The Remodeling Corner

Janet Cook

We are in a prime outdoor weather season. Is your backyard inviting for you? Is it friendly for entertaining and functional for use? Your home purchase includes the yard, and with good planning, you can extend your home’s living spaces to the outdoors! Perhaps you’d like to get that extra room you need, have a separate entertaining space, the ability to grill, enjoy a fire or the sound of water to experience a serene resort retreat. It’s great to have options ready to be put to use! Whether it be for large gatherings or quiet retreats, start with a plan of how you want to take advantage of your backyard. Even a small yard can have more usable living space with good design.

Main Hub: A covered patio provides protection from the elements to facilitate comfort. Many homes come with a covered patio, but is it large enough to be practical for an outdoor living room or dining, or both? Are there columns in the way? You may want to extend the patio pad and the roof, as well as remove columns for better flow and views. If you have a patio that runs east-west, you may want to add strategic decorative screening on either or both ends, since that tends to be the direction the wind blows, depositing dust. The lower the maintenance, the better!

Destination: Getting to go somewhere can make the occasion special, even if it is just steps away. Having a gazebo, pavilion, or pergola with a pathway can draw one to enjoy its elevated, upscale feel. If having another building structure isn’t practical, you can create the attraction of an intimate, secluded space with landscaping and hardscaping, comfortable outdoor furniture, and an anchor-like a firepit or water feature.

Function: You can design what you wish your home had, such as an outdoor kitchen (a pizza oven!), a place for watching televised sports, a reading nook, a nap place with an outdoor bed or hammock, an outdoor shower to rinse off after swimming (using the water for the lawn), a putting green or other game space (cornhole, badminton, bowling), or a swing. The key for successful usage is having ample amounts of lighting with perhaps ceiling fans or heaters to extend the season. The addition of outdoor curtains that softly billow in the breeze adds to the atmosphere.

Take advantage of our many beautiful days and nights by designing spaces to facilitate lounging, cooking/eating, and entertaining! A beautiful, resort-like yard increases the home’s value, too!

Happy Home Remodeling!

Janet Cook, Certified Health Coach and Aging in Place Specialist, president of Cook Remodeling (celebrating their 44th year), invites you to check out their website for photos and more ideas.