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Outdoor Oasis Options Post-Pandemic

It's been a crazy year. COVID-19 kept us cooped up, and now there's never been a better reason – or season -- to makeover your outdoor space. Why wait for the outdoor space of your dreams? With some improvements like a new deck or patio, cleaning out the garage or an installing an outdoor kitchen to help you entertain like Ina Garten, you’ll maximize summer months. And, you’ll be using your areas outside in the fall, too. We all know the seasons are short. So, get going and get that outdoor space you’ve been dreaming about.

Here are some ideas to level up your outdoor space:

1. Decks and Patios

People often use the terms deck and patio interchangeably, but they are, in fact, different. Patios tend to be smaller, more intimate spaces and use stamped concrete or brick materials as a foundation. With decks, the options are broader. When you think decks, think expansive views and even elevation. Decks are a great option to build on land that is sloped or uneven. Elevated decks also offer storage options underneath, which can be perfect if you also have a pool or a large family with lots of equipment and toys.

Let’s look at a few more differences between decks and patios:

Patios. Not always, but very often patios are less expensive to build and do not require permits (depending where you live). Patio areas are built on level ground and are generally constructed of brick, stamped concrete or stone. A patio area can have elevated surfaces for seating, landscaping or fire pits. Patios do not have weight restrictions (decks typically do). Patios can offer more privacy than a deck, especially if they are enclosed. Patios generally are smaller areas and can also be used as part of a deck (off to the side) or a pool. They can be irregularly shaped like round, oblong or any kind of shape you desire.

Decks. For most homes, decks are an extension of the home. Walking out of a back door onto a deck is the most common type of deck. Decks can be elevated, and even if your backyard is sloped or uneven, you can still have a deck area for seating, grills and more. Decks can be made of natural or composite wood. Natural wood does need to be maintained with staining and water protection. One final item to remember: when choosing materials to build your deck, remember that darker natural or composite woods will retain more heat than lighter colors.

Whichever you choose, a patio or deck, space will be an asset to your home's value for years to come. Keep in mind there is minor maintenance with each, like power washing and general clean-up, but each space is easy to maintain and keeps looking beautiful for years to come.

2. Outdoor Kitchens and Fire Pits

Now it’s onto outdoor grilling and chilling by the fire pit. To really keep your guests relaxed and happy, serve up some great food in the outdoor kitchen and serve them fireside. Why spend all your time indoors preparing meals in the kitchen when you can be outdoors with your family and friends?

One thing to remember about outdoor kitchens is durability. Trusting a licensed contractor to design and build your outdoor kitchen is critical since your appliances need to withstand any type of weather. The standard outdoor kitchen has a cooktop/oven combo for cooking, a small cooler or refrigerator for drinks and perishables and a flat surface for meal prep.

For fire pits, the sky is the limit. They can be built in-ground, above ground and to almost any size and dimension you can conjure. Fire spits with built-in seating area also lovely to create an inviting, intimate feeling. Whatever your ideas are for a fire pit, make sure you're working with a licensed contractor to comply with local codes and create a safe environment for friends and family to enjoy.

3. Garages and Sheds

We all spent a lot of time at home this past year and, thanks to Amazon, likely acquired more 'stuff' than we truly need. Clearing out and de-cluttering the garage is something that needs to be done frequently, even during regular times. Installing sturdy shelving, hooks and brackets allow heavy items to stay off the floor and out of the way. Garage space can be maximized and efficiently so that clutter doesn't get it in the way of vehicles.

Outdoor sheds are another excellent option for keeping outdoor spaces neat and tidy. Pre-built sheds are relatively inexpensive, and custom-built sheds can also be a great option, depending on your budget and space allocations.

Consulting with a licensed contractor and design consultants at Paulis, Inc. for your outdoor needs is the first step in creating efficient, attractive and organized spaces for entertaining and storage. Call the experts at Paulis today and get started!



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