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Ditch the Crowds & Steal the Show with a Pop-Up Projector Screen

denver pergola with a movie screenIt’s hard to beat enjoying a movie outdoors in the cool summer evening breeze. Popular at area parks, projector screen movie magic, reminiscent of drive-in theater days, is often highly-anticipated and quite crowded. Happily, however, incorporating a similar feature into your outdoor living space design is easy with the addition of a pop-up projector screen. Here you can enjoy any the movies you love in the peaceful setting of your own backyard with your favorite beverage and snack.

Tips for Creating the Perfect Outdoor Movie Experience with a Pop-Up Screen:

  • Determine the ideal location.
    The existing terrace in your backyard is an ideal spot to sport a pop-up projector. However, the location of your chosen projector and its throw-distance will affect the position and ultimate size of your pop-up screen. Consider these things carefully when designing your space and selecting a projector/pop-up screen combo. This handy throw-distance calculator can help you determine the optimal distance necessary for your preferred screen size and yard dimensions.
  • Be mindful of landscaping.
    Landscape your outdoor space with movies in mind, carefully trimming back existing foliage and incorporating options that work with (and stay out of the way of) your pop-up screen setup.
  • Pick your projector.
    You don’t need to spend a fortune on a projector to enjoy movies outdoors. Even business-class projectors output at a better rate than old broadcast TV/DVDs. Online retailers offer a number of affordable options under $200 compatible with outdoor use. A lumen rating of 2,000+ is preferable for maximum nighttime viewing pleasure. If you plan on watching before sunset, expect to pay a premium for the increased performance higher lumen models. With children or pets, look to rear-projection models to prevent image disturbances. Last but not least, ensure compatibility with your play-mode of choice, including an aspect ratio of 16:9 (widescreen format), noting your chosen device holds compatible inputs for your streaming device/Blu-ray player.
  • Choose your screen.
    With an outdoor projector screen, you can go B-I-G for far less expense than with a flat-screen. Before purchasing, consider your budget, how large you want to go, and if you prefer front/rear projection. You can purchase smaller outdoor pop-up screens for under $100. Larger ones come at a premium. However, if you don’t mind the buzz of a compressor, massive 16+ft. inflatable options can be purchased under $200.
  • Simplify your speaker setup.
  • Your speaker setup should require minimal wiring and minimal fuss. This      prevents tripping and electrical hazards and ensures easy, enjoyable use. A portable Bluetooth sound bar makes for an excellent fine option. Or if you prefer, pair your system via wiring or Bluetooth to a permanent outdoor system, such as those featuring speakers cleverly disguised as rocks.

  • Don’t Let Rain Steal the Show
    Sit back with family and friends, enjoying movies and grilling anytime year-round beneath the comfort of your StruXture adjustable aluminum pergola. Reduce screen glare, easily rotating louvers to block the sun. Rainy weather? Prevent precipitation from stealing the show, quickly closing louvers and engaging the StruXture’s ingenious, leak-proof gutter system.
  • Create a theater-like experience.
    Incorporate comfortable seating, such as a large cushy sectional, patio recliners, and portable floor cushions for the kids. Ensure a clear view of the screen, locating accoutrements like drinks, popcorn, and hot dogs out of the way. Keep pests and noise, and nosy neighbors at bay with the help of motorized screens and curtains.

Ditch the expense of movie night and reinvest it into your home. Create your own backyard movie theater with the help of Denver Pergola Systems today.

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Maximize Space, Adding Built-In Seating with Your Pergola

pergola with built in seatingLooking for ways to maximize your outdoor living space design? Built-in seating may be just the solution you’re looking. This small variation to seating can provide a far more efficient use of space, potentially doubling the value of your usable outdoor living space area.  A custom built pergola can be constructed around your seating as to not interfere with the design mojo you have going on, but still provide sun or shade for a more comfortable space to spend time in.

