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Pool & Patio: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
How to Make Floating Ghosts for Your Halloween...
Discover the easy way to make your Halloween ghosts float or fly across your yard, porch or wherever the spirits take you.
Three Paving Materials
Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy!
Side-Yard Deck
Side Yards are often neglected. Consider using yours as a place to build a private deck, like this one. Page 10.
Decks, Designs and Mainenance
In addition to deck photos, we provide you with free deck plans, the best types of cleaners, and our annual deck safety checklist. Page 11.
The Best Free Outdoor Deck Plans and Designs
The hardest part of building a deck may be planning and designing it. The free plans we've researched will hopefully serve as a springboard.
Decking Connection
If you have an above-ground pool, a deck adds privacy. The one in this photo connects a house to separate decks, a hot tub and pool. Page 9.
Small Garden Simplicity
Recipe for an instant small garden and patio: take two colorful folding metal chairs, a small outdoor rug, and a rolling cart / side table. Page 17.
Saltillo-Tile Patio
A wrought iron patio dining set placed on a front patio of a home allows its owners to visit with neighbors and passers-by. Page 2.
Patio Design Ideas
Where do patio design ideas come from? They can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind.
Cottage Garden Patio Nook
This cottage garden has many nooks, crannies and surprises throughout. Here, a simple concrete slab with a curved row of bricks includes a border garden. Page 4.
Rustic Beauty
Decks can be connected to a house or detached. Decking materials include softwoods, tropical hardwoods, synthetic woods and pressure-treated lumber. Page 8.
Wheelchair Accessible Patio Garden
A wheelchair-accessible garden and patio area are designed at chair height and also in the round for easy access. Page 18.
Round Pavers in Gravel
Pea gravel with round aggregate pavers in different sizes makes an attractive and easy patio area. Page 5.
Front Yard Patio
The front yard of a home in Venice, California, includes an enclosed patio that provides a place to dine and is a true outdoor room. Page 3.
Tuscan-Style Red Patio
Tuscan and Mediterranean-style gardens are popular themes, especially in warm climates. Find out the hallmarks of Mediterranean landscape design. Page 6.
Flagstone with River Rock Mosaic
Flagstone pavers on this patio floor get a framing effect with a mosaic border of Mexican river rock. This photo is part of a gallery of patio designs and ideas. Page 12.
Gazebo Patio
Garden and patio gazebos are ways to create an instant covered patio. Just construct a ready-to-assemble gazebo on your designated patio site. Before the gazebo goes up, make sure the ground is level and has an appropriate patio flooring material. In this case, it's simple pea gravel, but the surface area needs to be at an even level. Once the gazebo is assembled, your patio area is ready to be furnished and decorated with containers, hanging plants, lighting, wind chimes and other accessories. Page 22.
Patio and Fireplace
An outdoor custom-built fireplace is the focal point for a patio that features all-white furniture. Page 7.
Mid-century Modern Patio
A midcentury modern home and patio designed by Lloyd Wright features a subtly patterned concrete floor and vintage lounge chairs. Page 19.
Living on the Outside
A brick front-yard patio is small but welcoming. Everything is pulled together without appearing overly cluttered or crowded. Page 8.
Saltillo & Teak
Teak patio furniture gives this walled courtyard a warm appeal. The patio is situated near the front door of a house in Santa Monica, California, . Page 13.
Modern Decking & Gravel
Bright orange pots serve as a focal point in this patio area on view at the LA Garden Show. Page 10.
Elizabeth Taylor's Puerto Vallarta Patio
This second-floor courtyard patio is at Casa Kimberly near downtown Puerto Vallarta, Mexico . Long ago,
Color Your World
Colorful outdoor tables, chairs and accessories highlight this outdoor space at Chicweed in Solana Beach, California. Page 9.
The View From the Terrace
A terrace-style patio surrounded by succulents and drought-tolerant plants offers a beautiful view of the ocean. Page 20.
In-Ground or Above-Ground?
An expansive and beautiful pool deck is the first thing you notice about this above-ground pool. Page 14.
Square Pavers & Pebbles
A prefab house at the L.A. Garden Show features a simple patio area with concrete pavers and pebbles. Page 14.
Outdoor Living Room
An odd and interesting assortment of furniture is assembled for an attractive outdoor room or patio area - not everything has to match perfectly. Page 11.
