5 Ideas for Outdoor Living Spaces on a Budget

If you didn’t have to worry about a budget, your outdoor living spaces would probably include a pool, complete with a waterfall, an outdoor fireplace, and all the comforts and luxuries you could imagine. However, most of us aren’t working with an unlimited budget, but still want to make the most of our outdoor living spaces. Explore these budget-friendly ideas to get inspiration for your outdoor living spaces.

Create a Covered Living Space

Installing a pergola or planting fast-growing vines is a great way to provide shade and protect you and your guests from light rain. With a little covering, you may find that you can stay more comfortable and spend more time outdoors. Check out hardware stores for affordable DIY options and remember that even a basic frame can provide the right support for clematis and wisteria. 

Add Light and Texture

You will be amazed how simply adding some cushions, blankets, candles, and/or lanterns can soften and improve your outdoor spaces. This is especially true when it comes to smaller spaces. As you shop around for accessories, look for solar-powered lighting options so that you don’t have to worry about wires, plugs, or batteries. 

Install a Firepit

An outdoor fireplace may not be in the cards, but you can still create a focal point and gathering place with a simple and affordable fireplace. There are clean burning options that use gas so you don’t have to worry about burning wood and ashes. As a bonus, the fire will keep you warm and create an inviting ambiance. 

Bring the Indoors Outside

As you look for outdoor furniture, opt for comfortable and lightweight pieces that could also be used indoors. You want to stay away from bulky furniture. An outdoor rug will help to soften the area even more and the addition of a side table will create the perfect outdoor living space.

Build an Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen doesn’t have to be an elaborate setup. Find creative ways to build food prep areas around your grill so that you can have all the supplies you need right at your fingertips and you won’t have to keep running back and forth.

For more money-saving ideas and help creating beautiful and functional outdoor living spaces, contact the experts at JT’s Landscaping and Lawn Care.

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Should I Install an Outdoor Fireplace or Firepit

If you are looking for a great way to enhance your outdoor living space and make better use of your landscape, adding a fireplace or fire pit is a great option. A nice fire provides the perfect gathering place and can help keep everyone warm on cool nights. That only leaves one question: Which is a better choice, a fireplace or a firepit? 

What to Consider for an Outdoor Fireplace

Installing an outdoor fireplace means building a more permanent structure in your yard. In many cases, the outdoor fireplace is freestanding and placed around the perimeter of a seating area. You will want to take some time and strategically plan placement so that there is enough distance between the fireplace and the guest seating. While you will be able to move around tables and chairs, it is always a good idea to spend some time thinking about how far you want the fireplace from the house and how seating will be arranged.

Advantages of an Outdoor Fireplace

An outdoor fireplace will provide a beautiful piece of architecture and make your yard more functional and it comes with financial benefits. Investing in installing an outdoor fireplace will cost more upfront in labor and materials, but it will also increase the value of your home. If you decide to sell, you will be able to increase your asking price.

Advantages of a Firepit

If building an outdoor fireplace isn’t within your budget, a fire pit provides a more affordable alternative. Fire pits come in a variety of sizes and styles so you can still find something that reflects your personal taste and compliments your landscape. Finally, fire pits are much more portable. You can move it around the yard as needed and try out different seating configurations. 

Ultimately, the decision between an outdoor fireplace or fire pit often comes down to money. A firepit is more adorable and portable, but it is also temporary. An outdoor fire pit will add architectural interest and increase the value of your home. Either way, the experts at JT’s Landscaping and Lawn Care are here to answer all your questions and provide you with all the installation services you need.   

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Best Backyard Landscaping Ideas For Your Raleigh Home

With fertile soil and warm temperatures throughout most of the year, Raleigh is the perfect place to take advantage of outdoor living spaces and create a truly stunning landscape. With so many options, it can be overwhelming to try and decide on a backyard landscape design. That is why we have collected some of the best landscaping ideas to help inspire your own backyard oasis.

Water Feature

The great thing about water features is that they come in all different styles, shapes, colors, and textures. You can install a Japanese-inspired pond complete with a bridge, add a natural-looking stone pond that blends in with the surrounding landscape, or go for more of a modern fountain that is a true statement piece. The options are virtually limitless and it all depends on the kind of space you want to create. No matter what type of water feature you choose, it will provide a beautiful and calming focal point.

Flowering Trees and Bushes

There is nothing quite like springtime in Raleigh. Dogwoods, pear trees, azaleas, and other flowering trees and bushes provide dazzling color and an array of pleasant smells as the weather turns warmer. Utilizing these plants throughout your backyard can create a stunning display that will provide plenty of colors as the seasons change.

