Everyone dreams of owning a big backyard for the kids and pets to run around in. Some dads buy inflatable bounce houses. Others build gazebos and outdoor wall water fountains. But not you, you are the guy who wants a full-on outdoor living space with a deck, bar, and TV. What is the first step?

Outdoor Living Space

Read on to hear about outdoor living spaces.

  • Red flags
  • Must-haves
  • Is it worth it?

This popular form of renovation combines the comfort of a living room with the freshness of nature. They have been on the rise since 2011.

So what’s it gonna be? How are you going to design your backyard living space?

What To Consider Before You Get Your Saw Out

If you are thinking of adding outdoor living space to your home as an investment strategy, you might want to consider a few factors—some obvious and some not-so-obvious.

The obvious are … well, common sense. You may want to rethink your plan if you live somewhere like the Pacific coast, where the construction costs are higher, or if your home has a proneness to termites or long winters.

This is some of the less obvious stuff:

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Do the comparable houses in your neighborhood also have outdoor space?

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  • If the goal is return on investment, you will not want your outdoor patio oasis to be the only one on the block. The goal for this kind of renovation is usually to climb to the top of the price range of the neighborhood. This principle applies to swimming pools too, for example. If you get a swimming pool, your property’s value will only rise significantly if every house around yours also has a swimming pool.

Does it rain a lot? What is the weather like?

  • Having a wooden deck might be fine and dandy in San Diego, but in Seattle, it would not make much sense! Nice outdoor living space in states that rain constantly won’t help your home value much for the simple reason that nobody is looking for an outdoor space. The cold is also a factor you should take into account. How much time do people spend time outdoors in your neighborhood?

Necessary Ingredients

You will want to make absolutely sure you get shade over your deck. If your children spend time outdoors, you will want them to avoid getting sunburnt. This can come in many shapes and sizes. Here are some of the options for shading your outdoor living space.

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Climate Control:

Pergolas: They are attached to the main structure of the house and are best suited for homes with decks. These emphasize the full feeling of the great outdoor space while providing mild cover at noon and solid shade during the morning/afternoon. They are great for hanging things from and are probably one of the more aesthetic shading options.

Gazebos: They are not attached to the main structure of the house and, in fact, should be celebrated as their own focal point. A gazebo is like a tropical island in the middle of your outdoor space. These do not require much maintenance.

Firepit: The point of having an outdoor living space is to enjoy outdoor activities like barbeques, bonfires, and cracking a cold one with the boys without the need for artificial climate control. Firepits are absolutely necessary because they provide your whole experience with a focal point while doubling as sources of heat in case things get chilly.

Lighting:

As long as you have your firepit, the temperature at night might not matter too much. What will matter for your get-togethers and outdoor relaxation will be light. This can make or break the experience you and your guests will have while enjoying your deck, patio, gazebo, whatever. The same way a dark porch can hurt you, a well-lit outdoor space will add a whole dimension of fun and heart to your home.

You will want to shoot for warm colors in your lighting and in the décor.

It’s a Worthwhile Investment

According to the National Association of Home Builders, wood decks rank very well on cost-benefit. They are relatively easy to build and furnish while potentially adding immense value to your property. The national average for the new construction costs of a two-story 2,000 square-foot home is about $85 per square foot. The average cost per square foot of a wood deck isn’t even $35 per square foot.

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