The advent of ‘streateries’ as a solution to indoor dining restrictions inspired innovative ways to maximize outdoor spaces. Demand for outdoor living space at home gained traction and remains a popular improvement. Depending on available space and budget, the opportunities to elevate your outdoor experience are endless.
Is dining alfresco something you enjoy? Consider converting an underutilized area into an outdoor dining location.
Perhaps add or convert a patio or deck into an outdoor kitchen. With some thoughtful overhead protection and a source of warmth, enjoying the great outdoors year-round is a practical expectation.
A simple outdoor fire pit creates a cozy spot to gather with friends and family after sunset.
These are just a few ways to elevate your outdoor living experience.
DECKS & PATIOS
Decks & patios add value to the home and provide a variety of uses. They are the perfect location for a table and chairs or container gardening.
Traditional wood decks can be less expensive to construct than an engineered deck but require regular maintenance.
Decks made from engineered products, such as Trex or Azek cost a bit more initially, yet longer-lasting and easy to maintain.
Some popular types of patios are stamped concrete and paver patios. Stamped concrete is a popular option because of the beautiful aesthetics and durability. Re-sealing is recommended every three to five years.
Paver patios are another good choice for a long-term solution. Paver patios require minimal maintenance, anti-slip, and durable. Design options are unlimited.
Do you love to cook and entertain? Enhance the alfresco dining experience even further by combining a love of cooking and entertaining with an outdoor kitchen. Adding a kitchen is a larger commitment and investment. Like a patio, it adds value to your home and entertaining options.
Outdoor kitchens are designed to withstand exposure, within reason. Typically, they are constructed with some type of overhead cover and open air on the sides. This design, along with a heat source, allows for maximum use nearly year-round.
An outdoor kitchen will need to have water and electricity, and possibly natural gas or propane. Construction and zoning rules are considerations for this type of project. Working with a certified home improvement contractor who specializes in outdoor upgrades will be helpful.
SUN PROTECTION & LIGHTING
Keep in mind how your outdoor space will serve you, day and night. By day, you might want protection from the sun. Just type in sunshades or awnings in your favorite browser. You will be amazed at the variety of designs and options available.
After dark, outdoor lighting plays a large part in the ambience and usefulness of your space. Experiment to find that perfect balance of not having to play hide and seek with your guests while maintaining a soothing glow on those warm summer nights.
Don’t forget about pathways. Strategically placed solar stake lights are inexpensive and will help avoid anyone tripping on the journey to your outdoor mecca.
Another source of light and warmth is an outdoor fire pit. Adding a fire pit to your patio or outdoor kitchen pulls everything, and everyone, together. Common options are gas and wood burning fire pits. Gas is clean and easy to light and doesn’t give off smoke.
If you enjoy a natural flame, then a traditional wood burning fire pit may be a desirable choice. Be sure to check your city’s zoning rules to see if wood burning fire pits are allowed. Consider how a wood burning fire pit may impact your neighbors, as well.
Any of these outdoor enhancements are a guaranteed way to sizzle up your summer and expand your home’s living space. Even the smallest updates can elevate the outdoor experience for you, your family, and your guests.
For larger projects, such as a kitchen, deck, or concrete patio installation, we recommend you consult with a certified contractor who specializes in that specific type of outdoor renovation.