5 Tips on Hiring a Patio Professional

The idea of hiring a professional landscape designer or a patio designer can be daunting to those who have never worked with one before. You may think that hiring a professional to plan your backyard design will be costly, and in some ways, you would be right. In reality, if you opt to plan your landscape and patio design on your own instead of hiring a professional, you’re likely to make some costly mistakes. Hiring the right patio professional will save your time, money, and a whole lot of headaches along the way. 

In this article, we will cover the do’s and don’ts, the ins and outs of hiring a patio design professional. 

What is a Patio Design Professional?

You may be familiar with a similar term, “Landscape Architect” or “Landscape Designer,” but they are often related or have a bit of an overlap. A patio design professional will fulfill both the role of a landscape designer and exterior decorator. 

Why You Should Hire A Pro

Hiring a patio professional helps you navigate the murky waters of planning a realistic and manageable design. They will also help you find the right outdoor furniture and accessories to match your lifestyle and budget. To get a sense of what you are investing your money in, here is a list of the general duties and services you will get from a patio design professional.

  • Research of municipal guidelines (before the design process) to make sure the proposed solution is a viable option
  • Signed design agreement that outlines the included elements of the plan within an agreed budget
  • Computer-generated landscape design based on exact measurements of your property
  • 3-Dimensional Rendering
  • Specifications of products to be used
  • Multiple meetings with your designer to keep the process on task to the agreed specifications
  • Estimate of Project Cost
  • Construction contract
  • Engineering as needed
  • Pulling city permits
  • Final walk-through with the designer and project manager

1. Questions to Ask Before You Hire

Here is a list of questions you should ask before selecting a professional to create your patio, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

  • When can you start?
  • When will you be finished?
  • What time will you knock on my door each morning?
  • What time will you quit for the day?
  • Are you going to work every day?
  • Can you finish before (insert any major holiday or significant family event)?
  • How much will it cost per square foot?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Who will be assigned as project supervisor for the job?
  • Who will be working on the project? Are they employees or subcontractors?
  • Does your company carry worker’s compensation and liability insurance? Always verify this information by calling the agency. A copy of an insurance certificate does not let you know if the policy is still current. Even if the certificate has an expiration date, you cannot tell if either party has canceled the insurance. If licensing is required in your state, ask if the contractor is licensed and call to verify compliance with the law. Not all states offer or require licensing. Check with your local or state government agencies.
  • What is your approach to a project such as this?
  • How many projects like mine have you completed in the past year?
  • May I have a list of references from those projects?
  • May I have a list of business referrals or suppliers?
  • What percentage of your business is repeat or referral business?
  • Are you a member of a national trade association?

2. Discuss What You Want with Your Design Professional

It is critical to have a clear vision of what you want the outcome of your landscape designer’s work to be. Do you want a new garden design from the start, a garden makeover, a pool built, or do you want to add stone paving or steppers?

It will be beneficial to understand your brief as possible before approaching a landscape or garden designer. Understand the size of your garden, how much light it receives, the soil conditions, where water flows from and to, and how wind influences it. Please clarify what you want from your outdoor area, how you want to utilize it, and your overall design aesthetics.

Prepare a detailed budget and timetable to submit to the landscaping team. In this manner, the team will inform you whether or not what you want to achieve with your garden design is feasible from their perspective.

3. Do Your Homework

Take the time to study landscaping businesses online and check for feedback from past customers who had a great experience. Request suggestions and guidance from family, friends, and coworkers, but always conduct your research.

Remember, the personnel of this firm will be working in and around your house, so learn as much as you can about them and determine whether you can build a healthy connection with them during the process. Please don’t be hesitant to request a tour of the company’s gardens to see the style and quality of their work for yourself.

Consider the type of garden you want when creating your brief for your landscaping. Visit Pinterest or Houzz to get ideas and grasp the aesthetics you want to see in your outside environment.

Find a landscape design team with a similar aesthetic. It’s pointless to hire a landscape design firm that mainly creates traditional gardens influenced by European settings if you want something modern with Australian indigenous.

4. Make Sure You Understand What You’re Getting Into

It would help if you established a strong working connection with your landscaper. Take notes on your discussion and write down your aims and ideas to present to them when you meet in person.

The greatest garden designs result from tight coordination between the gardener, the installer, and the customer. So, make sure you and the designer have a shared vision of what you want the end product to be, and then move from there. They should be available and able to speak with you at all times.

You must establish a strong working connection with your landscaper. Take notes on your discussion and write down your aims and ideas to present to them when you meet in person.

The greatest garden designs result from tight coordination between the gardener, the installer, and the customer. So, make sure you and the designer have a shared vision of what you want the end product to be, and then move from there. They should be available and able to speak with you at all times.

5. Three Lists You Should Make Before Hiring a Contractor

Before you commit to hiring anyone, it’s essential to make sure you do a personal inventory of what you do and don’t want to achieve in your yard. Three questions can be turned into three lists that you should ask yourself before proceeding further.

The first list should be everything that you want to remove from your patio area. Ask yourself, “what don’t I want in my yard anymore?” Look around and start writing down what won’t make the final cut—old plants, dead shrubbery, outdated furniture, or even removing an unwanted hot tub or grill. Make a list, make your peace, get rid of the old.

The second is created by asking yourself the opposite of the first question, “What do I love and want to keep?”. Don’t feel like you have to get rid of everything you ever owned because you are renovating. If you have an old faithful grill that is ugly but gets the job done, don’t be ashamed to keep it. Just make sure you incorporate these elements into the planning stages with your designer.

The third and final list is your wish list. What do you want to add to your yard during this process? What is your dream vision for how it will look or how you will spend your time outside? Take into account plants, gardens, pools, hot tubs, patio tables and furniture, televisions, and maybe even an outdoor kitchen! The possibilities are endless.

Make a list of everything, even if you have no idea how it will all go together. These lists are not required to be perfect or definitive. The goal is to provide some explanation for you. Choosing a landscape designer will be a lot easier if you have your three lists and your budget in mind.

More Than Just Casual Living

We know you have your choice of landscape designers in Arizona and are excited at the opportunity to work with you on your next project. Let us transform your outdoor space into a personal paradise. Whether it’s a simple re-design of your landscape plants or a total transformation of your backyard with a pool, pergola, and outdoor kitchen, our patio design professionals are up for the challenge! Contact us today to find out more.

Visit our All American Outdoor Living showroom for more than casual outdoor furniture in Scottsdale, AZ 

Best Choices for Outdoor Materials, Rugs, and Planters in the Desert Heat

While searching for Phoenix patio furniture, you’ll probably look for many of the same qualities in outdoor tables, chairs, and sofas that you would in interior tables, chairs, and sofas – durability, comfort, and style, all while meeting your budget. The main distinction you’ll face is that patio furniture must withstand exposure to the elements outside. While there is no such thing as 100% weatherproof outdoor furniture, there are significant variances in the materials utilized.

It’s critical to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the various materials available before making a decision. Assess how well each piece fits into your environment, as well as your tastes and needs. Since each material has intrinsic characteristics, choosing the “best” material for outdoor patio furniture is based on combining your unique demands with the unique properties of each material.

Desert Conditions

Homeowners who have established roots in the desert won’t have to worry about their patio furniture rotting due to dampness or decay. Extreme heat and relentless sun are the significant challenges you’ll face. Temperatures can change fast due to low humidity. The weather may decrease at night, but your furniture will have to resist the sun, wind, and dust throughout the day.

Because your local climate is unique, you should expand your study with knowledge relevant to your region. However, for desert furniture, the most important considerations should be sun resistance, ease of cleaning, and the extent to which the material absorbs heat.

There are many different factors to take into account while choosing your materials. 

Temperature & Sun: If your climate is subject to significant seasonal climate swings and constant direct sunlight, you’ll need to opt for materials that are UV resistant and can endure potentially extreme temperature variations.

Fading: Many materials fade and lose their shine over time when exposed to the light regularly. The visual shift might be attractive (for example, a lovely patina), or it can simply be a loss of brilliance or uneven spots.

Cracks, Splitting, and Warping: When heated or cooled, some materials expand and shrink substantially. However, when exposed to severe temperatures or abrupt changes, they can fracture, split, distort, or become brittle. Furniture can also flex and break due to dry air.

Heat Retention: Other logistical issues may arise as a result of the heat. Patio furniture exposed to the sun may become hot and unpleasant (or even dangerous) to touch. When sitting on or attempting to adjust a poolside lounge chair, no one wants to burn their flesh.

Wind: If you live in an exposed, windy location, your patio furniture must be substantial enough to prevent it from tipping over or blowing away. When confronting Mother Nature, it doesn’t take much to ruin a lovely lightweight deck chair or dining table, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep storing or securing your belongings when they’re not in use.

Durability: Several materials can endure for years under perfect conditions, but they may need to be changed every couple of seasons when exposed to severe weather. Others can resist a variety of factors and still appear brand new after a lifetime. Usage is another factor that affects durability. Your patio dining table will be in better shape than the sun loungers and daybeds that line the poolside of prominent luxury resorts and hotels if you use it a few times during the summer. The materials must be sturdier the more frequently they are used.

