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Backyard Buildings: Shelter and Versatility

By Kristine Archer

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When it comes to creating your own backyard oasis, pools, spas and water features are just the beginning. Whether you choose a fully retractable pool enclosure, ornate traditional gazebo or striking modern pergola, a backyard structure can add a new dimension to your backyard.

“Backyard structures provide shade, class and value to your property for many generations,” says David Martin of Dundalk Enterprises, which manufactures gazebos, tiki bars and palapas. Even in the most modest of spaces, backyard buildings go a long way to create a resort-like feeling and extend the use of your oasis even after warm summer breezes have been replaced by cool autumn air.

With so many options to choose from, selecting the right type of backyard building can be overwhelming. Here are a few of the more common choices available.

Enclosures

Designed specifically to provide shelter to pools and spas, enclosures have gained popularity in recent years. These structures are typically constructed of glass and aluminum, allowing for year-round use of a pool or spa, regardless of the elements; retractable models allow you to pull back the enclosure on sunny days.

Gazebos

Gazebos, often seen in public parks, are pavilion-like structures that can be as ornate or plain as you like. Gazebos are typically freestanding structures that are covered on top and open on all sides. They usually have a smaller footprint than a traditional pool house, but come in a wide range of sizes. They can also be customized with accents such as cupolas (dome-like structures on the roof ), windows, screens, mouldings or specific materials and finishes. Gazebos can also serve as hot tub shelters.

Palapas

Also commonly referred to as tiki huts, these open-sided structures typically have a thatched roof, bringing an air of the tropics to Canadian backyards. These structures are commonly used for seating or bar areas.

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