What’s the Best Deck Stain?

What’s the Best Deck Stain?

Choosing the best deck stain can be more difficult than most people think it is. This is because there are certain deck stains that are better suited for different types of climates. If you want your deck stain to last throughout the seasons and the years, you need to be very particular about the type you purchase and put on your deck. If you do not, you run the risk of having to reapply after a short period of time because the stain has worn down. Save yourself some time and money in the long run by being very particular about the deck stain you choose for your home. Choosing the right one is the first step to having a long lasting deck stain.

Deck Stain 101

deck stain exampleWhen asked what the best deck stain is for a home, there is really no “best” choice. It simply depends on several factors about the location of your home and deck. Instead of looking for the best stain on the market, you should be looking for the deck stain that will out perform all others for your deck and environment. There are deck stains that work better in certain parts of the country. On top of that, there are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Laws that are in place in certain parts of the country. Because of these laws, for example, there are some deck stains that cannot be used in 17 states because they have low VOC content of 250. For this reason, you will not even see these types of stains for sale in your area, if you fall under these sets of laws. Every state is different so you may want to research what they are in your state, especially if you are planning on purchasing your deck stain online. If you legally cannot use it in your state, do not purchase it.


Sometimes, deck stains will fail for various reasons in the wrong climate. Some of the most common reasons are listed below. It is important to understand these reasons so you can avoid choosing the wrong deck stain in the wrong environment. These common reason for failure will lead to you have to redo your deck stain more frequently.

  • UV Rays. We all know the sun can be damaging to skin but did you know that it can also damage your wood stain and ultimately your wooden deck. The UV rays can damage the wood and degrade the cellular structure of the wood. It will then break down the stain and oxidize it which will make your wood turn gray!
  • Water, Snow, and Ice. These common elements can also break down the wood and damage the exposed cellular structure.
  • Freezing and Thawing of the Wood. When wood freezes and thaw, it will expand and contract. With the wrong type of stain. the stain bond to the wood will fail.
  • Mold, Mildew, and Algae. These unsightly problems  do not just make your wood look dirty. They also can result in rotting of your wood.
  • High Traffic. In areas with high traffic, you are likely to see patterns of wear where people are commonly walking.
  • Poor Stain. If you have previously used a poor quality stain, you will notice a difference. This is true if it is also incorrectly applied. It will likely be unsightly in no time.
  • Bad Prep Before Stain Application. Not prepping your wood properly before application is the most common reason that deck stains fail. You should always talk to a professional to ensure that you have correctly prepped and know how to properly apply the stain.

When you are shopping for your stain, there are certain questions you should be prepared to answer. If you visit or speak to a professional in your area, they will know the basic information pertaining to your state. You should also know the type of wood and if the area is in full sun, partial, or in shade. This will help the professional narrow down your choices so you can have a long lasting deck stain that you can enjoy.


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Best Patio Materials: An Explanation of Patio Surfaces

Best Patio Materials: An Explanation of Patio Surfaces

When you are constructing a patio, it can be overwhelming when you have so many choices to make at every stage. Even if you’re prepared, there’s probably a lot of things that come up that you just could not have anticipated. Taking the time to make strong decision at the very beginning can give you the confidence you need to keep going for anything else that comes up along the way. The pros at GT Design & Landscapes are happy to share with you the pros and cons of each material you might choose for your patio. Keep in mind that the right kind of patio can really up your resale value, so you’re looking at not just initial costs but potential pay-off as well down the line. Your imagination can take any of these four choices to new heights of aesthetic and cohesion in your backyard. And don’t forget about the role a patio plays in bringing family and friends together in your very own backyard!

Stone Patio Material

Flagstone, limestone, bluestone, slate: whatever you choose, stone looks great and keeps your home connected to the most basic elements of the earth. You have a lot of design and color choices which means you can adapt the look to your taste. However, it does tend to be a tad pricey since it typically comes straight from the quarry and it’s a labor-intensive process to lay the stone. Each one has its own level of thickness, so the bed will have to be adjusted to make the stone level.  One general rule is to try to match the stone type to your home type, so if you already have slate in your residence, then use slate in your patio.

