Building a Patio Deck Over Concrete: Time, Money and Tools.All those ridges and sunken spots meant hours of tedious shimming under the sleepers to form a flat surface for the decking (see Photo 3).ft. For looks and durability, we used two different colors of decking made from PVC, but there are less expensive alternatives.Even a very small patio will require more than 50 holes, and a more powerful drill will make that chore a lot easier.Exact quantities depend on the shape of your patio and the layout of the decking.

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63 Hot Tub Deck Ideas: Secrets of Pro Installers & Designers

To achieve that perfect at-home retreat many people are incorporating relaxing hot tubs into their landscape designs.When evaluating the various locations for a deck consider how the structure, design, and accessibility will enhance the aesthetics and utility of your hot tub, home and yard.We reached out to deck, landscape and hot tub experts around the world for their absolute best tips and tricks.Raised platform hot tub design with horizontal stainless steel cable railing.When building the new deck, a platform was made to hold the hot tub at a height conducive to regular use.Integrate a horizontal stainless steel cable railing to give the design a modern look and feel.– Tip provided by Bill Renter, Long Island Hot Tub, New York.For those who have a small space to work with, a simple deck around the hot tub is great for creating a more spacious look.Include plants, outdoor furniture, and other decor to make the space uniquely you…one you’ll love spending time in after a long day.For saving sight lines around small spaces, sinking the hot tub in the deck area is an excellent idea.If the sunken hot tub is too much work (or too high a cost), another option is to build a bench around the spa for a nice clean, modern look.For most people, composite materials are more functional to use when constructing an area outdoors or around a hot tub.Your local home improvement store or contractor can assist you in what options fit best for your area’s climate.Accent your spa with an elevated two step design for a more modern feel around your hot tub.One excellent option is to position the spa in a corner on your patio near your home for easy access all year long.This style makes the hot tub appear like it was custom designed for you and your life, resulting in an amazing finished look.Use various levels to enhance your deck’s appeal and to create specific areas for entertaining guests.When building a platform deck, like the one above, measure the height and depth of the hot tub, then cut the pieces 2 by 4 material to construct the frame.Incorporate greenery, outdoor furniture, and even a fire pit, to design a space to entertain guests.In addition, the built-in seating can be used as low railing to prevent against accidentally falling off the deck edges while conversing.“Think outside the standard wood platform with smart design ideas for a range of settings and budgets.” – This Old House.Incorporate travertine and black stone veneer panels to create a more elegant hot tub look.– Tip provided by Bill Renter, Long Island Hot Tub, New York.Durable hardwoods like Iroko, Acacia and Ipe are ideal for exterior use and will stand the test of time.Interest is created by building out off of the existing walls, which have given depth to the space through the use of light-box windows.” – Tip by Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture, California.Mix the more industrial look of stone and the warmth of nature to create a stunning outdoor patio area.Plus, by incorporating the four elements (earth, fire, wind, and water) into your space, you’re involving all your senses and adding value to your property.Add a foot path in your backyard design (earth), install a fire pit of tiki lamps (fire), hang wind chimes (wind), and include a fountain, pool, or hot tub (water) to enhance your outdoor space and reconnect with your senses.Water features and backyard ponds are an excellent focal point for any time of year.– Tip provided by Bill Renter, Long Island Hot Tub, New York.This jagged rock faced design is perfect for creating a more natural feel around your hot tub.“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” – Sylvia Plath.Construct a zen garden by incorporating more of mother nature into your hot tub deck design.Design your space for a more organic, feng shui feel that will boost inner peace and allow you to meditate after a hectic day.Create the perfect kitchen area in your deck design where you can entertain both family and friends.Not only is this a perfect addition to your outdoor living space, adjacent from your hot tub, but it keeps you engaged in the conversation without having to run back into the house for something.When positioning your hot tub in your outdoor landscape, keep in mind which areas get prevailing winds, a lot of sun, and shade.If you live in an area with a gorgeous view, why not create the perfect backyard space with a scenic overlook?Take in the lights of the city, the mountains, and natural vistas by creating an open design for your hot tub that matches the visual style of your home and complements your garden landscape.Include native plants, shrubs, and trees as accents around your yard and hot tub.Give your outdoor environment a fresh look by adding a new coat of paint to the wicker and metal furniture.Have some fun with your space by adding a firepit, pergola, and circular seating with colorful throw pillows.Check with your city to ensure you meet the requirements to have a fire pit and choose one that is safe to use in your space.Add a screen to your interior garden space not only for added privacy but also as a backdrop to hide any undesirable view.This screen adds a dramatic lighting element to enhance the outdoor mood with the changing sunlight colors.Create a modern hot tub deck design with a rooftop patio and sofa seating.Privacy and shade are other big considerations that can be tackled with a rooftop patio and hot tub that takes advantage of clever screening.Of course, anyone considering a rooftop hot tub installation should seek professional expertise to ascertain if special structural considerations are required.