runner that goes across the middle of the table, a runner rug looks great down a set of stairs or outside on a little deck.

If you are looking for a large rug to cover a big area this is definitely not the choice for you. However, if all you need is to add a little character to an outdoor or indoor space, this is the perfect choice.

Indoor Outdoor Sisal Rugs

Sisal is a type of plant that produces a stiff finer that is typically used in making a variety of rugs and furnitures. These are great looking rugs but are often a little rough to step on if you are in bare feet.

It’s important to consider your existing furniture and layout before you decide on a rug. Consider the above types of rugs when you are looking for one that works as good outside as it does inside.

Making Your Garden Comfortable

29 Sep

Making Your Garden Comfortable

When it comes to furnishing their gardens, many people opt for traditional cheap plastic patio furniture because it’s inexpensive to buy and can be left out all year round and forgotten about. Most of the time, though, you get what you pay for and you’re left with ugly looking furniture that breaks easily and is uncomfortable to sit on. It’s possible to spend an absolute fortune on designer patio furniture that’s made from expensive hard woods, and while it will undoubtedly look great is it really worth the extra expense and the extra effort in having to maintain it every year? There’s another option, and that’s to buy one or two good quality inexpensive chairs that are comfortable to use and perfect for relaxing outside.

The rocking chair is a well know design that has been around for hundreds of years, and is famed for being incredibly comfortable. The design that has found a place in so many homes is perfect for using outdoors too. Garden rocking chairs are usually made out of wood, but many plastic and metal chairs are available too if you don’t want the hassle of maintaining it every year. Double and bench style rockers are available, and these are perfect for relaxing out on the porch in the evening after a hard day at work.

If you’re looking for something that’s a little more up-to-date, then the anti gravity lawn chair will be perfect for you. Based on the design by NASA that led to the zero gravity chair, that has become so popular inside people’s homes in recent years, these are probably the most comfortable garden chairs that you can buy. When you recline, you sit so far back that it eliminates the effect of gravity from pushing down through your spine and forcing the vertebra together – this makes these chairs perfect for anyone who suffers with a bad back, or even just someone who likes to lie out in the sun and top up their tan.

Both the rocking chair and anti gravity lawn chair are available in designs that fold up flat for easy storage, and as they’re usually made of lightweight metals and plastics they’re ideal for taking away on a camping or fishing trip, or on a day out to the beach. You’ll be the envy of the camp-site or riverbank as you while away the hours in true style and comfort.

So forget about the cheap plastic garden furniture that you may be thinking of buying, and upgrade your budget by just a little amount – with these two great designs of garden chair you’ll be sure to rediscover the joys of relaxing outside and making the most of your weekends away.

Popular Cast Aluminium Garden Furniture

23 Aug

Popular Cast Aluminium Garden Furniture

There are several furniture pieces to choose from in the market that can cause you to spend a lot of your precious time and money while searching. All furniture manufacturers claim that their furniture is exactly what you need for your home’s outdoor space. We have analyzed several wicker, cast aluminum and resin garden furniture pieces in a variety of designs and styles. We found the cast aluminum furniture to provide the absolute best combination of comfort, style and functionality. This article lists the three cast aluminum pieces that stood out from all of the rest.

Origin Cast Aluminum Square End Table

The Origin Cast Aluminum Square End Table is a high grade cast and tubular aluminum table with a strong 1/4 inch thick tempered glass top. It is very easy to put together and its sturdy frame ensures that it is built to last generations. The manufacturer focuses on creating affordable outdoor bar furniture that has top resilience against external conditions and this table is no exception. Measuring 21 x 21 x 18.5 inches it an excellent space-saving table that is ideal for a smaller apartment patio. The Origin Cast Aluminum Table is built at 360 degrees for smooth edges and the classic desert bronze finish blends seamlessly into any existing patio setting.

