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Best in Backyards Blog

A consumer’s guide to backyard products including Swing Sets, Storage Sheds, Outdoor Rooms, Trampolines, Basketball Systems and much more. Check out our blog for advice and expert opinions to help you create your perfect dream backyard!

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Recent blog posts
For Skip Day, a trip to Las Vegas to participate in the burger portion of the World Food Championships (WFC) meant even more than cooking alongside some of the country's best chefs. It meant new friendships; a road trip with gorgeous sites; and great family memories that will last for years to come.   Skip--who won the Best in Backyards Bull Burger Battle on May 31, 2014 in Mahopac, New York--competed in the November WFC with Lizzie, his 13-year-old sidekick daughter. The pair, known as Swamp Pit BBQ, came in 35th out of 47 competitors.   "I was extremely excited," Skip said.    In Vegas the duo whipped up the same Infamous Skippy Burger--a patty melt on Rye bread, topped with two cheeses, sautéed onions and shallots--they crafted at Best in Backyards. There they competed against 12 other teams as friends and family members enjoyed live radio entertainment and face painting....
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Halloween is just ten days away, and that means lots of excitement from the kids! Maybe you love this season too, and delve right into all things pumpkin spice, decorate the house with black and orange, and even put together a couple of fantastic costumes for the youngsters. But why not take it one step further and really make the most of this time of year?   If you are the type of homeowner who has made the most of his or her backyard for fun get-togethers with family and friends in the summer, you can use the same space for a great autumn celebration. Take a quick trip to the craft store and find a few decorations that will work on your pergola to brighten up your outdoor room. Do the same with the swing set (we have seen folks dress up a playset in bright colored lights) and maybe...
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Even though the end of summer means no more warm weather, and less free time for families, this time of year does have its perks. No, we're not talking about all things pumpkin spice or the chance to go apple picking. We're talking about big seasonal clearance sales!   After Labor Day is usually the time for companies to sell off their displays and their excess inventory, especially in the Northeast where winter and snow come quickly. Retailers are looking to make way for their new inventory for the coming year so they run huge sales--sometimes their biggest of the year--that can save customers between 10 and 40-percent on products that have been used for one season and are less than a year old. Any wear and tear on the product will usually be minimal, so don't let that hold you back from making a purchase (remember, even brand new items...
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Coming up with your own outdoor room design is a fun, exciting process that requires you to think about everything from space availability to furniture and decorations. But one of the first things you should consider is the type of shade solution you will use to create this additional living area, whether it's an outdoor living room or a more casual gathering space. From pergolas and pavilions to gazebos to retractable awnings, there are plenty of options for outdoor or patio room creations--each with pros and cons to weigh.   A pergola is a gorgeous option that allows sunlight to shine through parallel, intersecting rafters and headers, which are typically made of wood or vinyl. Supported by four columns or posts, these structures have either a flat or arched top. They are available at department stores for as little as a couple of hundred dollars, but usually this price point indicates...
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Have you ever thought about dry aging beef at home? If you love a tender, flavorful steak--and would rather whip one up on your own BBQ grill than have it prepared at an expensive restaurant--dry aging is definitely something you will want to incorporate into your repertoire of cooking techniques.    Here are some tips and steps to dry aging at home:   - Be sure to purchase a thick piece of meat, ideally, one that is Choice or Prime. Some experts recommend dry aging only large cuts (such as a ribeye roast, a New York Strip loin or a section of ribs), with the fat cap still intact. These can be sliced into separate portions later. The main reason for this is because the dry aging process calls for the outer layers of the steak to be trimmed off prior to cooking. The amount of meat that gets trimmed off...
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From fuel types and ignition quality, to material and maintenance, to BTUs and beyond, there are lots of things--big and small--to consider when you are buying a gas grill, charcoal grill or wood-pellet grill. Whether you are an old pro at barbecuing and looking for a replacement grill, or you are in the market for your first, it is wise to mull over your options and do your research before making a purchase. After all, this item will be the source of many family meals (and memories!) for years to come, so you want to find the best BBQ grill out there that fits your needs and your budget!   Let's start with the basics. First and foremost, where will you be placing your grill? The answer should be somewhere that is safe and convenient. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests at least 10 feet of space between the grill and your...
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Skip Day of Team Swamp Pit BBQ took first place at the first Bull Burger Battle of 2014. It was held at Best in Backyards in Mahopac, NY on May 31. Day, a resident of Wantagh, NY, and his daughter Elizabeth whipped up a burger that featured American and pepper jack cheese, a Jersey-inspired pork roll and sautéed onions and shallots between two slices of Rye bread. Day first cooked up the burger about eight years ago, and has since made a few tweaks here and there. Named the "Infamous Skippy Burger," it has earned him recognition in other competitions, too. As the grand prize, Day took home a premium Bull outdoor Angus grill, valued at $2,500. He will also receive a paid trip to Las Vegas to compete in the World Food Championships in November. There, competitors will battle for thousands of dollars in prize money, plus food fame!  To learn more about the...