Three Patio Floors
This patio features three different types of materials, which proves you don't have to be limited to one look or material. Page 15.
How to Remove Moss and Mold From Patios and...
Mold, mildew or moss have messed up your patio. Discover sure-fire ways that won't destroy nearby landscaping or harm the environment with a blast of harsh chemicals.
Brick Pavers & Black Gravel
A combination of brick pavers and black gravel make a striking contrast of materials for a patio. Page 16.
Front-Yard Flagstone Patio
The front lawn of this Santa Monica home was replaced with a patio, pea gravel, pavers, and drought-tolerant plants. Page 25.
Low Wall for Privacy
A raised patio in the front yard of a home serves as an outdoor entryway that also offers space for dining and privacy. Page 21.
Sun Bath Garden Hideaway
Large flagstones set in pebbles or pea gravel make up the floor of this backyard patio retreat. Page 24.
Mediterranean Courtyard
A courtyard patio features low walls and tall Cypress trees that give it a true, Mediterranean atmosphere. Page 30.
Gravel Framing and Edging
Drought-tolerant plants and bark mulch with pea gravel frame a patio area in this water-wise yard. Page 26.
Enclosed Above-Ground Pool
An enclosure for an above-ground pool creates privacy, safety, and makes it a true backyard destination.. Page 6.
Outdoor Deck Designs, Types and Locations
Ready to build a deck? We'll help you find the right type and design for your outdoor space along with the best place upon which to build it.
Decked-Out Doughboy
Doughboy was one of the first manufacturers of above-grounds on the market back in the 20th century. Page 15.
El Patio: Mexican Patio
This outdoor patio near Lake Chapala, Mexico, is enjoyed throughout the year in the area's mild climate. Page 28.
Doughboy Buried Pool
Since 1945, Doughboy has manufactured affordable above-ground pools. Doughboy recently introduced a line of pools that can be sunken in the ground. Page 18.
Tree-Stump Patio Seating
A brick patio makes use of tree trunk stumps and logs for informal seating. Page 29.
Bark Mulch & Pea Gravel
This outdoor room at the LA Garden Show demonstrates how loose materials can make be pulled together for a casual, yet complete look. Page 37.
Beanbag Patio Area
This children's patio play area features a pea gravel surface and colorful beanbag chairs. Page 27.
Footprint Patio
A footprint in concrete adds a personal touch to this outdoor patio. You can make impressions of hands or pets' paws too. Page 31.
Above the Deck
This above-ground swimming pool has a wooden deck surrounding it. What's different than others pictured
Doughboy Round
When above-ground swimming pools became popular in the 1950s, the most common shape available was the classic round. It still remains popular. Page 19.
Long, Cool Pool
Another above-ground swimming pool that features childproof fencing and a gate that makes it hard for kids to gain entry. Page 16.
Top-Level Doughboy Pool
This above-ground pool is a luxurious Doughboy, elevated off the ground with what looks like a private beach on the lower level. Page 17.
San Antonio Deck Surround
A flagstone patio is incorporated into the design of an above-ground swimming pool - find out how the builders made it happen. Page 8.
Need a Hot Tub for 2? Check Out These Luxurious...
Not everyone wants to entertain a crowd in their hot tub. Consider a more intimate hot tub built for two -- featured in this slideshow that highlights the best of the bunch.
Paver Patio
This home near Pasadena, California, lost its lawn and replaced the turf with pavers and decomposed granite. Page 35.
Above-Ground Swimming Pool Designs, Shapes and...
Above-ground swimming pools are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. They cost less than in-ground pools, a point that not lost on pool shoppers.
Retractable Pool Cover
An above-ground pool is surrounded by a beautiful wood deck and features a retractable pool cover to keep it warm and clean. Page 12.
Faux Fossils
A colored concrete floor is made more interesting when a texture or design is added to the surface. Here, fake fossils are added for fun. Page 36.
I Can't Believe it's Not In-Ground
Find out how the designers achieved the look of an in-ground pool with this oval-shaped above-ground pool with a raised deck. Page 10.
Circle of Adirondacks
Colorful Adirondack chairs and fake turf grass make a fun, retro patio area, as seen at Dwell on Design in LA. Page 32.
Neighborhood Pool
Somehow, raised above the lawn and everything else, this round above-ground swimming pool appears bigger than most backyard pools. Page 11.
