After you've had a chance to get to know your property, you'll probably have a list of problems as well as a list of dreams. For example, you may have found that the chickens next door make too much noise. This is a problem because you were planning to put a patio nearby, and there's something about all that clucking that just drives you nuts. You know you won't be happy with the noise, but you don't see another place in your yard where the patio will work. Limitations like this one crop up on every project.
Solving project problems and limitations can be tricky and often involves tradeoffs, such as living with the chicken clucking or tolerating a patio in a less-than-ideal location. However, a little outside-the-box thinking can sometimes provide you with a solution that offers unexpected benefits, so inventory your possible workarounds. For instance, you may put in a fountain that's pleasantly loud enough to mask the chicken noise, with the added benefits of cooling off the otherwise warm patio, being a lovely focal point, and providing habitat for dragonflies, fish, and birds. Another approach may be to build a solid, noise-blocking masonry wall on that side of the yard. Combine the wall with the fountain and the patio, and you have a very fine outdoor room that's better than your original design thanks to those darn chickens. Whatever the source of your problem, see whether you can find a solution that leaves you with more than just an end to the problem.
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