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Pool & Patio: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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.
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.
The Top Hot Tubs Built for 2
Hot Tubs don't always have to be expensive, especially if you choose a tub that's designed for 2-3 people, rather than a party-full. Check out our picks for small spas.
The Top 10 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.
The Best Free Plans for Your Deck
The free deck plans we've researched will hopefully serve as a springboard, helping you to define what you want and where to go from there.
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.
Decked-Out Doughboy
Doughboy was one of the first manufacturers of above-grounds on the market back in the 20th century.
Best Hot Tub Spa 2013: About.com Readers'...
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.
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.
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.
Playhouse Kits to Buy
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.
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 reseach 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Long, Cool Pool
Another above-ground swimming pool that features childproof fencing and a gate that makes it hard for
10 Ways to Find Cheap Patio Furniture You'll Love
Maybe it's time for some new outdoor furniture, but your budget won't bend. Like other potential purchases, you can work more closely toward your goal if you have an open mind and do some creative searching. Stores specializing in patio furniture year 'round often carry high-end, brands, but are less likely to hold unbeatable sales. Look beyond the obvious and traditional sources and you might be in for a pleasant surprise. In some cases, inexpensive translates into next-to-nothing or free.
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.
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.
Above the Deck
This above-ground swimming pool has a wooden deck surrounding it. What's different than others pictured
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.
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.
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.
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
Outdoor Deck Designs, Types and Locations
You want to build a deck from wood or composite decking materials. Next comes a deck type or style, which will be determined by where the deck will be located in relation to your house. Consider locating a deck on forgotten spaces like a seldom-used driveway, over a garage or nestled against a hill or on a slope. Ready? Let's find a type of deck and the best place upon which to build it.
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.
Online Pool Saltwater Calculators
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.
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.
How to Remove Moss, Mold and Mildew From Patios...
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.
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.
20 Fun Facts about the Outdoor Areas in the...
We've heard interesting facts and trivia about the presidents, their families, and the White House. But what about the White House grounds, or more specifically, the swimming pools, patios, porches, secret retreats, outdoor garden furniture and other features we may not know about. Enjoy these bits of information about the White House landscape, past and present.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Choose 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.
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.
What's the Best Way to Clean Tile at the...
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Caring for Wood Garden Furniture
You've invested in a piece or set of outdoor wood furniture, and you want to make sure it lasts for several years. What's the best way to protect your outdoor investment from the elements? For wood and hardwood garden furniture, it's a combination of keeping it under cover as much as possible, away from extremes in temperature or moisture. Discover what it takes to maintain your outdoor wood furniture throughout the years, allowing it to retain its strength and natural beauty.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Open a Swimming Pool: A DIY Guide to...
Opening your swimming pool for the season? Wondering just how to open a pool? The simplest way to open your pool for the season is to hire a pool service. But if you’re willing and able, you can do it yourself, and potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars, which you can turn around and spend on more DIY pool equipment. Enlist some help from your home’s cohabitants and tackle the dirty deed.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pool Party: Make a Splash With Fountains,...
The pool party is at your house! Since you're the lucky one with a swimming pool, spa, hot tub or other outdoor water feature, you have the job of making sure the outside party is a splashing success! Nothing is more fun and festive at pool party than fountains, underwater light shows, inflatables, pool toys and other waterworks and accessories. Picture the setting as your guests arrive: shimmering lights in the pool, fountains spraying and a giant floating swan. Welcome to your oasis!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
10 Smart Reasons to Cover a 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.
How to Contact Your Hot Tub or Spa Manufacturer
For your convenience: a directory with the names and contact information for manufacturers and makers of hot tubs and spas. Not sure if your hot tub maker is still in business? They could have merged with another company. Consulting the website of your hot tub or spa manufacturer is the first step you want to take when something goes wrong. They often have FAQs, recall information, news and updates.
Outdoor Privacy Screens - Idea Galleries of...
Maybe you're seeking a private space for a backyard retreat or a patio, deck or balcony. An outdoor privacy screen gives you personal space away from the view of neighbors or passers-by. Check out this gallery of creative solutions to gain privacy in your backyard or outdoor living space. These photos are meant to suggest and inspire; obviously, you can't run out to your local big-box store and pick up a wall mural or bamboo forest. Get ideas for privacy walls, fences, shrubs and more.
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.
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.
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 Go Shopping for a Gas BBQ Grill
Outdoor kitchens and grills are a major part of enjoying your patio. Cooking and entertaining outdoors is one of the most pleasurable activities people can do at home, and owning a grill or barbecue is a genuine goal for many. Gas grills continue to be popular, for different reasons. Let's explore.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What is a DE Pool Filter?
There are three types of filters used for pools: sand, cartridge, and DE. Find out why many pool owners consider DE filters to be the best filter for swimming pools.
