Outdoor Living

Outdoor Living Renovations

So you’re thinking about renovating your pool and spa, maybe your entire backyard living space.   There are many things to consider before digging in.

Why renovate?  Why do you want to remodel your outdoor living space?  Are the      materials, surfaces and equipment tired, inefficient and/or dated?  Does it not suit your lifestyle and how you want to use the space?  Is it costing you too much time and money to maintain and enjoy?  Or does it just not give you the feel or ambiance to make it a true destination?   All of these reasons are perfectly good reasons to remodel.  The key is a good plan, realistic budget and the right pros to get you there.

Plan properly.  Before you start picking out the gorgeous limestone patio pavers, features and furniture, it’s important to properly plan your project.  How disappointing would it be if you get halfway through your project only to discover – it really doesn’t meet your needs or you can no longer afford the bling to make your place truly special?    Very!

First map out how you want to use the space, each space.  Dining, entertaining, lounging, cooking and of course how you will use your pool and spa.  Don’t just plan for each destination, plan how you will get to and from them and the services you’ll need when you get there.  All too often, homeowners are disappointed when they discover they don’t have adequate utilities where they need them – maybe power for an outdoor TV or gas for a fire feature.  Or that crushed stone, sand, grass or mulch walkway is not kind to your feet or they cause you to track debris into the pool.  Or maybe your decking and patio areas don’t accommodate the amazing furniture you just purchased.  And don’t forget soft scape!   A gorgeous pool and patios will quickly feel like a hole in a ground or concrete jungle without proper landscaping.   And what about lighting?  Lighting can really go a long way to create ambiance.  There are a slew of fantastic, energy-efficient lighting options out there, but you have to plan properly for type and location so they illuminate your space properly, not blind your guests.

Gearing up. So you know what you want, you have a solid plan and budget, now you need to make sure you’re safe to dig and you have all the right professionals involved.

To make sure you’re safe to dig, call Dig Safe or visit the Dig Safe web site.  811 is the designated, call before you or your pros dig, phone number that directly connects you to your local one call center. Each state has different rules and regulations governing digging, some stricter than others. You can find state-specific information as well as links to submit an online digging request where available.

For a tremendous time and budget saver, coordinate all of your contractors for a single plan.  Some of you may not see the value to involve your landscaper when planning a pool build or remodel, but you should.  Why? To save time, money, surprises, headaches and to get exactly what you envision.  If you involve your landscape architect at the time you’re building your pool, they can advise and help you see your entire property, not just that beautiful hole in the ground.

Picture this – your pool is built, your fence is up.  Now you call in your landscaper.  They have to “live” with the available area around the pool, the hardscape and fence placement.  How are they going to bring in large equipment and materials?  They may not be able to or they may need to temporarily take down some of the fence.  Either way, this will slow them down, drive up your costs and quite possibly limit your options.  Always make sure your plan includes the pool, features, plumbing, hard and soft scape, fencing, electrical, gas and you’re sure to have a successful, efficient build or remodel.

Bringing the bling!
Bling means very different things to different people.  Martha, no relation to you-know-who, may be creating a Hampton-style, seaside retreat in her backyard.  She’s envisioning a blue and white palette with sea shell wind chimes, sculptures made from driftwood, hydrangeas, a rustic fire pit and wrought iron lanterns and furniture.  While Mia is looking to create a slick, modern and sophisticated space with every bell and whistle.

The outdoor living industry is on fire right now and there are bargains to be had and all the bling you could possibly imagine.  Don’t be afraid to mix some reasonably-priced big box furniture with yard sale finds and must-have splurges. Ambiance is achieved when you walk into your space and it makes you happy, relaxed, revived – whatever the vibe you were hoping for.  Regardless of the feel of your design and decor, consider automating your all the high-tech gadgets, pool functions and amenities so you can kick back and enjoy your new space.