“A lot of the time, the instinct is to tuck them away off to the side, but this doesn’t make them feel very inviting.With so many varieties available, it’s easy to select a hot tub that complements the shape and size of the deck.Privacy makes them feel cozy and relaxing, and the sight line draws you to the hot tub, as well as ensuring you have a nice view of your beautiful yard while you soak.Weave cedar slabs of wood to create a lounge area with a stylish privacy screen.Incorporate plants, lanterns, and cozy chairs to make the place more inviting.If you have a smaller backyard space, place your hot tub close to your door and create a landscape design around the spa.Find inspiration in a unique patio design, include a sitting area, plants, or add some other artistic pieces to incorporate in the space.This full privacy, multi-step wood deck is ideal for creating a backyard retreat to relax after a long day.Construct a wood slat fence around your hot tub for a modern, sleek design with the added benefit of privacy.Include bamboo and candles to give the area a more zen feel, or add a simple piece of shrubbery to enhance the space.Hammacher Schlemmer shared this design on their site, which pulls inspiration from Scandinavia to create a perfect all-weather retreat.Large windows can be easily opened or closed (depending on the weather) to protect you and your hot tub from the elements.A roof and three walls, adorned with windows to let some light in, protects you and your hot tub from the elements.Include a gazebo to create some additional privacy along with a BBQ, patio furniture, and other items to entertain guests.Find inspiration in your patio decor design with this impressive lattice fence and fabric curtains.One approach is to have the hot tub rest on a concrete slab with the decking build halfway (around 18″ high).Combine a fire pit, hot tub, and patio set with umbrella to arrange a space to entertain.Frame the patio with flowers and bushes, fill in the space with wood chips, for a clean look.Build one yourself with these simple DIY tips, or turn it into a gazebo to shade your hot tub.When constructing a pergola in your backyard, remember they require a solid foundation and should be able to drain any water, which can damage the structure.Install your hot tub in a serene backyard landscape with waterfalls and a “pondless” reservoir.When installing a manmade stream with waterfalls, some of our clients (especially with young children or small pets) prefer the pondless feature where the water seeps into the gravel (where the reservoir is) and acts as a more green maintenance-free source.– Tip provided by Bill Renter, Long Island Hot Tub, New York.For those who live in a desert climate or wants to eliminate grass from their backyard landscape, rocks and native plants are an excellent idea to create a unique, yet stunning, look.If you’re working on a budget, use cement blocks to create a striking patio design in your backyard.Plus, give your ground cover a fun design with these circular foot steps surrounded around gravel.Another fun idea to give your hot tub a different look without breaking the bank is using Airstone to add depth.Airstone is a manufactured stone veneer product which is easy to install for both indoor and outdoor projects.Made out of recycled materials, Airstone is an affordable resource to give your patio design a natural, earthy feel.Design decks around hot tubs to be user friendly for both the owners and service techs.If you’re looking to downsize, this compact design fits a family of 5 comfortably and allows for the enjoyment of relaxing in a hot tub.If you’re interested in learning more about these tiny houses, Inhabitat has a lot of styles to choose from.In many cases, zoning can be a challenge since some communities require houses to be 1,000 square feet or more.A raised stone platform design with entrance steps creates a spacious outdoor patio.Combine colorful plants, outdoor furniture, and even a rug into the space to make the area pop with your personality.Interject smooth, symmetrical lines in your backyard design with this multi-step short deck, accented with a stone path, pergola, raised bench, and colorful patio umbrella.Large enough to comfortably entertain guests, you can incorporate shrubs, trees, and other vegetation to the area to add shade and privacy.If you can hire a gardener to handle the upkeep, great, but if you’re dreading spending hours doing yard work, create an outdoor space that is low maintenance.Incorporating light in your outdoor design can brighten dark corners and add emphasis on areas you want to highlight…perhaps your hot tub.Choose custom lighting throughout your garden and in the hot tub to take the atmosphere to the next level.Help your hot tub blend in with its surroundings by adding plants which can soften the harsh corners.By integrating dramatic architectural lighting into a hot tub design scheme you will create a multifunctional entertaining area that can be used as a relaxing spa experience by day and the ultimate party venue by night.Not only does this add a beautiful lighting design to your deck, but it is also a safety feature that helps keep people from falling down/up your steps.Keep deck lighting low key so it doesn’t distract from your outdoor design, but enhances the space instead.Our top tip for anyone considering purchasing a hot tub is to ensure it is integrated into a cohesive design scheme that creates a multifunctional indoor/outdoor space.Simple wood steps are another excellent addition to your hot tub design if you want a modern, yet practical entrance without the huge cost.A hot tub enhances any backyard, creating a great opportunity to host guests any time of year.A fire pit can be turned on while you and guests enjoy your hot tub, adding an ambient glow to your surroundings.The fire pit can also offer warmth once you’re out of the hot tub and drying off, or it can be used to roast marshmallows and make s’mores on a summer night.Or install the fire pit on the other side of the yard if you want to create a separate space for lounging and socializing with friends and family.One of the most popular backyard hot tub and fire pit ideas is to create a pergola or deck to bring both parts of the yard together.Add seating around the fire pit by creating a built-in wall, by using stools, or by adding an outdoor dining set nearby.You could also consider adding benches in between the hot tub and the fire pit, so guests can easily go back and forth between the two areas.Consider adding landscaping lights near tall trees, bushes, or walking paths in your yard.For example, choose warm, dim twinkle lights if you want to create a romantic outdoor space.Even if you’re doing hot tub landscaping on a budget, you can easily incorporate a few lighting elements to make the space more inviting.When trying to determine if your deck is strong enough to hold a hot tub, it’s important to get an expert opinion.If you’re feeling overwhelmed after reading through these 63 hot tub deck designs, don’t fret!Don’t compromise on your vision, and you’ll soon be showing off your one-of-a-kind hot tub deck to friends and family. .

