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Outdoor Makeovers: Remodeling & Repairing

It may be an eyesore now, but that swimming pool in your yard still has potential - the vast pit already exists, right? Learn how to repair and remodel your pool, deck and other outdoor areas to make the most out of your backyard world. Whether it's a restoration or transformation, here are real projects and photos on painting, tiling, replacing, retrofitting and much more.

Removing Stains From Patios and Walls
Patios and walls are exposed to the elements or something else creates a stain: efflorescence, mortar, mildew, rust, paint and grafitti. Put away the pressure washer and learn the best ways to clean that particular stain off your patio, wall or other outdoor project or surface.

How to Remove Moss, Mold and Mildew From Patios and Outdoor Surfaces
That gross green stuff on your concrete patio is probably moss, mold or mildew. Find out how to remove it and keep it from coming back

Wood Types for Building Decks
Despite the popularity of composite decking, not everyone wants to go that way. Many potential deck owners simply like the look and feel of real wood. Others build wood decks for traditional reasons -- because their fathers, and their fathers before them used real wood. Often it's less expensive, especially in regions where trees are grown for...

What is Shorea Wood?
Shorea is a tropical hardwood that is used for many of the same purposes as teak, including garden furniture. Like teak and other hardwoods, shorea is resistant to damage from insects, fungus and moisture decay. Learn more about this increasingly popular and desirable wood.

What is a Pool House?
Many pool houses were built to echo the architecture of the main residence. The primary purpose of a pool house was to have a "room" near the pool in which to change in and out of swimsuits and entertain friends in private. What are they used for today?

What is an Awning?
What are awnings? Why would you want one or more for the exterior of your house? If you want to control the amount of light and sun that on your patio and keep it from fading your interior furnishings, you might want to consider installing awnings. Find out more.

What is a Cabana?
if you've ever gone to Vegas, you may have seen or rented a poolside cabana at one of the big hotels. With their curtains and emphasis on exclusivity, cabanas make the perfect place for private parties. At home, they are a nice place to relax or change in and out of a swimsuit. Find out why you might want a cabana.

What is a Sunroom?
Sunrooms are especially popular in cold-climate regions to take advantage of sunny days, like England and the eastern U.S. Like a porch, a sunroom can be attached to a house or detached. What distinguishes it from other types of structures are its many windows. Interested? Learn more about this outdoor structure.

How to Plan and What to Consider Before Renovating
It may start out as simply repairing a crack in the concrete or re-tiling a pool, but becomes a huge project that tends to snowball. Lee Wallender, About.com's Guide to Home Renovations, provides seven points to consider before embarking on a renovation project.

Home Renovation: DIY or Hire a Pro?
Do it yourself...or not? You could literally spend months pondering whether to save money by doing the project yourself or...to break into the piggybank and hire a pro. Not an easy decision. Lee Wallender, About.com's Guide to Home Renovation, reveals key questions to ask yourself before tackling a potential DIY project.

Financing Your Renovation Project
Many things about home renovation are flexible. You can always change wall colors or nudge a wall another six inches. But one thing is certain: you need money. Not a single nail gets hammered into place without money. Lee Wallender, About.com's Guide to Home Renovations, covers the pros and cons of financing your project through savings, HELOCs, credit cards and other sources.

Best Outdoor Lighting: About.com 2012 Readers' Choice Awards
Ready to vote for the company that designs and manufactures what you consider to be the Best Outdoor Lighting? The About.com Reader's Choice Awards 2012 Best Pool and Patio category honors the year's top pool and patio products, brands and manufacturers, as nominated and chosen by our readers. This is the second year that the Pool and Patio...

The heat is on, inside and out, as soaring temperatures are wearing down...
The heat is on as soaring temperatures are wearing down appliances and everyone is ready to throw in the proverbial towel. Instead of giving up, get smart with a few do-it-yourself projects, retrofits and common sense that will cool off your outdoor living space.

What to do When Your Pool Lights Don't Work
Electricity and water can be a dangerous combination. If your pool lights seem to have gone out, turn off the pool light switch and the power at your home's main circuit breaker. If it trips immediately, you have a short circuit and will need to hire an electrician to take over.

The 2011 About.com Readers Choice Awards: Pool & Patio
The About.com Reader's Choice Awards 2012 Best Pool and Patio category honors the year's top pool and patio products, brands and manufacturers, as nominated and chosen by our readers. This is the first year that the Pool and Patio category has joined the Readers' Choice Awards. This year's Best Pool and Patio category seeks to honor the Best...

Harvard Study: Home Improvement Spending to Rise in 2011
Recovery in home improvement spending for 2011 has been forecast by experts at Harvard University's Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies. The home improvement activity appears to be shifting from simple repairs and energy retrofits to broader remodels and upgrades. This means that the backyard swimming pool or...

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