Flowering Arbor

An arbor can provide the perfect combination of hardscape and landscape along with some shade from the sun. While it will take some patience to plant and nurture different flowering vines, the payoff will be worth it when you get to relax under a beautiful and fragrant canopy. It is an excellent alternative to a plain umbrella or a more solid piece of architecture. Climbing and flowering vines will soften the overall look of the structure and help it blend in with the landscape for a natural look. 

Firepit with Seating

For homeowners who love to entertain, a firepit with plenty of seating is a must. You can raise the level on the usual portable fire pit surrounded by lawn chairs by making the area a permanent fixture. Consider a stone pit surrounded by matching stone benches that can be covered in removable and easy to clean cushions.

No matter what size backyard you have, it is full of potential. For more landscape design ideas and help getting the most out of your backyard, contact the experts at JT’s Landscaping. We can help you create a backyard that fits your lifestyle and brings you a little more joy.

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5 Ideas for Outdoor Living Spaces on a Budget

If you browse the internist for outdoor living space ideas, you can see some truly spectacular landscape designs. However, not everyone has the money to install an outdoor kitchen complete with a pizza oven and hot tub. Fortunately, there are some simple and affordable things you can do to create a space you enjoy while also sticking to a budget.

Repurposed Furniture

While patio furniture comes at a variety of price points, not all of them are budget-friendly. It is always a good idea to visit your local thrift or resale store with an open mind. Even a rusty old table can easily be brought back to life with a good scrub and a new coat of paint. Most patio furniture is made to be durable, so even if the surface looks like it has seen better days, you may be able to reuse old furniture and avoid having to buy new.  

Patio Pillows

Even if you don’t have the nicest set of patio furniture, you can dress up your outdoor seating with colorful pillows. Choose bright fabrics and durable material that is easy to wash. If you have some basic sewing skills, you can even put them together yourself. A few strategically placed pillows will make the space more inviting. 

Add String Lights

Want to add some ambiance to your backyard and make sure that you can keep socializing well past sunset? Hanging string lights is a simple and affordable way to add some personality to your outdoor living space. The warm glow will make any evening feel a little more special.

Install Vertical Gardens

If your backyard space is bordered by plan brick walls, consider adding vertical planters for a garden space that blends right into the home. Succulents to especially well in these types of planters and will add some warmth and greenery to what could feel like a cold space.

Add Outdoor Artwork

There is no rule that says paintings and statues can’t be placed outside to add some color, shape, and a little bit of whimsy. It is the perfect way to express yourself and make your outdoor living area your own.

Until you can build the outdoor living space of your dreams, there are plenty of small and affordable changes you can make. Focus on adding color and texture along with a little bit of comfort and functionality. For more ideas, contact the experts at JT’s Landscaping and Lawn Care. 

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Why You Should Consider Landscaping around Pools

Having a pool is a great addition to any home, but it can present some landscaping challenges. A pool expands your outdoor living space and creates a focal point, but it can also interrupt the flow of your landscape. The right landscaping can add life to the entire area and help to blend the boundaries between hardscape and softscape for a more cohesive look. 

Tips for Pool Landscaping

The pool shouldn’t overwhelm the yard and become the main element of the landscape. Adding plants, shrubs and flowers will help the pool to become a more naturally integrated part of a larger design. Ultimately, the pool should complement other landscape elements. 

When it comes to choosing the right plants to place around the pool, here are some things to consider:

  • Ease of maintenance. Look for plants that are hardy and won’t require constant maintenance. Succulents are actually a great option that will add color and texture withing requiring constant watering. For a super low-maintenance approach, consider container gardens.
  • Privacy. Tall, lush plants can be placed around the pool to add some privacy and make the pool area feel separated from the rest of the landscape.
  • Variety. Think about incorporating a variety of different size plants that offer color and texture. 
  • Climate. Do your research and make sure that you are installing plants that will thrive in the North Carolina climate. This will help protect your investment and make sure that you have a landscape that continues to look good throughout the year.
  • Trees. When looking for the right trees to provide some shade near the pool, go for varieties that will reach the right height and won’t drop leaves, flowers, or fruit into the pool.

Installing the right landscaping around the pool will not only enhance the overall look, but help to create a more fully integrated landscape. With so many plants, shrubs, trees and other landscaping materials to choose from, you can get truly creative with your design. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the options and want help designing the perfect pool landscape, contact the experts at JT’s Landscaping and Lawn Care. 

