7 easy ways to extend patio season into fall

With the arrival of fall bringing cooler nights, shorter days and busier schedules, you might be wondering how you can extend the feeling of summer fun and continue to enjoy patio season well into the autumn months.

Whether you’re hosting a backyard get-together with family and friends or embracing the quiet of the night on your own, outdoor patios have become an extension of our usable living space and should be enjoyed as long as possible. With a few modifications, your outdoor patio can become a cosy autumn oasis, ready to combat those nippy nights and early sunsets.

Here are 7 ways to keep patio season around a little longer to get the most out of your outdoor living space.

Add barriers

Don’t let the cool fall weather bring you down! Adding barriers around your patio can help block the elements and make it feel cosier.

Gazebos or pergolas are an excellent option, offering up shade in the summer and protection from the cool breeze in the fall. Adding outdoor curtains or windscreens can help keep those cool gusts of wind at bay and a roof extension or large awning can shelter your seating or dining area from rain.

Lastly, strategically planted shrubs and trees can naturally reduce exposure to that chilly wind, making your time outside more enjoyable.

Bring the heat

There are many affordable options to help add heat to your outdoor spaces. Propane heaters are something you’ve probably seen at outdoor patios outside restaurants and bars, but they’re also a great option for at-home use, too. They don’t cost too much to use, but it isn’t recommended that you use them indoors, and it takes longer to heat because it warms up the air first.

Another option is infrared heating units. These can be mounted to the wall of your home or placed inside a sunroom, but there are also free-standing options available. The upside of infrared heating is that you can feel the heat instantly and it isn’t affected by windy conditions as much as propane.

Get cosy by the fire

An outdoor gas fireplace, fit pit, or fire bowl can instantly turn from a design feature to a functional and welcome heat source in the cooler months. Guests can pull up a chair to roast marshmallows and enjoy the relaxing ambiance of the flickering flames. Before purchasing any type of fire pit, it’s advised you check whether your local bylaws allow open fires and what the regulations are regarding their use.

Snuggle up

Grab a blanket and cosy up next to your loved ones! Blankets and throws are not only a stylish item, but they can also keep you warm when it gets cooler.

Keep a large basket handy and fill it with a variety of blankets and throws — from Sherpa and fleece, to chunky knit and heated, you won’t regret the extra insulation when you’re enjoying a backyard movie night. When it comes to choosing a basket, you’ll likely want to opt for one that includes a secure top and tight seals, as the last thing you need are damp blankets or a family of bugs setting up shop for the winter!

Let there be light

The arrival of fall means days are getting shorter. With darkness coming earlier, you might be tempted to head inside, but a small investment in outdoor lighting can keep your patio bright and safe, extending your outdoor fun well after the sun goes down.

There are many options when it comes to outdoor lights, like hardwired sconces, twinkly string lights, solar path lights, and battery-powered lanterns, a variety of lighting fixtures can illuminate your outdoor space in the most magical way.

Choose weather-appropriate furnishings

High-quality outdoor furniture is worth the investment if you plan on using your patio well into the fall. When buying outdoor furniture, consider comfort, style, visual appeal, and durability. Focus on sourcing furniture made with weather-resistant material, such as polyresin wicker, hardwoods like teak and oak, wrought iron, and powder-coated steel and aluminium, which will reduce the likelihood of rust, fading, mould, or warping.

Weather-resistant fabrics and cushions are also essential. Lastly, you can protect your investment and prolong the life of your furniture by using covers or storing cushions in a garden shed or garage until you’re ready to use them.

Get a hot tub

Lastly, if you have the budget and the space, a hot tub is a luxurious way to relax and enjoy the cool fall weather. Enjoy a soak with friends or unwind alone: it’s the perfect way to enjoy the patio all year round! There are many different options to suit any budget, from inflatable to permanent installations, and they can be easier to maintain than a pool.

There’s no reason to hole up inside, there are still many beautiful fall days and nights to be had before the snow starts to fly! With just a few adjustments to your outdoor space, you too can extend your patio season and continue to enjoy time outside.

— Realtor.ca