Brick Patio Material

brick patio example in minnesota

Brick has a classic look and it can be cost-effective in terms of the actual installation. There are different types of brick, so you can easily pick your favorite styles. It’s durable and able to withstand abuse from patio accessories; however, when you think long-term, it may not be the most effective choice. It retains moisture and can crack in the snow. Moss can be a major issue in both shade and sun (though worse in the shade.) It can make your patio too slippery to walk on safely, especially if you have kids. However, if you live in an area of perpetual sun, then it could still be a good consideration for your home.

Concrete Patio Material

Concrete gets a bad rap, and not for unjustifiable reasons. A grey slab of concrete is not fun to walk on, and not very visually appealing. This basic surface is typically used when people have a very low budget, but there are ways to make it look a nicer with a stamped coating that gives it a more natural feel. You’ll need to reapply the coating every two years, so if you’re not big on home maintenance then you might want to stay away from this option. You can also add pieces of glass and experiment with the coloring to create your own pattern.

Paving Stones Patio Material

Just like sidewalks, there are so many choices in terms of how pavers can look in your home. Curve angles, circles, shades: it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll find something you appreciate. These are becoming popular choices across all budget types due to their efficiency and ease of installation. You can even buy kits which from DIY stores which can help you put down whichever paving stones you choose.


Similar to some of the other materials, tile can be extremely attractive and there are a lot of options on the market for it. They vary widely in price and quality, from snap-on wood-like tiles to expensive ceramic. Tile is meant to withstand a lot of foot traffic which is certainly a benefit you want in a patio, but certain ones will crumble with the exposure to a lot of moisture.

There’s a lot of ways to create the patio of your dreams, and a lot of things to do before you get to your end goal. Learn as much as you can before you reach the breaking point of information overload, and then make the informed decisions so you ensure both your wallet and sanity will thank you later. Also, look to reviews from people who have had their patios for years to see how they have survived over time.

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Best Patio Accessories for Your Summer Parties!

Best Patio Accessories for Your Summer Parties!

If it is possible in today’s daily living to be indoors and enjoy a wireless environment, we wonder why anyone would restrict an outdoor experience. We believe that enclosure need not be synonymous with stifling or oppressive. Key concepts to a most agreeable patio or outdoor room are versatility, comfort, and functionality.

Versatility includes how many different ways your space can be used. When can it be used? How does it need to look? How often does this need to change?

Comfort includes the number of people the space can accommodate. Do you need to maximize patio space? How should this space feel, physically and emotionally?

Functionality includes types of activities you have planned for your space. Who are you entertaining? What all does entertaining them involve?

Patio Accessories

– Versatility – The chosen patio accessories are going to contribute the most to color scheme, theme, and overall presentation of your backyard space. The color and style of pillows and cushions are bases for change in appearance. We recommend trying different types of lighting like torches, candles, lanterns, or string lights to create singular styles to your liking. Portable and hanging accessories, like pot holders and utensils for grilling, help to maximize space.

– Comfort – Types of pillows and cushions also add to the feel of your space. We can help you to decide what fabric is best, as well as the appropriate sizes and styles. Insect control and shading are a big part of comfort on your patio. There are many ways to take care of annoying bugs with repellent candles, screening, and electronic devices that lure the pests away from you and your guests. Shading can only improve and increase the amount of time you get to spend outdoors. Umbrellas and awnings are obvious fixes for this problem.

– Functionality – Whether your space is going to be used for intimate gatherings or large affairs, we can suggest multiple ways to get the most out of it. Redecorating your space is only a part of changing the many functions for which it can be used. We understand that the functionality of space includes whether it occupies grass, dirt, pavement, wood deck, or a combination of any other flooring, and have wonderful ideas to connect or separate them as you see fit.

Patio Furniture

patio furniture

– Versatility – We do not expect you to buy patio furniture every time you want to rearrange your space, but using portable furniture can only help. Extra tables and chairs will give you the ability to accommodate unexpected guests or even try new activities. An additional table leaf or two is also an easy way to improve how accommodating your space can be. The types of furniture used will also speak to the aesthetics, for there are significant differences between a standing chair and a reclining lounger.

– Comfort – We suggest fixed and portable pieces to suit your needs. If you prefer not to have an umbrella as the centerpiece of your tables, then we suggest free standing, attached, or portable umbrellas and awnings for your daytime comfort. They will allow you to play games, eat, and converse without having to find a way around an umbrella pole. They may all be used close to the house or farther out in the yard. The type of flooring will also play a part in determining what type of seating is best. Sometimes it may be a simple matter of being able to get out of it once a person is in it that makes all the difference in the world.

