Backyard Fire Pit Designs

It is no surprise that many people love the ambient light and warmth that a campfire can provide. But did you know that you can now experience the atmosphere and warmth of a campfire right at your own backyard or patio? Well it is now possible with an outdoor fire pit. A fire pit is basically a pit that can safely contain a fire rather than having it in the open air. It is safer and easier to maintain. Fire pits are usually made by burrowing a hole into the ground or hallowing down a concrete to be used as the fire’s container. There are many commercially available pre-made types in the market but if you want to be able to save, then building you own pit is definitely an option for you. Here are some tips that can help you in building your own backyard fire pit:

  • First you need to decide which type do you want to build in terms of fuel consumption. Do you want it to burn wood? Utilize a gas tank? Your choice in fuel consumption plays an important factor with regards to the placement and design of your pit. Decide on what works best in your situation. The earlier, the better.
  • Your second main consideration should be the location of your outdoor pit. Keep in mind that unless you choose a portable type, it is pretty much a permanent structure so it is important that you choose your location well. First things first, you need to address the issue of safety. So pick a that is far away from flammable structures, debris and objects. Don’t let it near anywhere a tree, dry grasses, shrubs, dried leaves, wood sticks and so on. If you are using it to provide warmth and ambient light, be sure that you have it in location that has a lot of room. Before ultimately deciding on the location, it will do you good to check with your local fire department and see what are the laws that apply.
  • The size of the pit will depend on your intended use. If you are looking to build an outdoor fire pit that’s best for cooking, barbecues, grilling and so on, then a 2 to 4 ft. diameter pit should be perfect. But if it is mainly for providing warm and ambient light, a 2 ft. diameter fire pit should easily be able to service a group of three to four people.
  • When it comes to deciding a design, do not be afraid to unleash your creativity. If you cannot come up with design of your own, you can always refer to outdoor living magazines, TV shows and the Internet as sources for your design inspiration.

These following tips should be able to help you in building your very own backyard fire pit. When building your own pit, just be sure to keep into account the safety of your home and family.

Lauren Laughlin enjoys writing for Myfirepits.com which sells outdoor fire pit [http://www.myfirepits.com/] and fire pit [http://www.myfirepits.com/All_Fire_Pits_s/96.htm] as well as a host of additional products.

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Backyard Awning Ideas

There is a great amount of value is added to your home with an addition of backyard awnings. It is a practical and attractive idea to add this decoration to your patio. Besides adding living space it also adds ‘curb appeal’ to the home and if you please, to your working arena too.

With your choice of size, fabric and color you can get a custom built awning made by your local manufacturer. Extra space can be enjoyed throughout the year by adding side awnings. For the patio the awnings do very well in accentuating the outdoor space. They protect the patio furniture all the year round. They help in protecting inmates too, from the sun, snow, hail as well as rain.

Protection from the sun:

• The sun is kept away from the windows with the help of these awnings, and so your air conditioning system does not have to work as hard. 
• During winter time, the back door is kept free of snow and during summers energy consumption can be reduced greatly with the use of awnings. 
• Direct sunlight is blocked out with an awning. It is through the windows that most of the cooling or heating is lost. 
• Your home remains cooler when direct sunlight is prevented from entering.

As compared to the yesteryears, awnings of today are much more durable as well as attractive. Exclusive designs and color schemes can be chosen online as well as offline when you custom make an awning.

Saves energy bills:

Energy bills are saved and patio tiles and outdoor furniture need not be refinished or replaced with timely addition of awnings. At a fraction of cost of making a sunroom, you can get an awning for the temperature control endeavor. Manufacturers supply you the awning at incredible discounts to save more for other accentuates. Most of the contractors are more than wiling to help in fixing awning, but otherwise installation is easy and quick.

Additional living space is created with an awning in the backyard by adding side panels. You can adjust the room any way you want with the convenience of a remote controlled retractable awning. You can create backyard awnings to suit your taste or choose from a variety of designs, manufactured with ready-made dimensions. A wide variety of colors and different types of fabrics are used nowadays to bring home more imagination than ever before.

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Backyard Movies

Although many people are finding out that hosting a backyard movie is a lot of fun for everyone, what most people are just figuring out is that there are many more ways to enjoy your backyard theater than to just throw a movie in the DVD player. Here are some fun things that people are doing:

Karaoke Night – You’ve had a good time seeing yourself on the tv in your family room or at the local bar but how about on a big screen in your backyard? If you like karaoke or just want to give it a try this is the way to do it. Just hook up the karaoke machine, plug a camcorder into the projector and start singing. You will be amazed at how much fun it is to see yourself on the big screen.

