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Pool & Patio: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Our 10 Favorite Patio Umbrellas
Outdoor umbrellas are made with weatherproof fabric to withstand several seasons or years. Many are made from fabric that offers UV protection. Unlike the 1950s, there is no longer a one-size-fits-all type of umbrella. Types and styles vary according to shape, where it will be located, and maneuverability, among other factors.
Need a Hot Tub for 2? Check Out These Luxurious...
Hot Tubs don't always have to be expensive, especially if you choose a tub that's designed for 2-3 people. Check out our picks for small spas.
Above-Ground Swimming Pool Designs, Shapes and...
In the current economy, above-ground swimming pools are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why? Above-grounds always have cost less than in-ground pools, a point that is not lost on pool shoppers and buyers. Other selling points: above-ground pools are a breeze to install compared to building an in-ground pool, many can be disassembled at the end of swim season, and that portability makes them good choices for renters or those who would like to take their pool with them when they move.
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.
How to Use a Pool Test Kit: The Right Way to...
How do you use an at-home pool test kit? If you want to check your pool's water quality, you will need a kit that tests basics like pH levels and alkalinity. Follow these easy instructions to use your pool test kit like a pro.
Decking Connection
Above-ground pools like this one have all the amenities of an in-ground pool, including a spa and two private deck or patio areas. Wood decking connects the house to the separate decks, hot tub and pool.
In-Ground or Above-Ground?
An expansive and beautiful pool deck is the first thing you notice about this above-ground pool. The deck is large enough to accommodate lounge chairs, built-in benches, plants in containers, and whatever else one normally would place on a deck. Enjoy this gallery of above-ground pool designs. Page 14.
How to Remove Moss and Mold From Patios and...
Oh, yuck. What's that gross-looking green stuff on your concrete patio? Probably mold, mildew or moss -- the dreaded three M's. Whatever it is, you need a sure way to rof it that won't destroy nearby landscaping and harm the environment with a blast of harsh chemicals.
The Best Free Plans for Your Deck
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, helping you to define what you want and where to go from there. Good luck, and let us know how your deck project is coming along.
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.
Poolside Plants That Look Like Paradise and...
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.
Enclosed Above-Ground Pool
In the current economy, above-ground swimming pools are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why? Above-grounds always have cost less than in-ground pools, a point that is not lost on pool shoppers and buyers. Other selling points: above-ground pools are a breeze to install compared to building an in-ground pool, many can be disassembled at the end of swim season, and that portability makes them good choices for renters or those who would like to take their pool with them when they move. Page 6.
Doughboy Buried Pool
Since the 1950s, Doughboy has manufactured affordable above-ground swimming pools. To satisfy the needs of consumers who want the permanent look of an in-ground with a lower price tag, Doughboy recently introduced a line of above-ground pools that can actually be sunken - or buried - in the ground. Page 18.
6 Calculators That Measure Saltwater for Your...
How much salt should you put in your swimming pool? Provided you have a chlorine generator -- that thing that turns salt into chlorine -- you're going to need to calculate the correct amount of salt to add to your swimming pool. You can't just salt it liberally, like it's a big, juicy slab of steak on the barbecue. We've assembled a list of saltwater calculators -- some online, some that are cell phone apps -- to help you get it right.
Decked-Out Doughboy
Doughboy was one of the first manufacturers of above-grounds on the market back in the 20th century.
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.
San Antonio Deck Surround
In the current economy, above-ground swimming pools are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why? Above-grounds always have cost less than in-ground pools, a point that is not lost on pool shoppers and buyers. Other selling points: above-ground pools are a breeze to install compared to building an in-ground pool, many can be disassembled at the end of swim season, and that portability makes them good choices for renters or those who would like to take their pool with them when they move. Page 8.
Fenced In
One of the positive aspects of owning an above-ground pool is that it is literally raised above the ground, and not as easily accessible to children under 5 years old. This pool shows how you can make an above ground pool even safer, by adding fencing around the top rim of the pool and a fenced-off and gated stairway leading up to the pool.<. Page 3.
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. While the decking and fencing make it a rectangular-looking pool, the actual pool itself is an oval. Page 17.
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. The safety barrier is also higher than the average 5-foot pool fence recommended for in-ground pools. If the sides of an above ground pool are 4 feet high, and the fence is 3 feet high, that's a 7-foot-tall safety fence. Landscaping -- or hardscaping -- in the form of pea gravel in this case -- surrounds the perimeter of the pool for an attractive and practical design solution and presentation. 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.
