Everything You Need to Know About Outdoor Living Spaces
If you’ve got a patio, back yard, front yard, pool area, balcony or deck, you can transform it into something truly amazing. Using innovative remodeling designs, your ordinary outdoor space can become an open-air living room that adds value and comfort to your home year-round. With the right design and remodeling team, it’s possible to create your own personal retreat without traveling to an expensive resort!
Most homeowners take pride in their homes and want to make the best of their available space. By designing an outdoor area, you extend your home’s available living space. You’re able enjoy beautiful days outdoors without compromising comfort and convenience.
The right design will turn your outdoor space into a functional living area – adding significant square footage to your home. You’ll be able to spend more time in the fresh air, as well as create an inviting space to entertain family and friends.
Why Consider an Outdoor Living Space
Do you ever have people over to your home? If you entertain, you need a living room, right? But some homes make entertaining tough. Your inside rooms may be small, have poor flow and limit the number of people you can comfortably entertain in your home.
Rather than make you and your guests feel cramped inside your home, why not expand your available space to the outdoors? It’s possible to substantially increase your available square footage by creating an outdoor living area for entertaining.
Plus, if you want to commune with nature, creating an outdoor oasis will accomplish that goal too. A well designed outdoor living space provides a relaxing and tranquil spot in a natural environment.
The following suggestions will help you get started with your outdoor project. Although similar to most indoor remodeling projects, an outdoor living space has some unique characteristics to accommodate.
Stick to a Pre-Determined Budget
Like any other remodeling project, you need to establish a budget for your outdoor living space. It’s important to determine how much you can afford so you don’t over-extend yourself.
Don’t forget to factor-in contingency costs too. Remodeling often encounters issues unknown at the time you start your project. An outdoor living space may need electrical and plumbing adjustments. Or, you may need to take special measures for privacy and protection from the natural elements.
Also, you don’t need to finish an entire outdoor space project in one fell swoop. If your budget is tight, consider doing your project in phases. For example, you may remodel your patio to include a living area. Then, when additional funds become available, you can move on to installing an outdoor kitchen.
Determine the Size of Your Outdoor Space
After you arrive at an available budget, you can then calculate the size of your project. Once you know how much space you can afford to work with, you can start to work on a design that fits.
Your remodeling company will help you create a design that can be accommodated in your space. Your team will prepare potential layouts for your outdoor living area so you know what can and can’t be included.
Create Consistency with Your Home’s Design
Because your outdoor space is an extension of your indoor space, you need to make the design consistent. You want to create harmony with your existing home design, not something that sticks out like a sore thumb.
Your overall design theme should flow from the inside to the outdoors. Everything should feel connected and make your home appear larger and more inviting.
Select Proper Furnishings
Although you may love a particular couch or table, think about how it will hold up to weather. Sun, rain, wind and dust all take a toll on outdoor furnishings. So, consider materials that will be more resistant. Examples include rattan, wicker, metal and other specially treated materials.
Also consider color. This goes along with creating indoor-outdoor consistency discussed above. Effective use of color is a great way to create an outdoor space with its own personality, yet still complements what you have indoors.
Furniture size is an important consideration as well. First, think about the overall size of your outdoor space. Then, what can fit in this space without affecting accessibility, flow and comfort? You certainly don’t want to buy an oversized couch because it looks great, but only fits three or four people comfortably and takes up a good portion of your available space. Not planning appropriately for the size of your furnishings defeats the purpose of adding outdoor square footage.
Install Proper Landscaping
Just like other aspects of your outdoor project, you want to select landscaping that complements your indoor design. Plants and lighting help create flow and ambiance as you move from your indoor space to your outdoor living area.
If your interior design uses southwest elements, you may want to include the same feel with your landscaping. Again, it’s all about creating harmony and logically expanding your available square footage in a consistent, appealing manner.
Establish a Location with the Best View
Most people want to spend time outside to bask in nature and enjoy the views. When creating your outdoor space, make sure you leverage your existing views. Even if you don’t face a majestic mountain or have an elevated view of the city lights, you can still situate your outdoor living area for the best possible view.
You may have an outdoor pond, fountain or pool you want to see. Or a magnificent, tall tree that provides ample shade year-round. You may also have a garden with plants blooming in beautiful colors throughout the seasons. Be sure to capitalize on the best of what your location has to offer.
Think about Privacy
Take the time to carefully consider your proposed outdoor location. Spend time there at different times of the day and year to see how private it is. A tree that blocks your neighbor’s second story may provide the desired privacy during the spring and summer months. But, what happens if it loses its leaves in the fall and winter? You and your guests will feel pretty exposed!
Your remodeling company can help design things to mitigate privacy issues. You may install a fence, tall plants, screens, canopies or other design elements to keep your space always private.
Consider Shelter from the Elements
Although your outdoor space will look and feel like an extension of your inside rooms, don’t forget it will be subject to natural elements. Sun, heat, wind, rain and dust can wreak havoc on your furnishings and comfort. Therefore, you need to design your outdoor space to minimize their effect.
You and your remodeling contractor can consider design elements like covers and landscaping. Umbrellas, gazebos, awnings, pergolas and other design elements that provide a “roof” to your outdoor space will offer protection from wind and rain. They’ll also provide shade from the sun and keep your space cooler.
Walls, screens and landscaping can also help protect from the elements, especially wind and dust. Your space will feel more like a room that’s letting nature in. You’ll also improve the intimacy and ambiance of your space.
Make Your Space Accessible
Typically, outdoor living rooms are placed with good access to and from your kitchen. If you’re creating an outdoor eating area, you want to be able to conveniently serve your food. You also need to think about access to power and water.
A well-designed outdoor living area instantly enlarges your home. You also benefit from access to nature and fresh air whenever you want. You and your guests will love the tranquility and beauty of being outside.
Learn about Award-Winning Outdoor Living Space Designs
The Republic West Remodeling team has produced award-winning designs over the past 18 years. With dependable service, quality craftsmanship, attention to detail, code of ethics, timeliness and cleanliness, our experience in the industry is unmatched. In fact, our standards far exceed anything the remodeling industry has ever seen.
We specialize in outdoor living spaces including:
- Barbeques & Bars
- Outdoor Kitchens
- Outdoor Dining Areas
- Gazebos & Arbors
- Decking & Flooring
- Outdoor Lighting
- Plants & Planters
- Retaining Walls
- Themed Landscapes
Plus, we offer the Dream Assurance Plan™, a custom remodeling process that strives to deliver a pleasant experience and a successful outcome for our customers. This plan includes the three concepts of design and visualization, cost certainty and time certainty. With Dream Assurance, we’ll deliver your outdoor remodeling project entirely within your expectations.
For more information on outdoor living spaces, or to request a free, no obligation, design consultation, visit http://www.republicwestremodeling.com/remodeling-and-construction.php or call (480) 478-8700.