T&S Home Features

Refresh & Redo: 6.27.18

What are some interesting ways to spruce up a porch, patio or yard?

A lot of homeowners are interested in water features like fountains and ponds that offer the pleasing sounds and soothing movement of water. They create a focal point and help bring a yard to life. Owners of high-end homes especially love custom-built water features that add interest to their landscaping.

When it comes to choosing a design, the only limits are the homeowner’s imagination and budget. There are different sizes of fountains with varying numbers of tiers, nozzles and spray patterns. Fountains can be designed to spray straight up or at an angle—whatever the customer prefers. And LED lighting on the structure is very popular now; it’s brighter than halogen lighting, lasts much longer, is more energy-efficient, and can be less expensive and lower maintenance. It really draws attention to the fountain at night. We can create water features that homeowners can maintain, or they can have us do the upkeep.

Some clients also ask for smaller, self-contained, molded concrete fountains you can place on a porch or patio. They can be designed to recirculate about a gallon and a half of water, or they can be connected to a water source.

—Josh Thomas, owner, Precision Fountains

Many people are building smaller homes now, but they still want big outdoor spaces, especially in the back. Phantom dual-roller retractable screens can turn patios and porches into ‘3.5-season’ rooms while keeping out pollen, insects, debris, rain and wind.

They come with insect and clear vinyl screens that you can operate separately depending on conditions, using a radio-frequency remote control or your home automation system. The screens come in nine colors and 40 different kinds of mesh to match a variety of home designs. They usually are installed in houses under construction, but they can be added to existing homes as well.

Homeowners who want a less expensive option can choose Eze Breeze screens that also help keep out rain, pollen and wind. These days, many people want porch and patio spaces that have full kitchens, fireplaces, heaters, TVs and more. They want to entertain and spend more time outside, and retractable screens can help make that possible.

—Matt Courtney, president, 
Broadview Screen Co.