Long, Cool Pool
Another above-ground swimming pool that features childproof fencing and a gate that makes it hard for
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. The deck is also comfortable on swimmers' feet and provides an anti-slip surface when things get wet as swimmers enter and exit the pool. The surface surrounding a pool is always an important consideration when choosing paving materials or decking. . Page 4.
Neighborhood Pool
Somehow, raised above the lawn and everything else, this round above-ground swimming pool appears bigger than most backyard pools. Enjoy this gallery of above-ground pool designs. Page 11.
I Can't Believe it's Not In-Ground
In the current economy, above-ground swimming pools are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why? Above-grounds always have cost less than in-ground pools, a point that is not lost on pool shoppers and buyers. Other selling points: above-ground pools are a breeze to install compared to building an in-ground pool, many can be disassembled at the end of swim season, and that portability makes them good choices for renters or those who would like to take their pool with them when they move. Page 10.
10 Ways to Find Cheap Patio Furniture You'll Love
Maybe it's time for new outdoor furniture, but your budget won't bend. We show you how to look beyond the obvious and traditional sources for a pleasant surprise. In some cases, inexpensive translates into next-to-nothing or free.
Side Motifs
An above-ground pool gets a sophisticated look with exterior panels surrounding the pool that bear a decorative motif and connect with the other panels. It's a simple but effective way to personalize an above-ground pool and give it an attractive, customized look. Some above-ground pools come with optional wood-grain panels, something that might have been popular in the 1960s or 1970s, kind of like wood-grain station wagons. Page 7.
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, but this Doughboy has been updated with decking, fencing, stairs and a safety gate. Page 19.
Above the Deck
This above-ground swimming pool has a wooden deck surrounding it. What's different than others pictured
Kid's Paradise
In the current economy, above-ground swimming pools are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why? Above-grounds always have cost less than in-ground pools, a point that is not lost on pool shoppers and buyers. Other selling points: above-ground pools are a breeze to install compared to building an in-ground pool, many can be disassembled at the end of swim season, and that portability makes them good choices for renters or those who would like to take their pool with them when they move. Page 9.
Retractable Pool Cover
In the current economy, above-ground swimming pools are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why? Above-grounds always have cost less than in-ground pools, a point that is not lost on pool shoppers and buyers. Other selling points: above-ground pools are a breeze to install compared to building an in-ground pool, many can be disassembled at the end of swim season, and that portability makes them good choices for renters or those who would like to take their pool with them when they move. Page 12.
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. Note that it is about 3-4 feet off the ground at most, has a safety fence around its perimeter, but that it is not much higher than the fence that borders the property. Page 13.
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.
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.
What is Backwashing a Pool?
What is backwash? Learn the definition of backwash and the backwashing procedure as it pertains to swimming pool maintenance.
How to Contact an Above-Ground Pool Company
An above ground swimming pool seems like a great idea, but where do you go to learn more about the different manufacturers? The following is a frequently updated list of above-ground pool manufacturers.
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.
The Best Way to Clean Tile at the Pool Waterline
What's the best way to clean the water line tile in your swimming pool? If you don't want to pay a pool service company to bead blast it clean, try a few of the do-it-yourself methods we recommend. A big benefit: you'll save money.
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.
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.
An Above-Ground Pool Can Make Ownership A Reality
If an in-ground swimming pool isn't in your future for whatever reason, maybe an above ground pool is the solution. Above ground swimming pools range from affordable models to more luxurious (and expensive) styles. Many can be enjoyed year 'round, and some use saltwater systems popular with in-ground models. Above ground pools can also be equipped with solar heating systems and covers.
Patio Design Ideas
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy!
20 Fun Facts About the White House's Outdoor...
Learn trivia about the White House landscape: the swimming pools, patios, porches, secret retreats, outdoor garden furniture and other features.
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.
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?
Pool Party Essentials: Fountains, Floats and...
The pool party is at your house! Be sure and supply fun and festive fountains, underwater light shows, inflatables, pool toys and other waterworks and accessories.
Patio Furniture Brands
How do you distinguish one outdoor patio brand from another? Years in production? Materials? Popularity? Price? About.com has compiled a handy go-to list of garden furniture brands, companies and manufacturers. Explore each company's website to learn more about the products and where you can buy them.
