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Hardscaping, Structures & Designs for Outdoor Rooms

Your outdoor living space may be plus-sized, a petite plot, or something in between. Learn all about hardscaping, and how you can maximize the potential of each square inch that might be peacefully waiting outside your door. Discover what you or your contractor can build -- like porches, terraces, ponds, planting beds, seating -- in materials with which you may or may not be familiar.
  1. Privacy Screens & Fences (2)
  2. Children's Play Spaces (12)

Outdoor Privacy Screens
Regardless of your property's size, there are some areas of your outdoor living space you'll want to screen for privacy. Whether it's a pool, spa, outdoor kitchen, patio, or just a spot for enjoying some solitude, you're going to need to figure out how to create that screen, barrier, fence, etc. Obvious ways to create privacy screens are walls,...

Creative Solutions for Outdoor Privacy Screens
Whether you want to add some privacy to your spa area or are seeking a small space for a backyard retreat, an outdoor privacy screen gives you that much-needed personal space away from the view of neighbors or passers-by. Follow these creative solutions to gain some privacy in your outdoor living area.

Quick Clean-ups for Your Backyard Before the Big Bash
Summertime and the living is easy. That is, once you get your outdoor space spruced-up and looking like a place where you and your gang love to hang. If have have a party coming up in a few days, follow this checklist to get your outdoor room in order. Just simple suggestions to make your outdoors an extension of your fun and comfortable lifestyle.

Outdoor Privacy Screens - Idea Galleries of Outdoor Privacy Screens
With an outdoor privacy screen , you can add some much-needed privacy to your pool, hot tub or spa area. Maybe you're seeking a private space for a backyard retreat or a patio, deck or balcony. An outdoor privacy screen gives you personal space away from the view of neighbors or passers-by. Check out this ga

Outdoor Privacy Screens - Shrubs, Trees, Vines and Other Plants Provi…
With an outdoor privacy screen, you can add some much-needed privacy to your pool, hot tub or spa area. Maybe you want privacy for a small space or certain area of your yard, patio, deck or balcony. An outdoor privacy screen gives you personal space away from the view of neighbors or passers-by. This photo gallery of shrubs, trees and other...

Bamboo Screen Ideas
With an outdoor privacy screen, you can add some much-needed privacy to your pool, hot tub or spa area. Maybe you're seeking a small space for a backyard retreat or a patio, deck or balcony. An outdoor privacy screen gives you personal space away from the view of neighbors or passers-by. Follow these creative solutions to gain some privacy in...

2014 Home and Garden Shows
Where are the top DIY and home and garden shows for 2014? Check this list to find an event in a city near you.

Fence Me In
A wall or a fence are both obvious choices for gaining privacy, marking bounaries and creating barriers. Not all walls and fences have to be typical or boring. Once you start investigating, you'll find that there are many materials and styles you can use. But if you've always dreamed of a white picket fence and it goes with the architectural...

How to Dig Post Holes & Install Posts: Arbor Project
Follow these simple steps to dig post holes and install posts. While this is for a pre-fabricated arbor, you can use this tutorial for decks, fences, gazebos and other outdoor structures.

Inspiration for Your Outdoor Living Space
At a loss for what you want to do with your backyard or outdoor living space? Follow these ideas for inspiration and have fun in the process.

A Guide to Outdoor Structures and Buildings
What, exactly, are those structures and buildings in your yard called? We define what's what and explain them all, so you'll never be confused again.

Types of Hardscaping
Hardscape is as essential to a residential outdoor living space as softscape. Discover what types of hardscaping are the easiest to use and most popular.

Hardscaping with Stone
Attractive landscaping stone can enhance the natural elements of your outdoor space, along with raising the value of your property. Skillful arrangements of stone and other hardscape components provide a framework for artistic landscape design. Stones can be natural or manmade, and can be used in gardens, walkways, walls, and water features.

What is Decomposed Granite?
If you've ever walked along a dirt path at a botanical garden, there's a good chance you weren't walking on just plain old dirt. Especially if it didn't create lots of dust and particles when you kicked along the pathway, the ground upon which you were walking was most likely made of decomposed granite, or DG. But why would you choose DG over another pathway material? Hint: it might be more environmental.

