An outdoor living space can not only add extra amenities to your home, it can also increase its resale value. But what many homeowners don’t know about undertaking such an improvement can cause a myriad of problems. It’s important to understand some basic principles.
This is especially true if you want to go beyond a basic patio set, like an outdoor kitchen design or putting in a pool. You’ll have to take into consideration all aspects of your space, from the right type of outdoor lights, to the most efficient yet theme-centric outdoor ceiling fans, to the most durable outdoor furniture fabric, to the ebb and flow of walkways.
Remember, you’re creating an outdoor living space to use in different seasons and to cater to your individual tastes. So, there’s far more to it than picking out furniture, fixtures and appliances at your local home improvement store. Start by determining your space limitations and how your design vision will complement your home.
Planning Your Concept
An outdoor living space is more than just hard or softscaping. Those elements are embellishments of your furniture, pool, appliances and other structures, such as a gazebo or cabana. Think about what type of space you’d like. Settle on a theme and stick with it. Don’t ruin your landscape. Plan and follow through.
“It’s important to establish the reason for your outdoor project, and what you hope to accomplish. Do you want to create an outdoor space for enjoying meals with the family, or do you want to line your yard with attention-grabbing scenery?” —WBNS-TV
What’s more, think carefully about how you intend to use the space and what you can incorporate to make it functional for that purpose. If it will be used as an entertainment area, think about installing audio and visual equipment. If you envision guests dining outside, then a grill, sink and perhaps other kitchen appliances will be necessary.
In other words, your new outdoor living space should be a usable year-round and in different types of weather conditions.
Creating an Outdoor Living Space
Prior to buying outdoor rugs or floating lounge chairs, take some time to reconcile your needs with your wishes. You’ll have many choices in materials and uses, which can be a bit overwhelming. Moreover, it can be confusing. The cost of your outdoor living space can easily go beyond budget for do-it-yourselfers. In fact, it will probably cost less if you hire a professional contractor.
Here are some key considerations you need to take into account before you buy furniture, stone pavers or landscape lighting:
- Know what utility upgrades you’ll need. Chances are your home isn’t fully equipped to handle much more of a load on the utilities than it currently has. Speak with an electrician and plumber to determine what you’ll need in order to make your new outdoor living space a reality.
- Consider your materials choices. Are you installing a pool? Or a fire pit? How about a full-fledged outdoor kitchen? Each will require certain elements to be functional. Decking comes in many shapes and sizes. Think about the materials you’ll use such as stone pavers versus concrete or composite wood versus natural wood for a deck.
- Think about safety. Pools are a wonderful source of relaxation and enjoyment. But they are also a safety risk or children and seniors. In addition, Tiki torches are a fire hazard as well as fire pits.
- Choose low maintenance elements when possible. Some furniture, fixtures, appliances and pools might be far more aesthetic but require a substantial amount of maintenance. That will add to long-term costs and could even be a roadblock to resale potential later on.
The bottom line is to not got-it-alone. Set a realistic budget and get the advice of a professional to create an outdoor living space you’ll not only love but can enjoy for years to come.
If you’re going to sell your home in the near future and buy a new house, please don’t hesitate to phone me at 407-616-7286, I’ll be happy to speak with you.