When you look at your home’s outdoor space, what do you see? Is it the perfect entertainment and relaxation zone? Or do you hope for something more? If you’ve watched home improvement shows on TV and dreamt of creating an ideal outdoor space for you, now is the best time to make those dreams a reality. With so many options available for outdoor living spaces, here are some important considerations.
These days, your outdoor area is often an extension of your indoor area. It’s like another room during summer and attractive visual during winter. Outdoor design includes landscaping, decks, masonry, pools, spas, and cabanas. The best starting point is to work out how you use the space. Is it a relaxation zone, entertainment zone or fun zone or combination of the above? If your children like playing outside, you’ll need room to throw balls. If you like to host BBQs, you’ll need a different configuration. Perhaps you want to spend your summer months relaxing by a pool. Work out what your priorities are and this will help you create your ideal design. Some outdoor living companies use special computer software to show you exactly how your space will look after renovation – in three-dimensions. Using photos taken at your home, the end result can be seen with your very eyes before work begins. It removes the guess work.
One Contractor or Several?
Once you decide on the design, the next issue is whether to use one company to complete the entire task or to separate the jobs. The decision can depend on your time, expertise and budget. The advantages of using one company for everything—from pool installation to landscaping— means you and the contractor can more easily make adjustments to the plan. A traditional pool installer might not consider landscaping or other construction issues, which can lead to unexpected costs and unnecessary stress for the homeowner.
“We can get a job done in six weeks that would take four contractors 12 to 14 weeks to complete,” says Eric Konyves, President of outdoor living company, KS Greenday. “We’re not the kind of company that’s going to hard sell the pool and then leave the client three business cards to handle the hardscaping, landscaping, and cabana/grill stations.”
If money is an issue, some companies do work in stages allowing you to still get the space of your dreams but over a longer timeframe. It also means you don’t have to start with a brand new company and explanation each time.
When choosing a contractor, check their credentials and testimonials. Ask to see work done for other clients and ask lots of questions.
When to get started?
As the weather cools, now is the ideal time to get your outdoor space ready. With various construction durations, you need enough time to plan, design and build your dream space. Factor in delays from weather including rain and snow.
Renovating your outdoor space creates a wonderful space to live in and increases the value of your home. And when the weather warms up again next year, you’ll be ready to entertain, relax and have fun. You may never want to leave home again.