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Nothing says summer quite like a backyard barbecue with friends and family, and no barbecue is complete without hamburgers. Maybe you could eat a classic cheeseburger everyday, or perhaps you prefer a burger packed with nontraditional ingredients. Whatever the case, there's no reason not to spice things up this summer and try out a new burger creation. Here are a few ideas:   Think tacos -- Love Mexican cuisine? Throw on some grated cheese, avocado, beans and shredded lettuce. If you're feeling really adventurous, add some rice, or mix some salsa into the burger meat. Don't be afraid to top it off with a spoonful of sour cream! Load up the veggies -- Pile your burger high with sautéed mushrooms, onions or scallions, roasted Brussels sprouts and diced tomatoes.  Try a different type of cheese -- If your go-to cheese has been cheddar for, say, the last 10 years, switch it...
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With Easter morning less than 48 hours away, moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas all over the country are prepping for Easter egg hunts that will be tons of fun for the youngsters. Whether you are purchasing the eggs or going the old-fashioned route (FYI: Easter eggs have been around for more than 100 years!) by hard-boiling, cooling, dying and decorating, the eggs are just half the fun.    The other is coming up with tricky spots so your children will have to put in some extra effort to find all the candy and treasures! That may mean switching things up a bit and taking the hunt from the living room and dining room to the front yard and backyard. If you're having trouble coming up with hiding spots, take a look at the list below and see what you can incorporate into this year's Easter egg hunt. Just remember where you...
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Are you at a loss when it comes to finding spots in the garage to store your lawn equipment, your seasonal items, your four-wheeler, your tools and more? If so, a storage shed may be the perfect solution for you.    There are a few things to think about as you consider what type of shed would fit your needs. The experts at Best in Backyards have come up with five important tips for the shed selection and preparation process:   - Location: While the corner of your yard is a tempting place to tuck your shed, it is best to place the structure somewhat close to the house. Remember, if you need a power tool or a shovel, and the weather is poor, you won't want to have to make a big trek. Also important when selecting a location is making sure that the ground is relatively level and dry,...
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The birds are chirping, and the flowers are blooming. With the arrival of spring just last week, it’s no wonder you’re itching to get outdoors and enjoy every minute of those long, twelve-hours days while you can! Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal, and that includes every aspect of your life. Tired of being indoors all winter? Here are three ways you can easily hike, run and jump your way to an active lifestyle. But hurry—the spring season only lasts until June.   Bond Over Basketball There are many ways to bond with your kids—and each one poses a different opportunity to talk, connect and have fun. Bond with your kids over a favorite TV show and you don’t have much time to talk. Bond with each other over a game of basketball, and you talk, shoot some hoops and connect on a level you never could have while...
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Being cooped up indoors is a thing of the past. Or, at least, it should be. If you’re like most people, then you may be experiencing a case of extreme ‘cabin fever’ from the past few months of winter. But luckily, spring is here, and that means you need to make up for lost time and prepare for the many ways in which you can use your backyard to its full potential! Here are some ideas on how to transform your outdoor room into the most frequented room of your home.   Bring in a Little Something Special Are you tired of sweating over the stove top in an effort to make a healthy dinner for your family? Head outside and cook up a delicious meal on your outdoor kitchen instead! Outdoor kitchens are the ultimate backyard accessory, with everything you need to work some wonders for your family and friends! Just imagine...
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Are you mad about March, or perhaps simply mad about March Madness? If you’re a sports fan, or if you know a family member who lives and breathes basketball, you know what this month entails: close games, cheering and lots of excitement. But the fun doesn't have to stop with the victory—or loss—of your favorite college team! Our in-ground and wall-mount Goalsetter basketball systems are the perfect option when it comes to staying fit, improving skills and nurturing that competitive spirit.    Are you ready to get your family involved on your own court? Watch a game or two with your kids, then use your new in-ground or wall-mount basketball system to practice those shooting, dribbling and pivoting skills. Run some drills and teach your youngsters the basics. Our in-ground basketball systems are a great choice for growing family members, with adjustable heights from 6 to 10 feet, and fully-tempered glass...