Benefits of Built-In Seating

A spatial problem-solver, in tight or narrow outdoor spaces with minimal room for furniture, built-in seating allows for the addition of seating without sacrificing a single square foot. Add seating along a wall, sliding tables right up, minimizing the need for additional furniture. Providing a place to sit back and relax year-round, built-in seating is also a boon in colder climates, eliminating the need to move patio furniture in during the cold weather season and lug it out again when the weather warms. With built-in seating, a place to enjoy the outdoors and rest is always available – even on those rare warm fall and spring days when your furnishings might otherwise be buried in the garage or shed.

Tips for Adding Built-In Seating

Integrating built-in seating isn’t difficult. The ideal time to incorporate built-in seating is when you’re adding a wall, raised planting area, or other structural components, such a slim, unobtrusive Arcadia adjustable aluminum pergola. These structures can easily be adapted with additional seating.

Built-In Seating Guide
Look to these tips to construct built-in seating that is attractive, spatially-efficient, and comfortable.

  • Seat Wall
    Any time you add a low wall 18-30-inches in height to your landscape, consider incorporating a seat wall to double as a bench. For comfort, make sure the top surface is flat. Natural cinder block or poured concrete is not enough. Seating should be smooth to avoid damaging clothing, with narrow mortar joints to prevent sharp and from sticking up. Adding a foot-wide cap with a bullnose edge using masonry is best.
  • Inset Seating
    Outdoor living space share a wall with your home, privacy wall, or other structure that would serve as a good backrest for a built-in seating nook? Use it to create a versatile, intimate conversation area that is enclosed on 3-sides. Deeper designs more than 2-feet wide can also double as a place to recline. Avoid going too narrow, as this can make seating uncomfortable. Consider the comfort of the backrest as well. Designs that are sloped slightly away from the seat are more relaxing to lounge in than those straight up and down.
  • Bolt-On Seating
    In spaces too narrow for inset seating, where walls are too tall and straight for comfort, bolt-on seating is another alternative. Popular in public parks and plazas, bolt-on seating is best anchored into block, stone, and concrete walls.
  • ‘Natural’ Seating
    In design schemes incorporating a great deal of stonework, large, flat-top boulders can be used to create convenient seating areas. Popular in Japanese gardens, they offer seating without spoiling the look of landscapes. Rock shape and design is critical for comfort in boulder seating. The best boulder seating is flat on top, in sizes or inset into the ground at the proper height for comfortably sitting. Incorporating flagstone into your design? These lighter stones offer seating opportunities as well. Simply set a large flagstone slab atop multiple supporting stones for a beautiful natural seating alternative.


Comfort Additions

When designing built-in seating, don’t overlook key comfort details. Concrete and metal can be uncomfortable in temperature extremes without a cushion. This is why benches with wood slats are common. Design with dimensions for standard outdoor cushions in mind, which are easy to replace by the season or as your tastes change. Otherwise, leave room in the budget for custom cushion creations. This will ensure you, your family, and guests are happy and comfortable enjoying time outdoors.

Get the most out of your outdoor living space design.  If you’re planning on including a patio cover in your design, contact  Denver Pergola Systems to learn more about ways you can maximize your available space today.

This article was previously published at http://www.denverpergolas.com/maximize-space-adding-built-in-seating-with-your-pergola/

Looking for Ways to Spend More Time Outside this year? We’ve got this!

pergola ideasDaylight savings time surrounds us the majority of the year, from March through November, leaving plenty of time to take advantage of a bit of extra time outdoors. Make the most of it in this season with an outdoor living space upgrade.

Building a pergola is an exceptional way to utilize the space you already have. Sun when you want it, shade when you need it.  Go ahead, spend more time outdoors!! 

