Patio Improvement Ideas: Cleaning, Sealing, Plants and New Cushions

Carl Baynes, of Mr. Handyman Serving Sarasota , appeared on Daytime TV with some tips for homeowners to improve the look of their patios and outdoor areas around their homes.

Carl Baynes: There's still some nice weather left and if you want to expand the footprint of your house, one of the easiest and best ways to do that is to move outside; it's a great opportunity to make your house look like one of the nicest houses in the neighborhood without spending a lot of money.

Interviewer: Where do we start?

CB: Typically, the best way to make your house look good is to paint and to clean. One of the easiest ways to clean is by using a pressure washer on the area around your house or the house itself to give it a fresh new look.

Interviewer: Suddenly, your house has a glow; it looks like it's been freshly painted or even if you just pressure wash your sidewalks, you remove so much scum and dirt it really does look like it's been renovated.

CB: It's the kind of thing that a homeowner can do themselves. The piece of equipment is not that expensive. The starting price for a pressure washer is about $300.

Interviewer: Should you buy one, or rent one?

CB: You can buy one, individually, if you have that kind of money; or if you have a neighbor, or a relative that lives nearby, you can go in jointly with one or more neighbors because it's not the kind of device that you're going to use every day so it's hard to justify.

Interviewer: Great idea! Pressure washing your house; pressure washing your sidewalks sounds good. Okay, what's next?

CB: Well, next comes flowers. The traditional flower box is something that sits on a windowsill. Typically, people put flowers and it gives you a beautiful effect for the house. We're not limited to just flowers in the flower box. We can also add herbs, vegetables, or traditional flowers in pots and urns around the outside living area to make it more attractive and to get the benefit of the herbs and vegetables during the summertime.

Interviewer: I have a little patio outside my son's bedroom and I have a huge planter with basil and it smells so good! When the door's open, you get that sweet smell; even tomato plants offer that as well.

CB: Absolutely! Tomatoes are a wonderful summer fruit and they keep on coming.

Interviewer: Next up, this is wet sealer?

CB: Right. In your home, you often wonder, "Why does the neighbor's driveway look better than mine?" or "Why does the neighbor's patio look nicer than mine?" Your neighbor is probably using a wet seal on his driveway. It gives it a nice, satiny, glossy finish; makes it look brand new. After you've pressure washed it, you need to seal it with the sealer that gives it a nice gloss. It's not very expensive; costs about $15. Also you can seal and stain your pool deck, or your patio after you've pressure washed it. It will make it look brand new. If you have a wood deck ; same thing applies. First, pressure wash, then stain it. Make sure that you allow at least 24 hours after pressure washing before you seal or stain to make sure it's dry.

Interviewer: So you've given your whole patio a completely new look.

CB: Except for the furniture.

Interviewer: Okay, furniture. If you have old pieces, what's the quickest way to clean them up?

CB: The quickest way to clean up old furniture is to buy new cushions; they're very inexpensive. When you bring the pieces out of the garage for the season, make sure there are no nicks or dents or scrapes in the finish.

Interviewer: It's inexpensive and it's a great way to make your patio look gorgeous. Thank you for pimping our patio, Carl Baynes!