How to Use a Pool Test Kit
How do you use an at-home pool test kit? Follow these easy instructions to use your pool test kit like a pro.
Secluded Patio
A concrete slab patio is located off the master bedroom of a Mid-century modern home, offering privacy and relaxation. Page 33.
Kid's Paradise
This family-friendly backyard features a playhouse, deluxe playset, pool deck, and a rectangular above-ground pool. Page 9.
Patio Passageway
A brick wall surrounds a patio and offers privacy. Page 34.
Pink Flagstone
When building a patio or walkway, one of the more fun but challenging decisions you'll have to make is determining what type of paving material to use. The material should blend in with the architecture and landscaping, be easy to walk on, easy to maintain and weather-resistant. This photo gallery provides a look at the wide variety of paving and surfacing materials available. Of couse, there are numerous types out there -- this gallery only begins to cover it. Page 15.
Side Motifs
An above-ground pool gets a sophisticated look with exterior panels surrounding the pool that bear a decorative motif and connect with other panels. Page 7.
Somewhat Above-Ground
Not all above-ground pools need to be placed way above-ground. This one is tucked in a corner of a large yard, near one of the side fences. Page 13.
Girl From 'The Grudge'
Get your Halloween spirit on! Big or small, your outdoor space needs to be transformed into something festive for Halloween. Spooky, terrifying or family-friendly Halloween decorations adorn people's front and backyards, porches, entryways, doors, windows, patios, balconies and wherever else they can find to decorate. Halloween is second only to Christmas in consumer dollars spent on outdoor decorations. Find out how to unleash those creative spirits for the perfect Halloween display or party. . Page 11.
Pre-Fab Deck
Pre-fab decking is a smart alternative to the old-fashioned, labor-intensive DIY method of deck building. Page 7.
Light Gray Cobblestones
When building a patio or walkway, one of the more fun but challenging decisions you'll have to make is determining what type of paving material to use. The material should blend in with the architecture and landscaping, be easy to walk on, easy to maintain and weather-resistant. This photo gallery provides a look at the wide variety of paving and surfacing materials available. Of couse, there are numerous types out there -- this gallery only begins to cover it. Page 16.
9 DIY Kids' Playhouses We Love
Playhouses and treehouses are an integral part of a child's outdoor play area. If you don't quite have the DIY thing down to the point that you think you can tackle small-scale home-building, consider one of the many playhouse kits available. You're still building it on your own, you've just got all the pieces cut and finished, ready for you to read the directions and assemble. Piece of cake, right? Find out what too look for and learn about some of the top-selling playhouse kits on the market.
A Round Above
An advantage of an above-ground swimming pool is that a fence can be attached to the pool's sides, creating an almost seamless vertical safety wall. Page 5.
Backyard Haven
Continuing our look at above-ground swimming pools, this one features a deck surround. This pool is separate from the house, off in a corner of the property, making it more of a private swimming and sunning retreat. A fence and gate make it a safe haven that would be difficult for young children to access. Page 2.
Dining on the Deck
The homeowners of this deck took advantage of the surrounding landscape to build a deck that would give them a view of their yard and the foothills. Page 4.
The Best Pool Landscaping Tips and Ideas
Landscaping near a pool takes time and consideration. Before making an impulsive trip to the nursery do your research. Follow our tips before poolscaping.
Ipe Deck Steps
This deck is made of ipe wood, which is a hardwood that is much like teak and is resistant to rot and termites. Page 6.
Great Deck Design Ideas and Pictures
You've chosen a deck over a patio. Now what? Need deck ideas? Enjoy this slideshow of deck design ideas and pictures for your next project.
Halloween Decorations: Making the Mummy
DIY Halloween haunted houses and yard haunts have replaced full-sized candy bars as the big draw in neighborhoods across the United States, Canada and other countries that celebrate Halloween. Nobody knows this better than Dave Gugel, an extreme DIYer who started transforming his home about seven years ago into something more macabre for an annual Halloween party. Step inside Gugel's Gore 'n' More for a magical mystery tour of the ultimate yard haunt makeover. Page 6.
Dave and His Mummy
DIY Halloween haunted houses and yard haunts have replaced full-sized candy bars as the big draw in neighborhoods across the United States, Canada and other countries that celebrate Halloween. Nobody knows this better than Dave Gugel, an extreme DIYer who started transforming his home about seven years ago into something more macabre for an annual Halloween party. Step inside Gugel's Gore 'n' More for a magical mystery tour of the ultimate yard haunt makeover. Page 7.