7 Ways to Spend the Extra Daylight

  1. Get ready for spring.
    After the snowmelt, break out the patio furniture and get your outdoor space back into shape. Clean up dead leaves and debris from the fall and winter season, wipe down furniture and décor, and incorporate a few colorful accents to freshen things up. If there’s still a chill in the air, add an infrared or portable gas patio heater for comfort, alongside a few cozy, washable throws for an added layer of warmth as temperatures steady.
  2. Add a few flowers.
    Break out of the dullness of your winter rut, taking part in the fresh start the spring season signifies. Begin springtime planting around your outdoor living space when weather warms, enjoying the emergence of colorful flower blossoms or flavorful edibles.
  3. Host a barbecue.
    Invite friends and neighbors to join you beneath your newly added outdoor space, enjoying a bit of food and conversation beneath your Arcadia adjustable aluminum pergola. Open up louvers to let the sunshine in, or close them up, gaining fast access to shelter during April showers beneath the comfort of your pergola.
  4. Watch a game.
    Take in a breath of fresh air on your outdoor television, enjoying a Major League baseball or soccer game.
  5. Enjoy a sunrise.
    With the sun rising an hour later, it shouldn’t be too hard to catch a glimpse of a sunrise. Grab a cup of coffee and head out to your outdoor living space for a front row seat.
  6. Move your exercise outdoors.
    Enjoy a bit of relaxing yoga, cardio or weight training in the cooler outdoor temperatures, breathing deeply and taking in nature.
  7. Camp out with the kids.
    Nothing is more fun for kids than a backyard camp out. And what better place to enjoy the outdoors than your own backyard? Engage the motorized screens and curtains of your pergola to take in the sunset in a bug-free environment, then easily create your grand tent with the addition of motorized curtains, getting comfy and cozy beneath the shelter of your StruXure adjustable aluminum pergola.

Are you tired of being cooped up? Break out with the help of Denver Pergola Systems today.

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Design the Perfect Outdoor Dining Space with a Pergola

pergola with a kitchenDon’t underestimate the value you get from having an outdoor kitchen. Those that have them will tell you, they’re simply wonderful. Whether you’re truly designing a  full cook center or just a dining space to enjoy meals, a shade structure over your patio that provides protection from the rain, and relief from the sun will add to the enjoyment you get from your patio space.

Warm up to outdoor cooking this summer. Design the perfect outdoor dining space.

  1. Block it in.
    From budget-friendly concrete blocks smoothed over with cement, to unique patio paver and natural stone tile flooring designs, your dream outdoor dining space can be as simple or as sophisticated as you desire.
  2. Float it or sink it.
    Decide whether you prefer a freestanding grill that is easily moveable depending on your venue, or the looks and function of a built-in model situated next to a work area complete with countertop space, sink, mini-fridge, and storage.

  3. Stretch out.
    Make the most of your outdoor dining space addition, utilizing all available space and stretching the entire width of the wall.
  4. Keep it under wraps.
    Keep your sleek new barbecue grill, countertops, cabinets, sink, and furnishings shiny and new with an adjustable aluminum pergola addition. Rather than lugging items back and forth from the shed, keep items handy for daily use, extending your usable living space and safeguarding outdoor gear beneath the shelter of a pergola. Allowing you to enjoy your outdoor dining space in any weather, open up to enjoy cooking in the sun, then close for shade or protection at the end of the night, safeguarding your grill and gear from UV light, wind, and rain.
  5. Light it up.
    Add ambient and task lighting, maximizing the use of your outdoor living space addition beyond peak daylight hours.

  6. Get comfortable.
    With ceiling fan additions to keep your family cool and comfortable and motorized screens for pest protection and privacy.

  7. Add foodie flair.
    With a rustic, wood-burning stove, pizza oven, smoker, or charcoal barbecue pit, imparting the unique, smoky flavor only these cooking surfaces can provide. Keep it simple or surround your flame-filled feature with extras like a countertop surface, sink, and storage.
  8. Dine-in.
    Incorporating a casual breakfast bar alongside your barbecue, or perhaps a full-size dining table for the family. Choose from ready-made bar and table sets on the market, or go custom for a design and fit as unique as your family.