15 Gorgeous Deck and Patio Ideas You Can DIY

It can shield you from the neighbors, surround you with flowers and provide fresh herbs just steps away from your kitchen or grill. .

For Beginners: Four Can't-Miss Ways to Attract Birds to Your Yard or

The best way to “advertise” is to let them hear the water by using a fountain pump or a small drip hose.I like to think about migrant species such as warblers, vireos, and flycatchers stopping off for a refreshing drink (and snack) on their way from Canada to Central America.Different birds eat different things, so it helps to offer a variety of food types.Native plants that provide seeds, berries and insects are the best and most natural way to offer food for wild birds.These birds have a beautiful gold color and they are a pleasure to watch along with their cousins, the red-hued house finches and bright-colored buntings.Thistle seed requires a special bird (finch) feeder with smaller holes,.These birds have a beautiful gold color and they are a pleasure to watch along with their cousins, the red-hued house finches and bright-colored buntings.They are more likely be picked up by ground feeding birds, such as doves, juncos, sparrows or even squirrels.They are more likely be picked up by ground feeding birds, such as doves, juncos, sparrows or even squirrels.Suet is basically a cake of animal fat and is a healthy source of protein for birds, especially in the winter months.is basically a cake of animal fat and is a healthy source of protein for birds, especially in the winter months.There are a large number of bird species that stay on the ground to feed and seldom, if ever, land on feeders.They will often gobble up seeds that have fallen from the feeders and others will scratch around in small piles or mats of leaf litter you can place around the yard.The main thing about attracting birds to your yard or deck is to let it happen over time and enjoy it.Remember to keep up with the food and water supplies, especially in the winter when you can help dozens of birds survive the cold.We are fond of the National Wildlife Federation’s Guide to North American Birds because of its good reviews and reasonable price. .

