John Pasciuti's Blog
A porch is a lovely way to enjoy the outdoors. One of the best ways to maximize your outdoor time is to screen in these indoor/outdoor areas. You can completely transform your outdoor sitting area to an additional living area by enclosing your porch.
Once the enclosure is set, what was simply an outdoor oasis will become an extension of your home. You’ll be able to decorate the room just as you would with any other part of the house.
Benefits Of A Screened In Porch Include:
- Ability to enjoy the space in all weather
- A place to entertain in all weather conditions
- A shady spot in warmer temperatures
- A way to keep pests like mosquitoes and flies out
- Easy to maintain
- Added value to your home
- A way to maximize the use of all the areas of your home
Mother Nature can be unpredictable. If you enjoy being outdoors and you like entertaining, screening in your porch or deck can be one of the best improvements that you could make to your home. You can entertain without worry rain, wind or shine. You won’t need any fancy bug repellents, candles, or sprays to keep pests away. Screened in areas make life easier.
What To Consider When Building An Enclosed Porch
Designing a porch enclosure can be tricky. You want it to look natural as if it has always been a part of the home. Done right, a screened in porch can be a beautiful addition to your home and really add to the overall look of the house. There are so many types of technology available today that you can bring all of the modern comforts with you to your season room. The screened in portion of the room will give you the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the sun with some built-in shade. You can use the room throughout the year, and you may even be able to add a heating system to the space for even more enjoyment. Don’t be hesitant to add a screened in enclosure if you really love the outdoors as it can only enhance your experience.
The most important thing is that the enclosure is built with quality materials that match your home. The stronger the material, the more value the space will add to your home. You also want a durable material that will be low maintenance. The materials used shouldn’t be susceptible to warping or rotting. All you should worry about once a porch is screened in is caring for that room as you would any other room of the house.
You see it in your favorite magazines -- or maybe on Pinterest. The ultimate outdoor dining and entertainment experience has elevated basic hosting to an art form, and you can use your existing set up to create a truly spectacular experience for your family and your guests. Follow the tips below to make the most of your entertainment spread and to create an event your guests won't soon forget.
Choose a Theme
You don't have to have a formal idea of what you'll do, or even list it out in great detail, but "authentic Hawaiian luau" looks very different from "Easter Dinner" so knowing what you want to accomplish helps you create an actionable road map.
Plan the Food
Plan out a menu and order any specialties that you need to; specialty foods, meats and even poultry need to be ordered in advance to ensure you are able to get everything you need when you need it. Depending on your own storage space, arrange to have your purchases delivered. Store on dry ice if needed before the big day arrives.
Your outdoor entertaining area is probably designed with your own family in mind, but a larger group will need more places to sit and relax. Consider renting pieces and having them delivered and set up for the event. You'll be able to host everyone in comfort and not have to worry about running out of room.
Order the items you need for serving, if you don't already have them on hand. Depending on the size and theme of the gathering, you may need additional plates, flatware, stemware and more. Again, a rental place can furnish you with many of the things you need at surprisingly affordable rates. This is also the time to order flower arrangements, entertainment and other things that will create ambiance.
Clean it up
Your outdoor kitchen is already in great shape, but having a team to up the yard, clean all surfaces and ensure your home is ready to entertain will give you a break and ensure you feel ready to show your place off.
Set up in the Morning
Even if you have an evening event planned, setting up key pieces in place, making sure drinks are cold enough to share and prepping the food early will allow you the time you need to get ready for your guests and give you the chance to enjoy your own gathering.
Get ready to show off. With the food ready, seating in place, and an outdoor oasis that is truly event ready, you'll be able to show off your entertainment spread and make the most of your home and yard. Careful preparation, paired with attention to detail allows you to share your favorite space with your friends and family, and to show off what you've worked so hard to create.
Outsourcing some food and prep work can help you focus on the actual event and on creating the recipes and experiences you most want to share. Check out any components you are considering doing on your own, just to make sure the DIY approach is truly the swiftest or most affordable way to get ready for your event.
Start planning a few weeks in advance -- this will give you time to order any decorative items you need and to special order food for your guests. You'll be more relaxed on the big day and be better able to enjoy yourself and your home.
A fire pit adds a cozy and fun element to any backyard. Think of the roasting of marshmallows or just enjoying a toasty fire on a chilly fall night. Building a fire pit is a relatively straightforward DIY project. To get started, you’ll need the right materials, tools, location and confirmation you will build it both the legal and correct way.
- Materials: Cast concrete wall stones, cap stones, gravel and sand.
- Tools: Shovel, tape measure, level, steel rake and tamper.
- Location: Choose a place away from your house (or other structure), and be sure your fire pit is not positioned underneath low-hanging trees or placed too close to any hedges or bushes.
- Legal requirements: Check your municipality’s building codes and your HOA’s rules (if applicable) so you can ensure you follow all required specs and regulations.
- Safety first: Call 811 to check for any potential utilities that may be underground where you plan to dig.
Once you’ve got everything together and in order, you’re ready to get started. Here are the next steps you’ll need to take.
Step 1: Lay out your stones in the shape and size of your fire pit, approximately 36 to 44 inches in diameter – make sure the stones are touching and connected.
Step 2: Mark your circle for the pit and then temporarily move the rocks.
Step 3: Dig a foot-deep hole within the perimeter you marked to serve as your pit.
Step 4: Pour gravel/sand into the hole, wet it down and then tamp it.
Step 5: Stack your stones around the hole’s perimeter one row at a time until they are one foot above the ground, be sure to stagger the joints with each layer. Apply landscape/masonry adhesive between layers of stone to lock them into place.
Step 6: Repeat Step 5 two to three additional times until you get the right height for your wall (total layers should be three to four).
Step 7: Pour additional gravel and sand into the hole, making it about four inches deep.
Tip: If you’re a little concerned about choosing the right materials on your own, you can also purchase a fire pit kit from any big box or another type of hardware store.
Building a fire pit is a DIY project that can easily be done over a weekend. Once you’ve put it together, you can sit back and enjoy the fruit of your labors.