5 Ideas for Backyard Holiday Decorations

So, it’s the holidays . You’ve just finished having your backyard redesigned. The pool contractor has just finished up their work. You sit back and admire your newly constructed outdoor fireplace, water features, patio cover, and firepit. Everything looks beautiful. You’ve sent pictures to all your family and everyone is excited to see it. So the family has selected your house to host the holiday get togethers. Now it is on you to come up with ideas to decorate your newly designed backyard to give it a festive feel so you can impress the relatives when they fly into Orange County for the big event. Worry not, we’ve got you covered.

5 Ideas for Decorating your Backyard for the Holidays

1. Oversized ornaments  – Use your existing evergreens and trees in the backyard for lights and ornaments.  You can hang oversized ornaments that are waterproof to existing trees to add something whimsical to your outdoor decorations. Additionally, you can mix in some garland with the red, green, white, blue and silver ornaments.  
2. Outdoor Fireplace – decorate outdoor fireplaces with garlands, warm white lights, and a punch of red or blue and silver. Hang a wreath with oversized balls, LED lights, and pinecones to add some touches for your holiday theme.
3. Firepit – surround the firepit with chairs covered with colorful winter throws and festive pillows. You can also put up lanterns nearby to light the way to your firepit.
4. Use string lights – Stringing white lights or on trees and shrubs will add a festive flair. The water will reflect the lights and cascade over the water creating a beautiful scene. You can also use stringing lights in your existing trees or palm trees, wrapping them around the trunks, and stringing them into the branches. Shapes and characters made of colored lights can add an even greater element of fun to your backyard.
5. Inflatables and floating lanterns – Inflatables are a fun and creative way to celebrate the holiday spirit. A floating Santa Claus on his sleigh or a floating snowman allows you to make use of your pool space while it is not in use.  Floating lanterns or  candles can be colored green and red if you like, or they can be simple and white. 

How to Pick the Best Pool Contractor in Orange County

For most of us, building a pool fulfills a bit of a personal dream. We have visions of spending the summer in the backyard with friends and family, cooking hamburgers on the grill, enjoying a few drinks, making long-lasting memories. Unfortunately, that dream can become a nightmare if you don’t choose the right pool builder.  To make sure you hire the best pool contractor in Orange County, just follow our C-L-E-A-R checklist below.

CERTIFIED – Is your pool contractor certified with the CPB (Certified Pool Builders) or part of any pool organizations? Certifications are a positive sign that your pool contract has experience and the skills needed to do a great job. Here is a list of a few organizations:

The Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) – The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance protects and advances the common interests of the industry by providing education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge and profitability. 

The California Pool & Spa Association (CPSA) – The CPSA is the association that unites all professionals in the swimming pool and spa industry under one umbrella. Together, we promote businesses, protect industry interests at the State level, create swimming pool and spa industry partnerships for success, and provide professionalism-enhancing opportunities for members to grow.

LICENSE/INSURANCE – To protect your investment it is important to check on the status of the contractors license. The California State License Board (CSLB) website is an important resource to check the current and past statues of a contractors license and insurance/bond. This is of huge importance. Your pool contractor must be licensed and insured. 

EXAMPLES – Review examples of work the pool contractor has completed. As the saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words. While making your considerations, be sure that your prospective pool contractor has completed:

  1. Similar hardscape projects – This might be a pool with artificial rock, a barbeque, fire pit, diving rocks, or maybe a vanishing edge. Whatever you are looking to do, ideally you want your contractor to have done comparable projects previously.
  2. Large projects – A good pool contractor’s portfolio should include advanced, complicated, and expensive projects that demonstrate their skillset and abilities. This shows that they can handle the big, small, and any project in between.
  3. Creative projects – Design challenges, CC&R limitations, or unforeseen events happen. An qualified pool contractor will have experience dealing with these problems and providing innovative solutions.
  4. High end materials and finishes – make sure your pool contractor is experienced in working with all materials. Mistakes made with expensive materials are costly and add time to the project. If your contractor has extensive experience in using top quality materials like the team at Dreamscapes does, you are working with the right builder. 

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN & ENGINEERING –  Make sure you project is designed by a Licensed Architect or experienced pool designer. It is important for the scaled drawings to be accurate as this information is used to obtain the proper engineering for the pool/spa and necessary structures. A great design that is artistic and accurate is the foundation of a successful project.

