Now is the perfect time to start planning your outdoor living space

These are the 5 steps to consider when planning your outdoor living space

Spring may seem far away. But if you’re planning to enjoy the summer in your new outdoor space, start planning early!

Now more than ever, our homes have become our sanctuaries. Spending more time at home means we’re adapting additional space to accommodate our living needs. With fewer places to go, and a summer of outdoor activities on the horizon, that unused backyard could be bonus real estate on which to create an extension to your home.

Your backyard is your canvas and we have the materials!

1. Use your imagination
To get started, ask yourself some basic questions. What do you want out of the yard – Are you dreaming of an outdoor kitchen where you’ll entertain family and friends? Or do you want a cozy fire pit to gather around where your family can remenis?
Do you want to incorporate Heat, lighting, or other amenities into your outdoor space? Have you longed for a private shady spot where you can read a favorite book?

If you need a little inspiration, visit our design ideas gallery

2. Compartmentalize
Think about the outdoor area you want to upgrade. Does it support or restrict your desired plans?
If you have a sloped backyard, find out about features that can expand your outdoor living space, or accentuate the drama your property offers.

Stay outside a little longer
While planning your outdoor living space during the cold weather could inspire you to include features that would allow you to enjoy your the outdoors a little longer. These features could include an outdoor fire place, fire pit and outdoor heaters.

If you get overwhelmed looking at your yard as one big space to be developed, it may be easier to view it as several different “rooms” much like your indoor space. Compartmentalizing the wants for your outdoor living space may diminish planning overload and make the process much less intimidating.

3. Stylize
By rushing through the planning process you also run the risk of not identifying a style or theme. Your outdoor living area should complement the exterior of your home. If you plan on tackling the maintenance of your landscaping independently, consider the time you have to invest in its care as part of the style you select.

The options for building materials affects the look, function, and cost of your outdoor living space.
Some outdoor materials worth considering are:
• Flagstone
• Patio pavers
• Bluestone
• Cobblestones
• Granite

4. Prioritize
Define a timeline. A timeline is essential if many parts of your install coexist but are installed in phases. For instance, if you will eventually install an outdoor kitchen but will install a patio first, know where plumbing, electric, and gas lines should be installed before the patio is built. Prioritize the projects that will meet your budget parameters and will give you the most immediate satisfaction. Know what your ultimate goals are so that you can save money in the long run.

Consider your finances and come up with a workable budget. Make sure it’s realistic and comfortable. It will help guide many decisions.
For some, a home equity loan can be an excellent source of funds for your new space. Now is a good time to do some research and even apply. You want to know your true availability of funds now – not later, after you’ve done a lot of planning.

5. Hire a Professional or DIY?

This is the question that we will all face: Do you DIY or hire a professional to build the outdoor living space?
The answer depends on several factors including time, budget, site challenges and project scope. Make sure that you have friends or family help you.
Powell Stone & Gravel offers DIY seminars for those who wish to tackle the project themselves.
However, if extensive work, machinery, and site challenges are involved; or there are requirements to run utilities, building codes or zoning restrictions, it would be wise to hire a professional to help realize your outdoor living space in a cost-effective and timely manner.

Get inspiration: Check out the Design Ideas section on our website.

133 Leominster-Shirley Road Lunenburg, MA 01462
Mon - Fri - 7am – 5pm
Sat: 7am - 4pm
673 Spring Street
Winchendon, MA 01475
Mon - Fri - 7am – 5pm
Sat: 7am - 4pm
87 Route 13
Brookline, NH 03033
Mon - Fri - 7am – 5pm
Sat: 7am - 4pm
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