Installing A Backyard Sound System


Everything is better with an awesome music soundtrack and your backyard is no exception. After spending so much time to get your landscaping right, it is time for the finishing touches and a backyard sound system can really enhance your enjoyment of your home’s exterior space. Below are a few tips for getting it right.

First of all, consider that most stereo speakers are not waterproof. Typical stereo speakers will have wooden enclosures and paper cones that will quickly deteriorate in an outdoor environment. Fortunately, waterproof speakers are readily available from retailers like this one. Marine speakers are made for use on boats and they work equally well outside in your backyard. You will generally want a box type speaker with a mount included, rather than the flush mount type that require a cutout hole.

The next thing to look at is the speaker location. Ideally you want to get them up high over the heads of the people who are listening. Why? Because sound can be blocked by obstructions and the fewer obstacles between the speaker and your ear, the better the sound quality will be.

One “go to” type of speakers for backyards are rock speakers. Rock speakers are actually waterproof box speakers that are camouflaged to look like rocks. You can get information about rock speakers, waterproof marine stereos and more here: www.rocktheboatstereo.com. Rock speakers are great for certain situations and they can sound very good, but they are always placed down low on the ground which is not optimal. If you have the choice, go for something you can mount up high before you use a rock speaker. Or you might consider a combination of rock speakers and other speakers mounted up high.

You also want some good separation between your speakers and you don’t want them bunched together. Not only will the separation help you cover more area in your backyard, but the stereophonic effect will be greater which will improve your sound quality.

Tips For Building A Deck

Building a deck can be a big job and it is important to plan carefully so that your project turns out the way you hope it will. If done correctly, a deck can be a great place to relax and enjoy time with your family. It can also be a great transition from your interior spaces to the exterior backyard and if well planned, it can blend seamlessly and naturally into your landscaping. Below are some important things to consider when planning your deck.

Is your deck going to be attached to your home, or will it be a destination type deck. A destination deck is one that is not attached to your home and has a path leading to it. Destination decks are great for areas with a special view or purpose.

What type of activities will take place on the deck? Will it be where you want to do some grilling and picnicing? Perhaps it will be an area for entertaining? Maybe it will be a place for your hot tub or adjacent to a pool. Will you want privacy for this deck or does that matter at all. All of these things will affect your deck design.

Now consider how large you want it to be. Smaller homes and backyards typically need a smaller deck. In fact, if you make your deck too big it can actually make your house look smaller than it really is. On the other hand, you want it large enough to accomodate the activities for which you are constructing it.

Time to move on to choosing construction materials. Wood is a great material but there are also composite materials available that look like wood, but do not weather like wood. Keep in mind that a wooden deck will require quite a bit of maintenance and periodic repainting or refinishing. Composite materials and even vinyl are available that are extremely durable and maintenance free, but they also cost more.

Regardless, you will need concrete footings poured in the ground to support the deck. Sandy soil will require larger footings. The footings will support structural posts that hold up the platform. The posts are usually 4″ x 4″ or sometimes 6″ x 6″.

Depending on your area, there will be building code requirements. Check with your city planning department or with your county if you are in a more rural area. These requirements can often be found online on your city or county website. Sometimes permits are required for which there is usually a fee.

One great way to get a feel for deck construction is to look out for deck plans that have been built before. Often step by step instructions are included.

Landscaping For Tranquility


In our go, go, go world, life can get pretty hectic. Our jobs, families, and homes all need constant attention and place demands on our time. Finding a little peace and tranquility can be a challenge, but fortunately, some of that peace can be found right in your own backyard, literally! Landscaping for tranquility can soothe the soul so we’d like to offer some suggestions.

How about a butterfly garden? Butterflies are associated with renewal and rebirth, not to mention how beautiful they are. Planting flowers and plants such as marigolds and oregano will attract butterflies so that they can be a lovely part of your backyard.

Aromatherapy can be very relaxing, and your backyard can be a wonderful source of soothing smells. Go for some lavender, thyme, or jasmine in your landscaping to help you relax. They not only smell great, but look beautiful too!

The sound of moving water is also very peaceful. If you can afford a babbling creek in your backyard, that’s great, but smaller water features can add a lot of atmospheric effect. Fountains and ponds can be purchased inexpensively and are easier to install than you might think

A crackling fire can also be soothing and cozy. Fire pits can be purchased or built with a wide variety of stones that can look fantastic.

Visually, consider using rounded shapes for patios and flower beds. Squares and rectangular shapes can feel rigid and unyielding, while curves seem more organic and natural.

Don’t Forget The Backyard!


While a front yard is important for curb appeal, many home buyers are looking for their own private outdoor space which is seldom available to apartment dwellers. Quality backyard landscaping can not only improve the value of your home, but it can give you a great area for friends and family to gather for special occasions and for family recreation. Put some careful thought into your backyard and you can experience your own little bit of outdoor heaven.

The theme of your landscape look should depend on your family’s hobbies and interests. Here are some suggestions. Flower beds, stones and lawn areas, shade trees, gardens, and decorative waterfalls all make for a wonderful backyard atmosphere. A barbecue grill and perhaps a picnic table make for great outdoor meals. If you really want to go all out, look for spectacular ideas for an outdoor kitchen or bar.

Don’t forget the sports. A soccer goal, volleyball net, croquet course or mini golf course are all great for facilitating your favorite outdoor activities. Don’t forget the big zapper to keep the mosquitos away!

One huge consideration when landscaping your backyard is maintenance. Lawns, flower beds and other plants all require some yard work. If that is not for you, then you might consider some low maintenance type landscaping. Rock beds and boulders look great, but require very little work to keep them looking good. Different colors of rock used creatively can add a beautiful effect. You can keep the weeds away with some ground clear spray. Once per season is all you will need.