Cleaning & Care: How well you care for your patio furniture impacts its aesthetic and practical endurance. Season after season, certain materials require very little maintenance and are quick and easy to clean with just soap and water. Others require more time-consuming maintenance and specialized materials to keep them looking good and functioning correctly. If you don’t have a lot of time or don’t want to deal with the bother, use low-maintenance materials.

Eco-Friendliness: Even if they are unaware of the details, everyone is conscious that there is an adverse environmental effect from many manufacturing processes and the use of certain raw materials. When all else is equal, most folks (ideally) choose to be environmentally conscious.

Most luxury outdoor furniture brands have thankfully adopted “green” production processes and use biodegradable, recyclable, or materials approved by eco-friendly groups like the Forest Stewardship Council materials (FSC). However, the renewability of many outdoor materials varies.

Cost:Most people consider the cost of picking one material over another for furniture at the end of the day. You must stick to your budget, but it’s also critical to understand how costly materials are in the long term and how their price compares to the worth of their advantages. Will it need to be changed regularly? Does it demand a lot of time and work to keep it up? These are important financial factors that you could overlook while weighing your options.

Wood

For millennia, wood has been a favored furniture-making raw material. It has a natural beauty, is relatively easy to work with, and provides a stable structure for tables, chairs, benches, and other furniture. When it comes to outdoor use, though, not all woods are made equal. Many softwoods, such as cedar, pressure-treated pine, and fir, are affordable and frequently used for interior furniture, but they do not stand up to the weather and must be securely stored while not in use.

On the other hand, hardwoods are far more resilient to weather and may survive for decades if maintained. Unfortunately, they are generally more difficult to mold and shape and more costly than softwoods on the flip side. And they have significant variations between them.

Metal

Metal patio furniture is the most durable and robust material for outdoor garden furniture. Metallic frames may be thinner and molded into more intricate shapes than other choices because of their strength, offering manufacturers more stylistic versatility. When combined with other materials with their own practical and aesthetic benefits, metal is an excellent choice.

Metal chairs and tables may be made using various manufacturing processes that do not need bolts, screws, or other fasteners that make other forms of furniture more prone to breakage. Metal, on the other hand, has several disadvantages. When exposed to the sun, it becomes hot to the touch. Certain metals are hefty and challenging to transport, and all metals are susceptible to rust and corrosion to some extent. However, each metal type has its own set of properties.

Resin & Plastic

In outdoor furniture, artificial synthetic materials like resin and plastic are becoming increasingly popular. These polymers may now take on forms and sizes that were previously impossible thanks to new production techniques and hybrid compositions. Synthetics are usually light and affordable, and they may be sculpted to fit any décor style.

In addition, they are fade-resistant and do not require paint or sealants like other materials since the color is intrinsic to the chemical make-up. They’re also simple to clean. There is an increasing number of plastics and resins on the market, but here are a handful of the most commonly used ones.

Other Materials Commonly Found in Patio Furniture

Luxury outdoor furniture, in addition to wood, metal, and plastic, uses a range of additional durable materials in a range of applications. Patio dining tables, for example, might have metal or wooden frameworks with different material surfaces. These materials have various properties that are suitable for multiple practical and aesthetic purposes.

HPL:This material is usually up of kraft paper that has been soaked with resin and aluminum, then heated under high pressure to form a modern layered material. HPL has a sleek appearance and is exceptionally durable, making it stain and scratch-resistant. Melamine can improve the durability of this laminate. In addition, it has antimicrobial and flame-retardant characteristics. HPL produced with pine kraft lignin is ideal for outdoor usage since it has a low affinity for water, leading to swelling, internal tension, and cracking. Although it is more expensive than other materials, high-pressure laminate makes an attractive surface for modern outdoor dining and lounge tables.

Tempered Glass: Because of its resilience to temperature fluctuations, tempered Glass is often used for outdoor tabletops. Glass can be lacquered to enhance its resistance to the weather. At the same time, acid cleaning makes it resistant to smudges and fingerprints.

Its smooth surface has an exquisite feel to it, and the transparency gives it an open, spacious sense. Where there is some cover to prevent the light from bouncing off it and blinding guests, Glass is a fantastic choice for sunroom or screened-in porch dining and coffee tables. Glass may be pretty heavy and difficult to move depending on its thickness.

Concrete: While specific minimalist contemporary spaces may have solid concrete outdoor furniture as a permanent design element, this composite is more commonly used than other materials. It may be used as a stable basis for glass top dining and leisure tables or as a commanding tabletop atop a robust metal frame. Concrete is durable, long-lasting, and can resist the weather for years. It may be poured into a variety of forms and molded into thinner structures when reinforced with fiber. Fibers are made of glass, steel, synthetic, or organic materials, improving the concrete’s structural stability. It also improves the material’s resistance to water and ice.

Conclusion

You can prevent corrosion by treating materials that aren’t inherently resistant to water and rust. For example, aluminum, plastic, and HDPE timber are simple to clean, but teak and wicker require more upkeep. Aluminum is a great inexpensive, long-lasting, and easy to clean material, but it gets hot in the sun.

Consider your particular taste – what is your style? For example, do you like aluminum patio furniture and lumber’s modern designs and clean lines, or do you like the natural feel of teak and wicker? What material complements your desert home’s architecture and ornamental elements?

In the end, your selection will be based on your budget and the length of time you want your outdoor furniture to survive. Start decorating your desert retreat once you’ve decided on outdoor furnishings.

Visit our showroom to shop Phoenix Patio Furniture that is most than just casual.

What’s Trendy About How to Design Your Poolside Patio

Beat the heat this Summer by staying poolside at home

Your backyard or patio’s comfort level ultimately determines how much time you devote to outdoor living and enjoying your personal space. With Summer right around the corner, now is the perfect time to evaluate and upgrade your outdoor furnishings.

Your patio is an integral part of a poolscape because it can be used for sunbathing, eating, socializing, relaxing, playing sports, and more. The ideal patio design for your pool should match both your house’s theme as well as suit your lifestyle. Let us guide you throw the crucial things to know before you upgrade your patio.

Designing Your Deck

Above-ground pools are usually surrounded by pressure-treated wood decks, exotic woods like ipe, or decks made of wood-like composite materials like Trex, although there is no hard and fast rule. Go for it if you have an in-ground pool and want a wood deck. When it comes to wood decking, there is a maintenance problem in that it doesn’t last as long as natural stone. Since it is continuously exposed to pool water due to splashing, it can require regular power washing, staining, and sealing to maintain its appearance. 

Create a Patio Plan

A patio is often constructed next to an in-ground pool to provide a space for entertaining and relaxing where you can also enjoy fine outdoor furniture. Poured concrete, precast concrete pavers, or natural stone such as Pennsylvania bluestone or limestone may all be used. The materials you use for a patio should match the hardscape materials you use in your home to create a consistent design or look.

Allow enough space on the terrace to position the furniture, but not too much. You don’t want to be paving for miles. It’s unappealing. On one side of the pool, we recommend building a patio. Take cues from your surroundings and perspective. You could tuck a patio right up against the landscaping. You don’t have to walk the whole length of the pool. Sit on one side and take in the scenery.

Leave Room for Landscaping

The pool becomes an integral part of your home as it is integrated into the overall scheme of your landscaping. It’s a good idea to consult a landscape designer or architect early on in the pool-design process. You’ll want to make sure that everything you plant near a pool is far enough away from the edge that it doesn’t make it difficult to walk around it.

You’ll want a lot of summer color from flowering plants if you use your pool, mainly in the Summer, but you should know what you’re planting. Please make sure you understand what the plants need, how large they can grow when fully grown, and how much sun and shade they need. Planting shade trees by a pool is a bad idea because you’ll have to deal with dropping leaves that could end up in the pool.

Container plantings fit well around a pool. Tropical plants in pots will give you a tropical feel, but keep in mind how much care they’ll need. You must be dedicated to watering your plants every day, and if you go away for the weekend, you must have someone water them for you. 

Splurge on Furniture and Accents

Furniture is the key to any comfortable poolside patio. Once you’ve got your design figured out, getting furniture to match the style and comfort needs to top priority. Your furniture needs will depend on the design aesthetics and other factors, but there are some standard options to consider.

Fire Pits: Fire pits come in various options based on function and design, and there is undoubtedly one to suit your needs and tastes. You can install a purely aesthetic gas fire pit to warm yourself by or opt for a wood-burning one to roast s’mores over with family and friends.

There are options for portable pits that can be moved based on the occasion, but the more elegant ones are built-in as a permanent feature. A hot new trend in the fire pit category is coffee table fire pits. These tables are small and portable and feature a burning center to gather around. They are affordable and a great entry option for those with limited space or budget.

Outdoor Curtains, Umbrellas, or Shades: Outdoor shades might seem out of season for fall, but they are more valuable than just soaking up the sun’s rays. As the weather cools, the winds will pick up and bring with them a cool fall breeze. Outdoor shades and curtains can block those winds or at least drastically reduce their chilling impact on your relaxing evening. 

Shades are also a practical solution for strategically blocking out your neighbor’s views of your patio. Patio Umbrellas can still be a practical piece of patio furniture during the fall. The west coast is often sunnier for longer than other parts of the country. If you are out west, consider a patio umbrella to keep the sun off you until it sets.

