If you're like many homeowners, the backyard deck is the focal point for warm-weather activities.
As the summer continues, we all are enjoying our outdoor living spaces. But our decks and other exterior structures need regular maintenance to keep looking good.
Porches, decks, patios, and pools make excellent gathering places. Decks are normally considered backyard structures for fun and sun.
But decks are appropriate for front entries also, although they may require design refinements.
This blog post offers a few tips for making your outside space exciting and fun inspiration-even if you don't live at the beach!
* Use a wrought-iron table and chairs set that can withstand harsh weather conditions. Wrought iron needs little more care than an occasional wire brushing to clean off surface rust.
* If your deck is uncovered, be sure to purchase a table umbrella to keep off the sun.
* Construct a trellis along one side of your deck for ivy to climb.
* Plant an herb garden on your deck.
* Line the deck with flower boxes, or hang them from the deck's railings. Azaleas and begonias brighten up stark wood.
* If you have the space, grow a small tree, such as a ficus, on your deck.
* Home improvement stores stock strings of outdoor lights in decorative shapes (fireflies, Chinese lanterns, stars) to add a festive touch to your nighttime parties. Tiki torches are always a nice touch too.
* Use Citronella lamp oil and candles to help keep the bugs away. If you use artificial floodlights, get yellow bug lights to repel those unwanted guests.
* Hornet/wasp traps are available to attract and kill those venomous visitors.
* Use fine-mesh wire to keep mice, skunks, opossums, neighborhood cats and other critters from taking up residence under your deck.