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Five backyard ideas as Arizona readies for second patio season

(Public Domain Photo)

In most parts of the nation, once Labor Day rolls around, it’s almost time to put the lawn furniture away and cover up the swimming pool for winter.

But not in Arizona. We’re gearing up for our second season out on the patio as fall arrives.

Spring and early summer were the first great outdoor living season for us. Now, we’re ready for more patio time.

For one thing, it’s the best time of year to tailgate out on the patio for all the NFL and college football games as well as the last weeks of the baseball season.

Here are five suggestions for spiffing up your patio for outdoor festivities:

Catch the game

You can’t watch football without a TV and prices for weatherproof TVs seem to be dropping to the $1,600-$1,700 range. But obviously, you can still pay quite a bit for an outdoor television that is designed for patio use.

You might, however, take your old TV outside to use until it breaks. To give an inexpensive or older TV a try, install it in a shady spot on a strong metal bracket that can pivot if needed.

Of course, the screen has to be big enough and should not be positioned too high on a wall.

You will need a cable or satellite connection on the patio and you may want to connect the TV to external stereo speakers.

Cover up the TV when it’s not in use with a weatherproof wrap or buy a cart and wheel the TV in and out for the big games.

Plenty of room?

How big will your crowd be? If you can’t buy a table to seat everyone, get two or three small tables.

Add a sofa or chairs and cover the cushions with fabric that will resist the sun and that’s easy to clean rinse down later with a garden hose.

Or maybe you want a large outdoor sectional and a giant coffee table instead.

Fire up some enthusiasm

If you can’t provide an outdoor fireplace with benches, try installing a fire pit.

You can buy a kit online or at a hardware store and install it yourself for $200 or so, but it’s best to have a trusted plumber run a gas line out to the pit.

By the way, Maricopa County does have no-burn days for wood fires in fireplaces or pits. Pits can also be fueled by a propane tank located in a cabinet nearby.

Everyone loves to gather around that fire to talk about the game. Add a little excitement to the setting by using fireproof glass beads in your fire pit.

Add landscaping

It’s also a great time of year to plant trees and bushes in your backyard. During the fall, your new plants will get a good start because our growing season has not yet come to an end.

Those trees may be too small this year to provide shelter, but if you’re patient — in a couple of years — it will start cooling the party crowd and the house during the summer.

And a tree is less likely than an umbrella to blow into the neighbor’s yard or into your swimming pool.

Cook outside

Even if you don’t want to build a giant outdoor kitchen complete with dishwasher and mini-refrigerator, you may want a built-in grill and a sink with running water.

The more counter space around the grill, the happier you’ll be.

For more homeowner advice, DIY tips and videos, and information about all the projects around your house, home, castle or cabin, visit Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information at

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you know you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at – Arizona’s most-trusted referral network.

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