If you are a current resident of Southwest Florida, you are pleasantly familiar with the primary benefit of living in this Sunshine State. You guessed it. Nothing beats the warm, sunny weather we have the privilege to enjoy all year-round.
If your backyard patio entices you to spend as much time as possible outdoors—a place to enjoy your morning cup of coffee, an afternoon get-together, or even a large gathering—then congratulations. You’re one of many homeowners who are bringing their home’s living area out the backdoor. According to Realtor Magazine, which is produced by the National Association of Realtors, the creation of outdoor living spaces is one of the greatest trends in homeownership in 2018.
If, on the other hand, you are NOT happy with your backyard and would like to explore your home’s future potential, here are five reasons why you should consider an outdoor remodel, and why it just might become your favorite “room” in the house!
Wishing you had more space in your home? Florida’s climate allows you to think outside the box. Expand your home’s footprint by considering your backyard and designing a natural flow between your indoor and outdoor living space.
Open up your living space by adding large French doors or oversize accordion folding doors that bridge the outside and inside together. Consider the ambiance of your outdoor space—how to highlight the unique features in your backyard while still enjoying the comfort and design of an indoor space. Select comfortable (yet durable) furniture, adequate lighting, water features and any other decorative touches that will draw you outside. Adding a covered area ensures a rain shower or the hot sun won’t stop you from utilizing your outdoor living room. Many homeowners even choose to include wall-mounted television sets and music systems for an ultimate outdoor experience.
2. Expand Your Entertainment Options
If you love to entertain friends and family but feel like you never have enough room in your kitchen to handle all of the prep work or seating requirements, then add another kitchen—OUTSIDE! As you create your outdoor kitchen, you’ll want to utilize the same design principles that were used for your indoor kitchen. Think about creating task specific zones: cold areas (refrigeration), hot regions (grills and cooktops), wet areas (sinks) and dry areas (prep counters and storage). These should all work cohesively and efficiently and have enough usable space.
Modern outdoor kitchens can include everything from grills and gas burners to refrigerators, prep stations with sinks, full-service bars with beer taps, and wine chillers. With proper design and planning, your outside kitchen can mimic everything your inside kitchen can do, and more, with the added benefit of fresh air, beautiful natural surroundings and more room to entertain.
3. Add Value to Your Home
A 2017 second quarter Home Design Trends survey conducted by the American Institute of Architects (AID) found that for the sixth consecutive year, outdoor living rooms have taken first place in regard to growing consumer interest for specialized spaces.
Outdoor room improvements can run the gamut from patio improvements and firepit additions to full-blown outdoor kitchens, and in-ground, hardscaped pools and other water features. The exact ROI on any outdoor improvement is dependent on many factors, including where you live. Southwest Florida residents benefit from cost vs. value reports that are similar to national averages.
4. Enjoy the Health Benefits of Communing with Nature
Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air is an obvious reason to expand your outdoor living space, but there are other less prominent, albeit no less important, reasons as well. According to a Harvard Health Letter published in July 2010 getting outside can also improve your health by increasing your vitamin D levels. The report states that “sunlight hitting the skin begins a process that leads to the creation and activation of vitamin D. Studies suggest that this vitamin helps fight certain conditions, from osteoporosis and cancer to depression and heart attacks. Limited sun exposure (don’t overdo it), supplemented with vitamin D pills if necessary, is a good regimen.” This Harvard Health letter also cites a study that says being outdoors may even help you heal faster. “People recovering from spinal surgery experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications when they were exposed to natural light.”
Warm breezes, the smell of tropical flowers, the sound of birds singing, and beautiful flora and fauna are nature’s stress reliever gift to us. By making your outdoor living space both comfortable and functional, you ensure you can get a stress-relieving boost whenever you need it!
5. An Outdoor Space May Save You Money
Create your own “Staycation”
Do you go out to eat often? Are you continually meeting friends for drinks at expensive restaurants or bars? Do you feel the need to always go out for your entertainment needs? Save money by creating the perfect “staycation” in your backyard, and you may be tempted never to leave.
Outdated and unfinished backyards tend to cost more as time goes by. Weeds take hold, untrimmed trees and shrubs cause unwanted problems, old hardscape can crack, etc. Finishing your outdoor space with new materials and low maintenance landscaping can save you from spending money on these unforeseen issues, and valuable time, in the long run.