Patio Design Ideas

If you aren’t sure where to start with your patio design, consider some of these popular styles as a starting place for your plan.

As an alternative to a conversation-style patio, the Garden Oasis: A garden oasis seeks to improve the pool’s natural environment. The number of seating areas is kept to a minimum, and the room is instead filled with lush plants and raw materials. A garden oasis concept will give you a sense of being away from home.

You can transform your patio into a serene escape where your concerns melt away by enclosing the pool in vibrant blossoms and flourishing greenery. A water feature, such as a waterfall or bubbling fountain, can soothe the soul with the soothing sound of cascading water. Even the most straightforward pool patio can be transformed into a garden oasis with containers or decorative planters. The lovely planters that flank this formal pool design help to anchor the room and create visual appeal.

The Covered Patio: A covered patio helps you to relax by the pool without overheating. It provides a relaxing outdoor living room, particularly for pools that are located further away from the house. A covered patio can be anything from a curtained cabana to a wooden pergola to a custom-designed pavilion. It can be used to relax, entertain, or enjoy the shade. The poolside loggia, framed by two stone structures and features a pergola, provides a cool respite from the heat. A fieldstone cabana offers a spacious changing area with outdoor showers built into the exterior wall.

The Backyard Retreat: A backyard retreat patio design can encompass several—or all—outdoor activities, from lounging in the sun to dining al fresco to entertaining friends, making it the ultimate in poolside living. When only the family is present, this grand poolside setting can comfortably host a large number of guests for a summer barbecue. Still, it feels intimate when only the family is present.

The Outdoor Room: The comfort and conveniences of your favorite indoor space are brought to your poolscape with outdoor room patio designs. An outdoor living room becomes a popular gathering place for family and friends. The design of this cozy indoor-outdoor environment requires deep-seating patio furniture and a custom fireplace.

An outdoor dining room is essential for pool owners who enjoy dining al fresco on the patio regularly. What is the most important aspect of an excellent outdoor space? During outdoor celebrations, an outdoor dining collection with a table wide enough to fit family members as well as guests.

The Outdoor Kitchen: An outdoor kitchen will complement the design of an outdoor dining room while still transporting food to the table a breeze. The outdoor gourmet kitchen can also have an outdoor TV for visitors to watch while relaxing at the swim-up bar adjacent to the kitchen. 

The Bistro Patio: A bistro patio is ideal for those with small backyards who want a peaceful place to relax and take in the scenery. This small patio design, which includes a bistro table and two chairs, can be incorporated into the pool area or separated by a small pathway.

Although a bistro patio design is suitable for small pool areas, it also fits more extensive settings. Three separate bistro patio areas can be found in the poolscape above. Each nook provides a unique perspective on the surrounding landscape while also creating a more intimate atmosphere. For summer nights spent al fresco, a fire pit adds a comfortable touch.

The Sun Deck Patio: A sun deck patio is ideal for unwinding by the lake. After a swim in the pool, it’s a great place to relax, unwind, and enjoy the sunlight. When lined with rows of stylish outdoor chaise lounges, a sun deck along the swimming pool perimeter may imitate the look and feel of a luxury hotel or resort. 

Another patio design for poolside lounging is an in-pool sun table, also known as a tanning shelf. A tanning shelf is a wide shallow area at the pool’s entrance that is usually 5 to 8 inches deep. It can run the length of the pool or just a tiny part of it.

Visit our showroom for more outdoor furnishings ideas for your poolside.

All American Outdoor Living Memorial Day Sale-ebration

Experience more than just casual outdoor living with up to 70% off our entire catalog 

The month of May is upon us, and with it comes a calendar chock full of reasons to party. May marks the beginning of the end of the Spring season. Star Wars fans will greet you with the customary “May the 4th be with you” on Star Wars Day; Cinco de Mayo is the next day, followed shortly by Mother’s Day, then The Preakness, and Memorial Day wraps up the month in style. No matter where you’re from, there are plenty of excuses to get out in the yard and celebrate! 

People are beginning to gather socially again as our world slowly reopens due to the success of the nationwide vaccine rollout. If you are among the many longing for a return to normalcy, this might be the perfect month to consider hosting a get-together with your fully vaccinated family and friends. The timing couldn’t be better either; it’s never been safer (in the last year) to visit with distant loved ones; there are plenty of holidays to choose from, we have spent over a year in relative isolation. We are all going slightly insane, and the weather is beautiful!

Here at All American Outdoor Living, we see this as a recipe for some long overdue outdoor fun and festivities. Now is the perfect time to upgrade your outdoor living space for maximum comfort and style. To help with your upgrading project, we have a Memorial Day Sale where you can save up to 70% on our entire catalog of elegant outdoor products.

Elegance in the Outdoors

When it comes to enjoying the outdoors, All American Outdoor Living has perfected the formula. We offer a diverse line of patio furniture suited to encapsulate your imagination. From rustic to modern, we are proud to present our customers with a broad, colorful selection allowing your unique ideas to flourish. Need a Fire Pit to complete that patio oasis? Need a Patio Umbrella to save yourself from that pesky sun? All American has got you covered – literally.

Meet Some of Our Partners

We pride ourselves on offering a selection of the finest brands in the outdoor furniture business. We, along with our partners, offer the highest quality products alongside top-tier service. Whether you are simply shopping online or required hands-on assistance upgrading your space, All American Outdoor Living is standing by to help with our premiere White Glove Service. We think it is a service that is second to none. 

Sunset West: An upscale line of outdoor products that include various modern and luxurious pieces that will make you and your family finally make proper use of and enjoy the external areas next to your home. These carefully designed pieces are produced to appeal to your sense of style and fashion so that your body and eyes can relax when immersed within the Sunset West patio furniture collection.

They create a beautiful contrast between the outdoor living area and your outdoor space’s vibrant natural colors and are available in tan, gray, and white. You can place any Sunset West outdoor furniture piece in a covered or open area and integrate it within a modern, traditional, or transitional style to accentuate the beauty of your patio or garden. You can even use these pieces in a commercial area such as a bar or lounge to attract more customers and offer an unforgettable and relaxing experience.

Cane-Line: The Cane-Line outdoor furniture includes some of our most inspiring and modern patio furniture in our collection. Cane-Line chairs are sleek and elegant. The Cane-Line outdoor sofas feature an utterly relaxing piece of furniture that will make your patio or garden seem considerably more beautiful and curated.

Our Cane-Line garden furniture comes in brown or other contemporary colors and can be matched with any design style, from modern to casual, rustic, or artisan. In addition, you can place any Cane-Line lounge chair or sofa in an open space without worrying whether you need to anchor it to something else. The captivating design of these chairs and sofas allow them to become accent pieces in any outdoor environment. The Cane-Line patio furniture can seat two people and is made of an aluminum, teak, or wicker frame, combined with a cushion, teak, or wicker seating material.

Ratana: The name Ratana signifies elegance in timeless design and exceptional quality of outdoor furniture, ranging from traditional to transitional and contemporary. Ratana outdoor furniture caters to any style and setting that truly enhances your home and casual living experiences. Our comprehensive line of contract and hospitality specification furniture can be seen worldwide, from 5-star luxury hotels to top-ranked restaurants, from international golf courses to global Olympic venues. Ratana patio furniture pieces are poised to create the ideal setting with premier comfort and prestige to achieve the ultimate relaxation for your luxury lifestyle.

Ratana outdoor furniture pieces are characterized by unique and modern colors such as pink, black, brown, purple, and gray. You can place them in both covered and open spaces to make your outdoor living room more comfortable and extra luxurious. Their sleek and elegant aluminum frames, combined with soft cushions, appeal to your sense of style and allows you to relax in your private oasis.

Fire Pits

Gathering around a fire with friends and family is an unquestionably enjoyable and social outdoor activity. The warmth and light of fire are incredibly soothing, whether you’re making s’mores and sharing ghost stories with the kids, catching up with neighbors over a few drinks, or simply stargazing with a partner.

These types of activities have become so commonplace that purchasing a fire pit has almost become a requirement for homeowners. However, with so many choices to choose from, it can be challenging to know which ones are a worthy investment.

Our line of fire pits is among the most adaptable, well-built, elegant, and efficient models available on the market today. The 42-inch Alumi-Crete Round Firepit is our top seller, and a great example of the high-quality pits open in our catalog. This line of fire pits is powder-coated in aluminum with a Teflon-coated clear finish for a look that is indeed the definition of a modern sheik design. Each model comes with optional fiberglass in an array of colors and reflections to truly elevate the style of your outdoor space. These pits are fitted with stainless steel burners powered by propane tanks, making them easy to maintain and incredibly affordable to operate. Make time this summer to gather with family and friends around your new fire pit and enjoy the best homemade s’mores in town. Just don’t let the marshmallows burn!

Outdoor Couches and Seating

Designed to offer proper outdoor luxury seating, our line of outdoor couches, love seats, and sofa chairs take on proportions and scale usually reserved for indoor upholstery. The collection’s styling is timeless; the comfort is unsurpassed, the only thing missing is the environment in which to place it.

