If you have unused or extra space on your property, one of the best ways to make use of it is to build an outdoor living area. In fact, given the value they add to homes, outdoor living spaces are growing in popularity. They have a lot to offer but if you’re interested in having one built, you have to make sure that you properly plan for the project.
Just follow these six steps:
Step 1: Know What You Want and Need
There are limitless possibilities when it comes to designing and building an outdoor living space, so it’s easy to be overwhelmed and veer off track. And if you don’t focus on what you really want and need, you’re not going to be able to make the most of your investment.
However, don’t think that this means planning for an outdoor living space can’t be fun. While you’re still in the planning stages, you can let your imagination go wild. Then from there, you sift through all your ideas to zero in on what matters the most to you.
To get started, you can take inspiration from home improvement magazines, Pinterest and other homes. Think of your backyard or lawn as a canvass that you can paint on — or in this case, build on — as you please.
This is also the time to acquaint yourself with the different types of outdoor living spaces you can choose from. Typically, these include:
● Pools or ponds
● Pool houses
● Outdoor Kitchens
Don’t worry — even though there seems to be a lot of things you want, you will get a clearer vision of your ideal outdoor living space as you go through the next steps.
ENDLESS DESIGN POSSIBILITIES: Since the boom of outdoor living spaces, there have been countless types of outdoor structure designs and themes.
Step 2: Pick a Spot
Most outdoor living spaces, such as patios, porches, and decks, are built adjacent to the house. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case. You can build a gazebo or pavilion as far from the house as possible for ultimate privacy, for instance.
There are a number of things to consider when choosing the best spot for your outdoor living space, such as:
● Access and Traffic – The area should be conducive to efficient traffic flow.
● Utilities – The area should have easy access to power and water lines if you are planning to build a fully-equipped outdoor entertainment room. Access to gas lines might also be necessary if you want an outdoor kitchen.
● Floor space – The area should be big enough to fit the outdoor structure you are hoping to build.
Once you have determined where exactly on your property you will build your desired outdoor living space, take a look at your notes from the first step. You might need to make some adjustments based on what your chosen spot can accommodate.
Step 3: Size It Good
The size of your outdoor living space will depend on two things: your goals and the available space you have.
In general, if you only plan to entertain a few family, friends and guests, a small outdoor space should be enough for intimate gatherings. But if you’re the type who loves hosting large parties, then you certainly need to go big. Now, this is where your available space comes in. You need to make the most out of every square foot while meeting your primary goals.
Again, go back to your original list and omit or add details that you think are or are no longer necessary.
SIZE MATTERS: Even a small outdoor space can be beautiful and relaxing, but a bigger one lets you enjoy the company of more people.
Step 4: Come Up with a Theme
Now that you have an idea of where you will build your outdoor living space and how big it will be, you can proceed with its general architectural theme. Will it be modern and contemporary? Do you want it to exude a cottage vibe?
Once you’ve decided on the theme, you can now think of the dominant materials that it will be made of. Are you going to use brick or masonry for the walls? Will there be wood accents? Would you want ceramic tiles for the flooring?
Furthermore, the theme will also affect your color choices in one way or another. For instance, a traditional or classic porch might look better with bright accents, while a contemporary structure will be well-complemented by neutral tones.
Step 5: Decide on the Details
Outdoor living spaces can be as simple as a paved extension of your home with a table and a few chairs or as intricate as a fully-equipped living space is. It’s simply all about the details. Depending on what you want and need, you can add features and fixtures like a fireplace, fountain, mini pond, low-voltage lighting, planters, and appliances. Don’t forget the greenery! Landscaping will do wonders framing your new outdoor space.
ALL-IN-ONE: Details and features will take your outdoor living space to the next level.
Step 6: Choose a Reliable and Experienced Builder
Building an outdoor living space doesn’t have to overwhelm, but it’s not a walk in the park either. Depending on the size and intricacy of your chosen outdoor living space, the process of building one can be compared to that of an actual home addition or a knock down rebuild — from building permits to design and construction itself. It is simply something not everyone can do.
Having gone through the first five steps, you probably already have an idea of what you want to get out of your dream outdoor living space. Now, it’s time to turn that into reality by entrusting your project to a reliable and experienced builder.
Aside from ensuring you’re dealing with a licensed and insured remodeling and construction professional, check for references. Previous clients can provide you with feedback, which you can use to assess if you’re looking for the right contractor for you. You can also go over your contractor’s portfolio to gauge what they can do.
As long as you have a clear vision of what you want for your outdoor living space to be and you work only with a reliable remodeling professional, you’re sure to enjoy an enviable outdoor space in no time. To learn more about options available to you, don’t hesitate to give a trusted contractor in your area a call today.
Ted Tidmore is the owner and founder of Holloway Company. He established the company while still attending George Mason University in 1993 and continues to oversee projects until today. Through his own experience, he knows what it takes to bring a project together. When not out in the field, he writes informative articles to help homeowners looking to further improve their properties. Check out the company blog for updates from Ted!