– Functionality – Portable tables and chairs for games and other activities are ideal for bigger and smaller groups to gather around on your patio. Keep your space as open as possible by using only the furniture you need for the activities you want. Choose from a barbecue or fireplace pit as well as a grill, all of which can be fixed or portable to suit your personal tastes.

We believe that your signature outdoor space should be in your handwriting; you should think a little more you and a little less standard or conventional. We want you to look at your space and determine what it needs to become yours. We do not recommend trying to fit someone else’s vision into your space, and we mean that literally and metaphorically. Your assessment of your space is crucial to the vision of the project. Whether your space is strictly private or meant to be shared with others, we can help you to achieve the look and feel you want.

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Pool Repair DIY Guide: Concrete, Plaster, Fiberglass & Liner

Pool Repair DIY Guide: Concrete, Plaster, Fiberglass & Liner

Minor pool problems can often be fixed in a DIY project – as long as you know what you are doing. Each pool material requires a different approach: Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Repairing Concrete

If you have a concrete cast pool, that pool will eventually develop weak spots that you need to find and repair to avoid widespread damage and pool failure. Fortunately, concrete flaws are easy to find: They develop as cracks, chipped-off areas, hollow spots, and similar conditions.

With the pool drained and dry, it’s time to carefully wash the concrete surface and look for any problem areas. Light cracks or small abraded areas can be dealt with quite quickly – you’ll need to brush away all loose material and use a patching compound or caulk sealant to fill in the damaged area. Remember to follow the instructions for your patching compound closely. You should then cover the entire area with an epoxy sealant to help protect it. If necessarily, you can texture the repaired area or wash it with an acid mixture so that it matches the rest of your pool

Large cracks and more serious problems take extra work. The common procedure is to use a grinder to remove that section of concrete and start a far larger patching project. But if a crack is that bad, the integrity of your pool may be threatened, and it’s a good idea to call out a professional to take a look and offer some advice or an estimate.

Repairing Fiberglass

Fiberglass is another common option for home pools, particularly because it tends to age well and doesn’t develop the cracks and flaws of concrete. However, while the base layer of a fiberglass pool is made of tough plastic fibers, the top is formed of a gelcoat designed to provide more comfort and add color to the pool. That gelcoat surface is not permanent – it can be scratched, fade, stain, or develop other problems.

If a part of your gelcoat has been damaged, you can fix it by using the same type of gelcoat to repair the damage. This is why it’s very important to know exactly what type of gelcoat your pool was made with – guessing at this point can lead to poor decisions for your pool. After thoroughly cleaning the area, you can apply a new layer of gelcoat and let it set to help restore the surface.

However, some problems hit the entire gelcoat at once, especially fading and damage due to old age. If this is the case, you need to have your fiberglass pool recoated, another job that is best left to a professional. However, you can still choose the new coating, so take a look at some of the current gelcoats on the market and what advantages they offer. Epoxy paints and other types of coatings may be suitable alternatives as well.

Repairing Plaster

Many concrete pools are covered with a thin layer of plaster to help improve the look and feel of the pool. If you have a plaster layer, there are several problems that can develop. Over time the plaster will dissolve, leading to spalling or rough, chipped spots that make a great breeding ground for algae.

There are two ways to deal with this. First, you can repatch once specific problem area with plaster. You can mix your own patching compound out of Portland cement, white sand, water, cement bonding chemicals, and cement dye, but it may be a lot easier to buy pool patching materials already premixed for the job. Wet the plaster and spread the compound carefully over the area, making sure there are no air pockets. Smooth the plaster at two or three intervals to keep it smooth.

The other common problem with plastic is a hollow spot where the concrete behind the plaster has crumbled away. These can be hard to find and hard to fix – you can find them by tapping on the pool surface, but to repair them you have to remove all the surrounding plaster and crumbled concrete, then caulk and patch the entire area. Remember also that you will need to fully replace your plaster layer every 10 years or so.

