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Expert Tips: Convert Your Backyard Into An Outdoor Oasis

6:08 AM, May 22, 2013   |    comments
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WFMY -- Vacations are fun, but can be costly for a big family and a hassle! That's why we asked an expert for some tips on how to turn your backyard into the perfect spot for a "staycation" all summer long.

Paul LaFrance, owner of Cutting Edge Construction and Design, said it's easy to take any space, with a little bit of creativity, and change it into a resort, whether it's a small backyard or a big one.

LaFrance said one of the hottest trends in backyard transformation is ultra-low maintenance composite decking.

A product called "Trex Transcend" is one option.

"You're dealing with a decking that you don't have to maintain. You're just washing it every now and then like you would wash your car," said LaFrance. "You can do all kinds of creative stuff with it. And 25 years down the road, it's going to look the same as it did the day you put it in."

LaFrance said LED lighting systems are also popular upgrades for the backyard, so you can use your deck day and night.

"There are all kinds of cool items that are out there now, that you can take advantage of, that have the same aesthetic appeal as any element you would have inside the home," he said.

We asked LaFrance if you can upgrade your backyard on a budget.

"It's not about the quantity of square footage you build in a deck, it's about the quality," he said. "You can build something in a 10x10 space that can blow your mind. It doesn't have to be this ridiculously over-sized deck."

LaFrance said if the structure of your current deck is still OK, you could just get new deck boards and new railings that require less maintenance and still look good.

"you can have a dramatic transformation and you've kept the budget numbers down," he said.

LaFrance added that there are features you can include in your backyard that also help beat the heat.

"What's the point of creating a backyard oasis if it's too hot to go out there?" he said. "Pergolas are a very, very cool way to create an outdoor room. They also have shade slots over the top that you can open and close, provide that shade for yourself, or open it up and enjoy the sun."

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