Enclose your existing patio or add a sunroom. Both structures will allow you and your guests to enjoy the views of your winter landscape while being safely shielded from the worst of the weather. If either option is beyond your budget, an enclosed gazebo is an excellent lower-cost alternative. Remember, the best orientation for any of these additions is a southern exposure that allows you to soak up the winter sun.
An outdoor heater can make your open patio or deck comfortable almost year round. Choose from portable or permanent models that use natural gas or propane. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions when installing and using your outdoor heater.
Similarly, outdoor fire pits can add both warmth and ambiance for cool weather gatherings outdoors. Wood or gas models come in a variety of styles and sizes, from classic chimney pots to open fire pits. If you’re using a wood-burning model, it is a good idea to include a spark arrestor.
For ultimate outdoor entertainment, borrow a page from ski and snowboard enthusiasts who warm up and relax in an outdoor hot tub after a day on the slopes. Heated hot tubs provide a warm and inviting gathering place when temperatures are frosty. Consider self-contained models with advanced filtration and ozone water purification.
“People tell us that hot tubs are a great improvement that really enhance the enjoyment of their home,” says Anthony Pasquarelli of industry pioneer Jacuzzi Brand Hot Tubs. “Models are available to suit virtually every family size and lifestyle, allowing homeowners to enjoy their hot tub through all four seasons.”
Hot tubs with a wireless digital readout that you can monitor inside let you check the water temperature before you even leave the house – a must-have feature in chilly weather. You can also minimize the time you spend outside in a bathing suit on a cold day by placing your hot tub near a back door.
Other features make modern hot tubs a true backyard entertainment center. Look for models with stereo entertainment systems complete with docking stations for iPods and other portable media devices, multi-color rotating LED lighting and floating remote controls.
“Some of the best home improvement projects are the ones that let families enjoy their outdoor living spaces throughout the year,” says Dix Henneke of Sundance Spas, the world’s largest manufacturer of acrylic hot tubs. “A hot tub addition is an ideal lifestyle enhancement that also contributes to improved health and sense of well being.”
For backyard installation ideas, call Brentwood Pool & Spa at 516-7023 or West Coast Spa & Stove at 679-3873.