Daylight savings time has blessed us with longer, sunnier days. And bleak winter is about to blossom into glorious spring! So what better time is there to talk about how you want to redefine your outdoor living space this season?
This is the first in a series of posts to discuss this kind of project, based on what kind of budget there is. With each chapter in the series, we’ll present a graphic, which represents one possible scenario for what you can accomplish at the given budget. But, the main thrust here is what YOU would do with a patio remodel. Hopefully this will help you to think about the kind of space you envision for yourself, whether you’d use a lower budget to set the stage for a larger spend later on, or save up for a big, dramatic transformation.
Anyway, let’s take a look at a budget of $500, and in this case with $25 extra thrown in. What can you do at this scale to begin to create the outdoor space you’re imagining?
Set the stage
You had to know that the term “set the stage” was going to be used at some point on this post. So, to be upfront, I’ve even made it a big bold subheading. But, really when it comes to the early planning stages when you’ve got a modest budget, that’s the name of the game. It’s a great time to ask the basic questions that will help you to shape what your patio space is going to look like.
The best way to do that is to think about how you want to use the space. Are you likely to move around a lot, or spend most of your time seated? Are you primarily thinking about creating a space to entertain friends and family? Will this be a sit-down mealtime space? Or is it an after-dinner space meant for coffee and sunsets. Are you thinking about creating an outdoor morning room, or outdoor location to use as a place to clear your head? Maybe it’s all of those things. But, this is your chance to think about some specifics before you begin spending the money.
Start with the basics
Regardless of your larger purpose, there are still some basics to take care of, even at a modest budget. When you’re spending time outdoors during balmier months, you want to make sure that comfort is a primary goal. So, think about things like sun and wind exposure. What items are you going to need to adjust to these factors? Are you eventually going to need more lighting? What about an umbrella to keep the sun away?
Also, it’s helpful to think about things like your comfort levels when it comes to privacy. How comfortable are you with being observed by neighbors? How comfortable do you think they are going to be in observing you? This may effect things like furniture placement, and use of privacy barriers. Later, when budgets get bigger, it may affect placement of hot tubs, outdoor showers, and saunas (we’ll get there!).
Regardless of what choice in furniture or surfacing you decide to go with in the short-term, the answers to these basic questions are going to affect the outcome, even if your budget for a patio remodel well exceeds this example of $500 in the long-term.
Patio spaces as outdoor rooms
Your patio space is best thought of as another important room in your home. The extent of this is going to depend greatly on where you live of course, and how comfortable time spent there is going to be, weather-wise. But, what remains common to patio spaces is that they serve as a way to connect your whole property, design-wise and in terms of how the traffic in your home flows. This way, your patio isn’t just an isolated island in your backyard, or sideyard. It contributes to the life of your home as a whole.
This level of patio space budget is just the beginning. But, it’s a chance for you to strategize on what’s going to be comfortable now, and ways to make that scalable later on, when budgets get bigger.
Stay tuned for the next episode in the series!