Repairing a Pool Liner

Repairing a pool liner isn’t too tough given the right attitude. Vinyl pool liners are another popular option because they tend to be durable and offer a high degree of protection. However, vinyl liners can rip under stress. As a general rule of thumb, if the tear is only a few inches long you can patch it, but if the tear is longer you probably need to replace the entire liner.

For small rips, get a vinyl patch designed to be used on pool liners, and then sand the area around the tear to create a rough surface for the adhesive. Use solvent cement or other recommended adhesive on the liner and patch, and then cut the patch to size before applying. If you notice any odd bulges or lumps in the vinyl, call in a professional to look for leaking problems.

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How To Repair Pool Liner for Summer Fun!

How To Repair Pool Liner for Summer Fun!

With the summer months just around the corner it is the perfect time to give your pool a little TLC and make sure it can handle a season full of backyard barbecues, swimming laps and late night dips. If you’re facing the task of repairing a punctured, torn or stretched pool liner this year, be sure to follow these easy DIY repair steps to get your pool back in working order in no time! Owning a pool comes with plenty of responsibilities, but once you have a regular care and maintenance routine down you can enjoy your pool all summer long.

Repair Your Pool Liner and Enjoy a Summer Full of Fun!

If you can’t wait to get out in your own pool, playing pool games, drinking cocktails and just enjoying friends and family. But unfortunately, sagging, punctured or torn pool liners are an all-too familiar sight for many homeowners at the beginning of the summer season. While your pool liner should be changed every 7 to 10 years, in most cases stretched, punctured or sagging liners can be fixed in just minutes.

3 Easy DIY Pool Repair Options

Option 1: Boil Your Pool Liner

For this method you’ll need to boil a kettle of water beforehand. Depending on how large your liner is, several kettles of boiling water may be needed to complete the task.

Step 1: Use your kettle or a long-necked watering can to pour the hot water directly on to the sagging vinyl, just below the top edge, in a slow back and forth motion. Be careful not to pour directly onto the topmost part of the vinyl.

Step 2: Carefully grasp the top edge of the vinyl, after the hot water has softened it. Pull the vinyl up above the track, so that when you let go it stays just above the track itself. Remember that it may take several kettles of hot water before the liner is warm enough to become pliable.

If necessary, lower the water level to help increase the amount of vinyl that you can stretch. This job is easier to complete with 2 people so one can pull while the other pours, but it can be slowly completed by 1 person if needed.

Step 3: Once the liner is sufficiently stretched, begin to twist the top edge and push it back into the metal track. You should be able to feel the V-shaped groove on the liner easily slip into the groove in the metal track.

Step 4: Keep the liner in place with the help of wooden paint stirrers or plastic jamming pieces from your local pool supply, being careful not to tear the liner.

Read our Pool Installation Facts: A Few Things To Consider Before Buying to help you find the perfect pool!

Option 2: Blow Dry Your Liner


For this method you’ll need an extension chord and heat gun or hair dryer. Exercise extreme caution when using electrical appliances near the pool.

Step 1: Carefully heat the sagging area of the liner by using your blow dryer to heat the vinyl. Aim the heat about 2 to 3 inches away from the liner and keep it moving in a back and forth motion to keep from over-heating a specific spot on the liner.

Step 2: Once the vinyl is pliable, slowly pull it up over the track so that it stays above the track after you let go. Beginning at one end of the liner,. slowly push the liner back into the track. Take special care to feel for the V-shaped groove on the liner to connect with the track itself.

Step 3: Secure the liner with the help of wooden paint stirrers or plastic jamming pieces. Jam the pieces between the top of the plastic and the underside of your metal pool rim.

Option 3: Patch It Up

Small holes and tears are very common when using vinyl pool liners.Luckily, these minor issues can easily be prepared before you hit the pool this summer. To repair, simply purchase a vinyl patch kit that is made specifically for use on swimming pools and follow the directions accordingly.

Pro Tip 1: Instead of using a common square or rectangular patch, cut your patch to size in the shape of a circle. This will help to avoid sharp edges that can peel off over time.

Pro Tip 2: If you can’t find a patch kit that will match your pool liners existing design you can place the patch on the underside to help keep your pool looking good all summer long.

