5 Ways to Keep Your Patio in Play This Fall

Not ready for patio season to end? Maximize the use of your outdoor space even if there's a little chill in the air. Try these five ways to warm up and extend patio season well into the fall months:

Build a Fire Pit -- Buy or build a fire pit to take full advantage of cooler nights. This patio or yard accessory provides the perfect ambiance for roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories. Don't forget to leave enough space for friends and family to pull up a deck chair, as fire pits tend to draw a crowd.

Add an Outdoor Heater -- When temperatures start to dip, an outdoor heater can keep a patio area cozy and comfortable. There are many options to choose from, including propane, electric, tabletop and stand-alone models.

Warm Up the Porch -- A screened-in porch can get too cold for comfort without protection from chilly fall drafts. Adding curtains or shutters can help block the breeze and keep warm air in, turning this favorite summertime space into a fall retreat.

Install a Hot Tub -- Turn your backyard or patio into a year-round refuge for family and friends by adding a hot tub. Don't forget an insulation cover to keep the heat in and leaves and debris out.

Upgrade Features -- If you're willing to make an investment, you can update a patio with heated flooring, also known as radiant heating, or have an outdoor fireplace installed. Both extend the usability of outdoor spaces into the colder months.