What is a DE Pool Filter?
DE stands for diatomaceous earth, which is a fine white powder made from the chemically inert, fossilized (or skeletal) remains of billions of microscopic organisms called diatoms. There are three types of filters used for pools: sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth (DE). Many pool owners and pool maintenance workers consider DE filters to be the best type of filter for residential swimming pools.
Deck Building: 9 Designs for to Fit Every Yard
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.
Pool Skimmer: What it is
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.
Before You Buy: Shopping for Outdoor Fabric
If you are going to reupholster or make new cushions or pillows for your outdoor furniture, it's important to pick the right fabric for the project. Follow our tips before you go shopping for outdoor fabric for your next DIY project.
2013 Best Pool Cleaner / Vacuum: About.com...
There are three finalists for Best Pool Cleaner/Vacuum in the 2013 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Pool & Patio readers have until March 19th to vote for their favorite in the site-wide contest. Meet the finalists.
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.
Before You Buy a Patio Umbrella
Before you go shopping for an outdoor umbrella, you might want to do some research. Most umbrellas measure anywhere from 5 to 11 feet in diameter. Affixed to a pole, they are placed into a hole that's in your outdoor dining table or anchored by a weighted umbrella base. Using a crank at the top of the pole, you can raise or lower the canopy of the umbrella. Sounds simple? There's more.
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.
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.
The Best Automatic Cleaners for Swimming Pools
The next-best thing to having a weekly "pool guy" is buying an automatic pool cleaner for your in-ground
Marilyn Monroe's Brentwood House for Sale
Marilyn Monroe only lived in her Brentwood, California, house for about nine months before her life came to a tragic end on August 4, 1962. The one-story hacienda-style house was built in 1929 and is situated behind tall gates at the end of a quiet cul de sac on more than 23,000 square feet of tree-filled grounds. The four-bedroom, three-bath home features a sparkling freeform pool, patio and citrus grove on more than half an acre. The list price is $3,595,000.
Eye-Catching Hebe
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 4.
What 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.
Water-Saving Ideas for Pools and Spas
There's a big source of water consumption in your backyard: it's called a swimming pool. While the World Water Council is not asking you to replace that big pit with a vegetable garden, there are several ways you can practice water conservation with your pool or spa. Get water smart by learning more about your pool or spa and the preventative steps you can take and repairs you can make to help conserve water.
The Best BBQ and Grill Recipes and Menus
We've gathered some of the best and tastiest grill and bbq recipes we could find from About.com's many amazing chefs and food writers. Consider it kind of a Party Central for outdoor entertaining.
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.
Don't Plant These Messy Trees and Shrubs Near...
What are the messiest plants to grow near a pool or spa? The type that shed and drop leaves? Find out if your plants are on our list.
Outdoor Entertaining and Backyard Barbecues
You're hosting a backyard barbecue. Despite the casual nature of being outdoors, your party can range from last-minute informal to a well-choreographed backyard bbq for hundreds. Thus, there are basics and essentials you'll need to get the party started. Like: cleaning up outdoors; ensuring it's safe; providing patio furniture, a grill, menu, decorations, outdoor lighting, games, music and activities -- all ingredients for a good time. Here's your Party Central for Outdoor Entertaining.
Pool Cleaning: Algae Colors, Types and Ways to...
If you can think back to your science class you may recall that algae are one-celled plants. And if you
10 Things 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.
Giant Bird of Paradise
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 5.
Showy Ornamental Grass: Porcupine Grass
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 6.
Backyard Luau Party Central
Luaus and tropical-themed parties are a popular theme for backyard parties. Links to all you need,from decorations to menus to music.
How to Reupholster a Patio Chair Cushion
Continuing the patio chair recovering project: if you have a color scheme in mind, excellent. If not, consider favorite colors, color of furniture, or color of walls and house.
Pictures of Swimming Pool Shapes and Designs
Swimming pools come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, styles and designs. Check out our pictures of classic, modern and novelty shapes and designs.
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.
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.
How to Choose Outdoor Privacy Screens
Need an outdoor privacy screen? Regardless of your property's size, some areas of your outdoor living space need to be private. Follow these tips for finding the right privacy fence.
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.
Martha Washington Geraniums
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 9.
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.
Hawaiian Hibiscus for Your Poolside Paradise
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 2.