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  Many people have all the bells and whistles of a gorgeous backyard. They have a pool, a hot tub and a garden abundant with fresh lilies, roses and more. They may even have a trampoline or a tennis court. But oddly enough, they do not have an awning to protect them from the heat. When your family, friends and party guests aren’t shielded from the bright sun of the spring or the scorching heat of summer, it can be a real mood killer. That’s why we're giving you a guide to the one backyard accessory that may have escaped you—so you can go into spring and summer fully prepared for fun in the sun (or in this case, out of the sun’s way!)   An Awning…Why Now? You may wonder why an awning, and why now? What you should be asking yourself is "Why not?" Spring and summer are right around the corner, and...
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Spring Cleaning Tips to Eliminate the Clutter Spring is only a couple weeks away—which means that your cluttered garage may be on your mind. Perhaps you’ve stared at the piles of boxes, equipment and trash in your garage and already though, “I’ve had it! I can’t stand this clutter any longer!”  Relax. We’ve got your fool-proof plan to ease into spring with a clean home. Let us help you by taking the chaos out of your garage and putting it all in your new storage shed!   Spend a Saturday Clearing Out Your Garage There’s nothing worse than walking into your garage…and tripping over a rake, or stumbling over old boxes of your children’s outdated clothes. Spring time is the opportunity to schlep away the old in order to make room for the new—and your garage is the perfect place to start. If you’re like most people, the piles of old...
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Posted by on in Swing Sets
Swing Sets for Spring Time!   Ah, spring time. Is there a better time of the year? We think not—especially since this is the perfect opportunity for your kids to get out of the house and burn off some of that wintertime cooped up energy! We also think it’s the perfect chance for you to get out in your backyard, sit down with a glass of iced tea and enjoy the great outdoors as much as they will. Need some tips to turn your ordinary (and possibly overgrown) backyard into a peaceful place you can unwind and relax? Here are some of the basics, with one show stopper to put on your ‘must have’ to-do list!   Turn Your Backyard into a Kids Outdoor Play Area (We Have Everything You’ll Need!) No matter what your backyard has been in the past (a place to store old equipment you don’t use, a...
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Create a Romantic Getaway With Our Hearthside Pergolas!   Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean the romance in your life has to. The secret to a healthy, passionate and exciting relationship (no matter how long you’ve been together) is spontaneous, stolen moments you can enjoy each and every day. Don’t wait for the means to book a trip to a tropical paradise, because your romantic getaway is just a few steps away—in your very own backyard! Here are three easy steps to turn your unused space into a sacred oasis. And the best part of all? All it takes is a pergola, a bottle of wine and some dim lighting. Viola! You’ve just brought back the heat as a couple…and this time, it’s here to stay!     Bring in a Hearthside Pergola to Set the Mood You may not always feel like you have time to...
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Posted by on in Trampolines
Lose Weight While Jumping Your Heart Out   Yo-yo dieting is all too common. The fluctuation of losing weight is discouraging. And, the more times you lose weight only to gain it back (and then some), the harder it is to get back on the metaphorical ‘bandwagon’ and commit to serious weight loss once and for all. Luckily, there’s one weight loss tool you may not have considered. It’s not a strict no-carb weight loss plan or a calorie counting obsession. It’s your trampoline, which can provide a healthy, cardiovascular workout you need to loose inches and raise your metabolism. So, go at it and jump your heart out (in order to improve your heart health!) Here’s a fitness plan to get you moving in the right direction!     Trampoline Lunges and Lifts When you do push-ups at the gym, you tone and tighten. Now, just imagine doing push-ups on...
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Posted by on in Sheds
Gardening Tips Sure, everyone this time of year is looking forward to sunny skies, warmer weather and the blooming of flowers. But one of the best parts about the Spring season—as well as Winter—is  having the means to grow a beautiful and plentiful garden!  Do you have a green thumb, and can’t wait to utilize it right now, as well as plan for the perfect spring crop of veggies and flowers? Instead of risking that your young plants will freeze during a winter storm, or wondering how you’ll control the onset of fungus on your plants in the coming months, Look no further than right here. This is your Winter/Spring guide to becoming the experienced, organized gardener you’ve always dreamed of being! Protect Young Plants From Freezing You know as well as anybody else that when frost comes to town, it can mean death for your garden. Why take a risk...
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Got Cabin Fever? We’ve Got the Solution! Feeling blue lately?  Between the bitter cold weather that limits your children’s outdoor play and the absence of sunshine for days a time, it’s no wonder you feel the effects of cabin fever. The winter blues makes the days seem long, and the night’s even longer! Are you looking for the perfect way to replace restlessness of being indoors for something exciting you can look forward to, come Spring? Then look no further than your own local Best in Backyards showroom! Your whole family can come down to one of our six New York and Connecticut locations to see firsthand how exciting your backyard can truly be—and just how transformative you can make it!   Don’t let the rain, sleet and snow bring down your mood. Don’t let your kids test your patience as they’re cooped up indoors! Instead of passing the time by...
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