Back yards are no longer relegated to the family dog or an aging swing set. We are extending our homes by creating outdoor living spaces. In fact, the American Institute of Architects’ Home Design Trends 2016 survey found that outdoor living spaces ranked highest among the special-function rooms requested by homeowners.
THE BENEFITS OF OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE IN CHARLOTTE
One of the benefits (in addition to all the enjoyment it provides) to investing in your home’s outdoor living space is that it can make your property more attractive to future buyers.
According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 Cost VS Value Report for Charlotte, NC a backyard patio recoups just over 60 percent of its cost during resale, a composite deck addition recovers close to 70 percent of its cost, with a wooden deck recouping just shy of 67 percent following homesale.
WHAT CONSTITUTES OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE?
It’s any space that incorporates the great outdoors! The most common types of outdoor living spaces are:
- Screened-in porches
- 3-season rooms
- 4-season rooms
- Pool decks
PLANNING YOUR SCREENED PORCH
Screened-in porches are a wonderful option for outdoor living spaces in Charlotte, NC because of our climate. With an average temperature of 59.8 degrees fahrenheit, Charlotte homeowners get a lot of use from a screened porch or patio.
Brad Little, President of Case Design/Remodeling encourages homeowners to really think hard about how they want to use their screened-in porch. Gathering photos of porches that inspire you will help define the most successful design.
Here are a few questions you should answer before you hire a designer:
What will be your primary use for the space? If your answer is dining al fresco, then you’ll want easy access to your inside kitchen. Will you be watching the game out there? Electrical outlets may be a necessity as well as wifi.
What time of day will the porch get the most use? Will you need much additional lighting for hours of darkness?
How tolerant are you to heat or cold? Perhaps you should install a ceiling fan to help keep the space cool on warmer afternoons. You might also want a fireplace to extend use into the cooler season.
Will large dogs or small children use the space? Screening is subject to tears when too much pressure is applied. A low railing or quarter walls may help prevent small hands or large paws from ripping screening away from its base.
Which side of your home gets the day’s hottest rays of the sun? If your screened porch will be subject to direct afternoon sun, an awning or larger overhang may add some much needed shade on clear hot days.
CONNECT INDOORS TO OUT
When designing outdoor living space, the transition between your home’s interior and exterior is an important consideration. Ideally, the lines are blurred between in and outdoors. Sliding glass doors and French doors are two great options for that transition point.
Passing between one space to the other should be convenient. Think about how you want to use the space. If you plan on cooking indoors but serving meals in the outdoor space, it should be easy to go from one to the other. You might not want to weave your way through the house and traverse a bunch of stairs while carrying food and dishes!
If you prefer to maximize your time outdoors with family and guests, there is another popular solution…
OUTDOOR KITCHENS ENHANCE THE EXPERIENCE
Outdoor kitchens are growing in popularity for good reason. As homeowners spend more time relaxing and entertaining in their outdoor living space, outdoor kitchens make the experience all the more enjoyable. Why tear yourself away from the fun to cook inside?
Choose products designed for use outdoors. They’ll be a lot more durable and long lasting when exposed to the elements of nature. Be careful to always choose lights and appliances that are rated for outdoor use for safety reasons.
Here are a few elements to consider:
- Gas grill with side burners – the ability to do all your cooking in one place
- Warming drawers – keep food warm before serving
- Running water – a must-have for washing food, hands, dishes, and cooking surfaces
- Dishwasher – quicker cleanup
- Refrigerator – pre-position drinks and food needed for your outdoor meal
- Cabinets – convenient storage of cookware, utensils, and other items for entertaining
- Countertop – a work surface for food preparation
IDEAS FOR AN OUTDOOR LIVING FOCAL POINT
Every well-designed interior room in your house includes a focal point to unite the decor and draw the eye’s attention. Outdoor living spaces are no different! Select a design element and build your design plan around it. Ideally it ties into how you want to use the space!
Popular focal points include:
- Fire pit
- Water feature
- Outdoor bar
- Media center/television
ARE YOU READY TO GET STARTED?
If you want to create an outdoor living oasis for your Charlotte home, call the experienced professionals at Case Design/Remodeling for a free consultation. They will take you through the planning process so that you end up with a space you’ll love for years to come!