Posted by in on Jun 09, 2015 .

There are lots of ways to brighten up your patio and yard that not only don’t cost a lot, but can be done very cheaply indeed. This is ideal for a family with kids, who have all the expense of schooling, and college, and therefore don’t have a lot left over at the end of the month. In fact, the expression “too much month left at the end of the money” fits very well here.

Here are a few ideas that won’t break the bank.

Remember playing with marbles when YOU were a kid? Here’s a great idea for them if you have a wooden fence around your yard. Get your drill out and drill a few holes in your fence. Stick some colored...

Posted by in Telescope Casual on Jun 03, 2015 .

Here are some further simple things that you can do to decorate your patio and pool area, making it look stunning and at the same time functional.

You can do an awful lot of things with old pallets. They are cheap as chips to buy – you may even find some businesses just giving them away. Use the timber to make things such as coffee tables, a farmhouse table, rabbit hutches for the kids’ rabbits, planters, and lots more. You are only limited by your imagination.

Line mason jars with different colored tissue paper, insert a flameless battery-operated candle, and put the lids on. Use to line the edge of the patio, or on tables.

Posted by in on Jun 02, 2015 .

Whatever size or style of patio you have, there are dozens of ideas that you can use and/or adapt to make it your own, and to amaze your friends when you invite them around for a barbecue. Some of them are very simple, and you may wonder why you never thought of them yourself. Others are a little more complex, but all will make your barbecue go with a swing (sorry, the pun was not intended), and often make your life a lot easier.

Everybody wants a lush green lawn to look out on to, but sometimes we go several weeks without rain. Here is a recipe for keeping your lawn green for several weeks, despite the heat. Take one full can of any...

Posted by in Telescope Casual on May 20, 2015 .

If you missed the first part of this two-part series, please click here to read the introductory article on how to lay a patio

Once you have your layer of bedding mortar, you are now ready to start laying your slabs. Before you start to rush into this, it’s a good idea to check that your string guide lines are square to the house wall. Use the builder’s square to do this. If they are not square, adjust them before you begin.

Lay The First Slab

Now lay the first slab against the house at the corner, checking as you do so that it is aligned with the string guideline. It is critical to get this first slab laid correctly...

Posted by in Telescope Casual on May 19, 2015 .

So you have decided that you want to build a patio in your yard, but you don’t want to pay a contractor to do it for you. If you are planning on doing it yourself, you may need some help since the paving can be very heavy. It is not a very complicated job, but depending on the size, it may take two to three days.


Tools you will need:

  • Spirit level
    Club hammer
  • Spade
  • Sponge
  • Builder’s square
  • Bucket
  • Hosepipe
  • String
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Screeding float
  • Cement 

If you are staggering the paving and having to cut slabs, you will also need an angle grinder.

Draw a detailed plan to scale on some graph...

How much does an outdoor kitchen cost you ask?  Well, how long is a piece of string?

It depends entirely on what you want, and perhaps more importantly, how much money you have to spend on it. If money is no object, then you can spend many thousands of dollars. Even a basic outdoor cooking area with a patio, grill, and countertop, if installed by professional contractors, will run to a few thousand dollars.

The most important thing to consider is the grill. All outdoor kitchens center on the grill insert, around which the rest of the kitchen is built. If you are looking to save money, one thing on which you should not compromise is...

When the weather warms up, the thought of barbecues comes to mind, and suddenly it is time to get into the great outdoors again.

Whether you want to eat outdoors in the yard, swim in the pool, or just laze about in the sun getting a better tan, the patio or the deck is the only place to be in the summer. Who wants to be cooped up indoors when the sun is shining, there’s a gentle breeze, the flowers are blooming, and all seems right with the world?

Cocktail Recipes

If you have an outdoor bar on your patio, together with an outdoor fridge, now is the time to experiment with some of those cocktail recipes that you have always...

Posted by in Telescope Casual on Apr 24, 2015 .

Which is better, living out of doors or living cooped up indoors?

Everybody is different, and it rather depends on your point of view. Some people are very happy tucked up on the sofa, glued to the television all night. Others can think of nothing worse.

Certainly, it rather depends on the weather. Most people would think that being indoors is a far better bet if it is pouring with rain or snowing outside, but when summer comes, it is a completely different matter. For our money, when the weather is fine and sunny, we want to be outside in the yard for as long as possible.

All Day Long

These days, with patio heaters and...