Your patio is supposed to be a place where you can unwind and relax, so some kind of seating is needed. If you have a small yard, luxury comfort chairs are a great choice. Garden chairs come in a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, wicker, and aluminum. You should choose the material based on your budget and needs. If your space is small, two chairs will suffice, but if your garden is more extensive, a collection of four or six chairs is suggested.

Loveseats: Our most popular loveseat combines modern and industrial design elements into one eye-catching piece. Its open silhouette and elegant, angular lines are thoughtfully enhanced by details like beveled extrusion edges and subtle soft curves. The Redondo range, which is made of the highest quality materials for comfort and longevity, will last a long time with little upkeep. It has a powder-coated aluminum frame with a polished burnished slate finish and resin feet to protect the foundation.

Large Sofas: Sofa sets are possibly the best choice for garden furniture if you have a large yard. They provide the utmost relaxation. Your garden will look attractive, classy, and decent with sofa sets. What could be better than sitting outside with your guests and talking while enjoying the cool breeze and the fragrance of fresh plants?

All of our large sofas are handcrafted, fully welded into a heat-resistant aluminum frame, durable, architectural grade, and come with a powder-coated finish. The cushions are made of quick-dry foam and come in a wide variety of colors to match your home’s style. They are also UV and weather resistant. Our Coronado Large Sofa is a popular choice and a great place to start your search for the perfect outdoor couch.

If you have ample outdoor space, consider a more oversized couch to fill the space and expand your hosting abilities. Consider our popular Redondo 3-Piece Sectional for the ultimate lounging experience. 

Chairs: If you’re working with a smaller space or budget, consider one or two small comfortable chairs for outdoor relaxing. The Coronado Club Swivel Rocker is an elegant choice that can add a natural boost of class and comfort to your yard.

Don’t wait; the deals are going fast! Visit our showroom for the best deals and be sure to ask about our new ROMA collection. 

America Gets Ready for Backyard Celebrations Again

After more than a year of lockdown and quarantine, people are anxious to enjoy outdoor living again and experience their first tastes of normalcy as vaccination rates climb across the nation. Movie theaters have available showtimes, concert venues are beginning to sell tickets for future shows, and best of all, restaurants are beginning to reopen and offer indoor dining once again. Businesses are still employing safety protection protocols to continue preventing the spread of COVID-19, but it feels like we are on the path to real life again!

The most exciting part about returning to a new normal is the ability to see our friends and hug our loved ones. Now is the perfect time to start planning your next backyard celebration. While we don’t think you need a reason to get together and celebrate (especially after this last year), we’ve got plenty of good excuses to kick up your heels and be merry. Let’s look at an exciting upcoming event and how you can use your outdoor furnishings to have a backyard celebration that the whole neighborhood will want to attend.

Arizona Restaurant Week 2021

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our progress than enjoying a meal (or seven) during Arizona’s Restaurant Week 2021! Put on yearly by the Arizona Restaurant Association, this statewide affair offers foodies a wealth of dining opportunities and the chance to get outside their neighborhood and try something new. From sizzling Southwestern and soothing comfort foods to five-star dining and international fare – it’s all on the table during Arizona Restaurant Week. So, prepare your taste buds and dig in.

Join the Celebration of Arizona’s Restaurant Week 2021

Let us introduce you to some of the restaurants we are excited to try out this year.

Ajo Al’s Mexican Cafe:

Ajo Al’s is a family-owned and operated restaurant business serving Sonoran-style Mexican food since 1986. All of their menu items are prepared fresh daily, featuring the freshest and finest local ingredients available. Their specialties include smoked street tacos, Mexican pizzas, and their famous frozen margaritas! Visit any one of their four valley locations and find out why Ajo Al’s is no ordinary Mexican Cafe. They also claim to be Arizona’s original Mexican Cafe.

We are excited to try a Mexican pizza not made by a fast-food chain and wash it down with a frozen margarita – which sounds like a perfect meal for a Sunday afternoon get-together.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill:

Thirsty Lion’s culinary commitment is to provide an eclectic variety of multi-cultural cuisines, emphasizing local ingredients, bold flavors, and scratch recipes. Their fresh sheet specials focus on the changing seasons with unique ingredients, including fresh seafood, quality meats, artisan cheeses, and local vegetables & fruits. Their menu selections represent popular and culturally relevant recipe creation, including the infusion of craft beer into the food. They have three locations across Arizona and are offering a special 3-course prix fixe meal for $33.

This eclectic menu has something for everyone and features many trendy offerings. We are particularly intrigued by the Scotch Eggs and Gochujang BBQ Pork and Kimchi Fried Rice – quite the cultural, culinary mash-up!

The Keg Steakhouse & Bar:

Quality, comfort, and value are three key ingredients that make The Keg Steakhouse & Bar experience unlike any other. Highlighted by exceptional service and mouthwatering steaks, The Keg creates an atmosphere that encourages guests to enjoy, relax and be themselves. Whether you’re getting together with friends or celebrating with family, you’ll always be welcomed with a smile.

This classic upscale steak house calls to the carnivore in us. From the Bleu Cheese Filet Mignon to the surf and turf Sirloin and Lobster, there are almost too many decadent options to choose from. Just make sure to practice eating with your pinky fully extended before you arrive.

The Sicilian Butcher:

The Sicilian Butcher is centered upon a build-your-own meal experience featuring gourmet meatballs and charcuterie boards with casual dine-in and to-go services. This modern-casual meatball and butchery-inspired concept are the first of its kind to launch in Arizona. They have three locations across Arizona and offer a special 3-course prix fixe meal that looks out of this world. If you’ve been craving high-quality authentic Italian food, look no further than the Sicilian Butcher.

Dine Out at Home

If you are unable or not ready yet to dine out, consider supporting your local restaurants by ordering take-out from their establishments. This year has been challenging for every American, but restaurant owners and workers suffered by closing up shop. Not only can you celebrate some of the best cuisines that Arizona has to offer, at the same time you can enjoy your fine outdoor furniture while helping your fellow Arizonan business stay open.

Restaurant Week is the perfect excuse to have people over and try some exciting new local foods. Here at All American Outdoor Living, we have plans to host a big backyard party catered by some of these participating restaurants. If this sounds like a good time, consider doing the same with your family and friends! Lucky for you, we have all the information and equipment you’ll need to pull off a successful Restaurant Week backyard celebration. Let’s cover the basics for throwing the best backyard bash.

Get Your Backyard Party Ready

Hosting a memorable backyard party is all about providing comfort for your guests. Comfortable furniture, fire pits, good food, and proper protection from the elements are the foundation of your event. Here are some essential items you can add to your backyard to bring the party to life.

Fire Pits

Gather around your fire pit with a delicious Restaurant Week Fire meal and finish it off with freshly roasted s’mores. Fire pits can be custom designed to match most styles using marble, cast aluminum, concrete, and slate. They can also be customized to your gas preferences, whether it’s natural gas, ethanol, propane, or an actual wood-burning pit. 

We suggest getting one that sits above the ground for the first-time fire pit owner instead of committing to a full dug-out pit. Think of it as getting the fire pit equivalent of an above-ground pool; it will do the job and requires a smaller upfront investment and long-term commitment. Concrete fire pits are a great place to start your search. The Round Moderno Concrete Fire Pit is an affordable starting pit and comes with fifty pounds of stunning blue volcanic rock that will make your entire patio pop visually. 

Round Moderno Concrete Fire Pit

If you are looking for a fire pit that is less about functionality and more about decoration, check out the Tavola Concrete Fire Pit below. This pit is perfect for covering large areas of your patio and adding a really elegant ambiance to the environment.

Tavola Concrete Fire Pit

If your fire pit desires are purely about decoration, see the Pentola Concrete Fire Pit below. A few of these strategically placed around your yard will warm your space and make it feel exquisite.

Pentola Concrete Fire Pit

Fire Tables

Fire pits are not for everyone as they can be a big commitment for your patio space and tend to be pricey; if this sounds like you, consider an alternative such as a fire table. Fire tables are functional pieces of furniture that feature a live burning centerpiece. These tables come in various shapes, sizes, and finishes and are usually powered by gas or gel canisters. 

If your family enjoys dinners outside, consider the Trinidad Octagonal Gas Dining Firepit. Its sturdy aluminum frame and powder-coated finish make it ideal for fall weather and are big enough to fit most large families. For those who enjoy a hot beverage in the morning or cozying up and watching the sunset, consider one of our favorite options: The Icon Rectangular Fire Pit Coffee Table. This table can fill your patio space in both form and function, perfect for coffee and snacks.

Patio Covers

Patio covers are essential all year round, but especially so during the hot Summer months. Protect your furniture patio investment by covering your pieces with patio covers. Rain, persistent dew, falling leaves and branches, and wind are all factors that could damage your property in the long term. It is a good rule of thumb to be preventive about your protection practices instead of reactive. Some damage can’t be undone. 