San Michele Tubular Aluminum Ottoman

The San Michele Tubular Aluminum Ottoman is designed in an elegant classic style with non-corrosive edges and a sophisticated charcoal finish. The high quality tubular cast aluminum will protect this table against the harshest weather so you can leave it outside all year long. At 24 pounds, this table is slightly heavy but it won’t topple or slide around. The San Michele Ottoman perfectly matches the included sunbrella cushions and will accent both modern and traditional backyard settings.

Florence Dining Chair with Cushion

The Florence Dining Chair is inspired by the widely popular Italian style including bulbous feet for support and added elegance. It is virtually maintenance free with water resistant pillows and a powder coated finish to prevent it from chipping, fading or scratching. In comparison to other aluminum dining chairs, the chair is lightweight; however, it does not sacrifice its strength for its weight. The chairs have intricately designed scrolling arms that give it a wonderful sense of regality.

These furniture pieces have received top reviews in the market as they combine such a high level of functionality and design. They are crafted in a strong, wobble-free manner and make for handsome compliments to any room. Each have been crafted by well-established outdoor furniture manufacturers and your friends and family members will be thoroughly impressed with your new additions.

Your Questions on String Lights Answered

13 Jul

Your Questions on String Lights Answered

People love string lights and now that they are so readily available in so many different colours and styles they are used throughout the entire year – not just for Christmas. There are many questions that are asked though about using string lights for decoration and this article looks at answering some of the most common questions.

One of the most commonly asked questions is:

How to put string lights on an outdoor umbrella?

If you are using plug in mains powered string lights make sure that the cable reaches the socket before you start.

  • So, to start with plug in your lights and see how far they stretch to the bottom of your umbrella pole, this gives you a starting point.
  • Now that you know where to start wrapping, for safety unplug the string lights.
  • Now start wrapping your string lights up the pole of you outdoor umbrella, you will hopefully have plenty of lights left once you reach the top of the pole.
  • If you have string lights left at this point start wrapping the lights along the arm of the umbrella. Once you reach the end of the umbrella arm take the string lights across to the next arm and start wrapping them along that arm towards the central pole.
  • Keep going in this manner until you have used up the entire length of string lights.

You will probably find that you need to try several times to get this right because you run out of string lights. Make sure that if possible you can space the string lights evenly so that you have every other umbrella arm covered in lights if you don’t have enough to do all of the arms.

It is also worth noting that you won’t be able to collapse the umbrella with the string lights attached.

A similar question often asked is:

How to hang outdoor patio string lighting?

There are many ways that you can hang outdoor patio string lights, for example you could weave them through a feature shrub or tree, you could attach them to the outside of you home, or you could put them up in a pergola. All of these ideas will really bring your patio to life.

There are all sorts of string light clips that allow you to attach string lights to all sorts of items see the question below how to use string light clips.

Some people don’t have any of these things in there backyard or garden and therefore another frequently asked question is:

How to build a light post for string lights?

Put simply a light post for string lights is a post in the ground that you can wrap your string lights around. String light posts can look effective on their own but if you create four or five of them to mark a path or lead you eye down the garden they can look fantastic. So how do you build a light post for string lights? There are a number of ways that you can do this:

  • The simplest way is to knock a post in the ground. A piece of timber or a metal post about an inch in diameter is ideal. Make you ideally want posts that are 6 feet high and then knock them 12-18 inches in to the ground. If you are using mains powered lights then start out the same way as described above for the ‘How to put string light on an outdoor umbrella?’ question.
  • The second, more permanent, more costly but far superior option is to use solar powered string lights and proper fencing posts concreted in the ground. Using 3” square treated timber concreted in the ground you can wrap your solar string lights around the posts and mount the solar panel on top of the post. Although this method will take more time and cost more in the short term, it will cost nothing to run once installed. You will also have the flexibility to position the posts for your string lights wherever you want because you will not need to be close to mains power.

Do you place string lights on a pergola on the inside of wood or the outside?

This question is often asked, and the question you need to ask your self is; who do you want to see the string lights? If you want the garden to look nice for the neighbours’ upstairs windows or your own then put the lights on the outside of the wooden frame. If however you sit under the pergola and you want to make the outdoor area look nice for yourself then put them on the inside of the frame.

