One of the biggest trends in home remodeling over the last few years has been creating usable, attractive, fun outdoor living spaces. Yet, homeowners are often frustrated that they cannot use the space year-round due to extreme temperatures or annoying insects.

Fortunately, there are a lot of innovative ways to blur the line between your indoor and outdoor living spaces, while providing privacy, lighting, climate and pest control.

I recently remodeled my back patio to create a living and dining area and an outdoor kitchen. The renovation included many seasonal-friendly features that make the space comfortable for my family to enjoy year-round.

Check out the Outdoor Living at Its Best episode article for details on our backyard transformation.

Climate Control and Retractable Screens

Living on the Gulf Coast means we experience intense heat and frequent summer storms. So, during the planning of our patio renovation, we made sure to incorporate ways to keep us comfortable and protect the space from harsh weather.

No matter where you live or what elements you face, screening in the porch is a sensible solution. We extended the heating and cooling ductwork to the patio, so to keep the bugs out and the cool air in, we had motorized retractable screens from Phantom Screens professionally installed.

The mesh screens retain 92% of conditioned air and reflect solar heat, keeping everything and everyone behind them cool and comfortable.

An added feature is the UV protection, which protects furnishings from damage and fading. The screens also prevent mosquitoes and other outdoor pests from invading the space.

Watch Advantages of Retractable Screens for Covered Decks and Porches for more info.

Lighting and Pest Control

While the screens provide protection for the porch, I also had to consider lighting and pest control for when the family is enjoying the rest of the back yard.

I love products that do double duty, so we installed the Haven lighting system from NuTone, which combines the beauty and function of landscape lighting with practical mosquito protection.

Designed with outdoor living in mind, this innovative system can be installed in any exterior environment including patios, decks, walkways, existing beds and more. Each low-profile fixture blends in to landscape surroundings and provides 110 square feet of odorless, silent, invisible mosquito protection. The system is safe for plants, flowers, shrubs and lawns and creates a pest-free, comfortable living area that families can enjoy year-round.

Privacy Fencing

Our old privacy fence was in disrepair and needed to be replaced. For a project of this magnitude, I enlisted a professional team of contractors at Lipford Construction to get the job done.

To ensure the best results, I recommend that homeowners find a reputable local contractor when considering large home improvement projects such as building a fence or deck.

We used Yellawood’s signature pressure-treated pine to build the new 8-foot privacy fence. To add a special touch to your backyard project, ask your builder or contractor about higher grades and some of the new specialty profiles.

They may offer more beautiful wood grades, performance enhancers, waterproofing, and special finishes to make your project unique. On my fence I added copper caps to the posts for a more polished, high-end look.

Watch How to Build a Wood Privacy Fence in Your Yard for project details.

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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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