The possibilities and functionalities of an outdoor living space are amazingly endless. Outdoor spaces are hosts to beautiful swimming pools, gaming areas, an outdoor kitchen for parties and so much more. These are areas that allow friends and family to interact without interruption and put their feet up in relaxation.
Unfortunately, numerous people do not know how to build an outdoor living space. For that reason and more, this article provides tips on how to plan an outdoor living space, and how to spruce up your yard so you can have the outdoor living space of your dreams.
What is An Outdoor Living Space?
An outdoor living space is an area that is accessible to a pool, patio, outdoor lounges, play areas, and anything else that allows you, your family, and your friends to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Living space is not restricted to just one entertainment area. It is possible, depending on the amount of space you have, to have a pool area and a pool house to match and maybe a golf course at the side. So, in essence, an outdoor living space is what you make it.
Importance Of An Outdoor Living Space
The importance of an outdoor space goes beyond simply having an extension of the house to make it look more attractive. Though that is one of the reasons why an outdoor space is special, there are so many benefits to having a living space out back. For starters, it is a great space to utilize when friends and family are over for a BBQ. Sometimes the air can get stuffy and rooms a tad crowded when there are many people ushered in the house.
And if your home is not equivalent to a mansion in size, then it is a possibility that having the space to have active games will be a challenge. With a nice living space outside, you may confidently move the party to the back where games like football can be played on the lawn and nice cool drinks served in the shade by the patio. It can be an area for a guesthouse too. With explanations out of the way, here are the tips on how to plan an outdoor living space.
Step 1: Dream Big
How to plan an outdoor living space can be done with the brush in your hands, your backyard your blank canvas, and your unfiltered imagination of the paint. The same way you have the right to hang a quirky painting in the hallways of your home, so can you have your outdoors be something that compliments your style, taste, and meet your needs with no apologies. So, ask yourself what you would like your space to be utilized for.
Do you want hurricane garage doors? A spa area? Maybe a miniature golf course or a gym, dramatic outdoor lighting fixtures, or you would like a landscaping contractor to come in and make your garden look like it is straight from a magazine. Whatever the reasons, the first step of knowing how to plan an outdoor living space is for you to take a chance and think outside the box.
Take a moment to either write down a list of what you have always wanted or close your eyes and envision a pool or a waterfall, if you have children then maybe a play area is what you need. Imagine every detail you will want – do not limit yourself.
If you do not know where to start, no worries! You have the opportunity of hopping onto the internet and getting inspiration from different websites, apps, shows, and social media too. Do not rush this process for you do not want to regret anything after the job is done.
Step 2: Plan Ahead
How to plan an outdoor living space differs with multiple factors. How big is the space? What needs fixing in the yard? What do you intend to use it for, do you intend to fix it up all by yourself or you need to budget for a landscaping contractor and or a siding contractor?
These and more, are the questions you need answers to. It helps drastically with your planning process. It allows you to plan accordingly and be fully equipped with the tools and the right budget for the project you wish to undertake. Think through every process you will have to go through and have backup plans for each one.
Be prepared by having extra spending cash on the side. Overstate the amount of time the process is going to take, and be creative if an issue is to pop up – but do not be disheartened.
Stormy And Sunny Weather
No matter what you decide to do with your yard, be it a pool, a guest house, an outdoor kitchen perhaps, be wary of natural elements. The glare and position of the sun, the windy seasons, the rainy seasons – consider sheltering your build so it is either exposed to the sun so you may enjoy cool summers and still be catered for and be outside in the cold winters.
And if you want both shade and exposure, there are numerous designs to settle on. One of them being full-length sliding doors that maximize space, invite the sun in whilst keeping the cold out, and do not hinder an easy flow of people going in and out.
Once again, it boils down to what you are going to build but privacy is a factor you need to add to your building blueprints. Privacy is not just about keeping unwanted googling eyes from peeping, but it acts as a safety measure as well.
So let us say, late at night, strangers will not see into your yard and be tempted to take what belongs to you. Privacy allows you to dance like no one is watching – because they literally will not be! In addition, family, friends, and young children will be able to run around and feel comfortable during family BBQs or pool parties.
