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Top 5 tips to make your summer deck into a winter hang out area

summer deckDo you close up your deck each winter? Instead of wasting perfectly good hang out space, use your deck year round by making a few small changes for the colder months. By simply adding extra coverage and heating elements, your deck can be cozy and comfortable throughout the winter. Use this five tips from the experts to turn your summer deck into a warm winter hang out space.

1 – Install a Patio Cover

If you want to use your deck year round, installing a patio cover is an absolute necessity. A patio cover will protect you and your deck from the elements, including rain, wind, and snow. You can find patio covers in many different styles. Some patio covers are solid, while others are transparent and allow sunlight to shine through. You can also find patio covers in multiple materials, including fabric, aluminum, wood, vinyl, steel, wrought iron, and synthetic materials. Choose a patio cover that works best for you in terms of weather protection as well as style.

2 – Get a Deck Heater

The next step in prepping your patio for the winter is to provide a source of heat, such as a deck heater. There are multiple types of deck heaters, including those that run on propane, natural gas, and electricity. Electric deck heaters tend to be the least expensive to operate, and they also heat quickly and are better for the environment. However, they require an electrical outlet and heat smaller areas. Propane heaters are easy to move and can heat large areas, but they require propane. Finally, natural gas deck heaters can heat large areas and run on your gas lines. On the downside, they are more difficult to move and can be more expensive.

3 – Try a Fire Pit

Another great source of heat for your deck is a fire pit. Fire pits come in many different sizes and styles. There are gas fire pits and wood burning fire pits as well as outdoor fireplaces. Another option is a chimney, which resembles a small fireplace and chimney. Fire pits are a great optidon because they are affordable as well as decorative. However, deck heaters and chimneys are superior in terms of heat retention. Chimneys, however, only supply heat on one side.

4 – Splurge on a Hot Tub

To make your deck a true hotspot for the winter, consider splurging on a hot tub. While hot tubs are a more expensive option for your deck, they will be sure to draw friends and family out to your deck all winter long. If you do choose to install a hot tub, you should consider adding some sort of privacy screen, such as a trellis.

5 – Choose Cool-Weather Plants

To decorate your deck for the winter, switch out your summer plants for cool-weather annuals, perennials, and even vegetables. For annuals, try ornamental cabbage, Johnny-jump-ups, and pansies. Winter perennials include lavender and various ornamental grasses. For vegetables, you can plant kale, snap peas, Swiss chard, Chinese cabbage, leaf lettuce, and beets. Many herbs are also capable of surviving the cold weather, such as sage, oregano, thyme, and parsley.

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