Outdoor living has always been a part of the Texas experience. From swimming, sports events to barbecues in the backyard, generations of Texans have grown up outside. Outdoor living has now elevated to creating personal retreats in outdoor spaces. The challenge is how to incorporate elements you desire into your space. The first step is to plan.
Creating an outdoor space is much like designing indoor space. You have to think about how you use the space, what do you enjoy doing and what can be achieved based on your square footage.
There are so many features offered today to enjoy the outdoors! Pools, pergolas, fire pits and porches are just some of the ways to increase enjoyment. It’s important to build features that comfortably fit into your space. Children and pets need room to roam. A portion of the space should allow for flex use.
The plan needs a budget. Setting priorities for your space and figuring cost will help you focus and be realistic. Sometimes a stage process will allow you to complete construction in segments. A master plan would need to be formulated so you can add things to your space with size and space considered. So building a pool now; paying it off, then adding an outdoor kitchen later will keep finances in check.
Adding more living space to the inside and outside is doable by enclosing your porch. This offers a flex space and additional enjoyment of the outdoors, while being protected from the elements.
After a plan is made it’s imperative to find a reputable contractor. Interview several, get referrals and check the business through BBB. Too many people have been taken by a hard sell and then left with an incomplete project and no money left to continue. It may take some extra time and research but it is so important to know who you are dealing with!
Use or ask for the highest grades of materials. Our climate is hard on outdoor products and cheap materials will deteriorate quickly. Good quality wood products, composite decking and outdoor furniture will cost more but will last longer.
Once you’ve built your oasis don’t forget to make it look good! For your porch use colorful rugs, plants and furniture to make it welcoming and comfortable. For the yard, use different plants, flowers and grasses to create ambiance. If you don’t have a green thumb, call a landscape designer. They are great at incorporating green into your space. And, they can use native plants and grasses that will thrive and are low maintenance.
The key to creating beautiful outdoor living is to not be afraid to ask for help. The images and TV shows you have been watching have all been created with professional help. A polished, balanced space will bring years of enjoyment. Happy outdoor living!