Structured Environments

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A little construction does wonders for outdoor settings, says Carla Jordan.

You could have a ground-level tree house for grown-ups, for instance.

When it comes to arches, arbors, and pergolas and you’re on a budget give these a try.

I’ve always liked Gazebos, the free-standing roofed structures open on all sides. The newest trend is to house outdoor spas in them, said Jordan.

You could also have a garden house, little homes that imitate their full-grown partners with solid roofs, walls, floor and customized features like copper covers and operable divided-light windows.

Or go with conservatories from the 19th-century Victorian England age, considered the ultimate room with a view.

Although traditionally chosen for cooler regions they are working their way in the other direction and made for warm climates.

“Whether you start with a simple arch or plunk down the bucks for a magnificent conservatory, experts offer the same tip: Buy for the long term,” stated Jordan. “Quality counts.”

To shop and compare without using time or gas go online to find a growing number of these items which are also featured in catalogs to save merchants brick-and-mortar store space.

The Western Red Cedar Lumber Association’s web site, wrcla.org, has information about these kinds of structures including design ideas for arbors, trellises, pergolas, fences, gates, and Gazebos.