Summer is on its way, which makes this the perfect time to take inventory of your outdoor space and get it ready for the warmer days ahead. Prepare your patio for summer with this handy how-to!

Check for damage

Before making a game plan, you should check your outdoor space for wear and tear from the elements. Wooden decks and concrete patios can both be affected by water damage. Patios and decks with compromised foundations should be inspected by a professional before you continue working on them. Fix any cracks or chipped areas as these are likely to deteriorate further.

You should also check your outdoor furniture for damage. Wooden furniture can bend, bow or become discolored when left unused. Metal tables and chairs can rust, fabrics can rip or stain and wicker canes can become unraveled. Inspect your items carefully to decide if anything is damaged beyond repair and will need to be replaced.

Clean it up

To begin, clear the area of any furniture, planters and other accessories. Thoroughly sweep the surface with a stiff broom, or use a leaf blower to blow off loose dirt and debris. A power or pressure washer can also be used on particularly stubborn areas, just be sure not to damage the deck or patio surface. If you are cleaning a deck that is especially dirty, you might need to use a special deck cleaning solution.

There are many ways to clean and maintain patio furniture – apply a varnish to wooden furniture, wash metal and stainless steel with soap and water and machine wash cloth cushion covers. If your cushion covers are not removable, you can still clean them up with this simple process that uses dish-washing liquid and warm water. If applicable, finish off your furniture with a protective seal that will prevent further damage.

Arrange the area

The way you arrange your outdoor space will decide how it’s used. Some make it their dedicated grilling station, some want a cozy outdoor reading nook and others put together the perfect place for alfresco dinners. Figuring out the purpose of your space will make it easier to arrange the furniture in a way that compliments that purpose. Establishing a focal point, like a table or bench, can also be useful to arrange around.

Add some accessories

Now that your deck or patio has been inspected, cleaned and arranged, it’s time to add some accessories to enhance your outdoor experience. Retractable awnings provide an oasis of shade to protect from harmful UV rays. Simple awnings cost about $200, but motorized models can run in the thousands. For an inexpensive but stylish alternative, consider a shade sail! Starting at just $20, shade sails are easy to install and can provide the same amount of protection as an awning for a fraction of the price.

Music sets the mood for our favorite movies and television shows, so why not our backyards as well? Outdoor speakers are built to withstand the elements and will provide an extra layer of atmosphere as you enjoy your newly prepared outdoor space. A portable Bluetooth speaker is a solid alternative if permanent outdoor speakers are too pricey or too tricky to install.


Now is the perfect time to prepare your patio for summer! With these steps, you’ll be ready to make the most of your outdoor space in the new season.