Fenced In
One of the positive aspects of owning an above-ground pool is that it is literally raised above ground, and is not easily accessible to kids under 5. Page 3.
Eco Arbor Designs
Environmentally conscious decks by Eco Arbor, like this one featured at Dwell on Design, are made of exotic hardwoods such as ipe and Red Gum. Page 5.
Above-Ground Pool in the Hills of San Antonio
In a hilly section of San Antonio, an above-ground pool is connected to the house above it via a custom-built wooden deck. Page 4.
Hot Tub Deck
What makes this V-shaped deck is a true extension of the house? For starters, the floor is level with the floor of the house. Page 3.
Protecting Your Shelter from the Storm: Secure...
If a storm or hurricane is approaching, the last thing you want to worry about is what to do about your swimming pool or spa. Post this checklist on your refrigerator so you'll know what to do to secure your pool or spa in the anxious hours before a storm hits or prior to evacuation.
Wood or Composite Decking: Pros and Cons
Wood or composite decking -- or something else? Like any major home purchase, decking materials vary in looks, durability and cost. Start your research here, becoming familiar with types of authentic and synthetic decking. Also, you might want to use certain types of lumber of decking for structural parts of your deck project, and other decking timber for surfaces and railings -- the parts that you will see and walk on. What follows are the most-used materials to construct a residential deck.
Best Decking Finalists 2013: About.com Readers'...
Composite decking has been the popular choice for several years because of its durability. Pool & Patio readers can vote for one of three finalists for Best Decking in the 2013 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Learn more about the three companies that were up for the award.
Path Materials in Water Conservation Landscape...
Paths in a waterwise garden use traditional hardscape materials. How they differ depends on what's growing between and surrounding the path.
The Best Trees for Pool Landscaping
Which trees are best near a pool, spa or pond? Size, shape and leaf drop are things to think about when planting a tree by a body of water.
Halloween Home Haunt Sources and Ideas
Home haunts or yard haunts have become increasingly popular in the past decade. Die-hard do-it-yourselfers and Halloween enthusiasts often start on next Halloween's project in November, and ramp up their carpentry, design, animatronic and crafting skills in the months and weeks before turning their homes into haunted houses. Discover some of the top haunters and home haunt diy websites for insider's tips and instructions to make the best home haunt in the 'hood!
A Guide to Pool Types, Designs and Styles
Pools come in all different types, designs, sizes and shapes and are used for various purposes. Consult our guide to find out the best pool type for your yard and budget.
After: Mummy by Candlelight
DIY Halloween haunted houses and yard haunts have replaced full-sized candy bars as the big draw in neighborhoods across the United States, Canada and other countries that celebrate Halloween. Nobody knows this better than Dave Gugel, an extreme DIYer who started transforming his home about seven years ago into something more macabre for an annual Halloween party. Step inside Gugel's Gore 'n' More for a magical mystery tour of the ultimate yard haunt makeover. Page 8.
How and Where to Find Cheap Outdoor Furniture
It's time for new outdoor furniture, but your budget won't bend. We show you how to look past the obvious and traditional sources for a nice surprise.
What's the Difference Between a Patio and a Deck?
Patio or deck? How do you know which one is right for you, your lifestyle and your outdoor living space? And how can you really tell the difference between a deck and a patio anyway?
Spas and Hot Tubs: DIY Set-Up, Maintenance, and...
The 2013 About.com Reader's Choice Awards honors the year's top hot tub and spa brands and manufacturers, as nominated and chosen by you, our readers. Voting ends March 19th and the winner in each category will be announced on March 27. 2013.
Web Gate
Get your Halloween spirit on! Big or small, your outdoor space needs to be transformed into something festive for Halloween. Spooky, terrifying or family-friendly Halloween decorations adorn people's front and backyards, porches, entryways, doors, windows, patios, balconies and wherever else they can find to decorate. Halloween is second only to Christmas in consumer dollars spent on outdoor decorations. Find out how to unleash those creative spirits for the perfect halloween display or party. . Page 12.
The Best Way to Clean Tile at the Pool Waterline
What's the best way to clean the waterline tile in your pool? If you don't want to pay a pool pro, try a few of the DIY methods we recommend.