Hungry for a slice of outdoor life? Grab a bite outdoors with the help of Denver Pergola Systems today.

This article was previously published at http://www.denverpergolas.com/design-the-perfect-outdoor-dining-space-with-a-pergola/

Extend the Outdoor Dining Season with the Industry’s Best Patio Heaters

commercial pergola with a heaterIs your restaurant losing out on revenue? A comfortable outdoor dining area keeps customers in the seat. Though you’ve already ensured weather protection with an Arcadia adjustable aluminum pergola, this is not enough to ensure comfort in Colorado’s chilly winter climate. To keep customers cozy and within the confines of your venue, the addition of patio heaters to your commercial pergola makes for a wise investment.

How Much Could Patio Heaters Help You Add to Your Bottom Line?

Casual restaurants able to extend the season an additional 15-days with the help of a minimal investment in patio heaters could pull-in an additional $45k in profits given just six 4-top tables and a $25/seat average ticket (10 table turnovers at 50% capacity). Extend the season farther, keeping warmth contained with additional privacy curtains, walls and screens, and further boost your return.

Types of Patio Heaters
Patio heaters come in a variety of styles and fuel types, which affect costs dramatically. Common styles include:

  • Freestanding
    Big, powerful, heavy (but portable), with a refillable compartment for fuel.
  • Mounted/Hanging
    Wall or ceiling-mounted and permanent. Typically electric and remote controlled. No footprint = ideal for a pergola patio cover
  • Tabletop
    Easily movable, electric or propane models.
  • Natural Gas Powered
    Lowest operating cost and ideal for those with access to a natural gas line. Permanent connection eliminates refilling (as with propane).
  • Electric
    Zero emissions. Hard-wired or plug-and-go permanent installation with no refilling of fuel tanks. Moderate operational costs.
  • Propane
    Portable and easy to use and install, but must be frequently refilled. Highest operational cost.

Be sure to calculate BTUs before choosing a patio heater to ensure you’re not paying for more heater (and fuel) than you need.

BTU chart
Hold Your Horses – and Heater Installation
Before you do-it-yourself – take heed. Depending on where you live, there may be legal restrictions on who can install patio heaters, whether they be electric, gas, or propane-powered. For safety and liability, hiring a professional for installation is best.

Extend your outdoor dining season and boost your profit potential. Contact Denver Pergola Systems to learn more today.

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Outdoor seating under a commercial pergola

Outdoor seating under a commercial pergola

A full restaurant is an ideal scenario – until you start losing customers to competitors for your known lack of seating. To protect your reputation and keep guests at your establishment where you want them, an outdoor seating area topped with the flexibility of an adjustable commercial pergola makes for a great investment. Providing additional seating space and keeping happy, satisfied customers within the confines of your venue, research has shown patio seating can boost revenue, adding up to 30% in sales.

More than a ‘Fair Weather’ Prospect

With the flexibility of an Arcadia adjustable aluminum pergola, you can count on your additional outdoor seating space year-round. Instead of losing this coveted space to sun, rain, or snow that can shut down seating for hours or days, cutting into your seating space and profits, with a customized adjustable louvered roof system your establishment can make the most of any weather, opening louvers to take in those rare ‘perfect days,’ rotating to provide partial or total shade, or sealing completely to block out rain and snow that would otherwise send diners dashing for the door.

Comfort in an Instant

Weather change? Dial-in the perfect amount of sun, shade or shelter with remote control or smart-device-driven iLouver app operation, or automate your setup with additional rain and wind sensors. Lighting deficiencies? Create your own custom built-in lighting scheme, from dimmable LED pot lights to Edison-style pendant lighting. Glare issues? Motorized curtains and screens provide shade, pest protection, and privacy. Too cold/warm? Integrated ceiling fans and infrared patio heaters ensure guest comfort even in weather extremes.

