Adding useful space, enjoyment, appeal and value to homes, outdoor living spaces continue to be a popular home improvement project. While the economy slowly recovers, many budget-conscious homeowners are looking for simple, cost-effective ways to transform their homes’ exteriors into inviting outdoor “land-escapes” that can be enjoyed year around.
If you are like many homeowners who are interested in adding an outdoor living space, time and money may be preventing you from getting started. The good news is that creating a durable and aesthetically appealing outdoor area does not require a lot of time or a large budget if you focus on the basics and choose the right materials. Here are a few tips that can help turn your project into a reality in a weekend.
Create a decked-out patio.
To begin your outdoor living space, start from the ground up. Consider using interlocking composite decking tiles as a quick and easy-to-use surface to create a new patio or improve an existing one. Deck tiles can be used to enhance virtually any hard, level exterior surface, including bare ground, gravel, concrete, brick or asphalt. The deck tiles simply snap into place for secure installation, instantly transforming a drab exterior surface into an eye-catching foundation for an outdoor living space – no special tools, skills or instructions needed. You’ll save time and eliminate worry about misaligning tiles or uneven spacing, while creating a versatile floor that can be easily rearranged into new designs.
“While there are many outdoor surfacing products to choose from, few can be installed in just a couple of hours and offer the versatility to simply change the layout after installation,” says Brent Gwatney of deck tile-manufacturer MoistureShield. “Products like EcoShield composite deck tiles offer homeowners a fast and affordable surfacing option that can be unsnapped and repositioned at anytime for ultimate design flexibility. Homeowners can even take the tiles with them if they move to a new home.” To learn more about EcoShield Deck Tiles, visit www.moistureshield.com or call (866) 729-2378.
Composite deck tiles are available in multiple colors, patterns and sizes, and complement a variety of architectural styles. Like other composite products, they are durable and easy-to-maintain, and provide a splinter-free, slip-resistant surface.
Add a pergola or an arbor.
To further define your outdoor living space and provide shade for hot summer days, add a pergola or an arbor. Both can use attractive composite deck boards as non-structural finish elements to match the composite deck tiles. How-to books and Web sites provide material lists and easy-to-follow installation instructions for motivated do-it-yourselfers, or a professional can be hired to do the job.
Furnish for functionality.
With the flooring and structural elements in place, it is time to decorate your outdoor space. This year’s most popular outdoor living features will be essential items, including seating and dining furniture, grills and fire pits/fireplaces, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects. To help guide you in your product choices, consider the size of your outdoor room and its intended use. Will you use the space for entertaining and dining with guests, relaxing, cozying up around a fire pit, or a combination of these activities? With a wide selection of amenities to choose from, do your research and choose the products that best fit your needs and budget.
Or work to save money and complement the flooring and structure by constructing your own Adirondack chairs, benches and planter boxes with composite decking boards in the same or complementary color. Adding vibrant weatherized outdoor cushions to the chairs and benches will make the space more inviting and comfortable.
Enhance with lighting.
To ensure the maximum enjoyment of your outdoor space, outfit it for evening hours by adding lighting fixtures. There are many ways to do this, from simply hanging string lights from overhead beams to installing permanent lighting fixtures on posts. “Some composite decking lines offer complementary railing and posts with pre-cut channels to hide wiring for lights and sound systems,” says Gwatney. “It’s an attractive and easy way to expand the enjoyment of your deck.”