Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Get Your Patio Ready for Cold Weather

The backyard patio is easily one of the most important outdoor spaces in American culture. It is the center of get-togethers, barbecues, bunches, and special events like baby showers and even weddings. There is something special about a private outdoor setting. Unfortunately, as the seasons change and temperatures drop, the patio area may not be as comfortable as it was in the spring and summer.

To get the most out of your outdoor entertainment space, there are a few easy strategies and patio products that will extend the use of your outdoor space significantly. In fact, with the right gear, you will find that the cooler months will be some of your favorite times to linger outdoors with friends and loved ones.

Choose the Right Patio Accessories

Plastic and metal patio furniture may hold up well year round, but they certainly don’t retain heat. Outfit your seating with comfortable cushions that will insulate your family and guests. The more cushions the better. Select cushions constructed from water resistant fabric that complements the overall design of your backyard space. Purchase 2 or 3 soft blankets or throws that are designated for outdoor use. There is nothing quite like being wrapped up in a blanket under the stars on a cool winter’s night. I also recommend that you invest in some quality patio furniture covers to protect your furniture and keep seats dry between uses. Nothing spoils an evening outdoors quite like sitting in a puddle of ice cold water. If you have a barbecue grill, be sure to outfit it was a proper patio BBQ Cover as well. That way your BBQ won't be water logged all winter long.

Install Wind Barriers

If your patio space is exposed to fall gusts and winter winds, you can expect the wind chill to decrease the temperature by 10 degrees or more. Instead of exposing your social space to direct wind, place a barrier on the wind-exposed side or sides. This could be a temporary barrier constructed of bamboo or lightweight wood, or a permanent structure that you can keep up year round.

Invest in a Quality Patio Heater

There are a number of different style patio heaters to fit any entertainment space. The first thing you will need to decide is where the heater will go… which in turn will determine what sort of energy source you will need. If a socket is not nearby (and they rarely are) I recommend an outdoor propane patio heater. These devices are portable, last for years and years and really transform the environment in something special.

Incorporate Lighting Features

As the days get shorter light becomes scarce. You will need some lighting in your outdoor patio area, but it’s important to keep lighting soft and subtle so that it doesn’t distract from the stars and mood. I recommend stringing up strings of large white light bulbs – a classic look that will work year round. Adding an outdoor fire pit not only complements the natural setting, but it provides the perfect amount of flickering light to the space and can act as a visual focal point for the social area.

About the Author: Derrick Riley is a Managing Partner at Patio Products USA, a subsidiary of Neighbors Marketing specializing in outdoor patio products for home or commercial use. As one of North America's largest distributors of outdoor patio products and equipment, Patio Products USA delivers a wide selection of outdoor garden patio heaters as well as a wide selection of patio furniture covers.

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