Slideshow: Landscaping With Ornamental Grasses
For nearly nonstop performance, strength and visual impact, few plants compare to ornamental grasses. Enjoy this informative slideshow of popular ornamental grasses.
Graveyard Columns with Gryphons
DIY Halloween haunted houses and yard haunts have replaced full-sized candy bars as the big draw in neighborhoods across the United States, Canada and other countries that celebrate Halloween. Nobody knows this better than Dave Gugel, an extreme DIYer who started transforming his home about seven years ago into something more macabre for an annual Halloween party. Step inside Gugel's Gore 'n' More for a magical mystery tour of the ultimate yard haunt makeover. Page 9.
The Top 10 Outdoor Patio Umbrellas
Find out our picks for the best patio umbrellas, sure to bring shade and style to your yard. There's a type, color, and price for every budget.
What's So Unique About Ipe Wood?
What is ipe wood, and where does it come from? Is it a good choice for decking materials or outdoor garden furniture? Find out what ipe wood is and is not.
How to Prune Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental grasses are growing in popularity, but there's no standard way to prune or groom them. Follow these steps to cut ornamental grasses and get them to looking great.
Side Yard Decking
A deck was built in the side yard of a home near LA to serve as a retreat and easy way to move from the front to the back yard. Page 8.
Fall-Decorated Carriage
Get your Halloween spirit on! Big or small, your outdoor space needs to be transformed into something festive for Halloween. Spooky, terrifying or family-friendly Halloween decorations adorn people's front and backyards, porches, entryways, doors, windows, patios, balconies and wherever else they can find to decorate. Halloween is second only to Christmas in consumer dollars spent on outdoor decorations. Find out how to unleash those creative spirits for the perfect halloween display or party. . Page 13.
How to Remove Tough Stains From Patios and Walls
Brick, stone and concrete 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.
Deck Building Basics
Whether your deck is new or in need of repair or upgrade, it's something that you can't build and just leave alone. We cover everything about decks.
Composite Decking Brands
Composite decking is an alternative to all-wood decking and is made of materials that can include recycled and new plastic, bamboo and wood fibers. Many synthetic or composite decking products have evolved as a reflection of the environment in which we live and are green, eco and LEED qualified or certified.
Poolside Plants That Look Like Paradise
The plants that surround your pool should be chosen carefully. The trick is to buy strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate,and still look great.
Zoysia Path
Zoysia is used as an alternative to a regular lawn in this drought-tolerant garden. Page 6.
What Are the Advantages of a Plunge Pool?
What, exactly, is a plunge pool? Find out why a plunge pool is different than other types of residential swimming pools.
Concrete Block Steps
Simple concrete-block steps are used in a water-wise backyard near Pasadena. Boulders, rocks and native plants are also incorporated into the design. Page 7.
How to Kill Swimming Pool Algae
If you can think back to your science class you may recall that algae are one-celled plants. And if you
How to Make a Festive Fall Wreath
There's a wreath to suit every door: modern, country, neoclassical, traditional. If you make a wreath, its style and materials are entirely up to you.
How to Wrap Your Trees with Outdoor Lights
Outdoor and holiday designers and decorators have seen the light and they aren't returning to the dark side anytime soon. One is not enough--soon every trunk, branch and limb that resembles a tree gets wrapped and lighted for the annual outdoor holiday lighting display. Learn how to wrap your tree with light strands and decorate it for Christmas or any occasion in this step-by-step tutorial.
Before: Endless Hallway
DIY Halloween haunted houses and yard haunts have replaced full-sized candy bars as the big draw in neighborhoods across the United States, Canada and other countries that celebrate Halloween. Nobody knows this better than Dave Gugel, an extreme DIYer who started transforming his home about seven years ago into something more macabre for an annual Halloween party. Step inside Gugel's Gore 'n' More for a magical mystery tour of the ultimate yard haunt makeover. Page 10.
10 Thinks You Should Not Do in a Hot Tub
Owning or using a hot tub or spa requires paying close attention to safety tips, even those that may seem like common sense.
All Decked Out: Building Wood and Composite Decks
You don't want a "slab" of concrete -- you'd like your outdoor space to rise up to the level of your
Deck With a View
When planning a deck, one of the most important considerations is placing the deck in a location that offers a great view. Page 2.
