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How to maintain your outside living area

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Posted: Friday, January 29, 2010 12:00 am

Dear Claudia:

How can I protect my patio furniture from the harsh Arizona weather?



It seems like every few years most people have to buy a new patio set because the weather fades the fabric and destroys the frames; either the plastic gets rotten or the metal can get rusty. The umbrellas fade or the winds carry them off and they get broken. It is imperative to protect our patio furniture if we want it to last for many years.

The best way to protect your patio furniture is just to put it in storage during seasons it is not being used. Since most of us do not have a storage room we can protect it by keeping it under a covered patio and by covering it with the appropriate fabric covers that are weather proof. Most patio furniture stores have a variety of covers to protect patio furniture and umbrellas. Try to keep metal furniture away from the pool as it can rust if it is not dried off. I store the cushions of my patio set and umbrella in the garage since I have some extra space.

We need to protect our patio furniture from the Arizona weather almost all seasons if we want it to last. With the proper care we can protect our investment. This way we don’t have to spend time and money looking for a new one each season and it will be ready to enjoy any time.


Dear Claudia:

My husband and I are considering building a fire pit or a fireplace on the outside patio. Do you think that I should build one? Is it worth the investment?



Yes, if you see yourself using it why not? It all depends on how often you will enjoy it and if it is worth the investment to your house. Many people I know that have them do not use them as often as they would like and some never use them at all.

Like any other improvement to your house there are a few questions that need to be considered. Is it worth the investment for resale purposes of the house? What is the value of your house compared to the other houses around your area? How long are you planning to live in the house? How often are you planning to use it?

To decide if you should build a fire pit or fireplace you should consider how you plan to use it and where you plan to put it. Consider the overall space, how the furniture is going to be arranged, how many people it will accommodate and the expense of building it. Lastly, hire a qualified contractor.

Make sure that the contractor is reliable, experienced, is able to give you some design ideas and has a good job record. It is not a bad idea to check his record with the registry of contractors, just by going to their Web site.

Good luck with the project.


Claudia Dabdoub is a resident of Ahwatukee Foothills and owner of D’amore Interior Design Studio. To ask a question for an upcoming column, reach her at (480) 751-9938 or


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