Eco Arbor Designs
Environmentally conscious decks by Eco Arbor, like this one featured at Dwell on Design, are made of exotic hardwoods such as ipe, Curupay, masarnduba and Red Gum. Page 4.
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. Here's your Party Central for outdoor entertaining.
How to Reupholster Outdoor Patio Chair Pads &...
If you have a color scheme in mind, excellent. If not, you may want to look at other pieces of outdoor furniture or accessories to get an idea for colors or motifs. If you're starting from scratch, consider favorite colors, color of furniture, color of walls and house. If you're into neutrals indoors and have been toying with the idea of trying something different, outdoors is the perfect place to experiment with bolder, brighter colors. Page 4.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
10 Things You Should Not Do in a Hot Tub
If you're lucky enough to own a hot tub or spa, then you probably know all the things you should and shouldn't do in and around the tub, like issues of safety, care and maintenance. Or do you? What's the highest temperature the water can be set at? Is it OK to have two glasses of wine, but no more? A little sand tracked into the tub won't hurt, right? Will kids be fine in the hot tub as long as an adult is somewhere around? Better read up, then post this list of Hot Tub Don'ts on the fridge.
Elizabeth Taylor's Puerto Vallarta Patio
This second-floor courtyard patio is at Casa Kimberly near downtown Puerto Vallarta, Mexico . Long ago,
Tuscan-Style Red Patio
Tuscan and Mediterranean-style gardens are popular themes, especially in warm climates. Find out the hallmarks of Mediterranean landscape design and enjoy this photo of a stunning courtyard patio. Page 6.
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.
Deck With a View
When planning a deck, one of the most important considerations is placing the deck in a location that
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 With Ornamental Grasses: A Picture...
For nearly nonstop performance, strength and visual impact, few plants compare to ornamental grasses. Don't confuse ornamental grasses with the types of grass used for lawns, though. Ornamental grasses are meant to grow - not be cut or mown - and most aren't used as a groundcover. Once you start landscaping with ornamental grasses you'll be amazed by how many varieties, sizes, shapes and colors are available. Enjoy this picture gallery of popular ornamental grasses.
Patio and Fireplace
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 7.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Modern Decking & 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 10.
Living on the Outside
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 8.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Best BBQ and Grill Recipes and Menus
It's your turn to host a backyard barbecue. Of course, your backyard can be a balcony, deck or patio - any space outdoors will do. The important thing is - what's on the menu? 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, with something for everyone, from all corners of the globe. We've got it all covered, with everything to make the bbq a blast!
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.
Saltillo-Tile 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 2.
The Top 10 Climbing Roses
Privacy at home means more to us than ever before. In trying times, home is a refuge, and privacy provides a chance to relax. Seclusion via a privacy fence or screen gives us a safe retreat from the world outside our boundaries. But those privacy screens -- in the form of wooden fences, concrete-block walls and wire fences -- are often not the breathtaking view we long for. The remedy: grow something beautiful to cover the fence. Enjoy our suggestions for the top 10 climbing roses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What is a Pool Skimmer?
What is a pool skimmer and when should you use one? A skimmer is a box-like device through which debris and contaminants flow into the filter when the pump is activated.
Color Your World
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 9.
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.
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.
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.
Saltillo & Teak
Teak patio furniture gives this walled courtyard a warm, rich and inviting appeal. The patio is situated near the front door of a house in Santa Monica, California, and is a small, but well-designed outdoor room. The warm reddish hue of the saltillo tile flooring is picked up in the wood of the teak patio furniture and the outdoor cushions and pillows. Teak and other hardwoods, like ipe, have always been a popular choice for outdoor patio and garden furniture. Page 13.
Mediterranean Courtyard
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 30.
Three Paving Materials
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!
Faux Fossils
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. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 36.
Bark Mulch & Pea 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 37.
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.
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.
Footprint 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 31.
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.
Patio Passageway
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 34.
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.
Circle of Adirondacks
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 32.
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.
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.
Tree Lights: How to Wrap Trees With Outdoor...
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.
Best Patio Fire Pits
The Firegear Reflection fire pit looks custom built. That's because it is, sort of. By you -- courtesy of Firegear's kit. The biggest thing you need to supply are bricks or pavers and some DIY time and effort. Page 3.
Water-Saving Tips for Swimming Pools & 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.
Succulent Garden Design Ideas
Ready to see succulents like never before? If you live in an arid climate, chances are good that you can use your swimming pool, spa, patio or deck nearly year 'round. Along with the advantages of enjoying your outdoor space all year comes the challenge of selecting the right plants for landscaping. Succulents have gained in popularity over the past decade, and as we learn more about them and work with them in landscape design, they are no longer seen as just a cousin to the prickly cactus.

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