Our outdoor patio covers are constructed of top-grade fabrics and fibers, made of solution-dyed acrylic and nylon fabrics. Our outdoor patio furniture covers are durable and breathable, water-resistant, and will not crack or peel like vinyl. The patio covers are beige and have various sizes that fit table and chair covers, individual covers like an outdoor sofa or loveseat. We also offer fire pit covers, chaise lounge, and umbrella covers too. Our outdoor patio covers will fit aluminum furniture companies such as Tropitone, Mallin, Brown Jordan, or Castelle, as well wicker manufacturers like Ebel, NorthCape International, and Lloyd Flanders, along with outdoor wrought iron companies like O.W. Lee and Meadowcraft. 

Spring into Summer with All American Outdoor Living, Arizona Restaurant Week, and your long-lost friends and family members.

California’s Millennials are Migrating to Arizona for a Relaxed Lifestyle

Fantastic residences. Great businesses. Delicious restaurants and luxury resorts. Add in the low cost of living, plentiful job opportunities, and rapidly expanding infrastructure, and you can see why Arizona is becoming a bustling center for living, work, and entertainment. Faced with quite the opposite circumstances in California, it’s clear why Arizona living is such an attractive place for this next generation of family starters to put down some roots.

Phoenix is more than just a state in the Grand Canyon. The Phoenix metro area has become one of the most popular and desirable locations globally, with numerous companies growing or establishing roots in the Valley, multiple entertainment venues, restaurants, and resorts. An affordable cost Phoenix living, behind Dallas, Houston, and Austin, was ranked as the fourth most attractive metro in the country by Millennials in a Meyers Research study published in March 2019.

So why are so many of California’s up-and-coming generation moving away from the Golden State? Let’s take a deeper look at the statistics and facts that explain this demographic and geographic shift.

Why are Millennials Leaving California?

California is a magical state. It is one of the few places in the United States where you can be skiing down the snowy mountain slopes in the morning, only to end your day with a relaxing bonfire on the beach. There is the beautiful scenery of all kinds up and down the coast and no end to the types of entertainment and attractions one can attend. California embodies the spirit of westward expansion and is home to some of the most powerful and influential people on the planet. Fine dining, rich history, beautiful scenery, beautiful people, first-class merchants, and shopping; what else could an up-and-coming California generation of people ask for? 

These glamorous features make the idea of living in California picturesque. The truth of the matter is these things that have made California such a wonderful place have also made it quite an expensive place to live, especially if you want to raise a family. The hard truth of the matter is that surviving, let alone thriving, is not something every millennial can do. Those who can stay in California tend to have incredibly high-paying jobs, usually in Medicine-, Law-, or Technology- related fields. Those who don’t often have either inherited property or money from family as a means of survival. With such an uneven playing field, how can a millennial born in California without a silver spoon in their mouth afford to stay in this expensive state? 

When it came to people leaving big U.S. cities in the second quarter of 2019, the San Francisco Bay Area beat out Los Angeles, Washington, and Chicago. It was only second to New York City in terms of population. During those three months, more than 28,190 people left the Bay Area, almost double the pace of 2017. 

According to the United States Census Bureau, about 190,000 people left California in 2018 then moved there. It was the second year in a row that the pattern had been negative. However, due to the birth rate, the population continues to grow. According to the California Department of Finance, the state’s population increased by 141,300 people between July 2018 and July 2019, increasing the total to 39.96 million people.

According to a recent Edelman Trust Barometer survey, 53 percent of residents and 63 percent of millennials in the country’s most populous state consider leaving due to the high cost of living. The majority of those leaving had annual incomes of less than $100,000, while the state has seen an influx of those with incomes of $100,000 and higher.

The Problem is Property

No matter how you frame it, the core of California millennials’ problem is the inability to purchase the property. Couple this with steadily increasing rent prices and a stagnant minimum wage, and you have a recipe for emigration. It is not uncommon for millennials to be denied a home loan with a monthly cost of $1,800, only to end up paying $2,200 to rent a smaller place. How exactly does this make any sense?

The average median sales price of a home in California in 2021 is nearly $650,000. Compare this to the average median sales price of a home in Arizona in 2021, which was $350,000. This number is an increase of nearly 20% compared to an almost 2% decline for California.

To afford the average home in California, you would need to make a household income of $200,000. You would need to make nearly $17,000 a month in California to afford that.  In comparison, affording the average home requires a combined household income of roughly $52,000 to get an equivalent or larger property in Arizona. That’s less than $1,000 a month!

Even in a two-income family, hitting the $50K mark is significantly simpler than hitting the $200K mark. According to the U.S. Census Bureau data, the average salary for a millennial is $47,000 per year. That breaks down to about $900 per week. You don’t need an advanced degree in mathematics to understand why Arizona living is such a desirable place for California ex-pats. 

Why are Millennials Choosing Arizona?

The answer is multifold, but it starts again with the property. As we mentioned above, the property values are lower in Arizona (albeit steadily on the rise), and often the properties larger. In simplest terms, you get a lot more bang for your buck in Arizona.

Millennials are at the age where the eldest of them have begun families. The majority are starting or considering starting families, and the youngest of them are waiting in the wings to reproduce. On the whole, this generation has entered the prime baby-making years, and the corresponding demand for housing goes with it. The amenities and appeal of a brand new, customized home featuring the latest in construction efficiencies, as well as proximity to a greater metro area without the need to commute, are strong selling points in favor of a move to Arizona living.

Not only does the housing become in-demand, but housing with enough rooms and outdoor space for pets and children to grow and play also becomes premiums. The average home in California has significantly less indoor and outdoor space than the average Arizonian home. Considering that the weather is relatively similar in Arizona, most California ex-pats find the transition to desert temperatures easier than switching to colder or rainier climates. 

Arizona’s low cost of living and pleasant environment makes it an ideal location for companies seeking employees. Tucson employers, he said, work hard to recruit new workers, which leads to increased migration. Since the job market is tight, they must import talent from other states if they can’t find it locally.

How the Coronavirus Flattened the World

One of the greatest and unexpected results of the novel coronavirus pandemic that swept the globe in 2020 and 2021 was the large-scale adoption of work from home methods. We quickly adapted to virtual meetings, working in our pajamas, and never having to smell someone’s microwaved fish lunch in the breakroom. It was a magical time for those who did not work on the front lines or in an essential industry. You could say that the pandemic and the technology we used to survive flattened the business world as we knew it, breaking down barriers of communication and work collaboration like never before.

The lesson that businesses worldwide learned was how much they truly needed their staff to work on-site. Many companies and industries found that they were just as, if not more efficient, working from home than in the office. Most work-from-home employees would tell you that they ended up working more hours and on weekends when they previously wouldn’t. The traditional officer manager might not like it, but numbers don’t lie, and they say that working from home was an overall success.

As we begin to approach the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, people start to return to our usual way of life. As we do, businesses assess what they saw and learned during the pandemic and reevaluate how they operate from the ground up. For a lot of companies, this means continuing with the work-from-home model indefinitely. Some companies implement a hybrid model, keeping some employees at home while returning other essential workers to the office. 

What this means for the average employee is a newfound sense of freedom and flexibility. With that freedom comes the realization that paying to stay in an expensive area near your office or worksite is no longer a necessity, and for most, a downright foolish proposition (especially if they have any aspirations of having a family). The logic is simple: why pay more when you can have a larger home for less money and still keep your income when Arizona and Phoenix living is just one state away! 

When you settle in Arizona and are ready to design your backyard patio, come visit our showroom at All American Outdoor Living.

Best Picks for Patio Umbrellas

Spring into Summer with a new patio umbrella to keep cool

Spring is in full bloom, and the weather is beginning to warm. As we move through spring and into summer, expect temperatures to hit all-time highs. When you need a break from the heat, a patio umbrella, like the Tucci umbrella, is the absolute must-have for supreme outdoor living. The right umbrella provides an abundance of shade while also adding a splash of style to your backyard.

Aside from appearances, there are several factors to consider when selecting the right patio umbrella for your outdoor needs. The size, material of the canopy, the umbrella’s foundation, and operating mechanism are all factors to consider before investing. 

Initial Considerations

When it comes to selecting the best patio umbrella for your space, there are several factors to consider. Determine the size you need first. The size of your umbrella will determine the type of base you’ll need to keep it stable in different weather conditions. Umbrellas range in size from five feet in diameter to fifteen feet or more. Ask yourself, “What will my umbrella provide shade for in my outdoor area?”

Next, decide which umbrella style is best for your space and lifestyle. Street umbrellas, cantilever umbrellas, rectangular umbrellas, and umbrellas with lights are the popular styles to consider. Think about all the features that matter to you, as you might find several styles that offer all you are looking for and more.

You’ll need a few accessories once you’ve decided on the size and design of your patio umbrella. Most outdoor umbrellas do not have bases, so you’ll have to purchase one separately. You’ll want to secure your investment with an umbrella cover if your outdoor space gets a lot of direct sunlight or excessive rain. Weather-resistant umbrella covers usually have zippers or Velcro for added protection and only cover the fabric umbrella (not the stand or base). Covers range in price from $15 to $75, making them a worthy addition to your umbrella purchase.

Types of Umbrellas

There are two main types of umbrellas to choose from.

Market Models: This is a traditional upright patio umbrella. Market umbrellas are the most popular patio umbrella design on the market. Most models have a vented canopy, which allows a slight breeze to pass through without raising the umbrella off the ground. They feature a central stand that connects to the canopy through several support bars. A tilt feature is available on some market umbrellas, allowing you to change the frame’s upper portion to keep the shade focused precisely where you want it. Market umbrellas are a perfect way to provide shade for a patio table, outdoor kitchen, or small seating area. 

