Remodeling Your Patio or Outdoor Space
Although the interior of the home is often the target for remodeling, your outdoor space can also greatly benefit from an upgrade. Remodeling your patio, backyard or garden can make an underused space a true hub of the home, and it can also go a long way in improving the curb appeal of the property. Whether you’re gearing up to sell your home in the years ahead or you just want to take advantage of your area's great weather, these tips for remodeling your patio or outdoor space can make a tremendous difference.
Identify the Goal of the Space
There is definitely no one right way to remodel an outdoor space, so what you do with it is entirely up to you. A great place to start the process is to think about what you would ideally like to do there.
If you have a large family, perhaps the best use of the space would be a safe green area to play and a covered patio where everyone can enjoy snacks and drinks on a summer afternoon.
If you're an avid party host, then maybe the perfect patio is one that is well lit for evening soirees, boasts plenty of seating for a crowd and ensures that cold drinks are never far away.
An outdoor space can be used for barbecues, roasting marshmallows, reclining by the pool or hosting a garden party.
Consider your lifestyle, and your goals for the space, as you determine how best to start the remodeling process. What you want to avoid is spending a lot of money and time on a patio that isn't right for your needs.
Address the Natural Elements
Wherever you happen to live, and whatever the climate is like, you will likely have some natural elements to deal with when you create an outdoor space.
In a hot climate like Florida, too much direct sunshine in the summer can lead to a hot space that no one will want to use. Conversely, an outdoor patio in Montana may not get much use in the evenings once it cools down, even in the warmer summer months.
If you live in a very sunny climate, then some kind of overhead covering will likely be necessary. This can be something as simple as umbrellas installed above dining tables, or it can be a large retractable awning that extends out from the side of the home.
Another issue you'll want to address is what happens after dark. An outdoor space without adequate lighting might not be safe or pleasant, so installing torches, solar lights along the pathways or large spotlights may be best.
In a cold climate where you want to extend the season for spending time outdoors, heating is something to think about. Freestanding heaters can be very effective, or you can invest in a simpler option such as a brick fire pit that you can add seating around.
Choosing Outdoor Furniture
To create a truly welcoming and comfortable outdoor space, you'll need to invest in outdoor furniture. Seating will likely be the priority, making it a great place to start.
Along with ensuring that there is adequate seating for the residents of the home and any friends you plan to have over often, make sure that the seating is appropriate for the function.
For example, reclining lounge chairs are great if you love tanning in the summer while reading a book. However, you should look at other types if you want to have dinner around a dining table or entertain at outdoor parties.
Care and maintenance is important for all furniture purchases, but it is especially vital when it comes to outdoor furniture.
Metal, cedar and wicker are often the most popular materials for outdoor furniture simply because they can withstand a range of temperatures as well as humidity and rain.
Look for furniture that will need minimal maintenance. Outdoor cushions should be easily washed or wiped down. Zippered cushions may be ideal since the outer material can be removed and put right into the washing machine.
Think also about any potential fading, particularly when it comes to wooden or plastic furniture. Generally, sticking with neutrals is best, since you can easily add color through accent pieces and even flowers.
Considering the Flooring Options
There are almost as many flooring options for your patio remodel as there might be for the interior of your home.
A wooden deck can also be a wonderful option, particularly if you have already have a number of wooden elements in your home's construction.
A more typical patio could have a poured concrete floor, which clearly defines the space and can be easiest to clean and maintain.
Brick or block pavers require more time and effort to install, but they look upscale and come in a variety of colors and styles.
If time is of the essence, you can even buy wooden decking tiles that are installed right on any flat surface and can give you a sleek outdoor space in a matter of hours.
On top of any of these flooring choices, there is also the option of placing an outdoor rug, which truly gives the space a luxury feel, adds a burst of color and feels fantastic underfoot.
Creating an Outdoor Kitchen
A primary goal for many patio remodels is adding in an outdoor kitchen. This may be the relatively basic addition of a small rolling outdoor kitchen cart and a grill, or it can be a large brick pizza oven with an outdoor dining table.
Don't be afraid to get creative, budget permitting, but keep in mind that adding appliances to your outdoor kitchen will typically be much more expensive than installing or running them indoors.
Upgrading your patio or outdoor space is a wonderful way to add value to your home, and these tips can spark your imagination and give direction to your plans for the remodel.