Can I install outdoor string lights using a residential plug?

You will find that most outdoor string light will come with a plug attached and are low voltage so you should be able to use them straight out of the box. If you are worried about using them then you could always use plug in circuit breaker so that if there are any accidents the power to the string lights will be cut immediately. Always check on the packaging of your string lights to insure that they can be used outdoors. This question on outdoor string lights is often followed by:

Can I keep string lights plugged in outside?

If you are using specific outdoor string lights and you are using them with a plug-in circuit breaker then there is no reason why not. However, being safety conscious we would always unplug them.

How to hide the cord of patio string lights?

Hiding the cord of patio string completes the look of any string light installation and there are many ways that you can do this:

  • You could bury the cable in gravel, bark or other ground cover. Remember though that if they are mains voltage string lights you will need to check you local regulations as the cable will probably need some form of armouring so that you or anybody else doesn’t accidentally put a spade though it.
  • If you are using string lights on a wall is there any way that you could hide the cable behind a trellis or screen?
  • You can paint the cable using acrylic paint to paint match the background.
  • If there is nothing to hide your string lights behind and you are fixing them on a wall then make sure that you run the cable horizontally and vertically in line with any timber of bricks. This simple trick will make the cables less obvious.


Can paper string lights stay outside?

If the paper string lights you own are not intended for outdoor use then we wouldn’t recommend you leaving them outside. After a good down pour you will probably find you’re your paper string lights look more like a papier-mâché disaster. There are paper outdoor string lights though that have a wax coated paper which you can use and leave outdoors. Check on the packaging of your string lights and if it doesn’t say you can uses them outdoors don’t. 

How to use string light clips?

There are number of different string light clips and what you want to attach your string lights to will determine what sort of clip you buy.

  • String light clips with nails – these can be used for fixing string light to surface such as timber or plastic or even trees, simply nail them to whatever you want and thread the string lights through them.
  • Self adhesive string light clips – this is a little less destructive than using nails and they are often quite sufficient, position the adhesive clips where you need them and attach the string lights.
  • Gutter string light clips – these hook over your gutter and allow you to attach string lights to them. These are great for once a year decorations as they are non-destructive and can be easily removed.

If you have any other questions on using or installing your string lights contact us.

Finding Great Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

7 Jun

Finding Great Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

When looking for great outdoor kitchen ideas and plans for turning that drab old patio space into an exciting and usable area for entertaining, there are many things to consider. First on the list should be your research and planning to help determine what type of kitchen or dining area you need based upon your entertaining style.  Of course, you can always choose to design one you’d like to have and can feasibly construct. There are also magazines dedicated exclusively to these topics. Another idea would be to visit home shows in your area where they showcase ideas and mock set-ups of how you could design and layout your own kitchen. You will also get a sense of all the available accessories and products available to use on the modern patio.

The patio is a very flexible area. You can use it more for rest and relaxation or for hosting dinner parties and outdoor dining with friends and family. This is why planning is such a big factor in determining how your patio space will be utilized. When you know just how you will be enjoying your new design, it is easier to work backward from that point. This is even more true when you are planning on having your patio extend the usable space or square footage of your home. These outdoor rooms or spaces bring more flexibility to you as the host and entertainer.

It is really all about more usable square footage for your home. This is what having a kitchen outside will provide for you. You may even find that the total size feels greater than the actual measurements when applied to how your space ultimately feels. As you know, the kitchen will eventually be the gathering spot. If you have a small kitchen design inside or the layout is just a poor use of space, this is a problem. So, if you can bring your guests into other areas outdoors, it will create more flow and livable, usable space.  This is really what outdoor living is all about.

As we’ve alluded to, there are a variety of outdoor kitchen ideas to fit most any homeowner’s tastes. The outdoor grill on the patio just doesn’t cut it as a kitchen anymore. It probably never really did. The point is, with items like stainless steel appliances, various cook tops, counters, sinks and even refrigerators and dishwashers for outdoor spaces, it’s hard not to take advantage of some of these features to really amp up your outdoor space.  Enjoy!