Cantilever: Also known as “offset umbrellas,” these models have a canopy offset from the base by an arching frame. This feature means the umbrella base won’t get in the way of your deck chairs or entertaining outdoor area. When the sun moves from east to west, a tilted model helps keep the shadow from being cast. The arched design of these umbrellas makes them suitable for open spaces. The canopy will loom directly over the seating area if the stand is off to the side.

Of these types, there are two distinctive features that further separate umbrella models.

Lift: There are three different types of lifts: manual, pulley, and crank. When selecting a lift method, think about how much you’ll need to take the umbrella down. Manual lift patio umbrellas, for example, take more effort to work than a pulley, while crank lift umbrellas are the simplest to use.

Tilt: Patio umbrellas with tilt options adapt to the sun’s angle during the day for more versatility. If you’re constantly shifting your chair to escape the heat, the tilt option on your umbrella is just what you need. Tilting the canopy is simple and can be achieved using the following methods: collar and auto, manual, rotational, or push. All of these strategies take minimal effort for the user.

These umbrellas mostly come in one of two variants.

Table: Table umbrellas are models that are meant to run through the middle of a table. Some tables have them built-in as one unit, though most aren’t to allow flexibility and ease with which to replace your umbrella.

Freestanding: A freestanding design might be better if you want your umbrella to provide shade on a different part of your patio, such as over poolside lounge chairs. It’s also possible that you don’t want a pole to obstruct your patio table. With freestanding umbrellas, you can use a table entirely for food preparation or gameplay.

Umbrella Size

The size of a patio umbrella is one of the most important considerations when purchasing one. If it’s too tall, it’ll look bulky and out of place; it won’t provide enough shade if it’s too small. The amount of shade your area will get is determined by the size of your umbrella. Consider how much shade you’d like and how much room you have. It won’t look or feel good to clutter your patio with an overly large umbrella.

It’s important to note that umbrella dimensions apply to the canopy’s width when wholly extended, not the height. Although umbrella widths vary, the height should be no less than seven feet and no more than nine feet when completely raised. The recommendations below will assist you in choosing the right umbrella for your needs.

  • A 5-foot to 6-foot umbrella provides the perfect cover for a bistro set with two chairs.
  • If you want to shade a 36-inch table with two to four chairs, you’ll need a 7-foot umbrella.
  • Are you looking to shade a 40-inch table with four to six chairs or a small conversation area? A 7.5-foot to 8.5-foot umbrella is your best bet.
  • For tables up to 48 inches or small-to-medium conversation areas, you’ll need a 9-foot to 10-foot umbrella.
  • An 11-foot umbrella is suitable for a 60-inch table with six chairs or a medium-sized conversation area.
  • For an extensive conversation area or a 60-to-72-inch table, choose an umbrella that’s 11.5 to 13-feet across.

Your umbrella pole’s height is also critical; you want it to be high enough to be out of the way but not so high that it loses its purpose. Eight-foot-tall poles are the most popular, but there are other choices. Consider the height of your head. A minimum of 7-foot umbrellas is recommended. If necessary, extend the table width by an additional 2 feet on each side. For example, if you have a 4-foot round table, look for an umbrella with an 8-foot diameter.

Umbrella Materials

The best way to pick an umbrella is to match your exterior aesthetics or complement the furniture your umbrella would be covering.

Construction Materials: Aluminum, wood, and fiberglass are the three most popular materials for umbrella frames.

  • Aluminum umbrella frames are the most common choice because they are the least costly, withstand a wide range of weather conditions, bend enough to withstand moderate winds, and are lightweight.
  • Teak and other hardwoods make lovely frames that look particularly good on a wooden deck. While treated to prevent rot and weather damage, outdoor wood tends to fade or change color over time and is more likely than metal to snap in high winds.
  • The most expensive choice is fiberglass, but it is also the most durable. This solid, lightweight material will not rust or weather, and it will perform well even in high winds. If you live in a windy place, consider a fiberglass style rather than an aluminum one.

Fabrics: Choose a fabric that can withstand the elements. The umbrella’s fabric must be strong enough to withstand the heat, rain, wind, and cold. Sunbrella, a standard fabric used by many manufacturers, is one of the most popular. This durable acrylic fabric is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns and can withstand almost any environmental condition without fading. Polyester, canvas, unbranded acrylic, and Olefin are all durable materials that can be used outside. Please pay careful attention to the umbrella’s fabric, as it must be weather-resistant to both heavy sun and rain.

Bases and Stands

Even if the umbrella is centered through your patio table, it takes a heavy base to prevent it from falling over or flying away. Failure to protect your umbrella increases the likelihood of it being destroyed, as well as the risk of injury.

Umbrella bases are mostly made of stone, iron, or concrete, but some less costly bases are hollow plastic that must be filled with sand or water. Some umbrella bases have small wheels, which come in handy if you need to drive your umbrella around.

The heavier the base, the bigger the umbrella, and cantilever models require much more weight than market variants. Some umbrellas come with a foundation, while others require you to buy one separately. For reference:

  • 40 pounds for 5-to-6-foot umbrellas
  • 50 pounds for 7.5-to-8.5-foot umbrellas
  • 60 pounds for 9-foot umbrellas
  • 70 pounds for 10-foot umbrellas
  • 100 pounds for 11-to13-foot umbrellas

An appropriate umbrella base is required; don’t be fooled into thinking that securing it to a table would suffice. Umbrella bases not only help keep umbrellas straight in strong winds, but they also help keep them straight in sunny weather.

Look for the biggest base you can find for umbrellas larger than 10 feet. Make sure the base is made to match your umbrella’s pole. To get the best fit, speak directly to your umbrella manufacturer.

Go here to shop for elite treasure garden umbrellas

Replacement Slings for Your Patio Chairs

Tackle this DIY project as you prepare for Summer

As we get ready for summer, it’s an excellent time to consider upgrading to luxury patio furniture brands sold by All American Outdoor Living. But if you have a sling-back chair that has seen better days, you can use this DIY guide to save you money and refresh your chairs.

1. Remove the old plastic end caps on the patio sling rail

First and foremost, you need to disassemble your patio sling chair to install the new sling fabric. Remove the plastic end caps (plastic covers over the sling rails) from both ends of the sling rails with a flat head screwdriver or pliers. When removing your old end caps, be careful because they are often dry, brittle, and easy to crack. Take care not to damage them (you’ll need to remove them from both ends of the sling rails). Matching plastic caps can be difficult to locate depending on the manufacturer and color of your frames.

2. Remove the old sling material and spreader bars

It can be challenging to get the slings out of the rails at times. If the old slings are very old and have spent a lot of time in the sun, the plastic splines will be very brittle and rigid and will possibly break in chunks when you attempt to slide the old sling out of the rail. You’ll find that the new slings and splines are a breeze to install, particularly when compared to removing the old ones.

Remove each side of the old sling by slitting the fabric in the center. Cutting the old patio sling down the middle with a kitchen knife or heavy-duty scissors is the best way to get rid of it. Unbolt both sling rails before continuing if you don’t want to break your old slings by cutting them in half. The spreader bars, which are metal bars placed between the sling posts, must also be removed.

The sling sometimes becomes wedged inside the sling rail. Break the sling free by moving it back inside the sling rail with both hands. The fabric and plastic sling rod have been wedged up to the top of the rail opening due to the body’s weight lying on the old patio sling fabric.

This occurrence, combined with dirt and debris, gives the sling fabric’s edge the appearance of being glued in place. Spray some watered-down dish soap along the entire length of the sling rail to help loosen the sling and cloth. Allow the soapy mixture to work its magic for a few minutes. It takes some time to soak into the rail and dissolve the dirt and oils attached to the cloth.

There’s no need to preserve the sling rod or spline made out of plastic. As part of the kit, your new patio chair slings should come with a new supple sling rod. It’s doubtful that you’ll be able to reuse your old sling spline because it’s too dry and brittle. Re-threading the spline into the sewn rod pocket of your new replacement slings might be challenging.

The rusty, filthy fabric can easily slip out the sling rail’s bottom end. Grasp the sling with your hands or pliers and pull it away from the sling rail. Someone can keep the patio sling chair in place while someone else removes the old fabric from the rail.

If the old patio sling fabric is stubborn and won’t come free from the sling rail, use a flat head screwdriver to pry it loose. With the flat end of the screwdriver, force the patio sling fabric into the sling rail.

3. Remove the bolts from the rails

The plastic rod or spline threaded through the rod pockets on your new patio sling is held in place by the sling rails, which also support the edges of the new patio sling fabric. Bolts can secure one or both of the sling rails to the patio sling chair frame’s main body. The bolts are threaded into the chair frame via the sling rail. Remove all bolts (usually 4-6) from the patio chair frame with the required method.

Spray the bolts with a penetrating oil if they’re proving difficult to extract (Liquid Wrench, NAPA 6300). The oil would loosen any rust or corrosion on the bolt. Allow at least an hour for the oil to soak before continuing. Bolts and other hardware should be saved for reinstallation. It’s a safe idea to repair the bolts if they’re bent or rusted.