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5 Of The Best Pool Dunks On The Internet

5 Of The Best Pool Dunks On The Internet

Ah, summer. It’s such a great time of year with the warm weather, green trees, fresh air. It’s also a time when kids don’t have school, leaving their imaginations up to the challenge of keeping them entertained. Being the expert in pool installation in the Twin Cities, GT of course loves seeing kids and families getting the most fun out of their pool. So in the spirit of wet and wild fun, here are my 5 favorite pool dunks on the Internet!

Watch Out For The Sasquatch!

It seems that a lot of these videos feature some kid rolling across the screen on roller blades, snagging a tossed basketball and firing it away just as fast. But not all of them feature a suprise attack from a sasquatch (at least that’s what I think it is..) Check out how these kids used the monkey costume to put their dunk video above the rest!

Double Decker Slam

Adding a waterfall to the middle of your pool, creating two cascading pools is a great design feature. But try a complicated dunk maneuver over it like these guys and you’ll truly impress me. Even more impressive that it starts out with a kick instead of a throw.

 Strength in Numbers

If you really want to create an impressive pool dunk video, try gathering up every single one of your friends… say around 14 or so. This video involves a very coordinated effort, and we must say we are rather impressed by number 13’s save. He really held the dunk together – nice work!

Fire it Up!

If you really want to amp up your pool dunk, you know what you need? Fire. Where these kids got a flaming hoop, and why there are no parents supervising–well, it’s beyond me. But the fact that this dunk is awesome isn’t! Check out how these guys heated up the contention in the world of pool dunking.

A Flipping Final Touch

Here’s an impressive effort that not only features an impressive 50 yard throw to start things out, but adds in a little flip for flair! If only these youngsters realize how lucky they have it to be able to perform a flip in the pool and not worry about breaking something!

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What Are My Options For Outdoor Home Lighting?

What Are My Options For Outdoor Home Lighting?

When thinking about our front and backyard lighting, landscaping is often passed over for other features. As much as you love your property during the day, it can be just as spectacular at night with the right ambiance. Lighting is an important feature for any home, both inside and out. With experts at GT Design & Landscapes, you have a variety of options for lighting. In fact, selecting home lighting can be overwhelming. We’re here to help you break down your options for outdoor home lighting.

First and foremost, consider the purpose your outdoor lights will serve. When you imagine your dream patio or walkway, what priorities do you have? Are you imagining soft lighting to set the mood? Or are you imagining the winding turns your home has and how to best see what’s lying ahead of you at night? There are a few different features to consider when selecting outdoor lighting.

  • Appearance
  • Functionality
  • Safety
  • Home Security
  • Value

All of these are features of the lighting options GT Design & Landscapes has to offer. Let’s take a look at the different fixtures available to you.


We all appreciate these lights every time we knock on a friend’s door after the sun goes down. Ceiling lights come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They give off a great deal of light with a single fixture. At GT Design & Landscape, we love to hang them over our covered patios for late night family barbeques or game night with friends.


If you don’t have a covered outdoor entryway or patio, wall lights are another awesome way to shed light over a large area, and see who is at your door. There are still a variety of options for these lights

Landscape and Path

We are big fans of landscape and path lights. They are some of the most versatile and pleasing fixtures to have around your home. These lights can be easily concealed if you’re not interested in a decorative fixture, and the add a great deal of value to your landscape. If you’re going to sign up for one of our front or backyard landscape packages, we want you and your neighbors to be able to admire all our hard work! These lights also light your path in a much more aesthetically pleasing way, so you’ll be able to see where you’re going without being blinded.


These lights are ideal for security and safety purposes. They shed a great deal of light over a huge area. It is near impossible to hide in the presence of a flood light. Anyone concerned about intruders or safety would greatly benefit from one of these in their yard.

There are plenty of options for outdoor lighting. We have all kinds of customizable features such as motion lights, adjustable dimness, and integration of different styles. If you’re curious about your lighting options, give us a shout and get your quote today!

GT Design & Landscapes caters to the Twin Cities area and beyond in Minnesota. We specialize in home landscaping projects such as outdoor kitchens, pools, and full property landscaping.

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The Funnest Pool Games For This Summer

People in Minnesota can now breath a collective sigh of relief now that summer is officially here. This calls for celebration with ice cream, watermelons, lemonade and most importantly a dip in your very own swimming pool. Keep in mind the swimming pool is not  for the bore who like to just hang around the pool on the lounge recliners and get a tan, but for the fun lovers who will be adding fun, cool games and toys to the pool. And guess what? There is a wide variety of pool games and toys available in the market with a wide  range of  price tags that can fit any budget!

