Outdoor living areas should encourage you to get out and enjoy sunshine and fresh air. If your backyard makes you want to hide inside, you are doing it wrong. Ready to spruce things up? Here are some options guaranteed to add to your al fresco experience. Some of them can even be added by your Vanbrooke builder.
Start With a Covered Patio
We’re not going to lie. Texas gets hot in the summer. If you plan to entertain outdoors, a covered patio is a must. Many builders offer covered patios as a standard part of the design or as an option. Patios increase the value of your home, so it is worth it to upgrade. Another must-have upgrade is an extended patio. Larger patios help you create separate zones for conversation and dining. Some builders will even allow you to add a separate patio area for a pergola or fire pit.
Add an Outdoor Kitchen
Your Weber or Hibachi grill not cutting it? Upgrade to an outdoor kitchen. Built-in grills define the space, look great and usually come with a prep counter. Some even have mini-refrigerators and sinks, so you aren’t traipsing in and out of the house letting the flies in.
Bring on the Fire
The grill shouldn’t be the only thing you are firing up. Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits add ambiance and provide a focal point. You will be able to use your backyard year-round (hey, even Texas gets cold in the winter). Outdoor fireplaces are cozy and romantic while fire pits are a natural gathering spot in the evenings. Fire pits get extra points because you can roast marshmallows over them.
Enhance Your Landscaping
If your builder offers more landscaping options than sod, take advantage. A beautifully landscaped backyard encourages you to get outside and smell the roses. Professional landscapers know what plants look best and can use them to divide the space into zones making your backyard appear larger. If your backyard doesn’t have an irrigation system, see if it one can be installed while your house is being constructed. That way you won’t have to put one in yourself.
Room for a Pool?
If you have a large yard, a pool is a definite consideration. Kids love to splash in them. Parents love to lounge around them. If your yard is smaller, you don’t have to miss out. Many people are putting in plunge pools. You can’t swim laps, but you can cool down on a hot day.
What About Water Features?
The right water feature adds elegance to any backyard. Water is soothing and a buffer against noise. Water features aren’t limited to birdbaths and fountains. With a little creativity and careful planning, you can add a small creek, koi pond or waterfall.
Choose Furniture Wisely
Outdoor furniture has come a long way. Most sport all-weather fabric and are water-resistant to one degree or another. Create a conversational area with chairs, a sofa or love seat and a coffee table. Some coffee tables can store your cushions in the event of rain. For dining, go with wood, not metal. No one wants to take a seat on a metal chair that has been baking in the sun all day.
More Outdoor Spaces
Don’t focus solely on the backyard. Other outdoor areas may need your attention. Do you like conversing with the neighbors? Add a covered porch. Porches add to your home’s curb appeal. They are great places to drink morning coffee, greet guests with lemonade or keep toddlers corralled while you do yard work. Another way to add curb appeal is picking the right elevation. Builders usually offer a choice of brick, brick-and-stone and stucco. Choose what works best for you.