Monday, July 27, 2015

Matching a Vinyl Shade Structure to Your Dallas House

Thinking about making your outdoor living space more livable by adding a vinyl shade structure to your home in Dallas? Along with thinking about the advantages of vinyl over wood and where you want the structure to go, you’ll also need to think about matching the structure to your house. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider when trying to match a shade structure with the style of your house:


Dallas Vinyl Shade Structures

Obviously the biggest aspect of matching an outdoor structure with your existing home is getting the color scheme right. Many people like to match the color of their vinyl structures with the color of their house, and this ensures a consistent, pleasant appearance. However, some people instead choose to make their vinyl structure the same color as their home’s trim or accents, or even to make it a complementary color (such as dark brown for a tan house). This can add some extra visual interest to the shade structure and give it more “weight” in the landscape.


One of the chief benefits of working with vinyl is how easy it is to create custom shapes and designs to fit your exact specifications. For instance, say you want a vinyl pergola for your back patio, but the design of the patio is curved or irregular. Instead of a straight-edged pergola that hangs out over the lawn, a vinyl pergola can be built to exactly match the curvature of your patio’s edges. The extreme customization that vinyl allows means almost any design is possible, and it also means you can get something that exactly matches the existing style and limits of your house.


Many shade structures feature accents that add to their visual appeal or change their look significantly. These accents can be as simple as the railings or posts on a gazebo or the shingles on top of a cabana. In most cases, it’s good to try to match these accents with the design of existing accents on your home so they appear consistent. Look around the outside of your house for existing accented elements such as shutters, roof edges, columns, and railings for cues about how your shade structure should look.


One thing many people don’t consider about their shade structure is that the size should be proportionate to the rest of their house. For a patio cover or attached structure this is easy, but standalone structures can often look too big or too small when compared to the home they’re next to. If you want your vinyl shade structure to look like it belongs in your backyard, consider how it will look when viewed alongside your house and whether it would look better if it were bigger or smaller.


It can be tough to determine in advance whether or not an outdoor structure will “flow” well with the rest of the house, but there are a few ways you can help make sure your vinyl structure’s flow isn’t bad.

For attached structures like patio covers, try to avoid placing pillars or posts in high-traffic areas or sight lines, and make sure the roof is high enough to keep it from feeling too enclosed. For standalone structures in the yard or apart from the house, think about how people will get to the structure - will there be a path or walkway? Also, make sure your shade structure feels comfortable and not crowded. You can look at our recent blog on creating a comfortable outdoor room for more tips on that.

A vinyl shade structure can be a great way to make your backyard more livable and comfortable during the hot Texas summers. Plus, vinyl shade structures are durable enough to last for years without needing any maintenance or treatment.

If you want to learn more about getting a quality vinyl shade structure for your Texas home, contact us today at Future Outdoors®. You can also visit our Facebook or Twitter pages to get more advice and read what others have to say about our products and service.

Friday, July 10, 2015

5 Vinyl Fence Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

After working for decades as vinyl fence experts in Dallas, we’ve heard plenty of myths and misconceptions about vinyl fences. Many people still think vinyl fences are inferior products to fences made from wood or other materials. The truth, however, is that vinyl fences are very far from the cheap “plastic fences” you might be thinking of. Take a look at some of these common myths about vinyl fence and learn the truth about this durable, versatile fencing option.

Future Outdoors Vinyl Fence Installation Dallas

Myth 1: Vinyl Fences Will Fade Over Time

If you grew up in the 60s or 70s, you probably remember people replacing their old wooden siding with fancy vinyl on their houses. And then you got to watch as that siding slowly faded and turned yellow or brown with exposure to the sun, rain, and time.

It’s true that old or cheap vinyl fades with exposure to solar radiation and outdoor conditions. However, vinyl produced using modern processes - such as the vinyl we make our fences out of here at Future Outdoors - is very different from those old-school vinyl products. Modern vinyl makes use of special blends of UV protectants and tougher materials to produce a product that never loses or changes its color. When you buy a quality vinyl fence, you’ll get a fence that will keep its amazing good looks for decades. Compare that to a wooden fence that needs to be restained every few years just to look nice.

Myth 2: Vinyl Fences Don’t Handle Cold Weather Well

One of the most enduring myths about vinyl is that it becomes brittle and easy-to-break when it’s exposed to cold weather. While this isn’t much of a problem for most of the year in Texas, our occasional ice storms and sub-freezing winters give many fence buyers pause. After all, why would you want a fence that’s going to snap if it gets too cold out?

Fortunately, this is one myth that is simply untrue. Vinyl does lose a little flexibility when it gets cold out, but the change is almost unnoticeable. Vinyl fences, much like other outdoor vinyl products, are plenty tough enough to handle wide temperature swings over the course of the year without bending, breaking, or becoming weak and brittle.

Myth 3: Vinyl Fences Aren’t As Strong

When you buy or build a fence on your property, you want something that will last for a long time and stand up to years of weather, use, and abuse. It’s easy to think that vinyl won’t be up to the challenge, but you would be incorrect if you did.

In truth, vinyl fences are some of the toughest and strongest fences you can buy. While not all vinyl is created equal, a quality vinyl fence will outlast virtually any other fencing material. Because vinyl is slightly flexible, it stands up to impacts from normal use and occasional accidents better than wood or metal. Vinyl also doesn’t rust, warp, or rot - exposure to outdoor conditions like wind and rain will not make it weaker over time. Plus, vinyl isn’t susceptible to damage from insects or pests, either. In almost every way, vinyl fences are tougher and more durable than wood or metal fences.

Myth 4: All Vinyl Fencing Looks the Same

We’re frequently asked by potential customers if they can order a vinyl fence in any other color than white. In the past, vinyl fences did tend to look similar, and it was difficult to get lasting color to adhere to the vinyl.

Today, however, this is simply no longer true. Modern vinyl fencing comes in huge array of colors that can match the color of your house or even be styled to resemble wood fencing. Additionally, vinyl fences come in many styles, including privacy, semi-privacy and accented privacy, picket fence, and even ranch rail fence. You can truly get the perfect look for your home, even if you want a very particular style.

Myth 5: Vinyl Fence is Bad for the Environment

There’s an unfortunate connection in many people’s minds between plastics and pollution. Many people think vinyl products are naturally bad for the environment, and that wood and other materials are more environmentally friendly. But in truth, vinyl is one of the “greenest” materials you can use for your fencing project.

Vinyl takes very little energy and resources to produce, which means it can be made more cheaply than wood or metal fences. It doesn’t require you to cut down any trees - just think of all the forests that go into making wood fences every year! Since vinyl fences last longer than wood fences, they also require less replacement, which in turn means they use even less resources over time. And finally, vinyl is fully recyclable, meaning your vinyl won’t end up in a landfill if you ever get rid of it; instead it will simply become part of something else.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of owning a vinyl fence, contact us today at Future Outdoors. We’re the vinyl fencing experts in the Dallas, Texas area, and we can answer any questions you have about vinyl fence, vinyl shade structures, or any other vinyl products. Call today at (972) 576-1600 or visit our Facebook or Twitter pages to learn more.