The bolt should not be forced out of the frame. You run the risk of snapping the bolts and potentially stripping out the threaded inserts, requiring additional frame repairs.

4. Take measurements for the new sling

To measure for new slings, take the width measurement while the old slings are still on, and measure the two rails from outside channel to outside channel (click for example) to the nearest 1/4″. The length of the old sling may generally be removed. We seldom use the width calculation by just measuring old slings after they’ve been replaced because we’ve noticed that the old slings are usually stretched or broken, and if new slings are the same width as the removed sling, they’re too loose. When ordering slings, always specify the width first, followed by the weight (width” x length”).

4. Insert the Sling Spline or Plastic Sling Rod

The new splines must first be mounted in the new slings’ side hems that fit into the sling rails. Feed the spline from one end, and it should feed all the way through. The new replacement slings are usually shipped without the plastic sling rod or sling spline installed.

Insert the sling spline into each side of the sling. The sling spline will be longer than necessary; do not trim away the excess until later in the installation process. If you are having trouble inserting the sling spline, try sharpening the end in a pencil sharpener. Insert the pencil into the opposite end of the sling or the end you are pushing toward. The pencil or pen will be pushed out in the future by the sling spline and not caught on the inner hem.

6. Replace sling fabric and spline into the sling rails

Ensure the rails are in the same place as when they were removed before slipping the sling into the rail. Slide the fabric through the sling rails, keeping the tag at the top of the chair to separate the top from the sling’s bottom.

Place one side of the sling into one of the sling rails (but not both) — then remove the sling rail entirely from the chair frame after the sling is mounted on one side — then install the new sling into the other sling rail that is still on the chair frame. 

Last but not least, reattach the loose sling rail to the chair frame. By carefully gripping the ends of the fabric near the ends of the sling rail and gently tugging as you tighten the sling rail to the edge, you can progressively draw the material close to the ends of the sling rails.

7. Reinstall the bolts

Attach the sling rails to the chair frame with the newly mounted sling. Line up the holes and tighten all of the bolts with your fingers. Do not tighten the bolts all the way. You want to work your way around the chair and tighten each bolt a little bit at a time so the bolts tighten into the sling rails at the same rate. Do not fully tighten the bolts at this time. 

Pull the sling until it is even with both sling rails, starting at the bottom of the chair. Tighten just the two bottom bolts until the sling is flush with BOTH sling rails. This action will hold the sling’s bottom in place and secure.

8. Stretch the sling material

Stretch the fabric upward to remove any wrinkles left in the bend of the seat. To stretch and pull the material through the sling rails, use a pair of pliers. Take care not to tear the fabric by of your sling chaise lounge by pulling too hard.

Since the fabric tends to slip back down the sling rail, it may be beneficial to use a pair of clamps to keep it in place. If you don’t have clamps, having someone to assist you with this move might be beneficial. Place your back against the chair. Stretch the sling upward to the edge of the sling rail with pliers until both the fabric and the sling rail are even. Using clamps or having someone keep the sling in place while you tighten the remaining bolts is a good idea at this stage. The sling should now be snug and wrinkle-free.

9. Reinstall the spreader bars

Installing a new sling and reassembling a chair is not difficult, but reinstalling the spreader bars can be challenging at times.

The spreader bar aims to hold the sling fabric taut. Spreader bars must be reinstalled if your chair came with them. Turn your chair sideways, taking care not to scratch the handles. Try bending the spreader bar just enough over your knee to allow it to fit into position. If you cannot turn the spreader bar, a spreader tool will be needed to spread the slings rails apart, allowing room for the spreader bar.

To avoid wrinkles in the fabric where the sling rails bend more sharply, the slings must also be extended in length. Pull at the sling ends nearest to the sling rail with the vise grips clamped on the thread (loosen the sling rail from the frame). Take extra caution here, as ripping the fabric is very easy if you pull too hard. Even the manufacturer has been known to tear the new sling during this phase, forcing them to discard it and try again with a new sling, so be extremely cautious. A few wrinkles won’t damage the fabric or its work, but a ripped sling can be incredibly inconvenient.

10. Trim excess spline and reinstall the end caps

Cut all excess sling spline with scissors, utility knife, or cutting, pliers, then gently tap end caps back onto sling rails with a rubber mallet. 

Voila! You have successfully replaced your patio chair slings in time for the warm months ahead.

A Practical Buyer’s Guide to Commercial Outdoor Furniture

An industry-specific guide for purchasing outdoor furniture for your commercial space

Many of our clients are business owners, and as you know, maximizing every inch of your commercial space is essential to your operation’s bottom line. With the coronavirus, outdoor space has become a premium commodity for restaurants and other customer-facing businesses. Putting your outdoor space to practical use is no longer a luxury you can afford to ignore. 

While fighting the spread of COVID-19, numerous restaurants have transitioned sections of their entrance, sidewalk, waiting areas and parking lots into dining areas for guests. Considering the circumstances, businesses that invest in upgrading their outdoor patio furniture will see higher customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. 

Having a warm and inviting exterior atmosphere is also vital for businesses that are not merely responding to the pandemic’s constraints. Lovely decorated and furnished outdoor spaces can bring people together for business, socialization, dining, and more. This article will give you a brief guide on what to look for when buying outdoor furniture for your commercial spaces. 

What Makes a Good Piece of Outdoor Furniture?

You will, in practical terms, consider several factors when deciding on the right outdoor furniture and decor for your business. If this is your first time purchasing outdoor furniture for commercial use, you’ll want to start slow and add on as you go. The goal at this stage will be to install the essentials and then see how your customers respond. Based on their feedback, you’ll then be able to add more decor, extra non-essential furniture, and other finishing touches.

The most important thing is NOT to use your indoor furniture outside. The majority of indoor furniture is not weatherproofed and will fall apart quickly with outdoor use, adding unnecessary additional costs. If you are converting your business operations in the face of the pandemic, don’t make this easily avoidable mistake. 

Here are few things to consider as you browse the online furniture catalogs.

Climate: Factoring in your local weather conditions is incredibly important to conducting business outdoors. Suppose you live in an area with consistent rainfall. In that case, you’ll want to play accordingly with overhead awnings, umbrellas, heaters, etc. Look for furniture that is made of weather-resistant materials, such as wood, plastic, or resin. Avoid metal furniture unless you live in a predominantly sunny and dry climate. 

Portability: Even if you purchase weatherproof furniture, you’ll likely be bringing some or all of it indoors at the end of your operational hours. Consider this when making your selections, as heavy furniture could be a hassle to move back and forth daily. You may also want to consider purchasing chairs that can be stacked to save space. 

Size of Your Outdoor Space: How big is the outdoor space you are trying to furnish? It’s a simple question, but that answer will guide a lot of your final decisions. In practical terms, you should measure the space for actual square footage to know how much you can fit in your area. It would help if you also tried to visualize your area with specific and enough free space for everyone to walk through easily. 

Operation and Use: What does your business do? Your furniture needs will be based around tables, chairs, and comfortable seating if you are a restaurant. If your company operates in large open spaces, maybe you are in the market for benches or community picnic tables. Take into account your business’s specific operations and how you can factor outdoor customer comfort into them. 

Choose the Right Materials

As we touched on lightly above, the material you choose for your outdoor furniture is critical. Investing in the right material will give your furniture longevity. Weather is an essential consideration as it determines how durable your furniture needs to be. Lightweight metal furniture will serve customers much better in hotter climates rather than it will customers in a snowbelt. 

Another consideration for furniture material is the ease with which it can be cleaned. Some ultra-luxurious furniture will demand more time and attention to clean than some simpler designs. If you are not keen on constant cleaning, lean toward furniture that is a single piece and does not have cushions. 

Lastly, you’ll want to consider design preferences and your budget. Outdoor furniture can be quite expensive, especially if you have extravagant tastes. Your business will dictate what is right for you in this area, but a budget-conscious business can do a lot with minimalistic furniture and decor. Let’s take a look at some of the most common materials and their pros and cons. First up, the metals:

Steel: Steel furniture and tables are a popular choice for outdoor establishments that don’t plan to move their furniture inside regularly. It’s heavy, making it a great choice if you don’t want your furniture to get up and walk away on you overnight. Powder-coated steel is a smart option that comes in several colors and pattern styles. Just stay on top of your regular maintenance, especially after inclement weather, and your steel furniture will last for years to come.

Iron: Similar to steel, iron is a durable and heavy material. It is an excellent investment for furniture that will have a long life. Iron is weighty and hard to steel, and contrary to popular belief, it is not that difficult to maintain to avoid rust and corrosion.

Aluminum: Lightweight, durable, and affordable. Aluminum is an excellent option for budget-conscious buyers and is widely used by manufacturers. It is resistant to corrosion and rust and is one of the few metals used in rainy or humid climates. Cleaning aluminum furniture is very quick and easy. Aluminum also won’t corrode and is often offered in several styles and finishes. 

If metal options are undesirable for your climate or operation, consider one of the following:

Resin and Plastic: Resin is the modern choice and a great one. Durable, long-lasting, resistant to staining, fading, and scratching, this material is an all-star. Usually made of plastic, resin furniture is attractive to the eye and the wallet. If you live in a wet climate or near a body of water, resin furniture is your best bet.