The Best Ways to Contact Spa Manufacturers
For your convenience: a directory with the names and contact information for manufacturers and makers of hot tubs and spas.
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.
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.
Egyptian Papyrus
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 8.
Jade: A South African Succulent
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 7.
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.
Slideshow: Instant Ideas for Outdoor Privacy...
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.
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.
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.
A Bouquet of Aeonium Rosettes
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 3.
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.
Outdoor Privacy Screens: Ideas for Outdoor...
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. These photo galleries provide inspiration and creative solutions for gaining privacy in your backyard or outdoor living space. Check back often -- new photos are added frequently.
Backyard Banana Tree
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.
Must-Have Outdoor Dishes and Tableware
Before you buy a bulk-pack of paper plates, you might want to check out the outdoor tableware we found this season. You'll be looking for reasons to eat outside more often.
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.
15 Safe Things to Do in a Hot Tub
Those lucky enough to own a hot tub or spa probably know what you should and shouldn't do in and around a tub like issues of safety, care and maintenance.
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. If your deck or patio space is limited, don't try to force an oversized chair or table into the setting, even if you just love that deep-cushion wicker chair. It's only going to make your small space appear - and actually become - smaller. Page 17.
Angel's Trumpet
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 11.
Who Let the Moose Near the Pool?
In the tropical regions from which they come, Staghorn ferns can be found growing on trees. For those of us who don't live in the tropics but are able to grow them in our zones, Staghorns do great mounted on wood slabs or bark, hanging baskets, or attached to trees. If you have a garden wall or poolhouse that gets filtered sunlight, this might be the scene-stealing plant for your pool area. Page 10.
Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine
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 12.
A Brief History of Metal Lawn Furniture, aka...
Where did those metal lawn chairs, gliders and other steel outdoor furniture get their start? Did they just appear in front of a motel on Route 66 one day in the 1950s? A Texas company produces powder-coated metal lawn furniture that's built to last.
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.
Landscaping Ideas for Pool Areas
Carefully choose the plants that will go near a pool or hot tub. Something that is pretty at 2 feet tall can grow quickly and drop leaves and debris into your pool in just a couple of years. We've done some of the work for you by researching the best plants, shrubs, trees and succulents that would make great poolside plants and work well with the rest of your landscaping.
Rustic Beauty
Decks can be connected to a house or detached. Decking materials include softwoods, tropical hardwoods, synthetic woods and pressure-treated lumber. Then there's the type of deck you desire, along with shape, size and even the pattern of the wood. Need deck ideas? Enjoy this photo gallery of deck design. Page 8.
How to Dig Post Holes
Follow these steps to dig post holes and install posts. While this is for a pre-fab arbor, you can use this tutorial for decks, fences, gazebos and other outdoor structures. The arbor's four posts don't provide extra space to sink posts into the ground with concrete.
Pruning Ornamental Grasses: How to Groom and...
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.
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.
Pouring Concrete: When is the Best Time?
Is there a perfect time of year to pour concrete for outdoor projects? Spring, fall or some other time, perhaps? Find out before you plan a patio or other project.
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.
10 Reasons to Get Rid of Your Swimming Pool
Thinking about filling in your swimming pool? Before you throw in the towel, consider our good reasons for demolishing that backyard money pit.
Pre-Fab Deck
Pre-fab decking is a smart alternative to the old-fashioned, labor-intensive DIY method of deck building. Wood stains and layout patterns vary, as demonstrated by this decking from the Dwell on Design show in Los Angeles. Page 7.
What is Coping on a Swimming Pool?
What is pool coping? Besides being a structural part of the pool, find out how it is integral to the design and function of a swimming pool.
Pretty and Practical Outdoor Tablecloths
Outdoor tablecloths cover up and protect your patio dining table. But attractive ones aren't easy to find. We've tracked down some of the prettiest.
DIY Swimming Pool & Spa Cleaning and...
When trimming your budget, you look to the money you're forking over each month to have someone else do something that you could potentially do yourself. While many don't like the idea of venturing into unfamiliar waters, it certainly is possible to clean and maintain your swimming pool, spa or hot tub on your own. There's a big world out there with pool test kits, vacuums, plumbing, circulation and surge-tank float valves. Don't worry -- we'll explain things so you'll be cleaning like a pro!
Soft & Fuzzy Echeveria Coccinea
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 13.
