Summer in Minnesota is a short-lived luxury in our cool and ever-changing climate, but when it’s nice we want to be outside enjoying it.
Outdoor living spaces have evolved into much more than a simple deck or patio space with a grill and table. Even in this unpredictable climate, homeowners are creating spaces to include outdoor TVs, kitchens, fireplaces and more. So how do you begin to plan and build your dream outdoor space?
The most elementary and foundational element of most outdoor living space projects is the construction of either a deck or a patio. When considering your options in decking you’ll first need to choose between a wood or composite deck. There are benefits to both depending on your budget and your ability to do ongoing maintenance.
Wood decks have long been a standard in this industry. If maintained, a wood deck can last many years in both its function and its beauty. A traditional wood deck is a less expensive option initially, but when considering that you’ll need to stain a wood deck every other year it likely is not the least expensive option over the long haul.
Composite decking made its way into the market a bit more than 10 years ago. The biggest benefit of a composite deck is low maintenance. However, early composite decking products had durability issues. First generation composite decking was prone to sun fading, mold/mildew build-up, cracking, and scratches. We recommend Trex decking for our deck projects. Trex is a leader in the marketplace and has made exceptional progress in the development of second generation composite decking. Virtually fade, crack, and scratch-free Trex carries multiple colors and grain styles to accommodate design preferences.
When designing your outdoor space beyond the patio or deck there are five key
environmental factors. It’s important to have a good sense of things like;
- Sun/shade exposure.
What are the prevailing winds in your chosen area?
How close is your planned cooking area to the main house for ease of preparation?
Are you close to an outdoor water source where you may have insect concerns?
- Next you will want to think about traffic flow and who will be using the space. For example, if you plan to retire or are retired, how accessible will your new outdoor space be in ten years? Have you considered having a space for children to play that is in close proximity to where the adults will be relaxing? How will the overall flow of traffic need to be arranged to be the most functional? Having sections for specific purposes will help you start to plan.
- Just like you would plan an indoor space, your outdoor living area should match the style of your home. An ultra-modern outdoor fireplace will look odd with your traditional home. Try to pull through your homes architecture as well as your decorating style to your outdoor space to make the flow from indoor to outdoor simple.
- Create a focal point for your space. Having a view is half the reason you want to be outside. A water feature or a garden make beautiful items to enhance your space.
- Plan for a heating source. To enjoy your new outdoor space as much as possible, we suggest adding a heating source to help you get a few more months of enjoyable time in both the spring and fall. In addition to an outdoor fireplace, other heating sources include overhead heaters made specifically for a patio or deck areas.
Are you ready to build your dream outdoor space? Call APEX Construction Management today for your free initial consultation.