Here are a few of the leading trends that the DIY homeowner can use to cost-effectively create an outdoor space that "wows:"
Rent rather than buy
- Upgrading or adding a deck or patio can feel overwhelming unless you have the right equipment to do the job. Renting what you need saves money, plus helps you maximize your time so you can enjoy your new outdoor space sooner. From power washers and saws for cleaning and cutting, to utility loaders and tampers for digging and compacting base materials, you'll find everything you need at your local American Rental Association member rental store. Visit www.RentalHQ.com for locations near you. Not sure what you need? The pros at the shop are specially trained and can help you choose the best time-saving tools for your project.
Use pavers for patios
- Whether you're looking to refresh your current patio space or are starting from scratch, patios are great ground-level entertainment spaces. More homeowners are opting for pavers to level and define the space, which adds elegant detail, rather than a bland concrete slab. Find pavers in varying shapes, sizes and colors at your local home improvement store. Remember, by digging and installing a base layer, your pavers are less likely to shift over time. Dig down and compact base material with a rented plate compactor or a tamper before laying the pavers in the desired pattern.
Define your deck
- If you're adding a new deck, composite decking material is the way to go. While it costs a bit more than lumber, it lasts longer and is virtually maintenance-free, which will save you time and money in the long run. It's just as easy to work with as wood and can be cut and assembled in a similar manner. If you simply want to refresh an existing wood deck, rent a power washer to quickly clean off dirt, grime and paint chips. Replace gray and tan paint with deep brown hues, which adds a subtle upscale appearance. Modern exterior paint lasts years and some options even fill cracks in wood, so look for a brand that best suits your needs.
Go native with greenery
- Adding plants to your outdoor space helps the area feel cohesive with nature. Not sure what to add? Whether for pots, containers or the surrounding landscaping, consider native lawn and plant materials. Not only will they look great and add color and depth to your outdoor space, but they are typically lower maintenance and many require less water. Explore options at your local garden center or state extension service's website.
Create an outdoor kitchen
- Homeowners want to enjoy more time outside and that means cooking and dining al fresco. While a basic barbecue grill will do, outdoor kitchens are in high demand. Building your own outdoor kitchen space is simple. Install countertops surrounding your grill and consider incorporating features like a small fridge, gas burners for side items, smokers or built-in storage spaces for spices and cooking tools. Stainless steel continues to be the go-to material for outdoor kitchen features, blending modern style with the organic look of Mother Nature.
Light the night
- The right lighting can take a good outdoor space and make it great. Solar lighting is trending for outdoor spaces, and this eco-friendly option is also affordable. Light pathways with solar landscape lighting - eliminating the need for electrical cords. Jazz up deck posts with post caps that provide a gentle glow. Finally, a string or two of white garden lights adds a twinkle to the beautiful ambiance of a summer evening.