These are some of the fun pool games that are bound to be popular this summer.

Beach Ball Volleyball:

They come in different shapes and sizes and have been equally popular with the young and the old in the past. Now you can be more creative and add a net across the center of the pool or a set of hoops at both ends for a championship volleyball court right in your pool. You’ll see endless entertainment this summer if you can find a net long enough to stretch across your pool. Get some posts and weighted objects to hold the posts in (a couple of patio umbrella bases should do the trick), tie up the net, inflate the ball – and get the competition started!

Noodle Race:

kid in pool floating on noodle

This is a simple game for kids of all ages and swimmers of all abilities. The noodle race! For this, racers grab a noodle or two, mount it horse-back style, paddle board style, freestyle (any style really!) and the race is on. With a small pool, laps can be designated. You can even add a twist to this game by making it a Noodle Joust.

            • For a Noodle Joust, players sit on a blow up raft in the middle of the pool. Each player gets one pool noodle and they joust with the noodles and try to throw the other player off the raft. The winner takes on the next player.
  • To make your race a bit more challenging, ride the noodle like you’re horse-back riding, meaning no arms can be used. Just bob up and down, paddle your legs and sway side-to-side to get moving.

Watermelon Push Relay:

This relay race can be played with several individuals separately or on teams. Players have to push a watermelon across the length of the pool without ever touching the bottom of the pool with their feet. The watermelon can be replaced with an object of same size and weight such as a basketball or a beach ball depending on the age group of the players. Like any other pool games, players can set their own rules. It is quite a hilarious sight to see your friends and family playing with their food in the water!

Rope Pull Relay:

This game requires a sturdy rope to be held across the pool. The first player sits on a big pool floatie or air mattress and pulls himself across the length of the pool where the next teammate gets on the mattress and pulls oneself back towards the other end of the pool. This continues until all players on the team have crossed over to the other side. Get two or more teams together and the competition will heat up quickly!

Relay Races:

Relay races have been around for a while and are quite popular with the younger generation (because this one involves much more physical activity! Go for it youngsters!). Players take turns going across the length of the pool while shouting out crazy requests such as: swimming backwards, riding a pool noodle, walking on their hands, doing somersaults in the water, twirling, crawling on the bottom of the pool. They can also use the bogey or surf board for this game. Once the swimmer hits the edge of the pool, he slaps his teammates hand as they head back. The first team done gets to dunk the other team!

Find The Bottle:

This is a fun and challenging game. Take a clear 2-liter soda bottle and fill it with water. Players turn their backs to you while you throw the bottle into the pool. The first person to dive in and emerge from the water with the bottle in hand wins. If the bottle top matches the pool then it’s an even harder challenge to find. There’s several ways to play this game, of course. Children often prefer to use clear hoops to play, which are easier to grab with smaller hands and can be looped around the arm for easy holding.

Pool Dunks

Is there anything more fun than doing a front flip-slam dunk combo? A pool dunking contest can bring out the most imaginative – and the most competitive dunkers. If you don’t have a pool basketball hoop, have someone stand on the edge of the pool with their arms shaped as a hoop. That’s some affordable fun, right there!

Floating Golf Green:

Golfing fanatics rejoice! Can you imagine this game exists and is the real deal? Made from recycled foam and premium synthetic grass, it’s meticulously assembled with artificial turf to last longer and feel more realistic. Each green includes 12 floating plastic golf balls which are heavier than traditional golf balls so you can accurately strike the ball and direct it. There are tons of sports-themed pool games like this, from basketball to baseball to volleyball and more! Whatever you’re looking for in terms of sports themed pool games, we’re sure it exists.


This family fun game has been around for a while and is generally popular with all age groups. It doesn’t require too much preparation time, and you don’t have to lug fishing equipment all the way to the lake, river, or ocean and back again. All you need is as a sinkable fish, small sinkable hoops or anything else that stays at the bottom for this game. Each player is given a bucket to keep on the side for their items. Players can time this game or just play with their own rules. They have to dive under and bring up as many “fish” for their buckets as they can. Golf balls work great too because they sink faster, are easy to spot and are easy to pick up.

