Upgrade Your Outdoor Living Space
Transforming your backyard into a true extension of your home's living space is a relatively easy way to add usable square footage and increase enjoyment of your home. Making outdoor upgrades is also a scalable project, meaning you can do as little or as much as your budget allows and continue enhancing the space over time.
Start planning how you'll create a backyard paradise with these ideas from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI):
Living SpaceLiving rooms and kitchens are among the most popular choices for upgrading a patio space. This approach allows you to take entertaining outdoors with a welcoming environment that blends the comforts of indoor spaces with the ability to appreciate the sights and sounds of the outdoors.
Comfy seating is a must, but beyond that the options are nearly endless. You might install a grilling station or even a full kitchen setup that offers the same benefits of an open floor plan indoors. You could add a fireplace for character and warmth, and even integrate a pizza oven if your family enjoys a cheesy homemade pie. A bar puts refreshing beverages in easy reach, while a water feature lends to a calming ambiance.
Before you get started, narrow down the many choices by defining how you want to use the space. Know whether your goal is to create a relaxing retreat, add entertaining space or work in another function that fits your family's needs.
EntertainmentCreating an indoor setting outside can also mean bringing comfort elements like entertainment outdoors. Typical outdoor entertainment technologies include music and speaker systems, lighting, all-weather televisions and theater systems. Speaker systems are becoming more invisible as they blend into the landscaping as rocks or planters.
However, not all outdoor products are able to withstand all weather conditions. For example, some products are marketed for indoor and outdoor use, but they're not constructed to withstand extreme temperatures all year. Do your research to ensure your products are appropriate for your environment.
Remodelers should also be mindful of placement of the speaker systems, so as not to disturb the neighbors and to maximize enjoyment for the homeowner.
Functional FeaturesEntertainment aside, there are some options for upgrading your backyard space that are as practical as they are enjoyable. For example, adding paved walkways lends both aesthetic appeal and a clear path for traveling from one section of the yard to the next. This is especially advantageous for high-traffic areas, where frequent trips might otherwise damage the lawn. The material can either complement or match the surface of a finished patio space, particularly if you choose an option like stone or pavers.
Other functional features you might consider include fire pits, which can lend warmth on a cool day, and lush vegetation, which can contribute both character and shade to the space. If you live in an especially warm region, installing a cooling mist system can extend the usability of your area well into summer.
When it comes to customizing your space, particularly if it's smaller, you can get creative with clever multi-purpose features like benches with built-in planters and tables with hidden drink wells for icing down beverages.
Source: National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2019. All rights reserved.