5 Outdoor Project Trends to Look Forward to this Spring
When the sugar maple saps start to rise and flow, it only means that it’s time to bid goodbye to the long and gelid days of winter as we say our warmest “Hello” to the glowing sunshine of spring! Soon the ground will be thawed which marks the busiest time of the year of every gardener in the country. For homeowners, this is the best season for both home maintenance and home improvement projects to ensure that your precious homes will securely accommodate you in the upcoming hot and wet days ahead. As everyone’s finding a good way to spend time and enjoy the outdoors, more and more homeowners are turning their outdoors into something fun yet functional living space.
The popular trend of blending the indoors and the outdoors by building an outdoor home extension continues to inspire homeowners this 2017. Nothing can really match the enjoyment of outdoor lifestyle and the comfy and inviting feeling of the indoors. The following are excellent cases in point.
Outdoor kitchen sinks are a quaint addition to any outdoor space. Whether you are the barbecuing type, the farmer / gardener, or just want that sink for good old resale value, there’s always a use for a sink.
You can choose to run cold or hot water depending on how you are going to use it, but always remember to have it insulated and winterized most importantly. What does winterizing mean you say? This means having a system capable of shutting it off during the winter so the water doesn’t freeze inside the pipe and potentially rupture them. A valve inside your kitchen should be used to shut the water off to the outside and a pressurized system will make sure all the water is ejected from the pipes. This is similar to automatic sprinkler systems work. Then once Spring arrives, you are free to use it as you see fit.
Now what do we do with the waste water? It depends on the utility of the sink. You can link the drains to your homes waste water system, so you can use the outdoor sink as a garbage disposal for outdoor food preparation. If aesthetic is more your speed, you can drain the waste water to a French drain or a dry well. Be mindful that you don’t want food scraps in this kind of drain. Lastly, for the gardeners and farmers out there, you can go green by draining the gray water to a bucket or an irrigation reservoir – you can use it for your plants.
Imagine going for a swim, digging up the yard or working on your car in the garage, you walk into the house, which your spouse just finished cleaning. Leaving another trail of water, grease or dirt will not going to be a fun time for you, that’s for sure! For those who have pools in their backyards, or are doing a lot of dirty work outside, an outdoor shower is a great way to clean up before getting water or dirt into your home after spending time outside.
Designs vary wildly, but two kinds of outdoor showers exist – standalone and wall mounted ones. Standalone look like large bidets and are attached to hoses, sometimes even just the classic garden hose. While wall mounted ones are mounted on a wall in some way or form. Whatever you use, make sure your shower head is stainless steel or brass to stand the test of time. There are portable showers out there that are cheap, but this may not fit the aesthetic you are looking for.
Drains for outdoor showers vary. You can simply drain showers into the ground, or on a bed of stone but check your local building codes to make sure this is allowed. If it isn’t, you can drain the water and have it go straight to your septic system.
Winterizing the outdoor shower is important much in the same way as you would outdoor sinks, as previously mentioned. There are also frost proof fixtures that exist but these are more expensive, but this will make sure the shower endures the cold months so it’s well worth the price.
Never forget to have an enclosure around the shower or a high fence as to deter unwanted attention, or avoiding going viral in YouTube.
Cascading Ponds / Waterfalls:
Few pieces say “outdoors” like a cascading pond. This simulates a “mountain spring” look right outside your house. Plumbing makes this happen by circulating water from a waterfall pump to the pond / pool and from the bottom back to the waterfall, giving the illusion that the water is coming from a body of water. The design factor is only limited by the imagination, so go wild, and have us take care of the plumbing.
EPDM rubber lining is used to avoid seepage of the water and draining this simply comes in the form of a bottom drain that goes straight to the sewage system or a French drain, even simply straight to the ground. It is also very common to attach an aquarium setup to give that more realistic feel by adding fish to the pond.
Young children have a possibility of taking a dip in these and even drinking the water. This is not recommended as the water can be hazardous when it sits too long so make sure to let your little ones know to NOT do this!
Most commonly found in hotels and malls, it is an attraction that always stimulates good vibes, and spells out “F-A-N-C-Y” to their guests. With very similar plumbing to a cascading pond and waterfall due to their water recycling system, the plumbing is also similar to a sprinkler system. In the sense that, the water is pumped out the fountain either in programmable intervals or just keeping it classic by having a continuous stream of water come out of an elegant fountain fixture. Some places even have drinking fountains installed to provide guests with a quick fix to their thirst on-the-go.
The fixtures and plumbing must be made from rigid PVC, brass or stainless steel to withstand the constant abuse and pressure that is exerted on these by the pumps. The waste water can be drained directly to your drainage system or recycled back and filtered. When it comes to drinking fountains, a continuous stream of fresh water is supplied for obvious reasons and drained directly to the drainage system.
Like the above-mentioned waterfalls, endure your kids don’t bathe in fountain water, as some fountains have previously stagnated water flowing through it.
Fiberglass Swimming Pool:
Now, we get to the cream of the crop. Old fashioned concrete pools are going out of style due to their immense cost to build and maintenance difficulties. Nowadays, having a pool is made easy by using pre-made, tough, fiberglass molds that are laid into the ground with plumbing, once the surrounding area is filled you will have the centerpiece to your outdoor getaway right in your backyard.
The most important, if not the simplest thing to keep in mind when installing these, is since they are the most common reasons that plumbing issues for pools arise. They exert pressure on the outside of the fiberglass and surrounding plumbing. Always use gravel as they tend to compact immediately upon laying and don’t require water – which adds tons of weight literally – to settle.
Make sure you use rigid PVC instead of flexible PVC in the plumbing as this goes well with the fiberglass pool and is equally as tough if not tougher. Don’t install too many glued fittings but instead, heat bends the rigid PVC as much as you safely can – call a plumber and DO NOT DIY this under any circumstance.
The best part about pools is that you can easily combine this with a waterfall or fountain system for that extra “oomph”. You ensure your skimmers, pumps, filters, heaters, and pipes are tested, this will make the best season of the year something to look forward to!