It feels like it’ll last forever. But, thank goodness, the crushing heat of summer will soon give way to the balmy days and crisper, cooler nights of fall.
And just in time, because football season’s about to start!
Football and outdoor entertainment go together like "peas and carrots". Who can say no to the chance to enjoy the best weather of the year while rooting for your favorite team in the company of your family and friends?
You can’t wait - but is your property ready for it? Let’s find the top outdoor entertainment ideas!
What Makes A Great Fall Outdoor Entertainment Area?
There are two aspects to turning your yard into the perfect place for fall outdoor entertainment. One, of course, is the technology. If the TV and audio don’t cut it nobody wins.
And the second is making sure everyone’s needs are met - that you and your guests are well-fed, comfortable, and safe. Let’s take a look at what’s trending in both these areas:
A Space To Relax
First things first. If you don’t have an adequate place for people to gather, you won’t have much of a party.
Whether you decide on a simple patio or a multi-level, terraced landscape depends not just on your budget but on how you want to use the space, the number of people you are likely to host, and the look you want to achieve.
Pricing for patio spaces depends on many factors, including excavation, design, and selected materials. Materials costs range from about $10 - $50 per square foot. Pricing from lowest to highest, available materials include:
- Exposed aggregate concrete
- Textured, stained or stamped concrete
- Random flagstone
- Cut stone
Why such a difference in price?
In addition to manufacturing costs, mortared flatwork such as brick or stone is laid on top of a concrete slab. This is in effect a two-step process which increases the cost of installation as well as materials.
A Shade Structure Overhead
While you don’t need to have a covered area for a successful outdoor entertainment area, it’s a very nice thing to have.
A covered porch, gazebo, arbor or pergola will extend the usefulness of your outdoor gathering area by providing shelter from wind, rain and sun.
These structures also add interest to your landscape and break it up into inviting spaces.
Adding a shade structure doesn’t have to break the bank.You can put in a modest pergola or arbor for around $7,000 or even less. A roofed structure such as a covered patio will typically start at $15,000 or $20,000 but can go up from there if more elaborate features are desired.
For the most pleasing results, it’s important to take into account not just the structure itself, but how it ties in with the architecture and landscape around it.
Landscape lighting may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think “football,” but if you are going to host parties after dark good lighting is essential.
As the days shorten your lighting system will greatly extend the amount of time available for you to safely use your outdoor space.
Besides the issue of safety, lighting sets the mood!
There are many things you can do to enhance your entertainment area with lighting. For the most part, we recommend staying away from harsh spotlighting and going instead with subtle uplighting and/or downlighting for a more welcoming look.
Regardless of what lighting style you prefer, be sure to check out the modern, energy efficient LED’s. They don’t just save you money on your electric bill.
They also last many times longer than a standard bulb, so you can spend more time enjoying your outdoor entertainment area and less time maintaining it.
Patio Warmth & Fire Features
Adding a fire element can be a pleasant touch on a chilly fall evening.
Whether you choose an elaborate outdoor fireplace, a rustic fire pit or a portable fire table, you’re sure to find one to suit your taste. (And what can beat the taste of s’mores around the fire?)
Including a nice touch of fire on your property can be as simple and inexpensive as a $500 portable fire pit. But don’t limit yourself.
If you’d like to learn more about what’s possible, you’ll want to check out our recent post, Fire Pits Vs. Fireplaces, in which we explain in detail the many types of fire elements available, including their various features and price points.
Outdoor Cooking & Entertaining
Speaking of taste, don’t forget the food!
While technically you don’t absolutely need to cook outside to enjoy your outdoor time, a season or two of running back and forth to your indoor kitchen may change your mind.
Even if you don’t choose to outfit an entire kitchen, you will definitely want to include some way to prepare food for your guests. But there’s a reason outdoor kitchens have entered the mainstream!
Your outdoor kitchen can include one or all of the following:
- Gas range
- Standard oven
- Green egg (a type of grill that’s like a combination grill and smoker)
- Old fashioned artisan bread oven
- Pizza oven
- Ice maker
- Wine rack
Contrary to popular opinion, an outdoor kitchen is within reach of most budgets. Expect to start at $10K for a small one with basic components - although of course the sky’s the limit from there.
And add some outdoor furniture to finish off your seating areas in style. Today’s outdoor furniture is really comfortable and attractive, and your options are plentiful. Imagine - you could even decorate with couches in the colors of your favorite college team!
Outdoor Audio Systems
These days, an audio system doesn’t have to look like somebody plunked down a bunch of equipment in your landscape.
Sophisticated audio components can easily be hidden on your property so that you don’t even know it’s there until someone switches it on.
Take satellite speakers, for instance. We can install a system with 10”-15” in-ground subwoofers that reproduce all your low frequency sounds, in conjunction with high frequency speakers concealed in trees, flower beds, or even made to look like rocks.
Another option is to install landscape lights with speakers built in. And the best part is, the sound quality is unbelievable. A properly installed audio system will provide even sound coverage over your entire landscape, so you won’t miss a single play.
Outdoor audio starts at about $1,000 for a small, basic system. But again, if you have the budget for it, your only limit is your imagination.
Last but not least, let’s not forget the reason for the season. Your outdoor TV will be the focus of attention throughout the football season, so why not make it a quality one?
TV’s start at about $1,500 for a small 32”-40” weatherproof flat screen with no audio support, and go up from there. Choose a large, cinematic screen or a series of smaller ones - or why not both, if it suits your property and entertaining style?
Working Together For The Perfect Fall Entertainment Solutions
The important thing is to realize that when it comes to outfitting your backyard for fall entertainment, there is no such thing as a one size fits all solution. It’s also important for all your components to work well together.
Your custom outdoor living area needs to complement and fit in with your landscape area, and your audio visual systems should blend seamlessly with both.
To accomplish this ideal, it helps if your landscape provider and your audio visual provider work together as a team. While we can work with any provider, we have a long standing relationship with Phoenix Home Entertainment.
We have partnered together to provide complete outdoor entertainment solutions for dozens of property owners in the Memphis area.
If you are considering outdoor entertainment improvements for the football season and beyond, give us a call at 901-755-3207, or message us online. One of our qualified landscaping professionals will be happy to help!