ROSIE ON THE HOUSE

Here’s how to get your outdoor living space ready for fall

Aug 31, 2023, 3:00 PM

yellow trees on stunning landscape...

(Shuttershock Photo)

(Shuttershock Photo)

We Arizonans love the fall. Really, what’s not to love? No matter where in our great state you live, the temperatures are falling, and the sun is getting lower in the sky. Fall colors are on their way. Desert fall colors are more subtle in their quantity, but they make up for it in vibrancy. Mountain aspens reach a gold of staggering magnificence; fall colors are a phenomenon to behold.

It’s not just Arizona folks who love the fall. According to an NBC poll, fall is America’s favorite season. That is across the board! No matter where you live, male or female, Boomer, Gen X, or Millennial, fall is the favorite season.

Why is this? Though varied, the most prevalent reasons are:

  • Weather- The summer shorts temperatures are starting to give way to longer pants and light jackets.
  • Back to School Vibe- It’s a real thing! A lot of us like the first day of school.
  • Holidays- They are coming up. Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years. Anticipating good times means a lot to us.

Before we go too far into fall, let’s take a breath and plan for the season! Make sure you have:

A Place to Sit

Let’s start with sitting! Many of us will begin transitioning from sitting in our pools to enjoying the patio and outdoor living. It is time for those pool toys, chairs, and towels to go into storage. Bring out the pillows, fresh blankets, and change out or add an area rug designed for the outdoors. The area rugs can liven up and help define an open space without walls.

Take a look at your deck or patio surface. Might there be a need to clean up after a summertime of use? If a good broom or air from a compressor doesn’t do the trick, you might need to rent a pressure washer. Here is a link to our blog on cleaning outdoor surfaces. If you have a wood deck, it is a great time of year to apply a protective coating.

A Warm Fire

Fire pits are a popular item when the temperatures turn cool. An evening around a flame mimics a campfire gathering. How much fun is that! Before you light the gas firepit, a cleaning out of the lava rock bed is called for. Leaves and other debris collected over the summer months can mess up the burners, and they might smell terrible if burned in the flame. A popular southwest outdoor fire pit alternative is the Chiminea. This old-world design hails from Spain’s influence on Mexican culture. Kind of a “pot belly” design, they are traditionally made of clay. Now used primarily for creating ambiance, in the past, people used them for cooking and providing a source of heat.

A Rosie tip: Line the bottom with sand, gravel, lava rock, or fire glass to aid in cleaning and ash dumping. Mesquite, cherry wood, or different fruit tree woods add an extra touch to the atmosphere with their distinct aromas.

If your natural gas is pumped to your firepit, have a plumber check it annually for safety.

A Game to Play

If yard games are in your wheelhouse, break out the games. Check to make sure all the parts are there and clean them up. Yard games like corn hole, yard darts (safety first here), bocci ball, croquet, and badminton are great ways to entertain family and guests during one of the season’s holidays.

Lights for Ambiance

You have probably used your outdoor lighting during the summer evenings and know the system is working fine. Try enhancing color changes in your bulbs to correlate with the season. LEDs make this easier.

The same might be said about your sound system. The only advice here would be to change your playlist to match the season.

The Right Water Schedule

Check your landscaping and plant watering schedule, too. Adjust for the cooler weather.

Work hard and play hard! We want everyone to have their houses ready to enjoy so they have time to enjoy the things they love!

Join Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email info@rosieonthehouse.com. Follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program. Call 888-767-4348 with questions & comments.

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Here’s how to get your outdoor living space ready for fall