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Improving Your Outdoor Living Spaces in Raleigh

One of the best aspects of living in Raleigh is the beautiful weather. With warm temperatures throughout most of the year, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Creating a welcoming and functional outdoor living space can provide an ideal place to entertain guests, visit with friends and family and simply enjoy the relaxing sounds of nature. If your outdoor space isn’t exactly inspiring, follow these tips to make some improvements. 

Screened-in Porches

If you have an existing porch that you aren’t taking full advantage of, adding some structure and screens can provide you with some much-needed shade and protection from bugs. Constructing a screened-in porch, especially if you already have a slab, may be easier and less expensive than you would assume. 


A firepit provides an architectural focal point and a place to gather once the temperatures start to cool down. Today, firepits are made from all sorts of materials and can come in practically any shape or size. From more modern glass and gas-burning firepits to more traditional stone firepits, you can install a design that complements your home and your landscape.  

Outdoor Kitchens

For the ultimate in luxury and convenient outdoor living, consider adding an outdoor kitchen. You can incorporate a grill, sink, countertops and prep areas and even a pizza oven. The possibilities are practically endless.

Water Features

From coy ponds to water fountains, water features come in a variety of styles. No matter what type of design you choose, you will enjoy the relaxing sound of running water. A water feature also provides the perfect opportunity to add plants and flowers to complete the look. 

There are countless ways to improve your outdoor living space and get the most out of living in Raleigh. For more ideas and questions to all your landscaping and hardscaping questions, contact the experts at JT’s Landscaping and Lawn Care.   

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5 Unique Backyard Fire Pit Ideas

Adding a fire pit to your landscape will create an architectural focal point and a gathering place for friends and family. It is also a great way to compliment your home and get creative with expressing your personal style. Your fire pit doesn’t have to be a plain metal bin. There are all sorts of ways to dress it up and enjoy a unique fire pit.    

Retaining Block Fire Pit

If you want to keep it simple, you can build a fire pit using retaining blocks. Choose from different colors and textures to add interest. With the blocks, your fire pit can be practically any diameter and height. If you are going the DIY route, don’t forget to leave vents near the bottom so that oxygen can feed the fire. 

Modern Fire Pit

For a more modern look, you can opt for a concrete fire pit in a bowl shape. Instead of using firewood for fuel, gel fireplace fuel can help to create a cleaner look. This product can be placed on any type of stone and gives off bright flames. 

Natural Stone Fire Pit

You don’t necessarily have to go with a traditionally shaped fire pit. Natural stone can be stacked and arranged to create a more organically shaped pit that blends in with other natural elements in the landscape. Some people have even turned old Koi ponds into fire pits.

Contemporary Glass Fire Pit

Combine a rectangular metal base and glass case for another contemporary take on a fire pit. Remember that using gel canisters can allow you to be a lot more creative with the types of materials you use to construct the actual fire pit. 

Classic Cast Iron Bowl

While there are a lot of unique ways to create a fire pit that fits your style and accommodates your outdoor area, there is also nothing wrong with the classic cast iron bowl. Look for unique metalwork to help make a statement.

For more ideas and inspiration on how to turn your backyard into an inviting and functional space, complete with a beautiful fire pit, contact the experts at JT’s Landscaping. For decades, we have worked with homeowners in and around Raleigh and we can help bring your design ideas to life. 

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5 Hardscape Projects You Can Do During A North Carolina Winter

Winters in North Carolina are usually dry and mild, which makes it the perfect time to complete hardscape projects. In addition, most of your plants will be dormant, which makes it easier to avoid causing damage during installation. Perhaps best of all, your new hardscape spaces will be ready to use as soon as spring arrives. Here are five hardscape projects that are perfect for undertaking during the winter months.

1. Add a Walkway

Natural stones and pavers can be used to add walkways that help to direct foot traffic and create defined spaces. You can install a walkway that leads up to the main entrance of the house, directs people to other areas of the garden or landscape or leads to a patio gathering space. Not only does a walkway create visual interest, it can also help to manage weeds and keep your yard neat and tidy.

2. Install a Patio

The best way to increase your outdoor living space and make the most of your landscape is by installing a patio where you can enjoy meals and visit with friends and family. Since North Carolina has mild temperatures throughout much of the year, you will get plenty of use out of your patio. The design options are practically limitless and you can choose the perfect materials that will complement your home and plants.

3. Build a Fire Pit

A fire pit is another great hardscaping project that will add a focal point and create a clear gathering place. It can warm up cool evenings and provide the perfect place to make smores. With different iron, metal and stone options, you can create a unique fire pit that reflects your personal style and taste.