Theme Movie Night – Sometimes the newest releases don’t hold a candle to with the time tested classics. Watch the classics with a twist and make it a theme night. Have a cookout and put your best western outfit, throw in a western classic on and have a western theme night. Can’t get enough of the Kung Fu movies? Order Chinese food and throw in a Bruce Lee Movie. Remember to make everyone come wearing their favorite kung fu outfit or karate outfit. Caddyshack is a an all time classic and you can show it after a golf outing with the guys. Of course you should show up in the ugliest golf clothes you can pull out of your closet. The best part of the night is that the movies don’t need to be first runs and it is all about the food and friends and the outfits.

Birthday Parties – Inflatables and game rooms are great but how fun would it be to have a backyard movie for your kids birthday. Not only would it be a fun and different activity but if you get the right movie they will be occupied for several hours and you can get some time to relax too.

Block Party – Is there a better way to get your neighbors together than having a block party and show a backyard movie. You don’t even need to use your backyard if you live on a dead end street or if there is a park close by. Have everyone pitch in with the food and drink and all you will have to do is bring the screen and projector. As a warning you might have to schedule several movie nights to accommodate all the suggestion that you will get from each neighbor.

Game Night – You don’t just have to show movies on you backyard movie screen. With a good multimedia projector it is perfect for game nights with the kids. Rockband, Xbox and PlayStation games make it a fun night that everyone can enjoy.

These are only a few ideas that you can do when you have a backyard movie screen and projector and there are plenty more.

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Simple Backyard Landscaping Ideas

For a very few homeowners, a front and backyard of just grass abutting up to their home’s walls is enough. They like the simplicity and ease of maintaining their yard – just mow and go. But most of us like a bit of color. A walkway. Perhaps a trellis. Maybe a flower border. Something more than just a small patio slab left by the builder just outside the backdoor.

But then we think of the work involved. The cost. The planning involved.

“Maybe the idea of big grassy yards front and back isn’t so bad,” we might think. “Backyard landscaping, front yard landscaping just isn’t for us.

But wait. Take a deep breath. Slow down.

Landscaping needn’t be that difficult.

Take backyard landscaping, for instance. When you think of your backyard, you think of rest and relaxation, don’t you? A sunny place for perhaps a barbecue. A warm spot on which to lie on a hammock, swing in the breeze, read a book and then take a snooze.

So keep it simple.

Here’s a simple backyard landscaping idea: Why not install a flowerbed of blooming plants that attract butterflies? You can place it somewhat in the middle of your yard. It will become a focal point and just wait until your friends and neighbors come to visit! (Perhaps you’ll want to have book on butterflies handy, see who can spot the most different kinds.)

For backyard landscaping ideas that attract butterflies, check out the National Wildlife Federation’s information on the subject here

For a truly simple design, why not “just” have a lovely patio, with shrubs and/or flowering plants along its edges? A good cement/concrete contractor can pour a patio in an oval, curved or just about any shape for you. Add some shrubs, plants and/or some solar patio lights would make a lovely – and simple and peaceful – backyard landscape for you.

Speaking of shrubs, they can be a simple, inexpensive addition to your landscaping. Place them in front and in the back of your home, right up against the walls. They add great curb appeal without a lot of muss and fuss. And your shrubbery needn’t be just different shades of green – many shrubs flower and provide wonderful bursts of color. Check out azalea, lilac, hydrangea, shrub rose, and dogwood at your local nursery to see if they appeal to you.

Don’t forget plants that are native to your area. Head to your nursery or do some research on the Internet to see what plants are native to your state. A simple Google search of, say, “Pennsylvania native plants” will give you a wealth of information. Choosing native plants give you peace of mind because you know they do well in your climate and therefore will be easier to take care of.

Place wood chips around your shrubs, trees and bushes. They cover up the dirt – thus giving your landscaping a more polished look – and they also help cut down on weeds. They also provide food as they break down and help keep your plants moist.

Finally, don’t forget the lawnchair – the perfect addition to your backyard landscape. After all, now that your simple backyard landscape is done, it’s time to put your backyard to its real use – a lovely spot for a relaxing snooze on a summer Sunday afternoon.

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