6 slippery deck solutions: how to stop decking from being slippery

You'll be pleased to know that whether you have timber or composite flooring installed in your garden, there are lots of simple ways to ensure that it won't send you and your guests flying.They offer a chic and stable base for outdoor furniture, help to zone a space, and can introduce new and interesting levels.With help from the experts, we've brought together some top tips on how to stop a deck from being slippery, so you can enjoy your space year-round with peace of mind.Non-slip paints and oils can be effective in keeping your deck safe (Image credit: ronstik/Alamy Stock Photo).You can buy stains made especially for this purpose, which will enhance the look of your deck as well as provide tons more grip.Plus, 'most anti-slip decking stains contain biocide agents,' adds Gena Lorainne of Fantastic Services, 'meaning they prevent the growth of potential slippery organic matter.'.Grip strips have a gritted surface and are a highly practical and low-maintenance solution if you need to know how to stop a deck from being slippery.This gives you the opportunity to take precautionary measures against a slippery deck right from the get-go, as you can choose one that's textured as opposed to smooth.As the garden experts at Fantastic Services say, 'Some of the popular designs include boards with a grooved-channel or deep wood-grain texture.'.Lay your decking the opposite way to foot traffic (Image credit: Bruce Hemming/Future).Consider this first, before you have it installed, as the team at Fantastic Services suggests to lay the decking in the opposite direction.Adding a veranda or awning to your decking will keep it protected from the elements for longer (Image credit: David Hiscock/Future).Depending on their size, they can help to protect the surface of your decking from the elements, making it less prone to pooling water, algae, and a build-up of fallen leaves.Of course, you need to ensure that your decking cover of choice is one that can withstand the colder seasons for this to work best, and you'll still need to keep on top of cleaning.Before you cover your entire deck with this method, it's always best to try a patch test first in a small and inconspicuous area. .

