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Make Your 2018 Houston Summer the Best Yet

Start Planning Now!

After a long, grueling winter, we are all dreaming of warmer days. Luckily, winter and spring are the ideal times to begin brainstorming outdoor improvements. Planning this far in advance will help lift your winter blues and help you find discounts on out-of-season items. Large home improvement projects to add shade to the yard can also benefit from planning. Plant trees, install retractable patio screens, or build a pergola to ensure maximum enjoyment for everyone.

Brainstorm How You Would Ideally Spend Your Time

Think about what activities you miss most in the winter. Do you like to relax outside with a book and a fan? Play lawn games with the kids? Once you’ve decided on your favorite activities, begin to dream up ways to improve your outdoor experiences for this coming summer. Below we have included some improvement ideas and activities that will help make your summer the best yet, whatever your favorite activities might be.

Outdoor Home Improvement Ideas

    • Add a minibar. One of the best parts of vacationing is the accessibility of cool drinks in hot weather, so why not do the same at home? Minibars can be family friendly, with plenty of nonalcoholic choices. If you are having a barbecue or adult get-together, you can change out the stock to include summer cocktail ingredients. Minibars can be found in most home improvement stores, but it can also be a DIY project. Minibars are popular right now, so you can easily find project blueprints online.
    • Patio lights. Lounging in the dusk or under night skies is relaxing by itself, but adding patio lighting can give your outdoor space a more inviting feel. If you own your home, you can hardwire lighting specifically designed for your preferences. Renters and people who don’t want to spend quite so much can spruce up their nightlife with hanging lights. These lights can be strung between trees, pergola slats, and erected posts.

Houston patio with string lights


    • Comfortable furnishings. Many people do not invest in their outdoor furniture on an annual basis. If your furnishings are old and worn, you may consider purchasing a new set. For budget-conscious folks, you can breathe new life into your furnishings with a quick sanding and repainting. Whichever method you choose, be sure to add lots of fluffy materials for comfort. Durable, sturdy seat cushions and comfortable pillows can take your furnishings from mediocre to amazing.
    • Add flora and fauna. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s an addition that many people overlook. Adding color to your yard in the form of plants and flowers will change the personality of your outdoor space. Be sure to concentrate on the areas where people spend the most time, typically the patio. Potted plants are ideal, as they are easily maintained, and portable for renters. Plant early in the season for maximum enjoyment and value.

patio with greenery and flowers


  • Hammocks. The ultimate picture of relaxation, hammocks are a wonderful choice for shaded areas. Perfect for a nap or reading, it is worthwhile to spend a little extra money on a decent hammock. Many of the inexpensive ones are difficult to enter and exit, and then make you feel cocooned. Find one that has a dowel rod inserted on each end to keep the fabric taut. This is a much cooler, easily entered design. If you simply do not have anywhere to hang a hammock, there are ground stands available for an option close to the ground. Be sure you have shade!

Summer Games for the Whole Family

Fort Worth outdoor group games are perfect for dinner parties or getting your kids active and out of the house. A quick internet search will reveal an abundance of choices. With so many options available, it’s easy to find something that the entire family will enjoy.

    • Cornhole. This is the familiar bean-bag toss game from your childhood. Cornhole was originally played with bags filled with corn, hence the name. If you haven’t played this game in the past 30 years, you should try it again. There’s something charming about playing as an adult. The game boards can be bought in virtually any major store but can also be a short DIY project.
    • Ladder Ball. Also referred to as Ladder Golf, this game involves “ladders” of narrow PVC pipe on either side of the yard. A sturdy string with a ball on each side is then tossed to the alternate side, with the intent to wrap it around the rungs of the ladder. Children love the challenge of this game, but adults also enjoy it.

Ladder Ball in Texas backyard


    • Horseshoes. Permanent horseshoe pits require a 40-foot distance, which not all yards can accommodate. If you enjoy horseshoes but cannot create a permanent pit in the yard, lawn kits are available. Fairly inexpensive, these kits simply require hammering a stake into each end of the yard and then the game begins! Plastic and light metal horseshoes are available for small children.
    • Spikeball. New to the scene of lawn games, Spikeball found fame on “Shark Tank,” the television show for inventors. It is a high-energy option that is a cross between volleyball and four-square. Players spike a ball onto a specially designed trampoline that remains in the middle. Children love this game for its action, and adults consider it an entertaining workout.

Houston, Texas patio party with Spikeball


  • Wood Stacking Games. There are many brand names for this lawn game, but it is essentially a giant version of Jenga. The new lawn versions can stand anywhere from 3 to 5 feet tall. A good game for relaxing adults, while children play the game simply to enjoy the moment when everything comes crashing down. This game is ideal for smaller yards.

Add Shade To Your Houston Backyard!

Creating an outdoor retreat will only be successful with shading. Hot summer days will make even the most inviting Texas spaces unbearable. To counteract the heat and enjoy your time outside, the best solution is to add Houston retractable patio screens to your sitting areas. These low-maintenance add-ons allow you to have open-air space in the cool mornings, but easily created shade and bug protection as the day wears on. Your space will then be incredibly inviting, to simply relax, or cool off after your cornhole tournament.

motorized retractable screens Fort Worth Texas backyard

KJ Custom Screens & Outdoor Living
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