Designing Outdoor Living Spaces: 3 Things You Need To Know

Homeowners routinely spend thousands of dollars on upgrading outdoor areas. After all, the backyard and garden are as much a part of the home as the kitchen and bedroom. But before you balk at the cost, consider this: outdoor areas expand our living and entertainment spaces. If you want to spend your evenings out on the patio or throw parties for friends and family, then you need to make the necessary improvements to your home.

An outdoor upgrade will also improve your home’s curb appeal, which will come in handy if you ever decide to sell your home. Homebuyers look for features that boost utility and improve the quality of life. It’s no surprise that many people think of ways to make their backyards more functional, from simple decks to new garden room ideas.

Of course, home improvement projects require a lot of time and resources, and outdoor spaces are no exception. You have to work with contractors, designers, and other construction professionals. There are many design considerations since the back of your home is just as important as its facade.

As you can probably imagine, upgrading your home’s outdoor area is hard work, and you want to make sure you get a return on your investment. Here are a few design tips to get you started.

1. Design around the weather

The climate and weather in your area have a big influence on the design of your outdoor spaces. Homes in desert climates have different requirements compared to ones built in temperate or tropical areas. If it’s hot and dry, you are going to need protection against the heat. Meanwhile, mold and decay can be an issue if you live in an area where it rains often.

The weather also affects the materials you can use. Natural materials such as wood and stone will degrade if exposed to the elements, so you must weigh your options carefully. Heat and moisture will eventually lead to wood rot. Stone may also crack due to temperature fluctuations. If you do decide to use metal in the construction, make sure it’s protected against moisture.

2. Consider how the area is used

The next thing you need to think about is how you will utilize the space available to you. Proper space utilization means the difference between a harmonious outdoor area and a disorganized one. The usual impulse is to fill every inch of the area with something, whether it’s plant beds, a wooden deck, or even cement. But to make your outdoor living area an extension of your home, you need to restrain yourself.

For instance, you don’t want to fill your outdoor spaces with furniture. You want your backyard to feel airy, not cramped. For your patio, you can choose between a long bench or a small round table with chairs, but not both. If your deck is large enough, you can put a full couch with side chairs and a coffee table.

3. Check the materials

Once you’ve finalized your outdoor space's layout, your next job is to choose the pieces that will fill the area. But you can’t just choose any furniture. You need to make sure that the pieces can withstand prolonged exposure to the elements. You’re probably going to add a roof or an awning, but the moisture in the air can cause rot in exposed wood.

If your outdoor area is mostly made of wood, consider using pieces made of synthetic materials such as plastic. Metal is also acceptable as long as it’s treated to prevent corrosion. It might be a smart idea to invest in plastic covers as protection against rain and heat.

Avoid placing wood fixtures on exposed earth since the soil holds a lot of moisture. Untreated metals also degrade faster when placed on soil. Consider using materials that are resistant to moisture.

A final word

These three tips will help you design an outdoor space that will improve your home’s value and make it a better place for you and your family. Start by studying the weather and climate of the area, and choose features that will help protect against the elements. Next, think carefully about the utilization of your outdoor space. It helps to work with a landscape designer during this stage of the process. Finally, choose the right materials for your outdoor space.

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