As I look toward the completion of the interior of the house, I am starting to think about how to handle the exterior—both the hardscaping and the landscaping. There are certain things I really need to do that fall into the “repair” category. These include repair of stucco around the house and re-painting, replacing a lot of the concrete around the house, replacing the falling apart low wall in the front. Those are big ticket items I’m hoping to tackle over the winter so I can focus on the landscape part next spring.
Having this time to think it through, though, has also given me an opportunity to think about more cost effective ways I can create the outdoor space I want. The primary attraction of going up to Napa is to spend time outside without freezing. I’m particularly looking forward to dining and entertaining outside. In 15 years of living in San Francisco, I do not recall a single meal outside on the deck. By 3 PM the fog starts to roll in with its accompanying gale.
I’ve been trying to be creative (read: cheap). The metal awning is rusted and has always been an eyesore. So that will definitely go away. I’d dreamed of the modern steel trellis with bistro lights strung along, creating a lively and festive space.
But I just about choked on the cost estimate. A more traditional wood one was less expensive.
Now, however, I am rethinking having a structure altogether and have started to explore sun shades or sail shades.
The cheapest I’ve seen is one at IKEA for $24.99.
I’m thinking this gives me what I want—a shady spot for dining and relaxing—without all the expense and fuss of a full scale trellis. That can come later, if I choose.