These pool games are some of the most fun and enjoyable ones around, and are sure to be a hit with any age group or family. They not only bring people together for some great fun and quality time that will have everyone coming back to the pool all spring and summer long. Creativity is the key to making these games fun and enjoyable with your friends and family to make a family tradition or everlasting friendships that will go a long way.





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Entertaining & Accommodating With A Superbly-Designed Deck

Entertaining & Accommodating With A Superbly-Designed Deck

Extending Entertainment with a Deck

Once you have the inside of a home capable of securing the heart, then you will want to consider extending that to the outdoors. With modern technology and experience, the grand scale of any home structure can be duplicated to accommodate outdoor scenery and terrain. This can also be done with relative ease and at a reasonable cost for most homeowners and property developers.

But these are only small descriptions to what an outdoor deck can provide you. With these outdoor decks, a new land and yard is created as the old is transformed into an artistic masterpiece that will endure lifetimes. Families will enjoy the comfort of being outdoors when there is adequate shade and beauty to partake in. That same beauty will compel them to inhabit the deck you build.

The Accommodation of Outdoor Decks

The vast amenities accommodating outdoor decks make them literarily an extension of where the heart is, and that is your home of course. As if just another room to the house, think of numerous additions provided by the most extravagant decks manufactured aboard.

Audio abilities are only a small piece to this puzzle. Setting up a surround sound of hidden speakers will allow music and announcements to reverberate from beneath small bushes or high among the canopy of trees. If there is a band playing, you will have the same audio effect for your entertainment and amazing deck atmosphere.

Your guests will love this.

For many deck owners, the thing that gets them most excited is the big view or what you will see by being on the deck. This is the reason most decks face a specific direction or are elevated on a specific incline. By also incorporating creative placements of plant life, there comes limitless possibilities in the atmosphere that can be transformed with a pioneering deck project. The landscape casted farther in view will add to that tremendous ambiance for guest and families to enjoy alike.

The local community can also be considered when designing your deck, and this is especially true when they’re concerned with their neighborhood, how it looks and how it develops throughout the years. Your deck will be a part of the community when thought thoroughly through and executed with professionals who have the right experience for the job.

Fine Tuning Your Deck Structure for Entertainment

deckSome decks will only seem right when having a small refreshment bar to offer drinks and a place to clearly socialize at. Sometimes, helping guests to have a good time requires a small nudge like the appearance of a bar. You don’t have to fill it up either. If you do, water, sodas and juices will be just fine, and guest will have a great time as well as family.

As the ideas for extending entertainment of an outdoor space comes together, the next inevitable step is to consider patio furniture to ensure that visitors are doing their best. Looks are always a solid consideration, but even more important will be comfort when you look for patio furniture. Lounge chairs are a neighborhood favorite, but sofas and hammocks go a long way to encourage relaxation also.

So if you intend on keeping all of this furniture outside, then it must be adaptable to weather conditions. You can ask your sales rep about this safety issue, as you don’t want to purchase indoor furniture for outdoor uses. So, since these are being looked at, cooking needs should also be covered. Having the right appliances will good a long way to making the perfect hamburger or hotdog, and you’ll be glad that these simple eats could please so many people.

But the list of possible attractions for the perfect deck space doesn’t end here. You will also want to contemplate on watching film with a projector and having the suitable area for seating and comfort to do so. Ironically, a small patch of grass is ideal, but a fire-pit, chairs and food are even better when situated perfectly on a deck. This can even be around a deck that surrounds a pool for easy access and artistic effect.

Terrain and Functional Designs

The most important factor that brings together a great deck is design. From the very beginning of a deck project, the design must not only look well but also enable functionalities the owner seeks. One of the aspects to review is the terrain in which a deck to be erected in. The terrain may bring some fundamental challenges, but the end result will likely take into account these terrain nuisances and work them in favor of the deck’s final design. This is simply the beauty of extending your home to an out-side space.

So a deck that is built around on a lake, bay or cove will differ greatly from decks that will not see access to water. The purpose of a deck found elevated higher on forested mountains offers a different function than a deck on the hot plains of Arizona where shade may not be so accessible. These prospects only means that design should take natural earth into the equations of blueprints and initial sketches.