The 3 Pathways Used in Japanese Gardens
Strolling is an integral part of a Japanese garden, allowing the homeowner explore and contemplate details in the landscape. A path in a Japanese garden is intended to an enjoyable experience as well as a practical way to connect different areas. Discover the three types of pathways in Japanese garden design and how to use them in your landscape.

Structures and Accessories in Japanese Gardens
That Japanese tea house you've been wanting for your backyard might look lost if it's the only architectural element you use in your Japanese garden. Discover other structures, buildings and design features you can add to your yard.

Bridges in Landscape Design
Bridges are one of the most iconic symbols in Japanese gardens. Like pathways, bridges can be part of the experience, allowing visitors to contemplate the view. Learn about the types of bridges and how to find the right spot for one in your landscape.

What is Wrought Iron?
For years, wrought iron has been one of the most popular materials for patio furniture. But what, exactly, is wrought iron and how does it differ from other metals? Find out in this brief history of wrought iron, along with why it's been around so many years in the outdoor world of garden furniture.

What is a Shed?
A small building, usually situated in a backyard or side yard of a home. Sheds can be simple or elaborate, small or large, store-bought or a project for the do-it-yourselfer.

What is a Trellis?
What is a trellis used for? You know it's a structure of some kind that can be found in a landscape or yard. Do you use it to train vines, or is it that thing you walk through or under? Find out.

Fountains and Water Features for Your Outdoor Space
Besides plants, there's another component for creating a beautiful landscape: hardscape. And water fountains are one of the hottest features in hardscape's repertoire. David Beaulieu, About.com's Guide to Landscaping, presents a photo gallery of outdoor fountains and water features.

What is a Sauna?
Saunas are sometimes confused with spas or hot tubs, possibly because people refer to them in the context of taking a sauna bath. They also are used for many of the same reasons: to relax sore muscles, stimulate circulation and to get warm -- sometimes extremely warm. While a hot tub spa bathes you in hot water, a sauna bathes you in heat.

What is a Belvedere?
The word belvedere is rarely used in modern architecture or landscape architecture, probably because few designers include them in their designs. Or, they simply go by a more common word, like gazebo.

What is Terra Cotta?
Terra Cotta, aka terracotta, is used for many outdoor purposes and products, including bricks, architectural features, roof tiles and garden containers.

White House Trivia: Outdoor Living Spaces at the President's Park
We've heard interesting facts and trivia about the presidents, their families, and the White House. But what about the White House grounds, or more specifically, the swimming pools, patios, porches, secret retreats, outdoor furniture and other features we may not know about. Enjoy these bits of information about the White House landscape, past...

Photo Gallery: A Historical Look at the White House's Pools & Spas
*The United States' second president, John Adams, was the first to occupy the White House. Since then, each presidential family has left its mark on the outdoor living spaces of the executive mansion, whether it's been through planting trees and gardens or adding swimming pools and tennis courts, or replacing them with something else. At various...

The White House Menagerie
Besides the White House dogs and cats the nation has gotten to know, the ample 18 acres has also seen its share of more unusual pets. Through the years, the White House lawns and grounds have been the home of horses, snakes, rare birds, domesticated raccoons, goats, sheep, and even a cow or two. Take a look at the White House menagerie for the past century or so. And remember -- we're talking abo…

What is Your Favorite Building Supply Store? | Favorite Building Supp…
Do you have a favorite local building supply store where you go to for hardscaping and landscaping materials? A place that you would recommend for a variety of reasons: quality and/or quantity of products/materials, outstanding service, low prices, helpful delivery service, etc? Let us know, and help others in your area know where to go for hardscaping and landscaping supplies. Keep it real: this…

Is Your Property at Risk for a Wildfire?
Wildfires can catch you offguard and rapidly change your life forever. In some parts of the world, like Southern California and Australia, there is no "fire season" -- wildfires are a year-round threat. But how do you know if your house is in a wildfire zone? Check over this brief inventory list compiled from Firewise and blank to see if your property falls in one of these hot spots. And if it do…

The Best Free Garden Bench Plans
Are you looking for simple and free DIY plans to make an outdoor bench? We researched bench projects that take about a weekend to finish..

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