In last week’s blog, I offered a few ideas on how to stay cool now that the summer heat has arrived. Most of the suggestions involved minor lifestyle changes, as well as discussing how a new Maronda home would provide energy savings and cool summer comfort.
Now that you own a new Maronda home and are reaping the benefits of an energy efficient, structurally superior, concrete block home, I would like to offer some suggestions for cool outdoor living.
Some of the more popular home improvements these days are projects relating to outdoor living. The Florida and South Georgia climates are ideal for this type of living. These types of projects include decks, patios, spas, and summer kitchens, to name a few. The main goal in these types of projects is to provide a comfortable outdoor living space, even in the heat of the Florida and Georgia sun.
One great way to accomplish this is with creative landscaping. The proper placement of shade trees and bushes can be a natural and Eco-friendly way of providing shade. When planting the trees, it is important to remember that they should be placed in a direct line between the outdoor space and the location of the mid to late afternoon sun. The drip line of the mature trees should not hang over the roof of the home. The root system of the trees will extend out to the drip line, and placing them where the mature tree will over hang the roof may endanger the foundation, over time. The type of trees you use should also be carefully considered. Deciduous trees, those who lose their leaves each year, are preferred in colder climates due to the fact that the winter sun offers energy benefits to the home. An evergreen might be a better choice for warmer year round climates. Landscaping is a good long-term option; however, there are other more immediate ways to provide shade.
A pergola is another great option. A pergola, or arbor, is a garden feature forming a shaded walkway, passageway or sitting area. It is constructed using vertical posts or pillars that usually support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice, often upon which woody vines may be trained. A pergola can provide the shade desired without blocking all of the light and eliminate the need for a higher maintenance roof structure. A pergola can be designed using only wood beams and slats or in combination with shade cloth, a product used by nurseries to prevent direct sunlight from scorching the plants, while still allowing the benefits of sunlight to the plants growth cycle.
There are options that fit into any budget. An umbrella or awning can be very effective at providing shade at a more affordable cost. Another helpful and inexpensive addition to the outdoor area is an outdoor fan. Whether it is a traditional ceiling fan mounted to the underside of a pergola or a freestanding fan, this can keep the air moving around seating areas providing relief from the heat. There are also “misting” type fans that spray a fine mist of water while running, providing an additional level of cooling.
Maronda Homes has great communities all over the South Georgia and North Florida areas. These communities have home sites designed to provide a blank slate allowing new homeowners to design the outside living space of their dreams. Many plans are available with porches and lanais to help you get started in setting up a great outdoor environment. If you haven’t made the first move, stop by one of these awesome communities today or visit on line at www.marondahomes.com.