Outdoor living spaces are great for recreation and entertaining, plus they add value to your home. Find out how to create your own space, or dress up an area you already have. Bring the indoors out with your own outdoor living area!
Outdoor living is a fast growing trend in the United States. Many homeowners are beginning to realize that the primary living areas of their homes don’t have to be indoors. A well designed outdoor living space can often times be the most utilized area for a family. Furthermore, an attractive outdoor living area is also a great selling point for a home and can significantly raise your home’s value.
If you’re creating a new outdoor living area from scratch, there are several important things to consider before getting started. When building a deck or patio, you should first take a look at the location and nearby structures. If you are building a deck that is attached to a house, for example, you may not want to build over basement windows because it will make your basement darker. If you’re putting in a patio, you may have to excavate a small area, and you’ll want to take care not to damage the roots of any trees in your yard.
Do you need a railing or fence to provide protection, security, or privacy to your area? There are many options available from wood to metal, plastic and stone. If all you need is privacy, you may want to look to the landscaping around your yard. Privacy can easily be created with trees, shrubs or climbing plants on upright structures such as trellises, screens, pergolas, or obelisks.
Outdoor furniture is another important component of your outdoor living space. There are many types of outdoor furniture available. Weatherproof furniture comes in a variety of materials such as wicker, plastic, metal, wrought iron, aluminum, or wood. You can purchase complete pre-assembled sets, partially assembled products or do-it-yourself kits. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so you’ll have to consider what will best meet your needs.
Another thing to consider is whether your outdoor living area will be covered or not. Some people choose to enclose their outdoor area, while others have only solid roofs or open pergola type coverings. Do you need an umbrella for shade? Awnings can be another good option, as they are available in a wide variety of fabrics and sizes, and can be attached directly to your home.
Most outdoor areas have some type of walking surface. Some of the most common foundations are grass, gravel, stone, brick, wood, and concrete. If your walking surface is already in place, you may want to consider adding an outdoor rug to soften the space. In addition to price, you should also consider durability, longevity, and maintenance when you are shopping for flooring for your outdoor area.
If you plan to use your outdoor living area at night, you might also want to add outdoor lighting. Candles give a romantic mood to any setting, but also carry a safety concern, especially on wood decks. Low voltage lighting provides consistent lighting without the fire hazard. Solar lighting is also a growing trend for outdoor areas. The ease of not having to run electrical wiring makes this an easy option for everyone. Low voltage and solar lights come in a variety of styles to compliment your space.
Most importantly, be sure your outdoor living space is safe and works well for your needs and budget. With a little bit of planning, anyone can create an outdoor living space that will add to their home’s value and provide years of enjoyment and recreation for their family.