With society spending more time at home, many people are searching for ways to enhance their homes or yards. In addition to gardening, you may want to consider adding an outdoor living space to your property.
“An outdoor living space is a very broad term without a clear definition in the marketplace,” said Lance Yuda, president of Seneca-based Zone 7 Landscape Center. “A country wraparound porch, a pool deck, a sitting space with a fire pit, and up to a complete outdoor room with a covered pavilion space with TV, a shade pergola over kitchen and bar space with grill, smoker and a pizza oven. So, defining what each client is envisioning is the first step.”
With an abundance of choices available, your outdoor living space may be completely tailored to your needs and desires. However, once you have an idea of what you want, you should sit down to plan out your budget to ensure the project costs are within your comfort zone. For example, some subdivisions already have patios or porches with the foundation and roof in place. This can make adding on a screened-in porch not as costly as it would be if you had to build the entire structure, David Gerish, owner of DG Builders of Travelers Rest said.
As with any other building project, there are also costs that you may not realize upfront.
“Often, we will run into issues when we are removing a deck or screened room, where it was flashed improperly or installed wrong, [and] the side of the house is rotten,” said Gerish. “We go to dig a foundation for a sunroom or garage, and we hit rock, so we have to jackhammer the rock out. A lot of times, it is something that has been done wrong in the past, and we have to fix something that someone else didn’t do right.”
In addition to those unexpected issues, appliances that need to withstand up to 120-degree summer heat and near zero-degree winter temperatures are also an expense that you may not be initially aware of, Yuda said.
“All the appliances are expensive with outdoor ratings,” said Yuda. “Gas fire components require stainless steel and cast bronze elements that are seriously heavy-duty. Light fixtures, electrical connections, et cetera are outdoor grade. So regardless of the market point, just about everyone is a bit surprised at the costs of an outdoor living space that has any complexity to it. Another factor is the existing grade. In our area with sloped lots down to a lake, creating a level space is step one that drives the costs up.”
Once you have informed yourself about the possible unexpected costs associated with having an outdoor living space, you can select your dream project and get ready to enjoy time with loved ones on a customized porch or cook a meal in an outdoor kitchen.