4. Create an Outdoor Kitchen

While this is a more ambitious hardscape project, it is a great way to add value to your home and take advantage of outdoor space. You can create a permanent grill area, add a fridge, install and pizza oven and create plenty of dining space. This will allow you to entertain guests without having to go back and forth from the house. It is a luxurious way to enjoy your landscape.

5. Add a Gazebo

If you have a larger garden or landscape, you can create separate seating areas away from the house. Adding a gazebo will create a quiet retreat where you can relax after a long day and enjoy some privacy.

If you have been wanting to tackle a hardscape project, winter is the perfect time to get started. Landscapers aren’t as busy, which means that they can more easily work around your schedule and quickly complete your project. To learn more about design possibilities and get a free quote, call the experts at JT’s Landscaping today. Our team of experienced professionals can help make your hardscape project a success from start to finish.

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Unique Backyard Fire Pit Ideas To Consider

An outdoor fire pit is a great addition to any landscape. It creates a fun gathering spot where you can relax with friends and family, enjoy an evening cocktail or roast s’mores. Perhaps, best of all, fire pits are incredibly easy and affordable to build and install. You can use a wide range of materials to create a unique backyard fire pit that complements your landscape and reflects your personal style. Here are just a few ideas that will provide inspiration for your own fire pit.

Retaining Block Fire Pit  

A backyard fire pit doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. Run of the mill retaining blocks, which can be purchased at any hardware store, provide a safe and effective material for constructing a fire pit. You can make the pits as large as you want, just be sure to stack the blocks high enough to help keep the fire well encased. To help feed oxygen to fire, cut one of the blocks in half and place the half block on opposite sides of the pit. This will allow for better airflow, which creates a strong fire.

Concrete Fire Pit

Concrete fire pits provide a more modern look and plenty of texture. They often come in bowl shapes for smooth lines. For a clean-burning fire pit, you can use fireplace fuel cans to create a bright flame. The fire pit can be filled with any type of stone from lava rocks to black beach pebbles to help create a unique look. 

Glass and Metal Fire Pit

Not all fire pits need to be made of stone or other natural elements. Contemporary designs use glass, metal, and fuel canisters to create an enclosed fire pit that will add plenty of ambiance to your backyard along with a more sophisticated take on traditional fire pits.

Repurposed Fire Pit

You can visit any hardware store and purchase a simple metal fire pit. While these products can be great on their own, you can take things to the next level by adding your own enclosure. Add stones around the put for a more permanent and polished look or use the pit as the center of a larger table style design that provides plenty of space for a s’more or roasted hot dog station.

Grill/Fire Pit Combo

It is easy to turn practically any fire pit into a functional grill where you can cook burgers, steaks, potatoes, and just about anything else over an open flame. All you need to do is add a grate to the pit. These can either be laid directly on the sides of the fire pit or suspended above the fire pit to help control temperatures and make cooking a little bit easier.

When it comes to backyard fire pits, there are practically endless options. Choose from practically any materials and create a fire pit that complements your existing landscape and provides the right size fire pit for your needs. For more ideas or professional installation services, call JT’s Landscaping. We have years of experience providing expert landscape and hardscape services to homeowners throughout the Triangle.

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How to Create a Hardscape Lighting Design You Will Love

Hardscape lighting is a simple way to completely transform your outdoor space. The right lighting can help illuminate walkways for better safety, highlight architectural details and showcase other landscape focal points. If you are inexperienced when it comes to landscape lighting, follow these tips to create a hardscape lighting design that you will love.

1. Study Your Landscape

Take the time to study your landscape during the day and at night so that you have a better feel for which focal points you want to highlight. You will want to start by lighting large trees, hardscapes and other major points of interest. It might also be helpful to create a sketch of your landscape to help with the planning process.

2. Understand the Different Types of Hardscape Lighting

Landscape lights can range from accent and floodlights to in-ground and submersible fixtures. Get to know the different types of products on the market so that you can choose the best solutions for your yard. Also, keep in mind that some lights come with a variety of adjustable features. You may want to invest in these products so that you can perfectly calibrate your lighting.

3. Consider Light Spacing

Different types of lights will require different spacing. For example, smaller accent lights can be placed closer together while larger floodlights should be spread apart for the optimal effect. Placing too many lights too close together can detract from the overall look and end up illuminating the entire yard instead of adding strategic highlights.

4. Partner with Professionals

From planning to light installation, creating a lighting design that you will love involves a lot of important steps. To make sure you get it right and end up with a final product that exceeds your expectations, work with professional landscape and lighting experts. At JT’s Landscaping, we have years of experience designing unique lighting hardscape solutions that will make your yard the envy of everyone on the block. Contact us today to learn more.

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