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Add Square Footage to your Home - Move Outside! : Ask the Landscape Guy

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Add Square Footage to your Home - Move Outside!

by Tim Sanford on 12/06/10

A great way to add square footage to your house is to bring your living space outside!  Add an outdoor room to your home and have a unique fun setting to entertain your friends and family.  Our clients are bringing everything outdoors – fireplaces, gourmet kitchens, living rooms - even decorating with plush furnishings and lighting!  

When designing your outdoor room, start by defining the function you want your room to serve.  Do you just want to add square footage to your current living space?  Do you want a pool as your focal point with separate living spaces around it, a separate kitchen space and living room and fireplace space?  Do you want to create a private covered courtyard space complete with walls and a roof?  Or the ultimate MAN room with built-in grill and kegorator, plush reclining chairs and outdoor big screen television (this is the one I am planning for my yard)!

Outdoor Kitchen 

Once you have decided how you want to use your room, start thinking about the foundation.  Many rooms start with a patio - brick, paver, stone, travertine, or concrete.  Once you have your foundation think about if you want walls - paver columns, brick walls, or wood fence - and a roof - trellis with vines, pavilion roof, pergola or just wide open sky. 

Now that you have the structural details in place you can really get creative with all the other features you want to include in your outdoor room.  Below is just a small list of what you can do.  Use your imagination to create the perfect space for you!

outdoor fireplace

Fireplaces - Bring your fireplace outside for those cool fall nights.  You can do something as simple as a small round fire pit or as elaborate as a full blown fireplace with chimney and wood box.  Both options can be run off natural gas (just like the ones inside) or the good old wood burning option. 

Outdoor Kitchens and Grills - Create a grilling station by building your grill into your patio and creating nice paver countertops for preparing food.  Or create an entire outdoor gourmet kitchen with a sink, refrigerator, grill, warming draws, kegorator and side burners - complete with granite counter tops!  Even build in a bar to create outdoor seating for your guests to enjoy their meals or just as a place to sit while you are cooking dinner.    

outdoor kitchen

Outdoor Televisions - Build a great space to watch your favorite football or baseball games.  With the invention of flat screen televisions, it is easy to put your television outside.  Enjoy the sunshine while you enjoy the game.

Fountains and Waterfalls - Create a focal point for your room and add a fountain or a waterfall.  They can be placed on walls, on the patio, in containers or in pools.  You can even create a reflecting pond with a water fountain.  Get creative and add a little running water to your room.

travertine pool

Pools and Hot Tubs - Don’t forget a fun and relaxing feature to your outdoor rooms - pools.  Create an area for a pool or hot tub.  Relax on a raft in the hot summer sun or enjoy the cool nights under the stars in your hot tub. 

Lighting - Outdoor lighting can add dramatic effect to a focal point, provide security or just extend the fun into the evening hours.  There are so many options for lighting that there is bound to be something that fits the style and décor of your room. 

Seating - Add some permanent seating to your room.  Add seat walls around the edge of your room to provide extra seating for guests.  You can even dress them up with seat cushions and pillows.

Whatever you decide, start with a plan so that your outdoor room serves your needs and fits your style!  For more pictures and information on outdoor rooms, visit Carville Landscape Co.




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