10 Smart Reasons to Cover Your Swimming Pool
Your swimming pool is aqua, the water is calm and still and the atmosphere is perfect, as close to paradise as you’re going to get in your backyard. The next morning, your pool is an unrecognizable pond full of leaves, twigs, and debris from last night’s winds. Consider these 10 smart reasons for buying a swimming pool cover.
Giant Inflatable Jack-o'-Lantern
Get your Halloween spirit on! Big or small, your outdoor space needs to be transformed into something festive for Halloween. Spooky, terrifying or family-friendly Halloween decorations adorn people's front and backyards, porches, entryways, doors, windows, patios, balconies and wherever else they can find to decorate. Halloween is second only to Christmas in consumer dollars spent on outdoor decorations. Find out how to unleash those creative spirits for the perfect Halloween display or party. . Page 14.
What is Backwashing a Pool?
What is backwash? Learn the definition of backwash and the backwashing procedure as it pertains to swimming pool maintenance.
The Best Time to Buy an Above-Ground Pool
While late summer is traditionally the best time of the year to score a great deal on an above-ground swimming pool, the current economy changes all the rules. Whether you get an above-ground pool in the spring or fall, you still have the potential of saving hundreds of dollars, if you keep an eye on the prices. Above-ground pools can be as simple or elaborate as you need, desire or can afford. Take a look at the assortment of on-ground and above-ground swimming pools currently available.
How to Make Fake Moss for Halloween Tombstone...
'How to Haunt Your House' Authors Share DIY Prop-Making Secrets How do you get your Halloween yard props
What is a Pool Skimmer?
What is a pool skimmer and when should you use one? A skimmer is a box-like device through which debris and contaminants flow into the filter when the pump is activated.
What Kind of Pool is a Spool?
What, exactly is a spool? Not the spool of thread, but the body of water you have installed in your backyard for leisure and therapeutic benefits. Find out why you may or may not want one.
10 Smart Reasons for Having a Saltwater Pool
Should you get a saltwater system for your pool? Learn 10 compelling reasons why you might want to get salty this season.
Skel-A-Flamingos
If you had just one nice Halloween decoration to buy this year for your porch, patio, balcony or yard, what would it be? Scary flamingos? A screaming ghoul sure to knock the orange-and-black socks right off of you? An attractive Halloween-themed door mat? Before making a spooky choice, consult our reviews of some of the outdoor Halloween decorations available this year from places like Pier 1, Pottery Barn, Target, and online retailers. Page 5.
How to Reupholster a Patio Chair Cushion
When patio chair cushions wear out, you either replace them or have them reupholstered. Why not DIY it? Sewing skills aren't necessary. Follow our easy instructions.
The American Flag (How to Display and Care for...
What's the correct way to display or hang the American flag at your home? Before the first Flag Day, on June 14, 1923, the United States federal government had no official guidelines dictating the display of the flag. Learn flag etiquette and the do's and don'ts of flying the flag at your house.
Haunted Porch: Before & After
Halloween yard haunts have replaced full-sized candy bars as the big draw in neighborhoods across the United States, Canada and other countries that celebrate Halloween. Nobody knows this better than Dave Gugel, a Florida resident and extreme DIYer who started transforming his home about five years ago into something more macabre for an annual Halloween party. Step inside Gugel's Gore 'n' More for a magical mystery tour of the ultimate yard haunt makeover. Page 12.
Working Around the Pool
DIY Halloween haunted houses and yard haunts have replaced full-sized candy bars as the big draw in neighborhoods across the United States, Canada and other countries that celebrate Halloween. Nobody knows this better than Dave Gugel, an extreme DIYer who started transforming his home about seven years ago into something more macabre for an annual Halloween party. Step inside Gugel's Gore 'n' More for a magical mystery tour of the ultimate yard haunt makeover. Page 11.
The Best Fire Pits for Your Backyard
A fire pit is the perfect reason to warm up a chilly winter evening or create a reason to stay outside later during the summer. With a variety of designs, shapes, sizes, materials and price ranges, there's a fire pit that will suit your outdoor living space.
Woody's Scarecrow
Get your Halloween spirit on! Big or small, your outdoor space needs to be transformed into something festive for Halloween. Spooky, terrifying or family-friendly Halloween decorations adorn people's front and backyards, porches, entryways, doors, windows, patios, balconies and wherever else they can find to decorate. Halloween is second only to Christmas in consumer dollars spent on outdoor decorations. Find out how to unleash those creative spirits for the perfect halloween display or party. . Page 15.