You will also want to look into hills in your building space and where some could make building or structuring easier. These will also add diversity to the outcome you can have in your deck’s unique design. But no matter which options you pursue, there is a vast world of materials and construction techniques to reach the stars with. That imagination will not be limited with todays technology and experience.

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The Best Designs and Places for Fire Pits

The Best Designs and Places for Fire Pits

What We Get from having an Outdoor Fireplace

The ambiance of burning embers attracts a great deal of comfort for the home environment, and it’s no wonder. The speed that outdoor fire pits are selling at right now is amazing. The weather is heating up, and this is always a great incentive to stay outdoors later than usual. We’re all practically ready to take advantage of it.

Tongues of flames are known to keep darker spaces alit and the presence of insects low. It is the residual fumes from combustion that bugs rather stay away from to keep human entertainments at their peak.

It’s common to think of social gatherings when the image of a bond fire crosses our minds. Fire pits are no different. They happen to come in safer, cooler and more imaginative designs than your standard circle of rocks.

There’re many tremendous benefits to be had from a well designed fire pit also. But before attempting to find the right one for your yard’s space, you’ll be glad to have considered the best designs and places for these assemblies. They can practically go everywhere. With modern approaches, styles and skills, your fire pit can be erected on all terrains and appear as just about anything while still working properly.

So the designs for reliable fire pits are as endless as the human imagination. They are a part of landscape architecture and fulfills as much a role of function as they do design. This is important to consider because now, you know you don’t have to approach your purchase with limitations is mind.

If the ideal bond fire structure doesn’t suite your taste, one that will can be instantly designed and then manufactured for you. And you won’t be the first one to have done it either. There is an array of options available to aide homeowners. You’ll also need quality experience to labor the right hands where they’ll need to go.

A yard without a fire pit is like a yard without a pool for some people. Sure, not everyone will have the needed space for water diving in their backyards, but everyone with a yard has space for a great fire housing assembly.

Options in Materials and Design Spectrum for Fire Structures

As images of late-night bonding and private gardens escalate your mind, look closer into the materials that will actually go about building your structure. It’s challenging to say just which medium for fire pits works best. Most are preferences as all provide safety and durability to work correctly.

Stone is among those popular options for fire pits today. It can be raw from the quarry with no specialized cuts or shavings. These stones will have a natural appearance and an irregular shape that’s reminiscent of the earth they where drawn from.

In like manner, stones of any possible size can be carved and etched to meet the engineering and design specifications of your blueprints. Stone appearance is always earthy and strong. It provides durability to any structure made from it and is fire resistant.

But once again, depending on your preferences and design goals, metal may be a great option to go with. It can be lighter that most stone material which means it can come in portable designs. These are fire pits manufactured as large basins with wheels attached below for mobilization. But as we’ve discussed before, it’s all about preference.


Larger pieces of metal will not be as portable. It’s be based on your design and scale, but steel, iron, brass and even copper can be cut or molded to specification. This can mean the use of titanic portions of ore.

The last two materials we’ll cover are very similar in function. They are the combination of cement, dirt and clay. Each of these compounds has the ability to resist fire and hot temperatures. That function alone allows homeowners to use these material when approaching fire pit design or installation.

Clay usually has a strong earth tone to it and provides a sense of time and ancientness. With the proper digging tools and the right project manager involved, a simple hole of dirt controlled correctly will also yield great results for the most suitable architecture to an outdoor, fire-resistant structure.

Convenience of Fire Pits

The convenience of fire pits is what we benefit from beyond what the eye can see. Their sheer sizes allow them to be place anywhere without homeowners loosing their right to have a safe fire burning. They can be used so that Christmas carolers stay warm or to char a few hot dogs and hamburgers when having and entertaining guests.

There is a reason for us all to love the idea and possession of fire pits. Safety is hopefully one of those important things considered when purchasing. Along with the recommended distance of 10 ft from a building structure, you can rest assured that many of your fire pit inventions are consulted and manufactured with utmost safety.

There’re a few things to consider, and children may be among those concerns as you tailor your bond fire experience to accommodate a full family. Be sure to keep this in mind as you engineer your dreams. You’ll benefit from considering the size then space of your intended location. Will it burn propane or a readily available supply of chopped wood?

You may even use it for trash piles which is suitable with proper permits. Just be sure: No matter what design feature you have in mind, modern resources will make it durable and ready for any type of use.

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