Fake Wood: You’ll notice that real wood did not make it onto our recommended materials list. While wood is affordable, abundant, and fits many business aesthetics, we consider it a poor investment in the long run. Wood has the tendency to warp, rot, and splinter if exposed to the weather for too long. Wood is also heavy and not easy to move quickly. Therefore, if you are going for a wood-look, consider faux-wood. 

Fake wood options offer the elegant look for a wooden piece of furniture, with none of the upkeep’s stress. These materials are very professional-looking and can be cleaned or sanitized quickly, making them an excellent option for restaurants with high customer turnover. Fake wood furniture can easily be spruced up with cushions to make them more attractive and comfortable.

Selecting Your Style

Your furniture’s material is essential, but the design and style will speak volumes about your business. If you are a local bar, your outdoor furniture can be less expensive and kitschy. If you are an upscale restaurant, you might want to consider something with a bit more pomp. Select the right style of furniture for your business by focusing on the following advice:

Camouflage: If you are unsure how to style your outdoor space, let nature be your guide. Customers enjoy the feeling of nature, even if it isn’t a natural setting, when outside. If you add an element such as a space heater, see if it can be placed somewhere discreetly or incorporated into the design of the space. Lean toward furniture that fits around your natural environment and tone. 

Branding: Just because you are outside do not mean you should abandon your regular branding efforts. If you can customize the color of your tabletops or chair cushions, do it. Customers appreciate knowing they are still getting the same quality experience even though they are outside. You may also consider investing in some outdoor branded materials, such as signage, hanging decor, etc.

Decor: Lean into the fact that you are outside by adding elements of nature. Bring in plants, flowers, or even allow animals on-site if possible. Some businesses may even be able to accommodate people’s pets in ways they were not previously able to. Consider setting up a water bowl or keep doggy treats on hand for customers. Little things like this will make the customer feel that you’ve gone above and beyond.

Consistency: Stay consistent with your outdoor furniture purchases. If you start in one material and color, stay in the realm of that original choice. Treat your decor choices outside the same as if you were decorating the inside.

In summary, look for furniture that is durable to the weather, easy to clean, lightweight to be moved, matches your branding, and elegant wherever possible. Follow this guide, and you will find the perfect commercial outdoor furniture for your business.

For more information on commercial patio furniture, please contact us or visit our showroom.

Winter Patio Heating Solutions

After this unrelenting year of the coronavirus lockdown, many people have taken their personal outdoor spaces as a refuge from always being inside. With the home now serving as your residence and place of business, upgrades and remodels to maximize space have become a top priority. If you happen to live in a climate with colder weather, using your outdoor space year-round is not always an option. However, with proper equipment, furniture, and decor, you can turn even the coldest backyard into a warm and inviting space. Let’s look at how to furnish and warm your outdoor space properly.

Before You Buy

There are many considerations to take into account before making a purchase or commitment to an outdoor heating source. As with any investment, it is essential to do your research and then discuss it with a professional. This is a type of purchase that you’ll want to put the thought in n and get right the first time.

Before you buy, consider the location of the heat source. Ask yourself if there is enough space for the device you want and if it can be operated safely. Make sure to look up and check for what is above your potential heat source to avoid potential fire hazards. Also, consider the weather and if you’ll need to store your heating device during inclement weather. Lastly, factor your budget upfront to have a realistic idea of what you are getting into financially.

Fire Up the Backyard

One of the most idyllic and affordable ways to heat your backyard is using a fire source. It could be a fire pit, a built-in fireplace, or even something less traditional like a pizza oven. Your fuel choice can also impact how much your outdoor heating costs you and should be determined not only by local laws and codes. Check with your city or county for any ordinances you need to be mindful of, such as wood-burning laws and performance standards (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also provides information and links to many regional ordinances and regulations). Generally, though, the most environmentally-friendly choices are butane or gas, which both need to be hooked up by a professional.

Fire Pits: Arguably the most popular modern fire-based heating source, fire pits earn their reputation by being easy to use, affordable, and in some cases, portable. Fire pits come in a wide variety of styles and can be simple or very complex, even decorative if you desire. Fire pits are highly customizable and can be made to fit any decor or available space in your yard. A popular trend in modern design has been to use concrete for outdoor features, and this has translated very well to the world of fire pits.

Fire Tables: If your yard is not large enough or a permanent pit doesn’t appeal to you, consider an alternative option in a fire table. These outdoor tables come in all shapes and sizes, from coffee tables to full-sized dining tables, and feature a gas-lit fire pit in the center. These options are practical in more than one way and are very aesthetically pleasing, not to mention a great way to make s’mores with family and friends. Fire pits and fire tables are also made in nearly all common outdoor materials, so you can get one that matches your needs and home decor.

Traditional Fireplace: A more permanent solution to outdoor heating is to have a custom fireplace built. As with any construction project, this can be simple or too elaborate, depending on your goals and budget. Even a simple fireplace will add value to your property and is a safe way to experience a traditional fire for warmth. Fireplaces can be fueled traditionally with wood or built with a gas-line for easy and quick use. Make sure to consider all exterior surroundings for potential fire hazards when installing your fireplace. Avoid areas with low-hanging trees, wooden structures above, large shrubbery, or plants. If you want to be considerate, consider the wind and airflow’s expected direction so that you don’t end up blowing smoke into your neighbor’s homes.

Chimineas: Also known as a portable fireplace, chimineas are a hot item as of late. Popularity for these items has surged due to the combination of the pandemic and social media. The good news is that these are the most affordable option on the market in terms of fireplaces. Stylish looking and functional, chimineas are a great way to heat even the smallest of outdoor spaces. These are also great options for homeowners who want a longer-term solution but don’t want to invest in a full fireplace because they blend in and look more permanent than they are.

Cooking Appliances: If you are willing to think outside the box about how you heat your patio, consider installing a pizza oven or large grill in your backyard. Not only will these appliances put off a ton of excess heat (especially the pizza oven), but you get to warm your outdoor space and cook delicious food at the same time! As they say, “two birds, one stone.” These appliances are also great for causing social gatherings and can be built to match and elevate your outdoor decor.

Alternative Outdoor Heating Sources

If messing with live fire is not for you, consider a safer option in an electrically-powered heating source.

Propane Lamp Patio Heaters: Commonly found on restaurant patios or in hotel common- areas, propane patio heaters are a popular and affordable solution for heating your backyard. A few strategically placed heaters could provide heat for your whole backyard social gathering. These perform well on porches, patios, and decks alike. Often equipped with wheels, these lamp-like devices are portable and easily stored in the warmer months.

The most significant benefit of these heat lamps is their immediate effect on the environment. Often activated with a one-button push, these heaters can quickly come up to temperature and directly impact the cold. These devices are not recommended for outdoor spaces that are covered or have low airflow.

Space Heaters: A more personal solution to outdoor heating is to use a personal space heater. More commonly used indoors, these devices are still functional outdoors. While significantly less efficient, a personal space heater placed in front of you can be the perfect companion while you read a book or enjoy a cup of tea on a cold evening.

Luxurious Heating Solutions

While these might not be options for everyone, they are significant considerations for those who have room in their budget to splurge on a luxurious heating source.

Heated Floors: Typically seen in a bathroom, heated floors are gaining popularity in modern home designs. What’s trending now is the implementation and use of heated floors for outdoor patios. Not only are heated floors great for warming up your backyard environment, but they are also great for melting snow and keeping surfaces from becoming icy. If your budget allows, these radiant heating solutions are the pinnacle of luxury and function.

Spas and Hot Tubs: Allow me to paint a romantic picture for you. It’s a cold winter or spring evening, and the stars are shining above as you relax in a perfectly heated hot tub. Of course, there is champagne and caviar next to you as classical music plays, with your butler standing by to refill your drink. Well, the butler and champagne part might be a dream, but the rest could very much be your life if you invest in a spa or hot tub for your backyard. Traditional pools or hot tubs can be a large construction project, but a simple above-ground spa is simple to install. Just make sure to have a warm robe and slippers to wear out of the hot tub, or it will be a cold journey back inside.

Simple Outdoor Heating Solutions

Not all outdoor heating options have to be fire or electricity-based. Sometimes, simple solutions are the best for your needs.

Outdoor Rugs: Give your outdoor space an added comfort underfoot, all while standing up to cold weather. At All American Outdoor Living, we feature incredibly durable, low maintenance, and beautiful, all-weather outdoor rugs that are the perfect addition for any patio, deck, or porch. The simple addition of a carpet can dramatically reduce the cold from the ground and create a

much more comfortable and enjoyable outdoor environment. Rugs are also a great way to improve your exterior decor or express yourself creatively. Avoid rugs that are shag-like or have too many long fibers, or cleaning it will be a nightmare.

Blankets and Throws: Maybe the most straightforward solution on our list is the humble blanket. Blankets and fancy throws can be used to spruce up the look of outdoor furniture and can keep you warm while enjoying your patio all year long.

Pro Tip: Toss your blankets and throws into the dryer for a few minutes before going outside for bonus warmth and comfort.