Planning For An Outdoor Space

We’re seeing some amazing photos around the Internet of newly renovated outdoor spaces. ‘Tis the season to break out the patio furniture and barbecue grill and spend as many hours outside as possible!
But perhaps your outdoor area is in need of a makeover. Regardless of what you want to do, we thought we’d share a few general tips on what to consider as you embark upon your outdoor project.
*Plan. Just as you would plan any sort of interior renovation, you’ll want to create a solid plan for your outdoor area that includes a budget, execution timeline and other pertinent information. Really think about what you want your outdoor space to be. Do you want to incorporate a certain look or aesthetic? Do you want the area to serve a certain function? These days, creating an ideal outdoor oasis is more about extending the living space of your home, so think about adding some features such as fire pits or ceiling fans that allow you to spend more time outside, regardless of the weather.

*Call a professional. If you want something elaborate, don’t hesitate to reach out to a contractor and get bids on your project. You can also consider contacting a landscape architect, if you really want to invest some money and time in your home’s exterior. A landscape architect can help you create a master plan that will guide the transformation of your outdoor space (specific to your budget and other individual considerations). The great thing about a master plan is that it not only gives you structure from beginning to end, but also breaks up larger tasks into smaller pieces that can be completed over time if you’re dealing with budgetary, time or other constraints.
*Work with your property. Take time to study your property and familiarize yourself with its features, including size, existing foliage, sun and wind exposure, etc. You’ll want to work with these variables as you implement your outdoor plan, although that isn’t to say that some things can’t be changed. We talked with a homeowner in the greater Kansas City metro area who had a sloping backyard. She opted to embrace the natural terrain and build a stream and waterfall that flows along the curve of the land, rather than excavate and level the ground for another use.
Tell us about your outdoor spaces! Have they undergone a recent renovation, or are you planning a project? We’d love to read your comments, and you can also send photos and information to [email protected]

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