Enjoying Your Patio in Cooler Months


Do you love relaxing, socializing, and cooking out on your patio during the warmer months? Good news: You don’t have to settle for heading back indoors when temperatures drop and weather conditions worsen. With a few simple upgrades, you can turn your patio into a space that’s comfortable even when winds are howling, rain is pouring, or snowflakes are falling.

Shelter your space

Sheltering your patio from the elements is one of the best ways to turn it into a year-round space. Depending on your resources and where your patio is located, you have several options. Enclosing the patio and extending a roof over it is the most expensive solution, but it will also provide the most shelter. A freestanding pergola or gazebo would work well, too. If you’re on a budget, consider an umbrella or retractable awning. Curtains or screens can act as windbreakers in addition to giving you more privacy. If your location and the climate allow, Realtor.com contributor Jennifer Kelly Geddes recommends planting coniferous trees around your patio to block chilly breezes and reduce humidity.

Add a heat source

Adding a heat source to your patio will banish the cold and keep you cozy. A fire pit or outdoor fireplace is a classic choice, allowing you and your family or friends to bask in the warmth while roasting marshmallows and sipping hot drinks. Options range from small portable versions to large, elaborate permanent installations. You could also purchase a gas or electric patio heater or set up heat lamps. Looking for even more warmth? Writing for The Spruce, Lisa Hallett Taylor suggests installing a hot tub so you can settle in for a soak even when it’s cold out.

Illuminate the situation

Extra lighting would be a welcome addition to your patio at any time of the year, but it’s especially handy during late fall and winter months when the days are shorter and the sun sets earlier. Heat lamps are a great choice for patio double duty. Outdoor-style lamps, wall-mounted LED lights, and lanterns are just a few of the many other ways to illuminate your patio. For a touch of warm, friendly ambience, you could also hang up string lights, which are available in nearly any style, shape, or level of brightness you prefer.

Buy weatherproof furniture

If you plan to use your patio during the colder months, you’ll need to invest in comfortable, durable, and easy-to-clean furniture, including tables, chairs, sofas, and other pieces.  According to Taylor, outdoor furniture made from polyresin wicker, teak, or powder-coated steel should stand up well to the elements. However, even if your furniture is solidly weatherproof, it’s always a good idea to keep each piece covered when not in use. You should also store any cushions and pillows indoors or purchase a waterproof box so you can stash items out on the patio.

Don’t forget the extras

Once you’ve covered the basics, select some extra amenities to make your patio perfect for cold weather. Blankets and throws are ideal for keeping you and your guests bundled up on brisk autumn evenings. An outdoor sound system, or even a portable Bluetooth® speaker, makes it easy to soundtrack your next party or set the mood for snuggling. You could also personalize your space with plants, outdoor art, or seasonal decorations.

Instead of staying cooped up in the house when it gets cold outside, look into these ideas for making the most of your patio space. Whether you add a few lights and a heater or invest in a deluxe upgrade, you can look forward to relaxing vibes, fresh air, and good times with people you love.

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