You love spending time on your deck in the mild weather of the spring and the sunny days of the summer. But as the weather dips in the winter, especially during the cold nights, suddenly the space looks a lot less attractive. The deck is beyond the comforts of your indoor heater. You may be tempted to give it up until the spring starts to warm things again.

You don’t have to though. With the right additions, your deck can become a comfortable, cozy space to pass time during the winter months, as well as the rest of the year. Here are ten ways to make your deck into a space you still love during the coldest season.

1. Add a fireplace

Nothing really compares to sitting next to a fire on a cold night. Even if you already have a fireplace inside your home, having one on your deck gives you the opportunity to emulate the experience of sitting by the campfire on a regular basis. You can take in the beauty of night sky and the flames at the same time.

Installing a fireplace on your deck isn’t a DIY project. You need to do it right to make sure it’s built safely. But with the help of a good contractor, your family can start to enjoy the feel and atmosphere of a fire while sitting out on your deck this winter.

Stone fireplace and screen porch, Fort Mill, SC

2. Install ceiling heaters

A fire may add more atmosphere, but it does require more work to get started. If you want an easier option for keeping your deck warm, ceiling heaters can do the trick. Turn them on, and you can immediately add warmth to the space that makes it more comfortable on those cold nights. And installing them in the ceiling keeps them out of the way, so you don’t forfeit any space.

3. Add a wall-mounted deck heater

Another option that combines convenience with comfort is to buy a heater that you mount on the deck wall. Wall-mounted heaters are relatively inexpensive. You can turn them on with the press of a button, and installing them typically won’t be too complicated of a process.

4. (Safely) build a firepit

A firepit can be an easier addition than a fireplace, but one that provides a similar atmosphere. The catch is that building a firepit the wrong way—whether with the wrong materials or in the wrong place—can be extremely dangerous. You don’t want the pursuit of warmth to mean a greater fire risk for your home.

But if you choose the right approach and pick a safe spot for it (something a good contractor can help with), a firepit can supply the kind of cozy atmosphere that extends how much of the year you enjoy your deck.

5. Get a chiminea

A chiminea is sort of a cross between a fireplace and a fire pit. It’s contained enough to be a relatively safe option (as much as any option that involves fire is—you still need to be careful!). But it’s affordable and easy to add to any outdoor space.

One downside of chimineas is that they tend to be on the small side, so if you have a large family that will want to gather around the fire, a fireplace or fire pit probably makes more sense. But it provides a relatively easy and low-cost option for those looking for a simpler solution.

6. Bring out a portable space heater

A portable space heater is one of the easiest ways to add warmth to an outdoor space. They don’t require any installation, and you don’t have to do the work of starting a fire each time you want to use them. You can find small ones for less than $50 that require no real assembly, or you can invest in a larger one that heats more of the space. Make sure you look for one designed to be used outdoors.

7. Invest in a standing heater

You’ve seen these before at restaurants with outdoor seating areas. You can add one to your deck as well. They provide a nice amount of warmth, and you can find them in a couple different styles and at different price points.

8. Add a hot tub

This one is admittedly a bigger project than a lot of the items on this list, but if you’re a hot tub fan, nothing else quite compares to having one in your own backyard. Hot tubs are a great way to warm up on cool nights, and a fun addition to any home. Just make sure you keep warm towels nearby—the hot tub won’t keep you warm once it’s time to get out.

9. Make it screened in

Converting your deck to a screened porch reduces your exposure to cold weather conditions, particularly wind, cold rain, and snow. It also brings the added benefit of keeping the bugs out—something you’ll appreciate in the summer months as well. While this isn’t a quick and easy fix—it’s definitely a bigger project than buying a portable heater—it’s one that can make your deck more comfortable and cozy year round. And with the right contractor, the project won’t seem too daunting.

10. Pair a warm blanket with a hot beverage

If you want a short-term solution you can put to use right now, you don’t even have to leave the house for this one. Go find your coziest blanket, make yourself some hot chocolate or coffee, and curl up on the deck. If you have a furry pet you can bring with you, they can supply some bonus warmth.

This won’t always work on really cold nights. But for milder weather, it’s a quick and easy way to make your deck more comfortable.

Make Your Deck Winter-Friendly

Not all of these tips require the expertise of a professional contractor, but some of them aren’t safe to try on your own. If you’re considering adding a fireplace or converting your deck to a screened porch, you’ll want the help of a registered contractor. Fineline Construction has years of experience helping homeowners in North Carolina with projects like these, and has built a trusted reputation. To take the first steps toward a cozier, winter-friendly deck, get in touch.