Revamp your backyard this spring

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

With warmer temperatures setting in, lots of people are ready to spend more time soaking up the sun outdoors. To make spending time outside more enjoyable, many people take time in the spring to upgrade their yards.

One popular option to really up your backyard game is adding a hot tub. Locally, Revco Home Improvement Centre sells Beachcomber hot tubs.

Kyle Sigurdson is the co-owner of Revco Home Improvement Centre and Sigurdson Construction with his brother.

There are a few things to consider when putting in a hot tub, Sigurdson says.

“I guess the location of it, you usually want it to be accessible from the house in winter,” Sigurdson said. “If it’s going to be on a deck you need to think about weight.”

Other things that people might consider are the electrical service required to power the hot tub. In a lot of cases, hot tubs are wired directly to a home electrical panel and many require 220-volt electrical service while some will run on 120 volts.

Privacy might also be a concern for some people when installing a hot tub. If you don’t already have a fence, you might consider putting one up so you don’t have to worry about nosy neighbours.

Revco also stocks the necessary care supplies for the water in the hot tub.

“We also do water care,” Sigurdson said. “We set everybody up with their own water care plan. There’s a few different options, if you don’t want to use chlorine, or maybe you’re sensitive to it, you can use bromine. A lot of people are very sensitive to chlorine, myself included, I use bromine and I love it.”

Bromine will not have the same bleachy smell as chlorine and is easier on the skin.

Another way to add to your backyard might be by adding a new barbecue or patio furniture.

Stores like Walmart and Canadian Tire have cheaper options, but if you have the budget to shop locally, Green’s BrandSource has a lot of great options.

Beyond the traditional patio table and chairs, people are adding outdoor couches and gas fire features to create outdoor living spaces.

Green’s BrandSource merchandiser Jessica Smith says bigger patio furniture is popular right now.

“A lot of people like to go with gathering stuff, like a sectional for outdoors,” she said. “Something that’s comfortable and great for entertaining.”

Smith says she’s also noticed an increase in demand for wicker style furniture.

Another trend is gas fire features or tables. Having a gas fire feature near an outdoor couch has also become popular as forest fires become more and more of an issue.

“It’s nice because if there’s a fire ban on, those don’t get banned,” Smith said. “So, depending on what kind of weather it is outside, you can still enjoy the fire without worrying about having to put it out.”

Another bonus to the gas fire bits is there are no sparks and very little smoke.

Smith also says that as people have gotten into higher-end barbecues, like the Weber grills sold at Green’s, they’ve upgraded their patio sets to spend more time entertaining outside.

“If you have one of those big outdoor propane tanks for heating your house … you can actually get barbecues that go right to your propane tank,” Smith said. “You can get a gas line run to your barbecue for that so it saves you from having to take trips to the gas station to fill up. A lot of people have been building those into their outdoor area so they have a full kitchen almost.”

When it comes to outdoor dining sets, Smith says dining set trends haven’t changed much.

“I think everyone still goes back to the old-school glass table with two captain’s chairs and regular side chairs,” Smith said.

These are just some of the options to consider when thinking about ways to enjoy your own backyard this summer, whether you want to go big like adding a hot tub or doing something smaller like changing out the furniture on your patio or adding a gas fire pit.