(BPT) - Adding living space to your home can be an expensive prospect. However, creating an outdoor room is a budget-friendly option that gives you more square footage, as well as additional opportunities to enjoy the season. As an extension of the home, outdoor rooms with decks or pergolas can be personalized to truly bring indoor comforts outside for relaxation and entertaining.
Prepare your outdoor space
Before embarking on designing an outdoor room, start with a clean slate by making necessary repairs. Jason Ringling, director of marketing for Red Devil, a company with a 141-year history of industry knowledge, says outdoor fix-ups are on the agenda because of the unusual weather the country has experienced, including wind and flood damage. Outdoor structures have particularly taken a beating, with damage to wood structures and cracked concrete.
'Homeowners can tackle these jobs with long-lasting quality adhesives and sealants,' says Ringling. 'There are new, environmentally friendly construction adhesives on the market, which can help repair damaged decks, concrete, outdoor furniture, play sets and more.'
Stand up to Mother Nature
If you start with cellular PVC as a wood replacement, you can add longevity and low-maintenance to pergolas and other outdoor structures. Those that come in easy-to-assemble kits make it even easier to have a stylish extension to your home. According to the experts at Walpole Outdoors, which has been crafting outdoor furnishings since 1933, to match your home's style, look for variations in pergola design such as straight or arched tops, and round or square columns in many sizes.
'For a true 'outdoor room' feeling, a retractable, weather-resistant fabric canopy can provide shade and shelter whenever the weather changes, so homeowners can always plan outdoor occasions with confidence,' says Walpole president Lou Maglio.
Affordable, natural looks that endure
Decks are another easy way to extend living space and with new alternative materials, it's easy to save on maintenance without sacrificing style. One advancement in composite decking technology features a 'cap' or protective outer layer that looks like real hardwood.
'Today's deck trends show that homeowners are looking for deck styles and colors that strongly resemble the earthy tones found in nature,' says Carey Walley, vice president of marketing for TimberTech, a leading composite decking manufacturer. As an example, the company's new Earthwood Evolutions Terrain is an affordable hardwood-look composite that is durable, moisture-resistant and accepts concealed fasteners. Walley also notes that a new interactive Q&A forum called Straight Talk is a great place to investigate common deck topics and to ask any deck question that will be answered by experts.
De-clutter your deck space
When designing that special outdoor space, start by de-cluttering the deck. Look for the latest clever, space-saving solutions that help make the most of your deck space. One way to cut costs and improve the view is to use fewer posts, according to Mike Gori, director of product management, AZEK Building Products.
'We've engineered a durable railing system that spans 10 feet between posts, which requires fewer posts. This creates a less cluttered look, clearer views and substantial cost savings,' he says. In addition, he suggests hide-away storage bins that make use of the space under the deck to store items like umbrellas and pool toys. 'The lid is discreetly flush with the deck surface, eliminating those large plastic bins that obscure the view and take up valuable deck space.'
With these tips, it's easy to find functional, beautiful and affordable options for making your outdoor space your very own.