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What is the easiest way to transform your outdoor space?

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What is the easiest way to transform your outdoor space?

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Now that it’s getting warmer out, we all want to spend more time in the great outdoors. But what if your deck or patio leaves something to be desired? The easiest way to spruce up that old, dingy space is what you're standing on. The easiest way to update the inside of your house is to change the flooring right? So why not change the outside?

Let’s start with the old.

What are you trying to refinish or replace? Are you working with a lawn? Do you have a patio that needs a facelift? Or maybe your deck has seen better days?  No matter what you’re working with, there is always a way to make it look better! Many times it’s as easy and inexpensive as a coat of paint.

 

 Starting with a lawn? Here are a few ideas:

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Changing your outdoor living space when you’re working with a lawn is probably the cheapest option to start with by virtue that there pretty much no demolition needed. You need to prepare the lawn for whatever you’d like to have there in the future, but you don’t have to pay to rip anything out or pay to throw old stuff away, which is a big plus.

If you want to add a deck you’ll need to strip the lawn and make sure you level your ground. Adding gravel to your space aids with water absorption so it keeps your deck post from sitting in a pond and rotting when it rains or snows. You’ll then map out your deck area, dig holes for posts, add some cement to the holes for stability and durability, and start building your deck. Obviously this is the quick explanation and there is a lot more that goes in to building a deck, but the rough layout is pretty simple. You can build it yourself with help from videos on Youtube and project lists online, or you could hire a professional.

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Say you’d like a flat patio instead of a deck? This process is even easier! You’ll need to map out, strip and level your lawn the same as if you were building a deck, but this time you’ll need to add a few layers of stone dust on to your dirt. This way any kind of pavers, brick or stone you’re using for your patio have a place to sit and stay stable. Once you lay all of your patio materials, be it brick, stone, or pavers, you’ll need to tamp them down so they are pushed pretty well in to the stone dust. This eliminates the materials from moving and possibly cracking or falling out later. Once this is done, you add a few layers of sand and tamp it down again. The sand falls between all the nooks and crannies in your patio keeping everything solid for years to come. Just like with building a deck, you can do it yourself or hire a professional.

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Have a patio already? Here’s what you can do:

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If you have a patio already but it really need some sprucing up there are a lot of options for you. The first is to rip it out and start fresh. While a brand new patio may be every homeowner’s dream, it can get a little pricey if you’re hiring someone to do the work for you. If you’d like to do it yourself then you’re going to be better off financially, but keep in mind, many dumps won’t take old stone so you’ll have to find a new use for them or a way to let them go.

Rather save a few bucks? Give that old patio a facelift! If you have a few pavers or flagstones that are stained or cracked, see if you can take them out individually and repair or replace them. Changing a few pieces is much cheaper than changing all of them. Don’t have extra pavers or stones? No problem! If you don’t have the same material to replace the old ones, try something different. Add flowers or green plants to the spaces left to give it an English countryside look. Or you could fill the gaps with multi colored glass or colorful tiles for a Mediterranean feel. Why not make your own cement blocks with a form and quick dry cement and have the kids draw pictures and make hand prints? You’ll have memories for a lifetime living right in your back yard.

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What if you have a cement patio? Just a boring grey slab right in your backyard is not what people think of when they think “oasis”. Instead of ripping it out or loathing your yard every time you look at it, color it! Yes, color it! Add cement stain or paint. Many local home improvement stores carry cement paint or stain for reasonable prices that can add life back to your boring patio. Make it a terracotta color for your own Spanish getaway; or go bold and add a bright color like blue, pink, or orange for an outdoor space that will wow your guests from the first look. You could even tape off a few lines and make the stain look like expensive tiles. The possibilities are endless.

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No lawn, no patio, just an old, sad deck? No worries! Here’s what you do:

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Bringing life back to your deck is probably the simplest process of all. While, if you do it yourself, it will take some time and patience, the reward is worth it. Your first task is checking the deck for safety. This is the most important step because the last thing anyone wants is for someone to get hurt. Check the stability of your deck, it should not move much when you jump and sway on it. If it does, you’ll need to reinforce or maybe replace it. Check the wood itself. Has it been eaten by termites or ants? Is it rotten or falling apart? If so you may want to hire a professional to assess the situation. If everything is safe but the look of it is not what you want, here are few ideas on how to fix it.

Paint or stain it. Sand down the wood to take off the old color or chipping paint, wash it all down, dry it, and put on a new color; it’s as simple as that. I say simple because the process doesn’t require that many steps; however I will warn you it is a pretty tedious job.  Sanding every board, top, sides, and bottom will take a while. Not to mention washing it all down and then staining or painting all the boards again. Don’t feel like doing it yourself? I don’t blame you. So now you call Happy Floors. Happy Floors will refinish your deck in a snap so you can get back to what you want; being outside with warm weather and your loved ones in your new backyard oasis.

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