8 Factors to Consider When Planning Your Outdoor Living Space

Backyards have evolved a lot in the last few years. What were once often only small patios or decks for a grill and a few lawn chairs have become complete living spaces. In order to spend more time outdoors with family and friends, homeowners around the country are choosing to upgrade their decks and patios with outdoor kitchens, entertainment systems, and more. 

Important Considerations for a Successful Outdoor Living Design

1. Your Existing Space

The first step is to take a good look at your backyard. What features already exist? Do you already have a patio or deck you want to add to, or does it need to be replaced? To avoid costly mistakes, measure your backyard, and think about what you can realistically add or change. 

2. Local Regulations

Early in the planning process, check with your homeowner’s association (HOA) and local municipality. HOAs frequently have restrictions on what types of exterior changes can be made. Call your local building department to see what permits or inspections will be needed and if there are any restrictions. 

3. Your Purpose

Designing a great outdoor living space depends on its primary function. How do you want to use the area? Is it for relaxing, entertaining, work, exercise, or something else? If cooking and entertaining for a crowd is one of your favorite pastimes, a covered patio with an elaborate outdoor kitchen may be the right choice. You’ll likely make different choices if your primary goal is a quiet spot to relax with a good book. 

4. Unique Challenges

Once you’ve determined how you want to use your outdoor living area, you need to consider any unique challenges for your particular property. Sunlight and privacy are two top concerns for outdoor living areas.

Sunlight: If your yard has full sunlight for much of the day, it’s essential to provide shade for comfort. Umbrellas and awnings can help protect you from the elements, but nothing is more convenient than a permanent patio cover. 

Privacy: The proximity of neighbors may be a concern if a private outdoor retreat is your goal. You may need to add additional landscaping, fencing, or privacy screens to the design to achieve the right balance of privacy for your family.

5. Your Budget

When you start to research online, you’ll likely find many spectacular photos of outdoor spaces you’d love to recreate. Before you fall in love with a particular design, set a budget and prioritize your needs. For example, building an outdoor kitchen typically costs between $5,000 to $22,000. If you don’t really enjoy cooking, it doesn’t make sense to invest in features you aren’t likely to use very often.

6. Materials

The main structure of your outdoor living area should be rated for exterior construction, whether it’s a deck, patio, cover, or freestanding structure. The finish and trim materials for most outdoor living spaces should match the rest of your home. A skilled contractor will be able to design a structure that complements your home’s architectural style and adds lasting value to your property.

7. Function and Accessibility

The best outdoor living spaces are extensions of your home. That means they should be functional and accessible for all family members. It’s important to think about who will be using the space. Will both adults and young children use it? Will anyone with mobility issues need special consideration? Adding ramps, paved walkways, and functional seating options make it easier for everyone to enjoy an outdoor space.

8. Maintenance and Other Costs

An outdoor living area is like any other part of your home, and it will require some upkeep. Some materials and features require more ongoing maintenance than others. A wood deck will need regular cleaning and sealing to keep it looking its best, while a composite deck requires little upkeep. An experienced contractor will be able to help you choose the features and materials that work best for your needs.

planning your outdoor living space

Why Choose RT Construction For Your Building Projects?

If you’re ready to start designing your outdoor living space, working with an experienced contractor is essential. Whether you have a design in mind or want to explore other options, the professionals at RT Construction can design and build your ideal outdoor living space. 

RT Construction has completed residential and commercial projects in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas with precision and quality for over 25 years. We take pride in our work, and your satisfaction is guaranteed. We design and install decks, patio covers, and underdecking systems. We are licensed, insured, and bonded for your protection. Contact us online or call 636-317-5636 to schedule a consultation and free estimate.

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