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Pool & Patio: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Assorted Pavers
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 14.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Decked-Out Doughboy
Doughboy was one of the first manufacturers of above-grounds on the market back in the 20th century.
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.
Long, Cool Pool
Another above-ground swimming pool that features childproof fencing and a gate that makes it hard for
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.
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.
Above the Deck
This above-ground swimming pool has a wooden deck surrounding it. What's different than others pictured
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
Vertical Gardens: Plants for Walls
Not only does this living wall provide privacy, a touch of nature and color, it also is a smart solution for growing varieties of lettuce when space is limited. Vertically positioned pots or pockets work well for this type of crop. Page 4.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 Make Floating Ghosts for Your Outdoor...
If you're creative or feeling ambitious, you can make your own ghosts, following directions from Sherry
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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-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.
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.
Elizabeth Taylor's Puerto Vallarta Patio
This second-floor courtyard patio is at Casa Kimberly near downtown Puerto Vallarta, Mexico . Long ago,
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.
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.
Round Pavers in Gravel
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 5.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gravel Framing and Edging
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 26.
El Patio: Mexican 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 28.
Fall Decorating Ideas for Your Porch, Yard &...
Wherever home may be, you can celebrate fall and the change of season by decorating your porch, entryway, balcony and other outdoor living spaces with the colors, symbols and plants that show off autumn in all its glory. Need ideas? Take a leisurely stroll through this autumn photo gallery. Need ideas? For starters, there's nothing wrong with a bright orange pumpkin sitting on your steps. From there, you can add ornamental grasses in bronzes, reds and purples, potted in urns or other containers.
Midcentury Modern Minimalism
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 19.
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.
Low Wall for Privacy
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 21.
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.
The View From the Terrace
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 20.
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.
Three Patio Floors
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. Most patios are set on a concrete slab or a sand and pebble base. Once you've found the site for your patio, there are other design considerations. This photo gallery suggests patio design ideas to help inspire you. Page 15.
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 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.
Square Pavers & Pebbles
A prefab house at the L.A. Garden Show features a simple patio area with concrete pavers and pebbles. Get more ideas in this photo gallery of patio designs. Page 14.
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.
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.
The Best Free Garden Bench Plans
Looking for fairly simple free DIY plans to make an outdoor bench? We researched and compiled bench plans that take about a weekend to complete.
Outdoor Living Room
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 11.
Secluded 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 33.
Beanbag Patio Area
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 27.
Tree-Stump Patio Seating
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 29.
Before You Build, Install or Buy a Swimming...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Why do you want
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.
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.
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!
Dining on the Deck
Who doesn't love to dine outdoors with a view? The lucky homeowners of this deck took advantage of the surrounding landscape to build a deck that would afford them a view of their large yard and the nearby foothills near Los Angeles. Page 5.
Brick Pavers & Black Gravel
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 16.
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