Back Yard Design Elements For Your Deck and Patio BBQ Area

Enjoy your free time away from work and enjoy a great back yard gathering with your friends and family. Well, maybe your back yard is bare with no appeal. Would you like a sure fire way to make your friends and family want to be at your house as opposed to being somewhere else? What are the elements of a great back yard?

Just like building a house you need to start with the foundation. The foundation of a great back yard is the landscaping. To create a great landscape you should think of painting your back yard with color, texture, and dimension. Use color in the forms of varying plants, flowers, trees, rocks, and outdoor furniture. Now you don’t want to paint it psychedelic unless that’s what your into. For added texture you could incorporate natural materials such as boulders, flagstone walkways, small ponds and water features, and again with plants. The final element for the landscaping would be to add dimension with height and depth. A typical method is to use planting and hardscape materials to define the edges of walk ways, play areas, and social areas. The taller more sturdy plants at the rear with smaller and more colorful plants close to the defined area. The defined area is usually a nice sod maybe with a rock walk path.

Now that you have a landscape you should have a deck or patio for people to socialize, gather, and flat out party. You can go with a patio or a deck. I personally like to have a deck with multiple levels and small off shoots that can accommodate 3 -7 people to serve as conversation pit. I great addition to any deck is a shaded area for those hot summer days. If you like you can build a small outdoor kitchen for BBQs either on the deck itself or a ground level patio. Most patios are simple concrete slabs, or laid pavers. Whatever your choice you will be happy you added the outdoor kitchen area.

Now it’s time for you to make the best of your back yard and enjoy your new deck and patio.

Cleaning Your Deck

Cleaning the deck once a year will make it look like a freshly new installation and make it last longer. If you are planning to refinish the deck it must be thoroughly cleaned first. If the deck is not cleaned properly the results can be unsightly if not destructive. Pulling out the pressure washer to clean the deck is not necessarily the best approach to deck cleaning. Although the pressure washers are popular to home owners for meeting many household needs they can be destructive if not used properly. When vinyl siding became the norm, the pressure washer became the household accessory to perform the annual cleaning chore. They come in many different sizes with the various attachments for hot or cold water washing, with or without detergents. As all tools they must be used with caution and for their intended purpose.

The pressure washers spray wand attachment has several different size tips that essentially determine the output pressure that gets the job done. Too little pressure simply won’t get the job done at all and too much pressure can cause damage to the wood, cement, or vinyl surfaces that you are cleaning. Although it may be a speedy approach to get the job done it is not the best tool to clean a wood deck unless it is done with care, insuring that the correct nozzle is used to avoid wood damage.

There are other alternatives to the pressure washer such as a scrub brush or broom, a detergent solution, and some old fashion arm work. Oxygen bleach, green-cleaner, and some household detergents that contain a high level of hydrogen peroxide are very good deck cleaning detergents. I would not recommend a laundry bleach as it contains chlorine that does not do justice to the environment and may damage surrounding plants and grass.

When applied generously and scrubbed with a stiff brush or broom, deck cleaning detergents will remove surface dirt, grime, mold, and mildew. Simply rinse the deck after the scrubbing task is complete. These products are environmentally friendly, causing no harm to shrubs or grass. True Values “Deck Wash” is an excellent deck cleaning detergent. There are many other deck wash detergents available, however, I would recommend buying a powder detergent and mix it to the strength necessary for your cleaning requirement. In liquid form, most cleaners are approximately 75% water. Always follow the manufacturer suggestions to include safety requirements. Proper eye protection is absolutely necessary. For best results the temperature should be 60 to 90 degrees.

Home Addition Plus Perks provides extensive suggestions on home improvements and decorating ideas to enhance your home and quality of life. Your home is a major financial investment and like all investments, it requires frequent attention to maintain its value as well as providing a comfortable place for your living enjoyment. Given the cost of home improvements by someone else, a contractor, it can be more cost effective to do things for yourself and by yourself. We will help you in that effort by providing suggestions and recommendation with detailed instruction as necessary. We also offer home decorating and gardening suggestions for enhancing the interior and exterior of your home. To help you stay healthy we offer suggestions on diet and exercise too. You can find us at