Show Notes: Cool Spots and Hot looking Decks – On the House

Show Notes: Cool Spots and Hot looking Decks

By on July 25, 2015

Shade, visual cool spots and decks are  important elements for your landscaping. Is your deck safe? Is it in need of some shaping up? James and Morris have help for you with answers to deck finishing questions and making shady spots in your yard.

Thank to our guest Steve McGarr from Ducksback Products:


Deck Safety Check 

Recent accidents in the news, where decks collapsed, underscore the need for proper construction and periodic deck safety checks. In addition to good plans, building permits, inspections and adhering to building codes…as decks age, even properly built structures can become unsafe. Boards rot, insects destroy wood integrity and fasteners and railings loosen. The result: a weakened structure. The bigger and higher (and older) the deck, porch or balcony…the greater the need for doing things right and frequent check-ups.

Dramatic Deck Illumination

The clever use of rope lights and cable illumination systems turns average decks into stunning showplace settings. These lights – contained in flexible clear tubing – can be bent, curved or added onto…and the low-voltage mini-bulbs can be clear or a myriad of dazzling colors. Rope and cable lighting throws soft indirect long-runs of light on or around almost anything. Used under hand railings, on stairs and to outline decks, it adds shimmering pizzazz to starry summer nights.


Hurricane Help – Finish Up The Underside of Your Deck

Zip-UP Underdeck® finishes the underside of your deck providing dry, useable outdoor living space without sacrificing headroom or the beauty of your deck. The Zip-UP Underdeck System provides ease of installation and a washable mold resistant surface, while channeling any water from above to your gutter system.
Zip-Up UnderDeck now offers a hurricane wind-tested finishing option for the underside of raised decks and exterior soffits. Made from lightweight PVC components, Zip-Up UnderDeck meets every Florida standard for static and cyclic load tests of hurricane-strength winds, and carries a Class A fire rating. The components are engineered to fit together easily, creating a water-tight barrier that channels water away through a gutter system. An optional hurricane rail supports the main rail when the system is installed on exterior soffits or over covered outdoor spaces. The system’s panels unzip for quick access for cleaning and easy access to items that may have been dropped from above.


Easy Ways to Create Shade in Your Backyard

Arranging Shade Plants In Your Yard

When planting trees or shrubs for shade, don’t just think about the big picture. Shade does not have to encompass an entire yard or cover the entire house, shade can be more selective. Pick small areas that can be shaded. Frame a corner with a few short trees to create a secluded and cool area

Building Shade Structures

Plants and umbrellas are not the only way to create shade. Permanent structures can be built around your property to create shady rest and entertainment spots. Gazebos, cabanas, pergolas and arbors provide cool and quaint getaway spots. With a little imagination and some muscle, an attractive garden shade structure can be quickly constructed. Here are a few ideas:

  • Canopies: Temporary canopies work well for larger gatherings where shade is needed to cover a large outdoor area. These canopies can be set up with a top only, or sides can be added to block the sun and wind from all angles.
  • Lattice: To create shade without completely blocking the view, consider using lattice as an alternative to regular fencing. In addition to providing shade, lattice can create privacy, can be used as a trellis for climbing vines or roses, and is less expensive than fencing.
  • Fencing: Save money on fencing by placing just one or two panels where needed. There’s no need to fence the entire yard. Short section of fences can be dressed up with a vine, espalier tree or planter boxes filled with colorful annuals.
  • Arbors & Pergolas: Arbors and pergolas are usually used as supporting structures for vine type plants. These decorative shade structures have supporting beams with attached rafters. They can be freestanding or attached to a house.
  • Cabanas & Gazebos: Cabanas and gazebos are permanent structures with walls and a solid roof. These garden buildings can be used to host parties or intimate dinners for two. Cabanas and gazebos have the extra benefit of providing cover from rain and other stormy weather

Creating shade in a yard can be a creative process. Don’t just think about shading the house from the summer sun. Also think about shading tender plants and creating shaded sitting areas. Shade can come from a variety of sources, including trees and fences, which are commonly used with arbors and umbrellas. Add a few tables and chairs to make the garden an enjoyable living space in the summertime.


Website Mentions:

Ames Research:

Heritage Natural Finishes:

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