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Use Your Deck in Autumn and Winter

In spring and summer your deck functions as a gathering place for family and friends, a personal getaway spot, a place for hosting barbeques and birthday parties. Most people retreat inside as it gets colder. If you are not using your deck in the fall and winter, you’re missing out! Reduce winter cabin fever by turning your deck into an outdoor paradise even when the frigid north winds blow. Use the following ideas to help you continue using your deck when the temperature plummets.

  1. Add heat: Adding a source of heat provides a focal point and can make it possible for you to enjoy your deck in the chillier months.
    • Fire pits come in three varieties; wood-burning, natural gas and propane. They can be made from brick, stone, concert or metal. You can have one custom made, do-it-yourself or buy a prefabricated unit. It’s wise to check your local wood burning laws and codes before choosing which variety to install. Just remember that a fire burner needs to sit on fireproof tiling or padding and must be at least 10 feet away from the house.
    • Chimenea is a free-standing clay or metal fireplace that has a hollow body connected to a narrow smoke vent. It takes a while to heat up but provides rustic charm, requires little tending and when used with a fire screen reduces the possibility of shooting sparks and a runaway fire.
    • Patio heaters are space heaters designed specifically for outdoor use. If you’re not interested in an open flame, a patio heater may be the solution for you. They take little room and can be used safely on wooden decks though they shouldn’t be left unattended. These heaters generally warm a radius of 15 to 20 feet. Electric models supply radiant heat from an infrared bulb heating people and furniture rather than the air, are inexpensive to operate, and can be wall mounted. Propane heaters are mobile, easy to set up, and tend to provide more heat than the electric version. You can usually get 10 to 12 hours of output before your fuel tank needs refilling.
    • Strip heaters: are a great solution for heating a large area efficiently. With a heat reflector at the top and a fuel tank at their base, they are normally mounted to a wall or overhang and fed with a permanent fuel line. They can be installed in a way that blends in with the surroundings.
    • Table top heaters: operate on the same principle as strip heaters but are smaller and heat only a 6 to 7 foot radius.
  1. Provide protection: Install a roof extension, awning, pergola or louvered roof to trap the heat of your fire pit or patio heater and provide shelter from wind, rain and snow. A north facing wind screen can also help keep out the cold.
  2. Install a hot tub: To warm and relax you as you enjoy the beauty of your snow covered yard, consider adding a hot tub to your deck. Almost any deck can be adapted to accommodate a hot tub. Integrate it into the deck or stand it on top. When choosing the location consider exposure to the elements, privacy from neighbours, and the proximity of your house.
  3. Cook outside: Lure your family outdoors with the delicious aromas of cooking food! Barbecues and portable gas grills make an easy addition to your deck. Consider a clay oven for cooking pizzas and turn your deck into a party venue in the chilly months.
  4. Light it up: Make your deck inviting with lights that allow you to set the mood and create a vibe that will welcome family and friends to your deck despite the weather. Try solar or low voltage lights on the posts, railings and stairs.
  5. Cover up: Make your deck seem warm and cozy by adding an indoor-outdoor carpet. Furniture with plenty of padding, pillows and blankets will help you withstand harsh weather. Remember to dress warmly and cuddle with someone.
  6. Decorate it: Create a welcoming ambience with decorations. Put Christmas lights along the railing and plant evergreen trees and shrubs close by to provide a splash of green in the autumn and winter months.

Don’t let a little cold and snow stop you from spending time on your deck. With a few adjustments and additions, you can enjoy your deck all year round! Dress warmly, gather, entertain, relax, and cuddle. Have a blanket handy. Don’t forget a cup of hot chocolate, coffee or tea. Use your creativity and transform your deck into a winter haven.

For all your deck questions and needs choose the Calgary based deck experts, Econo Decks. From simple upgrades to complete renovation to new builds, Econo Decks is committed to providing the best quality work for their customers. Call Econo Decks at 403-768-0151 or email us at info@econodecks.ca or quotes@econodecks.ca

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