Kidney Shape with Elevations
Swimming pools come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, styles and designs. Some are used for specific purposes, like lap pools for health and fitness, infinity pools to make a landscape architectural statement, novelty pools to express the owner's personality or interests, and naturalistic pools that blend in with the landscape. Enjoy this photo gallery of kidney-shaped swimming pools. Page 5.
What is FSC Certified?
What does it mean if something is labeled 'FSC Certified?' The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), is a non-profit organization that sets high standards to ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible and socially beneficial manner.
What is Resin Wicker or All-Weather Wicker?
Casual furniture manufacturers came up with a wicker alternative built to last: all-weather wicker, or resin wicker. Woven with polyethylene resin fibers on a sturdy frame, these chairs and tables will withstand the elements, time and use. Learn why you might want to buy it next time you go shopping for garden furniture.
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
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 could be rather plain without landscaping, furniture, statuary, containers, lighting and other garden features. This is a great example of what happens when you combine design elements of a certain style or theme -- in this case, it's a whimsical cottage garden. Page 4.
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.
Marilyn's Bedroom
Marilyn Monroe only lived in her Brentwood, California, house for about nine months before her life came to a tragic end on August 4, 1962. The one-story hacienda-style house was built in 1929 and is situated behind tall gates at the end of a quiet cul de sac on more than 23,000 square feet of tree-filled grounds. The four-bedroom, three-bath home features a sparkling freeform pool, patio and citrus grove on more than half an acre. The list price is $3,595,000. Page 3.
How to Make Floating Ghosts for Your Outdoor...
If you're creative or feeling ambitious, you can make your own ghosts, following directions from Sherry
10 Smart Ways to Save Water in the Garden
Want to save water while irrigating your yard? Whether you live in a drought zone or simply want to reduce your bill, we share 10 smart tips for saving water.
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.
Diary of a Pool Project: Part 1 -- Busting Up...
Follow along throughout the many stages it takes to build a new inground swimming pool. From digging the big pit to the final result, you'll witness the various steps and stages involved in a complete backyard swimming pool project. Not a do-it-yourself project, this pool includes a landscape architect, licensed pool contractor, subcontractors and crew.
What is Horseshoes?
While Roman soldiers may have tossed a shoe or two back in ancient civilization, credit our colonial forefathers with making horseshoes an American tradition. Like bocce ball, badminton and croquet, it's a perfect activity for backyard gatherings, barbecues, or parties. You don't even need real horseshoes to play the game.
What is an Accessory Building?
What is an accessory building? A term used in zoning code descriptions of various municipalities, accessory buildings or accessory structures do not contain any living space or sleeping quarters.
Front Yard Patio
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 3.
Bamboo Planter for Screening Small Spaces
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 your backyard or outdoor living space. Page 5.
9 Fun Ways to Plan a Backyard Campout
Staycations may be holidays of necessity, but they can still be fun. Follow these tips for planning a perfect backyard campout. Don't forget to take pictures!
Deck Basics: So You Want to Build a Deck?
More planning and consideration may go into building an outdoor deck than, say, an indoor bathroom. Besides determining it's a deck you want instead of a patio, you will need to establish a budget, select materials, find a space to build it, and determine whether it is a DIY project or you'll need to hire a professional. Read these 10 considerations before planning or starting to build a deck.
A Nostalgic Look at Early Celebrity Swimming...
In modern history, private backyard pools made a big splash after World War II. The first pool owners were movie stars, who sparked a trend that continues nearly 100 years later.
10 Smart Reasons to Get 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.
Ipe Deck Steps
This deck is made of ipr wood, which is a hardwood that is much like teak and is resistant to rot and termites. . Page 6.
Elizabeth Taylor's Puerto Vallarta Patio
This second-floor courtyard patio is at Casa Kimberly near downtown Puerto Vallarta, Mexico . Long ago,
Marilyn's Freeform Pool
Marilyn Monroe only lived in her Brentwood, California, house for about nine months before her life came to a tragic end on August 4, 1962. The one-story hacienda-style house was built in 1929 and is situated behind tall gates at the end of a quiet cul de sac on more than 23,000 square feet of tree-filled grounds. The four-bedroom, three-bath home features a sparkling freeform pool, patio and citrus grove on more than half an acre. The list price is $3,595,000. Page 2.