The Perfect Marketing Opportunity

Providing a living, breathing advertisement for your restaurant’s popularity, a lively patio not only retains existing customers but attracts additional clientele. How much could an outdoor patio addition add to your bottom line? Casual restaurants earning a $25/seat average could see an additional $45k in return with the addition of just six 4-tops on an added patio space that remains open an additional 15-days of the season (10 table turnovers at 50% capacity), offering an extremely rapid return on your outdoor dining area investment. The longer your patio area remains open beyond this given your investment in increasing guest comfort and ambiance, the more considerable your return.

Ready to extend your seating space and profit potential? Now’s the time to incorporate your outdoor seating addition to take advantage of the favored spring outdoor dining season. Contact Denver Pergola Systems to learn more about how a customized Arcadia adjustable aluminum pergola can benefit your business today.

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Create a Festive Outdoor Holiday Dining Space with these Residential Pergola Tips

holiday decorated residental pergola

Interior gathering areas feel a little cramped around the holidays? Like the partridge in the pear tree, spread your wings and fly outdoors, extending your usable space with a festively festooned residential pergola addition.

Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful
No matter how frightful the weather may be, topping your outdoor living or dining area with an Arcadia adjustable aluminum pergola allows you to get into the spirit of the holiday season without worry. Standing up to heavy winds and snow loads and providing leak-free rain protection on-demand, the Arcadia provides the perfect environment for family and friends to enjoy the holiday at your home. Fully compatible with fire feature additions, decked out with infrared patio heaters, or providing respite from the cold with motorized curtains and screens, all will remain merry and bright beneath its shelter.

What a Bright Time, It’s the Right Time to Rock the Night Away
With the darker ambiance of the winter season, lighting is a must. Ensure adequate lighting with built-in dimmable lighting additions to your customizable Arcadia adjustable aluminum pergola. Then, step-up your game for the holidays with holiday string lights along posts and around windows. Pair with or without garland, carefully avoiding the operational components of your pergola. For a traditional feel, fill up vintage or new holiday lanterns with battery-operated LEDs, placing them tabletop or along walkways. Then, set the ambiance with holiday music via outdoor-rated Bluetooth speakers tucked out-of-sight amongst decorations.

Trim up the Tree
Make your home look like Whoville with holiday-inspired décor for adults and kids alike, including North-pole-inspired gift and toy box holiday decorating additions for children and festive garland, wreaths, and lighting for all. For larger spaces with good lighting, potted evergreens such as arborvitae add authentic holiday flare. For smaller rooms, a grouping of tabletop trees in varying heights adds a similar touch.

I Sure Do Like those Christmas Cookies, Sugar
Set up a craft station for the young and young-at-heart, featuring easy mini pom-pom ornaments, antler headbands, or a cookie decorating station. Outdoors there’s little need to worry about the mess! Not the crafty type? Put out a few games and holiday puzzles instead.

But Maybe Just a Half a Drink More… Put Some Records On While I Pour
A sleek rolling cart can be transformed magically into a self-serve bar, making the perfect holiday centerpiece, particularly when stocked with eggnog, hot buttered rum, cider, hot cocoa, coffee, and tea, alongside glasses and accompaniments. Pair with appetizers or desserts for pre/post-dinner snacking.

Later On, We’ll Conspire, as We Dream by the Fire
Draw family and friends together to the warmth and ambiance of a crackling fire, wrapping-up your evening fireside with marshmallows for roasting and hot drinks. With a lightweight, fully-extruded aluminum construction, the Arcadia is compatible with any festive fire addition, from small gas-powered fire pits to large wood burning fireplace centerpieces. Short on seating? Multifunctional poufs and festive, holiday-themed cushions, pillows and throw blankets displayed in baskets or crates fireside ensure no shortage of seating.
Be home for Christmas beneath shelter you can count on. Contact Denver Pergola Systems to learn more about adding your customized outdoor living space addition before the holidays today.

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