Outdoor Living in Fall, Part 3: Outdoor Structures

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gazebo patio outdoor fireplace

As we have seen so far in this series, fall is an excellent time for identifying effective storage solutions and the best heaters and fireplaces for your outdoor space. So, you’ve taken care of that business – what’s next? Well, for all the benefits associated with heaters and storage units, there’s one thing they won’t do when fall rolls in: keep you away from the unfortunate realities of rain, sleet and snow. So let’s examine the best solutions for keeping you bone-dry as the temperatures fall.

At one with nature

Gazebos represent an excellent way to keep away from the elements without sacrificing that fantastic feeling of being outdoors and at one with nature. Their structure can vary, but generally they are constructed with composite or natural wood, are free-standing, round and have a peaked roof.

Gazebos were initially built in bygone days as both a way to guard against intruders and accentuate a property’s view. These days, the security element of a gazebo thankfully isn’t as prevalent, leaving you with a stunning space to take shelter while relaxing or entertaining guests and (hopefully) taking in a fantastic view.

A beautiful complement

The frame of a gazebo is generally made from aluminum or treated wood, and they are available either as portable or permanent structures, and either detached or attached to another structure. A big plus with gazebos is that many of them are now built from fire-resistant fabric and materials, meaning you can easily use your fireplace or a BBQ, for example, inside the structure without any safety concerns.

Of course, a well-designed gazebo can act as a beautiful complement to your outdoor space’s aesthetic, and well thought-out drapery, ivy and plant arrangements can give you privacy without compromising your gazebo’s look and feel.

Great shading option

However, as we all know, not every state or region experiences consistent precipitation in fall. If you’re living in, say, the south-west, a pergola is a great shading option for your outdoor space. A pergola differs from a gazebo in that it generally has no roof, but rather a lattice arrangement of beams supported by pillars and posts. This makes it perfect for plant cultivation, the development of which provides the right amount of shade for you and your guests.

deck and pergola backyard

The lattice arrangement also provides shelter from the sun. Pergolas are usually square or rectangular in shape and, like gazebos, can either link two structures together or exist in a free-standing capacity.

Colour, substance and style

The decision to build either a pergola or gazebo in your outdoor space will obviously depend on the size of the area you’re working with, as well as the weather in your region. If done right, the addition of either provides more than a splash of colour, substance and style to your space, and succeeds in bringing your indoors, outdoors. The construction of a gazebo or pergola completes the ‘outdoor room’ as a concept, and lays the foundations for years of al fresco entertaining, relaxing and general activity.

Combine this with the right heating and storage solutions, and you’re all set for whatever the elements throw at you – no matter what season it is!

Want to read the whole Outdoor Living In Fall mini-series. Well, look no further than here.

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Julian Fleming

Julian is originally from Dublin, Ireland, now settled in Vancouver BC. His background is in journalism, and is a part of the BuildDirect’s communications team."