Instant Ideas for Outdoor Privacy Screens
Are you seeking a private space for a backyard retreat, patio or deck? A privacy screen gives you personal space away from the view of neighbors or passers-by. Check out our creative solutions.
Free Playhouse Plans for When You Want to Build...
From basic sheds with a few embellishments to miniature mansions with all the details, you're sure to find a plan for a DIY playhouse project.
Deck, Patio, and Container Garden
An outdoor deck, patio, and container garden are all combined into a small space with careful planning and raised levels.
Water Conservation Landscape Design: Garden Art
Drought tolerant landscaping can be attractive with well-chosen plants mixed with hardscaping, garden structures and garden art. And like the conservation-minded gardens that focus on using less water, natural fertilizers or organic pest control, some of the best garden art comes from ordinary objects that have been recycled, reused, or repurposed. Let these photos of landscape designs inspire you to look at that old sculpture-class bust or architectural relic in an entirely different light.
A Fall Wreath for Every Door
An easy way to transition from summer to fall is to hang a wreath on your front door or porch. Autumn wreaths can reflect the natural landscape, design and architecture of a house or personal decorating style. Take a look at wreaths that make decorating for fall fast and fun.
Have a Seat. Or Not.
Halloween yard haunts have replaced full-sized candy bars as the big draw in neighborhoods across the United States, Canada and other countries that celebrate Halloween. Nobody knows this better than Dave Gugel, a Florida resident and extreme DIYer who started transforming his home about five years ago into something more macabre for an annual Halloween party. Step inside Gugel's Gore 'n' More for a magical mystery tour of the ultimate yard haunt makeover. Page 13.
How to Inspect for a Leak in Your Pool or Spa
Signs that a swimming pool or spa is leaking may or may not be obvious. If you suspect a leak, there are proven ways to inspect and detect. We tell you how.
Wood Patio Furniture: How to Clean and Care for...
What's the best way to protect wood garden furniture from the elements? Discover what it takes to maintain and bring out its natural beauty.
Attention, Please! Agave Attenuata
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. One great choice for dry or drought-prone regions are non-spiky succulents, like this Agave attenuata, which grows well in coastal and inland Southern California. Page 14.
Schefflera
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 17.
What is a Saltwater Pool?
Saltwater pools have become popular in both public and private pools as a method of pool cleaning. Gone is the aroma of chlorine, and in its place is a slightly salty smell.
Fountain With Mini Pumpkins
Get your Halloween spirit on! Big or small, your outdoor space needs to be transformed into something festive for Halloween. Spooky, terrifying or family-friendly Halloween decorations adorn people's front and backyards, porches, entryways, doors, windows, patios, balconies and wherever else they can find to decorate. Halloween is second only to Christmas in consumer dollars spent on outdoor decorations. Find out how to unleash those creative spirits for the perfect Halloween display or party. . Page 16.
Poolside Proteas
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 15.
Kangaroo Paw
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 18.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Diving Into a...
If you want a pool or spa is because your brother has one, maybe you should reconsider. Planning, building and maintaining a swimming pool or spa is not a whim kind of purchase. It's a major addition to your house. It dramatically alters the landscape of your outdoor living space. It can be a lifestyle change, albeit a positive one: more entertaining, more fun with your family, more exercise.
What is a Chimenea?
Chimeneas are those hand-decorated clay outdoor fireplaces you see for sale at marketplaces and tourist sites in California, Arizona and other western states. While many use their chimeneas as accent pieces or as garden art on the patio for a rustic or Southwestern look, chimeneas can be functional fire features in your outdoor living rooms.
Showy Ornamental Grass: Porcupine Grass
Ornamental grasses are a good choice to plant near a swimming pool. One to try: porcupine or zebra grass. Page 7.
12 Beautiful Brick Patio Designs and Pictures
Brick has been around for centuries, making it a wise choice for patio flooring. Check out this slideshow featuring 12 stunning brick patio designs.
Marilyn Monroe's Brentwood House
Marilyn Monroe only lived in her Brentwood, California, house for about nine months before her life came to a tragic end in 1962. Tour the hacienda-style house.
Let Creeping Jenny Climb, Spread and Spill
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 16.

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