Our lives have been all about home renovations over the last year or so. Having designed and built two houses from the ground up before venturing into this project… I can say first hand that remodeling an existing home (especially one as trashed as this one) is FAR more difficult, but somehow more rewarding.
Of course, I can say that NOW – but it has taken me a very long time to get to that point. 😀
Issues like missing (er, stolen) plumbing, nasty mold problems, ginormous (but abandoned) bee hives inside our walls and ceilings, and knock-you-on-your-butt pet odors have rightfully taken precedence over exterior projects. But, I think we are FINALLY ready to pay a little attention to the outside this year! 🙂
How about you? Are you thinking of adding additional outdoor living space to your home this summer? Leave a comment below – would love to see your progress!
Whether you’d like to add a deck, patio, waterfall, or a combination of these features to your existing landscape, you will want to create a solid game plan before you get started.
Good planning in the beginning will increase the aesthetic appeal, functionality, and overall value of the finished project – not to mention keeping you on budget.
Here are a few tips to get started:
Establish how you intend to use the space and what you hope to accomplish. Decide if entertaining is particularly important to you or if you are more interested in creating a tranquil refuge for private reflection. Then, once you are clear on your goals, evaluate any size or space restrictions you might have.
As with any home improvement project, be sure to keep your budget in mind to make sure your dreams and your bank account aren’t laughing at each other. (Been there).
Speaking of budgets, it is really important to distinguish between “must-have” and “nice-to-have” features during the planning phase. Establishing priorities early is critical when it comes to allocating limited resources like time and money – and it will ensure you get the features you want the most.
Next, develop a list of materials you’ll need. Remember, beautiful results are not dependent upon using the most expensive materials you can find. Stunning results can be achieved with less expensive materials (e.g., concrete vs. pricey pavers or brick for a patio) if proper planning and design techniques are used.
For example, a concrete patio that incorporates soft curves and interesting planting areas can be more visually appealing that a plain rectangular paver terrace that doesn’t tie in with the surrounding areas.
The key is to develop an intriguing plan that works in conjunction with the existing structure of your home.
One final note… even if you aren’t planning on moving anytime soon, keep resale value in mind as you plan any improvement project that adds outdoor living space. A well-designed and maintained outdoor living area will make your home easier to sell because potential buyers can “see” themselves living in and enjoying the inviting space you’ve created.
In addition, these projects can increase the overall value of your home significantly. According to industry experts, adding new outdoor living space ranks right behind kitchen and bath remodeling projects in terms of return on investment (ROI). If done well, you should be able to recoup a significant portion of your original investment when you sell your home.
Of course, this doesn’t factor in the added personal enjoyment and satisfaction adding new outdoor living space to your home will bring.