When it comes to designing a backyard pool getaway, many people need to choose between their favorite design choice and the one they can afford. Previously, homeowners were met with limited options; due to financial concerns, they only had concrete or colored concrete to choose from. Up until recently, the best looking pool deck surfaces were too expensive for the average homeowner to afford. Thanks to concrete engineering advancements, more choices are now available.

By using properly engineered concrete or concrete and polymer mixtures, a layer as thin as a credit card can be applied to an existing pool deck, transforming a backyard getaway into the one that the owner originally envisioned, rather than the one they settled for. The pool deck resurfacing products available for sale today are designed for quick drying time and they are affordable; a homeowner can do the upgrade in as little as one day.

It is also important to note the freedom these products provide. For instance, if a home owner wanted the look of stone, there are systems that will allow the installer to stamp or stencil the concrete, giving it the look of stone. Slip resistance can be added if the pool deck was originally too slick and any color combination can be had as well. As technology continues to improve, more companies are offering the products you need at an affordable price.

Pool deck resurfacing can be done to any concrete pool deck that is free of major cracks or other major structural issues. To begin, the surface is usually prepared with rough buffing that is designed to ensure the resurfacing materials bond better to the surface; then the concrete mixture is applied. With some systems, you apply the material with a trowel, but others may require it to be sprayed on. What is ideal about spray-on resurfacing systems is that they self-level; this means you don’t have to smooth the surface during the setup process.

Concrete resurfacing projects are popular because the products are strong and durable; they are designed to withstand UV exposure, high temperatures, humidity, and normal wear and tear. On top of this, these products are engineered to withstand years of being in a pool area, including being resistant to pool chemicals, including the most modern salt-based systems.

Adding flair to a pool area with resurfacing is a popular trend that continues to grow due it is ease and affordability. It is far cheaper to have a basic slab installed, then a thin layer of artistry added rather than doing all of that work to the stab itself. Pool design experts will recommend this if they feel it will save you money and them time on the job.

Consumers can now enjoy an increasingly wide quantity of outdoor patio shades products to choose from. Before, blinds and shades were of low quality and could not adopt to ever changing styles and trends so they are being disposed easily because you can only use them in a limited amount of time.

Value and fashion are the major focus on varied patio door blinds and outdoor canopy shades and treatments offereings these days. They can now last for many years and a good number of them are stylish enough to survive changes in craze and design themes. Cream of the crop materials are now used for these treatments, and designs, textures and colors are so diverse anyone will not have a problem fitting their exact design desires into what is available. It used to be that only weak types that are not too durable and only adapt to a specific design theme were available. This is certainly not the case now. Of course, aesthetics and durability are only two of the several reasons homeowners consider these days. Aspects such as energy efficiency have as well come into environmentally conscious homeowners. These door treatments are very good insulators, keeping the heat outside and not letting homeowners spend too much on heating. The house use of energy is decreased, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced, and a greener earth is elevated!

There are a whole lot of purpose for using outdoor patio shades and patio door blinds. Canopy shades in the patio, for example shields the wood and fabric present on patio furniture. Benches, tables, and lounges get protect from fading and discoloration brought about by too much exposure to the sun, so that you don’t have to change them every so often. Comfort may be a single factor, but health is another. Too much sun exposure will lead family members to significant health problems, and door treatments and shades give protection from the dreaded ultraviolet rays. Moreover, outdoor shades will make the patio area more functional, as homeowners are kept from the elements of the weather. Even with rain and the heat, the patio can still be used and family members can enjoy more time “outdoors”, or at least outside the house.

More benefits: A shade canopy, in effect, adds a patio ‘room’ to your house and property. You will get far more use from your yard under more conditions because you will find more causes to enjoy time out of doors. Lastly, the beauty and style of a simple outdoor shade or blind should not be undervalued. These patio treatments can only enhance the beauty of your patio, and can even be a main point.


Pond Building is a creative activity and your taste will heavily influence the style of your outdoor pond. An important point to remember is to blend your pond style into your overall backyard design. When adding an outdoor pond to your backyard design one of your first considerations is the choice between formal and informal ponds. That choice alone will affect the ponds shape, the materials and plants needed, etc… Pond Building styles are normally divided into formal and informal ponds. Let’s talk a bit about them.

Formal Ponds

Formal ponds are strongly influenced by the architecture of its surroundings. Its shape and materials are clearly part of the man-made architecture design. A formal pond will use common building materials such as marble, bricks, glass and metal.

Things to remember: First, if you choose to build a raised pond, take into consideration the weight of water in the pond when planing your walls. A poorly built pond could destroy both your project and your garden. Second is your budget, consider work and material costs when planing your pond.

