Ever wish you could rendezvous to a tropical resort, preferably remote location, at the drop of hat, leaving all worries behind? Chances are, your answer would be yes! Now, what if you were told you could do just that simply by stepping across the threshold into your own backyard, would you believe it? Well look no further, because it is true; an enchanting oasis awaits, just beyond the sliding glass door!
Deck Design or Patio Project
A deck or patio offers a restful refuge, a space for one to reconnect with nature and/or simply escape the sometimes stuffy confines of being indoors. Naturally, you will want to establish a budget to determine which option best suits your needs and wallet. The overall design, whether it is that of a deck or patio, can be simple or elaborate, so not to fear if your budget is not as expansive as your backyard. You can still have a melt-away into a luxurious ambiance, without breaking the bank.
If you choose to construct a deck, one of the first design decisions will be construction material: wood or composite. Pressurized wood, the more traditional choice, is less expensive than its counterpart, the composite material; however, it does call for routine maintenance. It is important to keep in mind, though treated with a non-toxic substance, the pressurized wood may, over time, crack and splinter, requiring proper repair and care.
Composite material, such as Trex, or plastic decking products such as Timbertex or Azek, require less maintenance and have a longer lifespan; however, these tend to be more expensive than wood. If you favor the look of the wood, but not its maintenance aspect, composites have several “exotic wood” color available to choose from. You may want to research both options, as well as consider the option of simply refinishing an existing deck, provided the understructure of the preexisting foundation is safe and intact.
It is important to note that no matter which option you choose, it is highly advisable to plan all construction in advance, primarily because the town’s permit process may prove to take longer than a typical building permit. Additionally, you may want to consider tackling this project during the fall and before the cold temperatures set in, to ensure that the material settles properly. The fall has also been shown to be the ideal time since the demand is less and your backyard getaway will now be ready for use come springtime.
Now that your outdoor space has been plotted and constructed, you are ready for the grand, pièce de résistance of your outdoor oasis, the outdoor kitchen. Picnics will pale in comparison. Look out family barbecue; you are getting the modern makeover of a lifetime!
For many of us, whether it is enjoying a bustling breakfast before work or unwinding with a divine dinner in the evening, the kitchen is a large focal point in our lives and a cornerstone of festive family activities. Here is an opportunity to bring this element, all with all of the necessary instrumental accoutrements, to your outdoor escape, establishing an extension of the feeling and lifestyle you have so lovingly created indoors.
As always, be aware of your budgetary considerations as this will likely dictate how inclusive your outdoor kitchen will be. You will also want to take into consideration factors such as how often you will be using the space, what type of events you are looking to have, and how many people you may want to entertain at a given time. The amount of space you have available to you, as well as the appropriate amount of electricity and water needed to be supplied throughout the space, should also be taken into account. Once these have been factored into your budget, you can then focus on a list of affordable amenities.
Some of the “basic” amenities that are included in most outdoor kitchens are: a standard grill, refrigerator, a sink (used for cooking and also doubles as a wet bar), weatherproof storage cabinets, a pizza oven, and a wine cellar, just to name a few. Some of other amenities that bring the luxury of the indoors to your outdoor living space include: game tables, bar area, and a TV.
The key feature of this project is safety. You may want to consult the professionals at your local hardware store as to which products are safest and which will best withstand the natural elements. For example, you may want to look for material that offers weatherproofing and sun/rain protection, use stainless steel appliances, and/or have some sort of permanent or motorized roof as added protection.
Additionally, though it would be beneficial to have your outdoor area close to the kitchen, for obvious convenience purposes, it is important to be aware of potential smoke problems, safety hazards, and municipal ordinances. Thus, keep in mind that the grill cannot be in a position that is too close to the house, or located under an overhang.
Finally, you are ready to put the cherry on top of your award-winning work. With finishing touches such as the proper lighting, all of the laughter, fun, and joyous times shared with family and friends during the day, can just as easily transition well into the evening. Who wouldn’t want that?
There are many simple solutions to convey a warm and inviting atmosphere even after the sun has gone down. Here are four ways to create an unforgettable aesthetically-pleasing ambiance:
1. Think soft silhouettes. Select lighting that will cast a natural glow, rather than strong, overpowering flood lighting. Investigate installing a dimmer switch to give even more control over the evening ambiance.
2. Subtlety is the secret. With a more extensive selection to choose from, your outdoor lighting does not have to be an eye-soar anymore. Styles available such as recessed lighting, rail lights, post cap lights, etc., one can easily balance a seamlessly beautiful finishing touch with safety, appropriately illuminating rails, stairways, and paths.
3. Go Green and save green. Your new outdoor space will allow you to enjoy the outdoors like never before; why not show your appreciation by giving back. Install LED deck lighting, which operates for up to 40,000 hours of life, not to mention preventing voltage drops, so each light is equally as bright, and has been shown to use 75% less energy! That’s good news for both the environment and for your wallet!
4. Kick back and relax! Be sure to invest in a lighting collection that can be installed in just one weekend, as well as one that is weatherproof and salt air resistant, to protect and provide a strong investment return. After all, you want to make sure your lighting is guaranteed to retain its “like new” condition, so you can enjoy your outdoor living space for years to come!
With these design ideas, your outdoor living space will be the talk of the town! When preparing to book your next vacation, look no further than what is just beyond the door to your very own backyard. All you need now is a Jimmy Buffet record and the tiny umbrella!