Summer's just around the corner, and if you're a home owner, chances are good your thoughts are on your backyard. Maybe you've spent all winter salivating over episodes of "Yard Crashers," "Landscapers' Challenge" and "The Vanilla Ice Project," or your Pinterest and Houzz accounts are bulging with ideas. If you're ready to convert your much-neglected plot of land into a backyard oasis, we say it's time to get to it.
You can take your backyard design in many different directions, and it's easy to get carried away and bust the budget. Keep it real and stay organized by creating a list of the features you'd most like your backyard to have, then prioritize and set a budget. Here are some of the more popular features to help you get started:
A New Patio
A patio is often the starting point of a backyard renovation. How large you make it depends on what it will be used for: Will you be entertaining a lot of guests, or is it just for you and your spouse to enjoy while you sip iced tea and read the newspaper? Your options for patio pavers are brick, concrete, stone and even rubber; don't be afraid to get creative with its shape and the placement of any bricks. Fixr.com places the average cost of a 12-by-16-foot patio around $2,000. If installation is done well, your patio could retain its original look for 20 years or more.
Is your backyard better suited for a deck? Nothing says "summer" more than enjoying an Indianapolis evening under the stars, and a deck increases the value of your home, too. You can plan the shape and size of your deck to fit with your existing landscaping and yard size. Choose a lumber type, color and width that fits your style and design preference. Experts estimate a new deck will cost you $15-$35 a square foot, depending on the type of wood you choose.
Spa or Hot Tub
A spa or hot tub brings an element of luxury to any backyard. You can integrate it with your landscaping or install it on your deck. CostEvaluation.com puts a new outdoor hot tub at about $2,000 to $6,000 installed. Make sure you budget for a hot tub cover as well; this is a must for families with small children and areas with four-season climates. You can get hot tub covers at HotTubWorks.com starting at under $300, delivered.
From fountains to waterfalls to a koi pond, water effects take your backyard to the next level. Add ambient lighting around these features to create a dreamy mood at night. If you want to go with a koi pond, bear in mind that experts recommend the water be three to four feet deep for the fish to thrive. According to howmuchisit.org, the cost of a professionally installed koi pond starts at $10,000 and goes up from there, depending upon how elaborate you get. The filtration system alone is around $3,000.
Of course, these are just some of the features to consider when creating your ideal backyard. Now get going, so you can kick back with a cold drink and enjoy the backyard of your dreams.
Looking to get the backyard living space of your dreams?
If your in the Indianapolis, Indiana area, consult with Gettum Associates, Inc., an award-winning design and remodel contractor based in Greenwood, Indiana. Gettum Associates carefully designs each project with your needs in mind and completes the construction of your deck, porch or patio to blend seamlessly with your existing to make it look as though it was always there. Click below for more information:
About the author:
Ray is a landscaper, mechanic and fix-it guy who enjoys sharing DIY tips and money-saving tricks.
Spruce up your backyard this spring
It’s that time of year again. We get the opportunity to trade in our winter coats for springtime shorts and venture out into our backyards. After being stuck indoors for months, we tend to look at the outdoors with a new perspective.
Plant a New Garden
Planting a new garden is a massive undertaking. The first step is to figure out how large you want to make the garden bed. The bed should be about 20 x 25, if you have the space for it. This will give you the maximum space for
Now that you’ve figured out how large your garden will be, you have to think about location. Your garden will need ample sunlight— at least five hours a day. When you plant your garden, try to free up the space around it of weeds, bushes and trees. Your flowers or produce will have a better chance of thriving. If you have a densely vegetated yard, you may need some extra help such as hiring a professional or a backhoe rental from Sunbelt Rentals. With a backhoe, you’ll have to dig a rut around your expected garden placement. The rut should dip below the nearest root system. Using a backhoe for this process will make things go much smoother and faster.
Once your rut is dug, place a heavy material, something roots can’t break through, into the rut. Fill it back in with the freshly dug soil. You should dig about two feet into the ground to ensure that your garden has plenty of vitamin-rich soil to feed.
Plant New Grass
If you’re not looking to go as aggressive as digging up your backyard and planting a brand-new garden, laying down new grass may give you a fresh perspective on your yard.
Before you start planting, test your soil for available nutrients and ph levels. Take samples from several different parts of your yard. Make sure the soil you remove is more than eight inches deep into the ground. There are plenty of local organizations that can test this sample you’ve produced. Contact your lawn care service for more information.
A simple roto-tiller will aid in preparing your lawn to be seeded with new grass. Set the tiller for a six-inch dig and run it over the portion of the yard where you want grass. If your lawn is new, this tilling should suffice. If not, you’ll want to obtain a verticutter. The verticutter creates perfect planting rows out of freshly dug and sifted soil.
The verticutter can also help you plant your new grass seed. The general recommendation is to throw your seed and verticut at least one time. Then, lay some more grass seed and use a hoe to displace this added seed. This process will give you a better coverage of grass. Once your seed is ready, water the ground immediately. Continue to water for one week after the grass starts to break through your yard.
Courtney is a yoga teacher and naturopath who writes for a variety of health and exercise blogs from her home in Maine.
Are you considering a deck, porch or pergola?
Consider Gettum Associates, award-winning Indianapolis area home remodel contractors for your next backyard and outdoor project.
Porch post and concrete slab removal and replacement
Recently, we began a new project in Indianapolis that involved repairs to an existing front covered porch. Unfortunately, time had begun to take it's toll on the wood-wrapped covered porch support columns. Most noticeably, the trim detail pieces had begun to rot. Although structurall sound, the homeowner wanted to replace the existing concrete porch slab at the same time.
Scope of work:
The plan of action going forward is to prop the existing porch roof up with temporary framing in order to remove the old concrete slab.
