Outdoor Living Ideas
Here in the Low-country, I often find it "backwards" for people to come here and visit in July and August due to the extreme heat and humidity we experience. I am more of a September man myself. Here are a few outdoor living ideas that can help you enjoy the outdoors and beat the heat.
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A Gazebo or Pergola Will Bring Shade
A gazebo or pergola could be built in a planned spot in your yard that could give you a nice shady area to relax in. These can be very simple or ornate depending upon the situation. We personally have built some that have ceiling fans, lights, running water, refrigerators and grills in the more extreme spectrum. They can also be simplistic; only requiring 4x4's or 2x6 construction. Place a flowering vine over the top to give off a sweet aroma during the summer months.
Your arbor or gazebo could be a huge live oak that you hang a two person swing in which to create your own shady breezy spot in the yard. Another way to cool off in the summer is through the use of swimming pools.
Swimming Pool Designs
There are a wide variety of swimming pools on the market. The simplest of the pools are blow up pools bought from big box stores and priced under one thousand dollars. According to some reporting agency, 66% of all drowning occur in these above ground pools. In addition, they are also considered "one season" use pools.
Vinyl lined pools are the next level up, but are usually not recommended by our company due to the high water table in the Charleston area and also durability factors. Some will tell you they are good for 5 – 10 years on average.
Next are composite pools, made out of fiberglass. They are the class that starts having durability. The speed of construction and life time warranty makes this a very popular option.
Finally, on the high end are the concrete pools which in our opinion should only be built as a piece of art. If your pool is not going to be a one of a kind, piece of art, you could get by with one of the previous options. One of the reasons that I talk about pools is the unique fact that with a heat pump addition, you can actually chill your pool during summer season and heat the pool during the fall thereby extending the season. A heat pump can be adapted to existing pools and are very energy efficient in cooling down the water temperature.
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Using Trees For Shade
If none of the above ideas appeal to you in order to beat the summer heat, you should think about taking advantage of the summer breeze we get in the Low-country. This often requires you to clean out underbrush and thickets around your property. This will increase air flow and help you to enjoy the natural breezes. If you don't have any trees or structures around your house and don't feel like constructing one- you can always plant a tree.
Trees come in all shapes and sizes. You can actually buy a full grown Live Oak if you so choose. The cost of trees is usually directly related to how long the grower has had to take care of the tree. You can imagine that a full grown Live Oak is not for the average budget, but there is usually a tree that will work well for your budget and in your yard.
My personal favorites are trees that produce fruits and nuts. A peach tree that we planted when my first daughter was born, is one of my favorite trees. During July, I enjoy getting a fresh sweet peach right off the branch. We only have a few more weeks of the extreme, muggy, hot summer weather before we will be able to start experiencing the cooler breezes of the fall. You can look forward to hearing about cooler topics in the next issue.
If you have any questions, as always, feel free to send me an email - we usually respond pretty quickly. Click here to email us!
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