8 Things to Consider When Adding an Outdoor Living Living Space

Transforming your drab, unused patch of land into an open-air oasis is the stuff of HGTV dreams.  Outdoor Living can show you how!


8 Things to Consider When Adding an Outdoor Living Space

Ah, the great outdoors! Bringing the inside out is a home improvement project worth sinking your teeth – or your shovel – into. Picture this: a cozy haven right outside your door, perfect for kicking back after an energy-zapping day. Sounds dreamy, right? But transforming your backyard into an oasis of tranquility takes more than just stylish patio shades and plush cushions.

So, without further ado, here are 8 crucial tips for crafting your ultimate open-air abode:

1. Use and Purpose

When planning your outdoor living area, ask yourself first: how am I going to use the space? Do you want a place to host parties and entertain guests? Somewhere to kick back and relax? Or an area where your kids can have fun and play?

Your answer to this question will help you determine what features and amenities to prioritize. If you’re mainly using the space for get togethers, you’ll want to focus on ample seating, overhead protection, and maybe a BBQ grill.

2. Size

Before you move forward with your project, make sure you already have an accurate measurement of the area you’re going to work with. Knowing how much space you have can help you effectively plan the layout and avoid costly mistakes.

The last thing you want is to spend money on fixtures and furniture, only to find out that they don’t fit or leave you with very little space to move around.

3. Budget

You’ve probably seen dozens of beautiful photos of outdoor living spaces online that you want to recreate. But before you set your eyes on a specific theme or concept, decide on a budget first. Your budget should cover materials, labor, design, and other additional expenses.

Be realistic in setting your budget. If you want an elaborate patio, you must be willing to spend top dollars for it. Make a checklist of all the things you want in your outdoor living space and then edit your list according to what your budget will allow.

4. Design

Remember that your outdoor living area is an extension of your home. You’d want to pay the same attention to its design and aesthetics as you would with your interior home décor.

The best outdoor living spaces reflect the homeowners’ tastes and preferences. But just in case you don’t know where to start, you can go online and find inspiration from other people’s ideas or work with a professional designer to help you bring your vision to life.

5. Materials

Regardless of how big or small your project is, it’s critical that you use materials that do not only add visual appeal to the space but can also withstand exposure to the elements day in and day out.

When choosing materials for your outdoor area, consider your lifestyle, budget, space needs, and maintenance requirements. Some of the most popular outdoor materials that are also known for their durability are stone, brick, PVC, aluminum, iron, and wood.

6. Facilities

Homeowners want their outdoor living spaces to be as functional as they can be. Often, that means more facilities are considered essential. Nowadays, it’s common to find patios equipped with an outdoor kitchen, BBQ island, refrigerator, and heating fixtures for the winter season.

While it is great to have all these facilities, they can make planning your outdoor living area more complicated. You need to figure out which features go where and plan where the utility lines go prior to beginning the build. Once the construction is complete, it would be difficult and very costly to make changes to the wirings and plumbing.

7. Privacy and Weather Protection

Outdoor living areas are often at the mercy of the elements, so you need to keep the weather in mind during the planning stage.

To gain maximum use of your outdoor living space, design it to suit changing climates and weather conditions. Most of the time, this means installing patio shades, sliding screen doors, roll down blinds, or adjustable/bi-folding louvers. These things will not only help ward high winds and inclement weather; they can also help regulate the privacy of your outdoor space.

8. Maintenance

Like any other part of your home, your outdoor living space will also need some upkeep. And the amount of maintenance required will typically depend on the design, landscaping, furniture, and materials used to build the space.

If you’re not big on upkeep, consider using low-maintenance materials for your outdoor living space such as stone, concrete, and composite wood

As for outdoor furniture, go for metal, teak, cedar, and all-weather wicker pieces as they are usually unfazed by whatever nature throws their way.

Before building your outdoor living space, envision the kind of space you want to have. How do you want it to look? What are your non-negotiables? Do your plans fit your budget?

A well thought-out design, combined with careful planning, can transform your outdoor living space into a highly-functional area that you and your loved ones would love to spend time in all-year-round.

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