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The beauty of outdoor living spaces
Apr 06, 2018

Spring is here and we’re all anxious to get back outdoors. Outdoor living spaces are an extension of our homes. There are so many options from decks, to fireplaces, to BBQ and entertainment areas, and my personal favourite, sunrooms! There are simply so many wonderful options to choose from. When planning an outdoor space it is very important to determine what you would like to use the space for and how many people you need to accommodate.

Sunrooms are amazing spaces. A 3-season sunroom can extend your season right into November or December and you can often begin enjoying it again in March, with the occasional warm February day. They are a wonderful space that often become the favourite space in the home. Proper insulation helps keep it warm in the cooler months and cool in the hot months of summer. Ensure you consider the importance of weather proofing for a carefree space. This starts with a solid foundation. If attached to your home, your supports should go below the frost line to ensure there is no movement and the sunroom does not pull away from the home. Sometimes building on an existing floating deck to save cost can cause more problems and costly repairs if it pulls away from your home and causes leaking. One of my favorite sunrooms was built by KAT Reno and was a Renomark Gold Award winner by the MHBA. It featured a multi-level upper deck off a second floor kitchen with the sunroom below which enclosed the hot tub and bug free seating area. The second level was an outdoor deck overlooking the inground swimming pool which provided a beautiful outdoor sitting area and outdoor dining area off the kitchen. It quickly became the family’s favourite space!

Backyard decks are the most popular summer spaces. There are countless options for deck designs. Your deck is only limited by your imagination, space, and budget! Whether re-building an old deck or creating a new one, there are a few important details to consider. How do you want to use the space? Do you want a BBQ area and a seating area? What size is the furniture you need to plan around? It is really important to allow enough space for the furniture and to allow for a comfortable walkway on the deck. Do you want a play area for children? Are there any added features you would like? A pergola? Maybe a sunshade if you have direct afternoon sun? Maybe some storage below the deck? Would you like a separate sitting area and a space for a table for dining as well? If you entertain frequently, how many people do you need to allow seating for? Maybe built in benches could solve some seating issues? Do you want a screen built in for privacy? A privacy screen can block an unsightly view or create a feeling of intimacy by the hot tub. Do you want to define the different spaces with different deck levels? Finally, what materials do you have in mind? Do you enjoy routine maintenance on your home like staining the deck? Or would you rather build something that was maintenance free?  These are all important questions to be addressed before you build. Planning in advance can go a long way towards many years of enjoying your new space.

There are some real fun features that we have recently added to some of our outdoor projects. One of the most popular is LED lighting! Lighting can be one colour or it can be multi-coloured. Using lighting to accent hard to see spaces like stairs is important for safety. However, feature lighting can create interest and be a real showstopper! Lighting can be connected to your music source so the lights work in rhythm with your tunes! That really sets the stage for a great outdoor BBQ party! You can also add accent lighting to anything from waterfalls to sculptures or any garden feature you want to highlight!

Backyard firepits can come in a wide range of price tags to meet any budget. Whether you want interlock patio brick with multi levels or a simple firepit with basic seating, backyard firepits are the perfect place to create many wonderful family memories over the years!

Well planned outdoor spaces become extensions of our homes. They quickly become our favourite living spaces. Taking the time to design the space so it does everything you want it to will make the difference between years of enjoyment or frustration. Having the right furniture and décor is the finishing touch to creating a perfect space! Take your time and plan it right. If you need some help give our professional team of designers a call. Our design professionals at Maximum Impact Plus work closely with our professional contractors at KAT Reno. Let us help you plan and build your outdoor dream space! Stop by this week for a visit at the Home and Garden show or take in one of our stage presentations Thursday at 5:00 p.m. or Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Hope to see you there!