Alternatives to grass: 11 no-mow ideas for your garden

Join our newsletter Get the best home decor ideas, DIY advice and project inspiration straight to your inbox!Lawns are child-friendly, wildlife havens, soft areas where you can sunbathe, and design-wise a necessary ‘neutral space’, but you can’t use them year-round and they need care, including spiking and scarifying, mowing, weed control and watering.An increasingly popular option, a meadow can be created by simply allowing existing lawn grass to grow longer than usual, and cutting it only once or twice in summer.If you want something akin to an idyllic country meadow, there are two options: the easiest is to plant wildflower plug-plants throughout the long grass, chosen with your soil type in mind.Perennial meadows last a lot longer, but need TLC and time to establish, so don’t expect an attractive display until at least two years after sowing.Prepare the ground thoroughly before sowing – you can’t simply sprinkle meadow seed over an existing lawn, so unfortunately you will need to start from scratch.However, replacing a large lawn in the garden of a suburban semi with a sea of gravel is rather boring, and impractical for families with children.Water-worn weathered flint and cockleshells are favourites, but your choice should be guided by local stone, other hardscape materials in the garden, and the house.Where gravel meets a lawn or planting you’ll need an edge of metal strips, granite setts, terracotta ‘rope-top’ tiles or bricks laid in a saw-tooth pattern to stop it spilling.Ideal for dark corners under trees where even shade-tolerant types of grass struggle to grow well, bark feels more at home, although simple water-worn gravels work too.Choose natural stripped pine bark or similar and, for colour and texture, add plants in areas not used for seating.For areas where daily usage isn’t important, fragrant chamomile lawns are popular, but require a sunny spot and free draining soil.They also go a little patchy in wet summers, and for this reason scented thyme lawns are prefereable, which need similar conditions and also don’t tolerate heavy foot traffic, but are generally a lot tougher and more reliable.If you don’t need to walk on parts of the lawn at all, seas of weed-smothering ground cover plants such as bugle (Ajuga), pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), self-heal (Prunella), and even ivy work well.Sedum mats, commonly used on green or living roofs, are good ground cover, if given enough sun.Whichever option you choose, paths made from paving, gravel or timber sleepers are essential throughout, so you don’t crush the planting when you walk.The foundations, especially large areas, also need specialist fitters, as preparing the ground is more like laying paving, and a level surface is vital.But to many, plastic grass is less comfortable underfoot and monotonous to look at, even though technological advances mean the ‘astroturf’ look synonymous with football pitches is long gone.In many cases, simplifying the shape of a real grass lawn to minimise maintenance, sowing a mini-meadow or making a gravel garden instead is a more natural, wildlife-friendly, not to mention cheaper, alternative.The Derwent Artificial Grass from Carpetright (below) subtly combines different shades of green and brown for a realistic look, and is fabulously soft underfoot.Smooth natural sandstone paving in Dune, with a matt appearance and a machine-cut edge, from £1,123.45 for a 15.3m2 patio kit, Bradstone.A small, traditional patio will benefit from stone paving blocks in sandstone or limestone in honey or brown shades; more modern properties can experiment with quartz, versatile porcelain or even concrete.If yours is a small garden, perhaps an awkward shape or on a sloping site, and your budget is low, installing decking is a cost-effective, speedy way to create a usable surface, perfect for outdoor lounging and dining. .

Decking Finish Problems

This week we’re going to look at the common problem of stickiness, where for some reason the decking oil you’re applying just isn’t doing what it says on the tin.We’ll also look at how to remove old finishes so you can re-apply lots of lovely oil, and provide sensible advice about what NOT to do!You’re doing the decent thing, keeping your garden deck in apple pie order.Some new hardwoods, especially exotic ones, are naturally very oily indeed, and you might find they absorb very little oil if any at all, at least until they’ve aged a bit and seen at least 3 months of our famously awful British weather!It might be tempting to just paint decking oil over the top and hope it disappears, but it won’t work.Mould and algea tend to penetrate into the surface, they don’t just sit on top of the wood.Many of the best anti-fungal products for wood kill the mould or algea and also prevent it coming back, which is an excellent idea and buys you more time in between maintenance sessions.There’s a lot of talk online about getting rid of decking oil and replacing it with stain or paint, but the advice is always the same – it’s a huge challenge and you’re probably best off letting it lie.You can use a jet washer to clean decking finished with oil but it comes with risks of its own – you could damage the wood surface or contaminate the soil as the powerful jet of water pushes the finish out of the wood onto plants and into the ground.Just clean the surface thoroughly using a good quality decking cleaner, which will get rid of the dirt, then re-oil it.You can’t beat a simple brush for a start, keeping the wood surface free of mud, soil, leaves and so on.to get rid of moss, mould and algae and prevent regrowth for as long as six months.For more information about decking treatments and their uses, contact our team of resident experts who are always on hand to help with project advice and product recommendations. .

