By Yuka Kato
Just because the weather is turning colder, it doesn’t mean you need to abandon the outdoors until next spring. There many ways you can continue to enjoy your outdoor areas well into the colder months of the year. Try these six methods of warming up your patio, deck, or landscaping to get more out of the area this winter.
Heat up with a Custom Fire Pit
Fire pits are one way to enjoy your outdoor living space all year long. They make a great gathering place for summer parties, but they can also add much needed warmth in the winter as well.
Rather than just buying a metal pit from the hardware store, however, consider building a custom model just for your patio or yard. Fire pits cost around $700 to build from stone, and you can customize the size and shape to match your landscaping, improving the looks of your yard at the same time.
Keep the Space Cozy with an Outdoor Carpet
There’s something about having something soft and warm beneath your feet that makes you feel cozy even when the temperature is dropping. If you intend to use your outdoor space in the colder months, consider putting in a section of outdoor carpeting. Outdoor carpets come in many of the same colors, textures, and styles of indoor carpeting, but can handle the elements with ease.
Most people think of cooking in the outdoors as a chance to fire up the grill. But with an outdoor kitchen, you can cook - and warm up - in the outdoors all year long, doing a lot more than simply grilling meat and vegetables. Outdoor kitchens can be just as ornate and custom as the kitchen indoors, or they can be as simple as you’d like them to be.
On average, an outdoor kitchen costs from $2,700 to $10,000 depending on the features and accessories that you choose to include in the space. Features vary, but may include a grill for between $1,000 to $15,000, an eating area for up to six people for $600, and a sink ($300) and refrigerator ($500 - $2,000) to make clean up and prep work easier.
Hang Outdoor Lights to Cheer Up the Space
Putting lights in your landscaping is a popular trend right now - and with good reason. Adding lights to your outdoor space helps you utilize it for longer amounts of time each day; perfect for those longer winter nights when you might still want to be outside.
There are many different kinds of lights you can add to your porch, deck, patio, or landscaping. If you have an overhang or roof, consider putting in some recessed lights for around $780. You can also have an electrician wire the area for around $65 to $85 an hour, with each fixture you put in running between $20 and $100 a piece. If you’re not interested in anything permanent, though, consider just stringing some holiday lights up around the area instead for between $150 and $900 to cover your entire yard.
Add Some Warm Furniture and Blankets
Simply making the space a little cozier can go a long way toward ensuring comfort on cold nights. Consider replacing your existing patio or lawn furniture with some overstuffed armchairs you can curl up in. Or just add extra throws, pillows, and blankets to your existing set up. Now you can snuggle down in front of the fire for longer without worrying about the cold.
Create a Fully Enclosed Space
There are many ways you can create an enclosed space in your yard that can help you extend the amount of use it gets into the colder months of the year. Pergolas and gazebos are two popular options, running between $3000 for a pergola and $10,000 for a gazebo.
However, there are other options you can use as well. If you have a porch or patio, you can consider enclosing it with storm windows and doors, a galvanized metal roof, or heavy-duty curtains to help block out the chill. Keep in mind that the more you enclose an area, the longer you’ll be able to use it, so while a fully enclosed gazebo may be costly, you can likely use the space all winter long.
Improve Your Yard for Winter
With cold weather coming, it’s time to get your yard ready now, so you can continue to enjoy it in the winter months. Use these six tips to help and stay warm this winter, even in the outdoors.