Side-Yard Deck
You've chosen a deck over a patio. Now what? Decks can be connected to a house or detached. Decking materials include softwoods, tropical hardwoods, synthetic woods and pressure-treated lumber. Then there's the type of deck you desire, along with shape, size and even the pattern of the wood. How are your do-it-yourself skills? If you aren't up for the task, you will need to find a contractor or subcontractor to do the job. Need deck ideas? Enjoy this gallery of deck design pictures. Page 3.
Blow Mold Outdoor Holiday Decorations
Before there were inflatable holiday decorations, lawns and porches were decorated with plastic lighted figurines: Before there were inflatable holiday decorations, lawns and porches were decorated with plastic lighted figurines: Santas, snowmen, reindeer, elves, candles and just about any other Christmas character you can imagine. These wonders of plastic are known as blow molds, for the blow-mold-injection manufacturing technique that became popular for lighted Christmas decorations in the 1930s. Familiar with the pink flamingo? It was invented by Don Featherstone for Union Products in 1958 and is probably the queen of all blow mold figures. Many blow molds have become quite collectible, while others have continued or have started up manufacturing.
Paver Patio
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 35.
Front of Marilyn Monroe's House
Marilyn Monroe only lived in her Brentwood, California, house for about nine months before her life came to a tragic end on August 4, 1962. The one-story hacienda-style house was built in 1929 and is situated behind tall gates at the end of a quiet cul de sac on more than 23,000 square feet of tree-filled grounds. The four-bedroom, three-bath home features a sparkling freeform pool, patio and citrus grove on more than half an acre. The list price is $3,595,000.
Hot Tub Deck
What makes this V-shaped deck is a true extension of the house? The deck floor is level with the floor of the house. Patio doors open up to the deck, and are often left open in warm weather. The hot tub is placed out of the way, but near the house for easy access. In other words, it's a quick hop in and out of the spa and back into the house. Page 2.
Where to Shop Online for Inexpensive Patio...
Looking for inexpensive patio furniture online? You've probably visited EBay and Craigslist, where you can bid on or respond to an advertisement, respectively, for that garden table or lawn chair. But what other online sources have great deals or collectibles that you don't know about? When conducting an online search, the results that are ad-oriented aren't likely to be what you're looking for. We've sniffed out some of the other online sources for outdoor furniture.
Front-Yard Flagstone Patio
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 25.
Wheelchair Accessible Patio Garden
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 18.
Marilyn Monroe's Patio and Pool
Marilyn Monroe only lived in her Brentwood, California, house for about nine months before her life came to a tragic end on August 4, 1962. The one-story hacienda-style house was built in 1929 and is situated behind tall gates at the end of a quiet cul de sac on more than 23,000 square feet of tree-filled grounds. The four-bedroom, three-bath home features a sparkling freeform pool, patio and citrus grove on more than half an acre. The list price is $3,595,000. Page 4.
The Best Play Pools
Kiddie pools are the least expensive and smallest swimming pools you can buy. But their shallowness and
Marilyn Monroe's Pool and Garden
Marilyn Monroe only lived in her Brentwood, California, house for about nine months before her life came to a tragic end on August 4, 1962. The one-story hacienda-style house was built in 1929 and is situated behind tall gates at the end of a quiet cul de sac on more than 23,000 square feet of tree-filled grounds. The four-bedroom, three-bath home features a sparkling freeform pool, patio and citrus grove on more than half an acre. The list price is $3,595,000. Page 6.
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 style of your house, then folow that dream! If not, stacked stone might be nice...
Sun Bath Garden Hideaway
Large flagstones set in pebbles or pea gravel make up the floor of this backyard patio retreat. The tub is large enough for two, but no more, making it the perfect hideaway for a couple. Privacy can be obtained by way of close plantings or containers. A nearby water feature creates a different type of privacy by blocking any neighborhood noise with the soothing sound of running water. Patio citrus trees enhance the sensory experience of this patio hideaway. Page 24.
Great Deck Design Ideas and Pictures
You've chosen a deck over a patio. Now what? Decks can be connected to a house or detached. Decking materials include softwoods, tropical hardwoods, synthetic woods and pressure-treated lumber. Then there's the type of deck you desire, along with shape, size and even the pattern of the wood. How are your do-it-yourself skills? If you aren't up for the task, you will need to find a contractor or subcontractor to do the job. Need deck ideas? Enjoy this gallery of deck design pictures.
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