With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to be a concern in many areas of the country, some homeowners are trying to figure out ways to extend the outdoor season. While patios and other outdoor space might not normally receive much attention over the winter, 2020 is a year like no other.

Below are several ideas for homeowners to keep their patio warm during cooler weather. People living in climates with extremely cold winters such as the Midwest may want to reserve these ideas for late fall and early spring to protect themselves from cold weather injuries like frostbite.

Set Out a Fire Pit

The fire pit has come a long way since the time people only saw one when camping. Today, homeowners can purchase and install their own backyard fire pit to keep their patio extra warm on those chilly days. The modern fire pit offers several options, including various structures, shapes, and colors. Homeowners can also choose a fire pit that doesn’t accumulate smoke on its glass frame.

Yet another buying choice is whether to invest in a portable or permanent fire pit. Although portable fire pits cost less, permanent fire pits can add to the value and décor of the entire home. Homeowners should set strict safety rules for being around open flames, especially for their own children or the children of friends or relatives.

A contained live fire has always had a sense of calm and wonder about it. Gathering loved ones together on the patio while sitting around a fire pit can be just the type of relaxation that people need after an extremely difficult year.

Fire Tables

For those who don’t want to invest in a fire pit or who don’t have enough room on their patio to put one, a fire table makes an elegant alternative. Another benefit for homeowners concerned about guest safety is that fire tables operate with a gas flame rather than a live open flame. Fire tables resemble coffee tables with a space cut out in the center for the heating source. Consumers have many options for size, color, and design just as with fire pits. Perhaps most importantly, fire tables are durable and typically last for many years.

Consider a Hot Tub

Investing in a hot tub for the patio is a great way to stay warm over the winter months. It could also make homeowners quite popular with their friends and neighbors. The water will feel especially warm and calming after the first step into the hot tub. Anyone who uses the hot tub should be sure to have a towel, pair of slip-on shoes, and a robe or clothing to cover themselves immediately after getting out and exposing their body to the crisp air.


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Although the hot tub will likely get the most use during cool weather, people don’t necessarily need to put it away when spring comes. However, they may want to adjust the temperature so it’s not as hot during the warmer weather seasons.

Propane or Hanging Heaters

Propane heaters are typically large and expel a significant amount of heat. Placing a propane heater on the patio can be a good option for especially cold days. With enclosed patios, homeowners must ensure that the top of the propane heater doesn’t strike the ceiling of the enclosed space. The heater could leave a burn mark or even start the top of the structure on fire if it gets too close.

Hanging heaters are another option for enclosed spaces. Most models operate from a wall switch, whether they use electricity or natural gas. Although heating space varies depending on the size and model of the hanging heater, the average amount of space heated is approximately 10 feet.

Fill the Patio with Warm Blankets

While not as high-tech as some of the other options, guests should appreciate the opportunity to snuggle up with a warm blanket. The host should place at least one blanket on every seating space or one for every person expected to gather on the patio. Blankets made specifically for outdoors or electric blankets can keep hands and feet extra toasty as people enjoy one another’s company outdoors late into the year.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

Remaining flexible and determined to retain a sense of normality can go a long way in trying times. Homeowners should remind themselves why they want to gather outdoors with others and then do whatever it takes to make that happen.