Garden landscaping ideas: 12 ways to plan the perfect yard space

Join our newsletter Get the best home decor ideas, DIY advice and project inspiration straight to your inbox!Our guide to garden landscaping is a sound starting point when transforming your outdoor space from scratch – whether you're a pro or a total novice.Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love shares some helpful tips for staying on budget and reducing garden landscaping costs where possible:.The main reason for this part of the garden landscaping process is that you'll be looking to identify any issues so that you can prepare your efforts and materials accordingly – which will save you time and money in the long run.Planting, installing off-the-peg water features, adding a new gravel path or lawn, laying decking and garden fencing are within the scope of the keen amateur; however, walling, laying expensive stone pavers, concrete rendering and electrical work should be carried out by professionals for a quality, safe finish, even if you do have a small plot.Big chunks of rubble make it harder for plants to establish and can potentially block drainage access also.A subtle change in level can help make a smaller yard or garden feel larger, but sloped grass is a no no as it can become slippy and unsightly very quickly.When it comes to stone and wood, go to local salvage yards and warehouses to ask for excess pallets of bricks and boards for the fraction of their original price.While performance, durability and ease of maintenance are key with all materials used in a garden setting, you should choose natural-looking surfaces that complement your home and design style.Earthy greys, deep honey browns and rustic dull reds suit both period and new houses.Patio paving : There are lots of options available – from expensive York stone to concrete imitations, brick and granite.Decking: Can be a good choice where wooden flooring is used inside the house – very well suited in contemporary homes.Timber, oak and even teak make perfect decking ideas for a busy garden area as they are durable and stable materials that can deal with heavy footfall.Your decking will need a good pressure wash every once in a while to keep algae and any slipperiness at bay, but it's sure to keep your garden looking fine for years to come.Timber, oak and even teak make perfect decking ideas for a busy garden area as they are durable and stable materials that can deal with heavy footfall.Your decking will need a good pressure wash every once in a while to keep algae and any slipperiness at bay, but it's sure to keep your garden looking fine for years to come.Simply working the ground will increase drainage, and if you're installing patio paving, this will help disperse water furthermore.An important point to note is that your topsoil level shouldn't surpass the damp-course of your home or other garden outbuildings to avoid running the risk of damp in any interior spaces.This is the fun part, and plants, trees and any shrubbery should come next on the list, ahead of adding any garden lawns.Generally, a mixture of trees, flowers and evergreen shrubs will work well, creating year-round interest, ideal for wildlife also.What's beautiful about this landscaping method is that you don't need a ton of plants to make a difference, and it's not reserved only for dry climates.Choose different hard landscaping and floor surfaces: To differentiate between the dining, lounging and play areas.A line of shapely box plants, set into a low wall, takes up very little space but creates a strong visual divide between the lounging and dining areas.A line of shapely box plants, set into a low wall, takes up very little space but creates a strong visual divide between the lounging and dining areas.Garden screening such as trellis, DIY living walls and strategically planted trees can all help create a more intimate and protected setting.While if you're sure to be swinging in your favorite hammock or snoozing on a deck chair, putting up a bigger structure like a pergola to hedge neighbors' views may be more effective.Jameson continues 'One effective way to spruce up your garden landscape is to add colors to your fence walls to elevate the overall look without having to purchase new outdoor decors.You can also make use of old tires for pots, use old wine bottles as chimes and hang them on tree branches or fences to add visuals.Or rather trim up, as once your grass has established you can mow it to your desired shape and make a start on your lawn edges.Jameson advises to 'Keep in mind to focus on elements you will be using often when crafting your landscape master plan and always work in phases to prevent being overwhelmed about starting your project and from going over the budget.Lindsey Hyland, a gardening expert and founder of Urban Organic Yield says: 'Make the most of your budget with low-cost, high-impact projects, like a rock wall or cedar privacy fence.'.'Upgrade existing structures to make them better looking and sustainable: re-landscape abandoned containers; add benches or trellises; paint, stain or decorate weathered wood to enliven it.'.If this is coming via a digger, when you're dealing with a lot of soil for your whole plot, be sure to take a look at the quality – checking for any clay or weeds – ahead of letting the driver tip it.If this is coming via a digger, when you're dealing with a lot of soil for your whole plot, be sure to take a look at the quality – checking for any clay or weeds – ahead of letting the driver tip it.Choose sustainable landscaping materials: opting for timber and other hardwoods for your space is not only cost-efficient but also creates a rustic and quality finish.Note that softwood decking may be cheaper, but doesn’t weather as well or last nearly as long as hardwoods, such as ipe and balau.Spon’s External Works and Landscape Price Book is helpful to consult, and is the most common guide used in the trade.Blogger Dear Designer has created this wonderful shaded space with decking and a pergola (Image credit: Carole King). .

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