Small Spaces With Big Ideas
If space is a hurdle you need to get over to reach your dreams, then go under the hurdle! It is much easier. This can be accomplished by coming up with designs that are not conventional to use your space wisely. For example, instead of building a wide shed, build one that is high and you will have more floor space.
Step 3: Utilities
This step needs careful consideration. The wiring of electricals, the water pipes for the pool, bathroom or the outdoor kitchen you shall build needs to be outlined in advance so they are placed perfectly and connected to the existing utility lines. How to plan an outdoor living space needs careful consideration on what you might want to add in the future.
Maybe you will want to get an outdoor sound system later when the finances allow it, so prepare an outlet for that now. Avoid mistakes, like forgetting gas lines, which will cost you more money to fix in the future. Ensure all the utilities you need are written down in a checklist so they may not be looked over.
Step 4: Think Smart
When it comes to thinking about how to plan an outdoor living space, do not fall into the trap of trying to impress others by blowing up your budget. If you like discounts and love to get a good deal, consider thrifting. This is when you get great quality furniture and materials for a more affordable price.
You can also salvage old wood and timber from old buildings and give them a new meaning. When decorating your outdoor living space, be sure to get fixtures, furniture, and appliances that do not take up space but rather save space. There are foldable chairs, couches with storage space underneath and the likes that you can purchase – or better yet, even make for yourself with the help of family and friends.
Step 5: Know The Rules
States, cities, and towns have different rules and regulations on separate features of homes – and you must be aware of them all. In your area, your fence may have a maximum height, or some projects like building an extra story to your home may need a special permit. For one to avoid breaking the law, having to pay hefty fines, and demolishing the fine build, do research on what you want you would like to build and if the homeowner’s association allows it.
Step 6: Call in the Professionals
Now you have the plan of your dream outdoor space, but you have no idea where to purchase materials for the build, and even if you did, you might not have any experience in landscaping or interior design. If this describes your situation, then calling in a roofing company, a landscaping contractor, an architect, etc, is what is best for you. The aforementioned professionals have the ability to make what you have on paper right in your backyard.
These pros will help you along the planning process and will also give you advice on the best colors to use, the best arrangement of furniture or the size of the entertainment bar so you have more sitting space around it – all these and more will be tips given by a professional. As mentioned earlier, you might want to add more features in the future, and your hired professionals would help with optimizing all your space now to accommodate the future.
Step 7: Prioritize
Prioritizing tasks in an important step in the process of how to plan an outdoor living space. This is when in order of importance, the duties you have to complete are listed. It helps with organization and it creates an easy flow of work. For example, making a list of priorities will allow you to know that you need to start tiling the floor first before you start putting in the furniture in your outdoor lounge.
When it comes to knowing how to plan an outdoor living space, some things you may know what to do, and others it may be your first time encountering them. Prioritizing will remind you to take care of the things you know how to do with no fuss and then leave the heavy lifting and the things unknown for later. Or, maybe you would like to do it in vice-versa. At the end of the day, you will get through tasks with the knowledge of your timeframe and what needs to be up and running first, and what can go last.
Step 8: Showcase Your Style
Your space is exactly that – yours, therefore, do not be shy to go all out and decorate your space the way you’d want to. How to plan an outdoor living space is not limited to one generic color scheme or layout.
If you like rustic looks, go for materials that will compliment that. If you like automated systems, voice-controlled features like Alexa are available to you. Have a popcorn machine, a game room – make this space be whatever you want it to be.
How to plan an outdoor living space is just not a process taken on when the backyard is empty with no life to it. It may have a shed already, a pool, or maybe a spa area, but they are in need of a fixer-upper. If this is the case, then make plans for a roofer to maybe re-do or repaint the roof or have siding repair done of an existing building.
If it’s the pool that looks aged, have a pool service do your swimming pool cleaning. A water damage restoration service will make new again whatever would have been damaged in a flood or by a faulty and leaky pipe.
With each step you take when planning for your backyard, remember to enjoy the moment. Be patient with the process too, the memories that will be created there will be worth the wait.