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PATIOS, PERGOLAS, AND GAZEBOS. OH, MY!

Summer may be drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean you have to forget about finally fixing your backyard. It’s typical to think of this part of a home last since, well, nobody sees it except for you and your guests. But having a backyard that is welcoming and functions as the perfect gathering spot when the weather is just right isn’t just important for hosting parties, it also gives you the perfect escape from the rest of the world. It’s your own little utopia of nature and solitude. But what, oh, what are you to do with that space? Isn’t a lawn of grass enough? Doesn’t that suffice? Sure. If you’re basic. But let’s look at a few structures you can add to your backyard to increase its value and make your backyard an alluring hangout spot for you or your friends.

Patios

Easy peasy. These little plots of hard surface will allow you to do just about anything. You can bedeck them with furniture, a grill, or chiminea. There’s a variety of materials to choose from for building your patio from brick to flagstone, to pavers, to poured concrete. Patios keep it simple, yet classy. They also make eating outside a little more enjoyable. It’s a level space, so no falling into gopher holes or sitting in a wobbly chair on uneven ground. It’s also easier to keep the patio clean of food debris, which helps keep little critters like ants at bay.

Pergolas

If there’s one thing every patio could do with, it’s a pergola. The pergola dates all the way back to ancient Egypt. The projecting eaves offer a little shade and beautiful structure to any backyard and patio. Pergolas can either project off of the house or stand alone. The beauty behind this addition is its optimal for vine growth, which provides a gorgeous sight as well as some lovely and welcome shade. Bougainvillea is one flowering vine that comes in a variety of shades and is also drought resistant. Trumpet vines will also do the trick. Not just that, but they also give bees more buds to pollinate, which helps us all.

Decks

Sometimes your house sits a little up off the ground. Sometimes your house sits up on a hill. Regardless, adding a deck to your home is a very sound investment. It’s like a patio, but raised off the ground to meet the back door wherever it falls. Often enclosed with a railing – an excellent safety measure – and made of wood, decks are a slightly more eco-friendly option than a traditional patio. How’s that? Well, with a patio you end up decreasing biodiversity in the ecosystem by replacing the grass and plants with stone or concrete. Since decks are raised off the ground, there’s still room for the grass to grow on its own and the smaller organisms that affect our soil and water supply to continue flourishing.

Gazebos

There’s nothing more romantic than a gazebo. What makes the gazebo different from a patio with a pergola is that Gazebos are stand-alone structures that include a floor and roof. Gazebos are farther away from the house. So if it’s a quiet little reading or visiting nook that you desire, then look no further than a gazebo. Lighting can be added in the form of overhead fixtures or simple string lights strung around the pillars or inside the roof. There’s also a lot of customizing that comes with the gazebo from design and color scheme to the size of your gazebo.

Yes, at the end of the day you can let your backyard be just a yard. But why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary with any of these simple, value increasing solutions.

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