REFERENCES – Ask the pool builder for a list of customer references or to see pools they have built. Contact those people and ask them how they felt about the entire pool building process, before and after the sale. Another great question to ask is how many pools they’ve built in the past year. Some of those referrals should be from brand new pool owners to give you an idea about how the process went for them.

  1. If you could do it over, would you use the pool builder again?
  2. What did you enjoy about the experience?
  3. What was least enjoyable?
  4. What pool, options, and accessories did you choose?
  5. What would you do differently?
  6. How did the pool builder handle challenges and problems when they arose?

With Dreamscapes, you can rest assured that you are working with the best pool contractor in Orange County. Our work is amazing and with over 4.5 stars on both Yelp and Google Business Pages, our customers are happy. If you are looking to work with the best, you’ve found them.  Just click here to get started and a member of our team will contact you right away.

In the meantime, check out some of our recent projects below. We look forward to working with you and building the backyard of your dreams!

Small Backyard Hardscaping Ideas

Backyards range in size and shape and some have smaller areas to work with but here are some ideas to maximize your backyard footprint while adding functionality.

Having a kitchen outside makes entertaining company a breeze. This added luxury has quickly become a desired feature for people wanting an extension of the indoors. An outdoor kitchen patio creates an inviting ambiance that enhances your open-air experience.
This can include a range with oven, countertop with bench seating, a custom BBQ, or even a wood-fire pizza oven.

When an outdoor kitchen does not fit the budget, another option would be a seating area. This could be a designated area next to a water feature or garden area. Gatherings around a firepit are perfect for bench style seating with oversized pillows. Make sure that you don’t make the mistake to forget to include a place to sit. Whether it’s for a family gathering or hosting a birthday party, having adequate seating that it is comfortable and functional.

There is a soothing ambiance to the sound of water. That is why water is often used in backyard projects. This is a versatile element that can be used in many ways. Raised spas by means of their dam walls, return filtered water back to the pool from the raised spillways. This gives the added feature of moving water and sound. Decorative pots with overflowing water are another popular design element.

A firepit or outdoor fireplace can add another element to the backyard. These structures not only create an area to entertain or relax but also providing warmth, beauty and functionality to the backyard.

Adding a patio cover to the backyard creates the perfect area for a table and some comfortable chairs. Patio covers can be attached to the home or can be constructed as separate structures.

Pool Coping Materials

When it comes to pool coping there are many different materials and options available. In this article we are going to focus on coping materials. Coping the term for the perimeter cap of the pool that is on top of the pool shell wall. One of the purposes of coping is to direct water away from the pool edge while providing a finished look. Here are some types of coping materials:

Natural & Cut Stone – Flagstones, marble, granite are examples of natural hard stones that can be laid into the coping in its natural form or cut to shape and brings a natural beauty that is very durable. In contrast, there are softer and more porous stones available like limestone, or sandstone that may require sealant to improve longevity. There are also sheer stones like slate or flagstone that might have a tendency to flake or sheer. Natural Stone is more expensive that other options like pavers or brick. Understanding the look, feel, strengths, texture, and weaknesses of the stones you are considering will help to ensure the correct selection.

Precast & Pavers – Pavers come in many different finishes, sizes, and shapes. They are made from molds so the material lines are very straight. There are some standard curved shape but others need to be custom made depending on the shape of the structure. The front edge of some precast and pavers are round (bullnosed) while others have a flat facing or custom edge.  The width of each piece can vary as well. Because of these options and durability pavers are not only popular for coping but also provide a beautiful accent for wall caps and planter walls.

Brick – Brick choices are similar to the wide range of sizes and colors of concrete pavers. Along with the traditional shape of brick it can also be installed with a bullnose or safety grip edge. A safety grip edge is designed for a more secure handhold. This is achieved by slightly angling the rounded lip at an upward angle to help from sliding off a flat surface.

Poured in Place (formed concrete) – This coping type is made of concrete and it is made on site. Concrete coping can be formed to achieve certain shapes and it can be colored and textured as well. This is a good choice if you want the concrete areas around the pool to match.

Tile –Pool tile is very resilient to pool chemicals. It is widely used as a transition between the pool interior and the coping at the waterline. It has become more popular to ditch traditional coping and substitute the look of tile instead. Tile also offers the largest selection of options like size, texture, pattern, mosaic, glass, etc.

With Dreamscapes, you can rest assured that our team will guide you through every part of the process and ensure proper selection of pool coping materials for your new dream pool or backyard hardscape project. Give us a call today to get started!