With the old slab out of the way, a new concrete porch stoop can be formed, poured and finished. Once the concrete is cured, or set new structural support posts can be installed. Rather than use wood to wrap and trim the posts, the homeowner has wisely chosen to use Azek cellular PVC sheets and trim boards. The nice thing about these products as they provide accurate trim details without the worry of future insect or water damage. And, although they can be painted, it is not required (as long as you like white)!
More pictures coming soon!
A patio roof covering offers shade without sacrificing view
For homeowners looking to create the backyard of their dreams, a porch or patio usually is a big part of the overall plan and design. There are many options to choose from. Many begin with a simple deck and upgrade to a pergola. Some may choose a porch. For those with a porch in mind, there are a few variations.
A screen porch is certainly one popular option. These structures are ideal for extending the indoors outward. They can be equipped with lighting and electronics, such as Tv and stereos. They offer the advantage of shade, as well as a bug-free experience. However, a simple covered porch or patio is desirable as well. In many cases, a covered porch is like a screen porch, without the walls and screening.
Similar in many ways, a covered porch can have many of the amenities a screen porch does. It can be wired and equipped with audio and visual equipment, as well as lighting in the ceiling. However, given the lack of walls and screening, a covered porch offers an uninhibited outdoor experience. As is the case with many additions completed by a professional remodeler, the ideal porch should blend into the existing structure as if it was always there. Avoiding the added on look is key! The design details should be a direct reflection of the overall style of your home, right down to the trim and column details, if applicable.
So, when planning your dream backyard be sure to choose the structure that meets your family's needs. And remember, a coverd porch or pation can, in most cases, be converted to a screen porch or 3-season room in the future.
If your in the Indianapolis area and are interested in learning about the benefits of a design/build remodel contractor for your next porch, click below to schedule your no cost, no obligation remodel consultation:
About the author:
Gettum Associates, Inc is an award-winning design and remodel contractor located in central Indiana that has been serving the Indianapolis metro area since 1987. Specializing in full- service remodeling, Gettum Associates completed projects of all sizes. From screen porches, patios, sunroom and room additions to simple bathroom and kitchen makeovers. Whatever your needs, Gettum Associates has the experience and know-how to get the job done right. For more information, visit their website at www.Gettum.com
Begin planning your porch now and enjoy it this summer!
Spring is right around the corner, now is time to plan your outdoor deck, porch or pergola project. Chances are, contractors are busy consulting with clients about upcoming spring and summer projects. If your considering an outdoor project to your Indianapolis home, don't put off contacting a reputable central Indiana contractor. The quicker you plan, the quicker your project can be under contruction and completed in time to get a full season's use.
Whether or not your considering a deck, screen porch of pergola it is important to plan ahead. Where would the new structure function and look best? What are the natural traffic patterns coming out from the house? What about existing landscaping? These are all great questions to consider when planning your project. And dont be afraid to talk to a professional.
Hiring the right remodel contractor can be key to the success of your project. You should expect your contractor to be able to answer all the questions above. Further, they should be able to advise you on the right materials for your particular needs. For instance, if you have pets or children, upgrading from standard mesh insect screening to heavy-duty Phfeifer Pet Screen is a worthy investment. Thinking about using synthetic or composite decking? A professional remodeler should be able to give you the pros and cons of each of your potential selections. For more information on choosing the right remodel contractor, download our free guide "6 costly mistakes to avoid when selecting a remodeling contractor".
As mentioned, if you plan to consider the services of a remodeling professional, now is the time to make the call. Most contractors are quite busy with planning upcoming projects. Maximize your enjoyment of your new outdoor, get going on planning your dream backyard!
In the Indianapolis area, check out porch pictures at the Gettum Associates website. Give them a call for your outdoor living area needs.
Need ideas for your screen porch? Search for pictures for visual examples
For those looking to enjoy the outdoors and their backyard without getting scorched by the summer sun, a screed porch might be a perfect option. A screened in porch provides a shady place to read, listen to music or even watch TV in the summer without being stuck indoors. If you have considered having a screen porch built on to your indianapolis area home, chances are you have wondered what it will look like on the back of your house.
Thankfully, many houses are similar enough that there are plenty of examples of what it may look like on the back of yours. Technology now allows access to hundreds of thousands of pictures that can help visualize the end result of such a project. Take your pick, there are many choices when it comes to finding pictures of screen porches, or pictures of any kind for that matter.
Stick with what you are comfortable with. If you typically use Google to search the web, you can use Google to search for picture examples of screen porches. However, to make it easier, instead of typing in your search into the normal search box, click the "images" tab then input your search. For example, the image above and to the right shows the key word search "Greenwood Indiana screen porch pictures". You can click on that screen shot to get a larger version!
Besides typical search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, there are specialized image sites. Some examples are Flickr, photobucket, SmugMug, and the newer Pinterest. On each site you will be able to search for the pictures your looking for. Honestly though, you can pull up some great pictures by using your favorite search engine. If your looking for area-specific pictures, be sure to include your city in the search query. For example, if your in the Greenwood, Indiana area, a suburb of Indianapolis, you could type in "Pictures of screen porches in Greenwood Indiana" and find some results that way.
In summary, many of us have trouble visualizing the end result of a remodeling project. By using the internet to seek out pictures of your specific project, you can most likely find a suitable example. Don't be afraid to experiment. You can even search for specific features such as porches with Eze Breeze porch panels, or porches with skylights or any other thing you can think of.
If you would like to see pictures of porches and other remodel projects, specific to the Indianapolis area, check out the before and after remodeling picture galleries on the Gettum Associate website at http://www.gettum.com/Indianapolis-remodeling-picture-galleries.htm