Informal ponds

When building an informal pond you should take your inspiration from lakes, rivers and natural ponds. To achieve the natural look use rocks, sand and pebbles and vegetation to define the edges of the pond. Informal ponds are constructed below the ground, with smooth variations in depth. Its outline is normally created with a beach at one bank and different types of vegetation on the other. The important point here is to blend the pond into its natural surroundings. Adding small imitations of water streams, wood decks or natural looking waterfalls can add to overall informal design.

On the budget and skills side this is a popular choice for pond building as you will need less materials and skills than a raised pond.

Notes: First, informal ponds are the only option for creating a wildlife pond. Second, consider pond leaks and runoffs, debris and changes in the ground when planing your pond.


Don’t forget your personal tastes and overall backyard design when choosing between a formal or informal outdoor pond. Look around for inspiration and pond ideas from historical places or nature. Now you can choose your style and start making your pond plans.

Every home that has children should have a designated place outside for the them to play in. Providing an outdoor play area for children brings lots of rewards: the children love it, parents know the children are safe and happy, and the rest of the garden is (usually) left to grow without too much disturbance. You may find that if you create a nice area, all the kids in the neighborhood will be hanging out at your place, which may or may not be a good thing. It is usually quite easy to add at least a small play area to your landscaping plans.

For very small children, the area needs to be close to the house so the children can be closely supervised, but not feel too restrained. An area that is visible from a kitchen window is perfect. A lot of manmade toys like swings and slides are made for play areas. However, young kids are really good at coming up with their own games using nothing more than sticks, rocks, dirt, and other natural objects. A simple sand pit or box, with cover when not being used to keep the neighbor’s critters out, will keep small children busy and playing for hours. Add some simple elements like stones to the sandbox. (At a later time, you can make the sandbox into a raised bed.) Old logs make a good climbing frames and so can a small tree, especially if it has strong branches that are closer to the ground.

Older kids like their play areas to be a little more away from the house. However, it should still be a highly visible spot planned into the front yard design or backyard landscaping ideas. Older children still like to use their imaginations so don’t build the treehouse just yet. Start with the simple stuff, using some board nailed to a tree as steps or even a piece of knotted rope to help climb into the trees. The tree can then be anything. A house, plane, ship, or anything the imagination can come up with.

An area of grass can be a good addition for playing as it is soft enough to fall down on. If this idea doesn’t quite go with the rest of your landscaping, give bark chunks or chips a try as a cushion under play equipment.

An concrete patio or other slab will most always be one of the most used spots in the garden as the kids get older. This is where they will try out the rollerblades, learn to ride a bike, play jacks, play hopscotch, and practice a long list of other games. And who knows. They may even take up gardening if you give the kids a sunny spot of their very own.

Your home’s entrances should provide easy access through your yard and landscape. First impressions count for a lot, so aesthetic appeal surrounding your landscaping and entryways is important. It’s usually best and easiest to start with the highest traffic entries which are usually from your front door to your parking driveway. Next, assess the paths and walkways to and from all access areas of your home. The plantings that surround these spots should lead a persons eye towards your entries or exits. Side entrances that are used as much or more than your front door, should also be considered. Shrubs, colorful bloom, walkways, border and foundation beds, and lighting may be used.

To create some height with plantings, start by building up towards your house. Start plantings low and then increase the height of your plants as they get closer to the house. This will help direct attention to your entryway. Landscaping beds that border a walkway can distract attention away from the entryway. Think of the beginning of your path or sidewalk simply as an opening directing you towards your door.

Your entryway should be inviting as well as safe. Some moderately good outdoor lighting and even a little visibility can help ensure your safety at night when going from your parking area to your home. If you have a mudroom, laundry room, or utility room that is next to your front or rear entry, plan for making it look good as well as functional for traffic flow.  

What’s the best way to guide visitors through your access entryways? Most professional landscaping contractors basically follow a common pattern here. Walkways, privacy hedges, shrubs, border gardens, edging, fencing, trellises, screens, and railings are options. You can use planters to highlight entryways to certain areas. Raised plant beds, screening, and fencing can also be helpful for hiding places with utilities from sight.

When planting to define access and entry areas, consider the mature size and spread of the plants when spacing. This is often an overlooked consideration in landscaping. Since paths, walkways, and other access areas will usually lead to or near your house, plants should be planted with enough distance from your foundation so that you can maintain both the plantings and home. Plants should be planted far enough from your house and other buildings so that you can take care of them once they are mature size. Given time to grow, shrubs and hedges create a natural boundary and screen while fences create an immediate boundary.