Forget about “green building” for a minute. What about building a Greenhouse? We can talk about saving the earth, and that’s all well and good, but let’s not forget to pursue our everyday enjoyment of the great outdoors.
Whether it’s a Greenhouse, a porch or any other structure, a home addition that gets you “out of the house” can really add to your life as well as the enjoyment of the nature we are trying to preserve. This article will give you some ideas about outdoor living home additions that may just do more for you than an interior makeover.
A Simple Improvement or a Major Home Addition
Enhancing your enjoyment of both your home and the outdoors isn’t limited to a deck and a swimming pool. Those are great but not everyone swims and some decks can be a bear to maintain.
The ideas I’m presenting range from smaller do-it-yourself projects to major home additions. If you’re an “Owner-Builder”, with the right help you can tackle even the bigger projects. But, even owner builders are wise to use the help of licensed professionals for certain jobs. Whichever way you go, I always advise the use of a home building or remodeling coach.
Licensed Builders, Architects & Designers
Before I get into listing the ideas for outdoor home improvements, I want to caution you that without proper planning and design, even the best ideas and additions can look out of place, cheap, and even ugly if they are poorly designed and do not match with your home’s style and available space.
If you don’t have an eye for design, or if you’re just not sure, please be sure to use an architect, residential designer, landscape designer, a “design and build” builder or other professional. Good design will prevent disappointment and headaches as well as add tremendously to the enjoyment of your expansion and market value of your home.
Outdoor Living Spaces Come in All Shapes, Sizes and Functions
This is not intended to be the definitive list of ideas but it should get you well on your way to planning what you can do for your home and outdoor enjoyment. I tried to list them in order of popularity.
Sun Room: These can be purchased as kits and installed by the manufacturer or a local builder or even a handy do-it-yourselfer. These mostly glass enclosures are popular in cooler climates.
Screened in Porches and Decks: Very handy when bugs are a problem. The screens let in the fresh air, give the feel of the outdoors, and protect against nasty critters.
Out Door Kitchens: This idea basically takes the outdoor barbecue to a whole new level of convenience. You can actually create an entire kitchen and dining area outdoors.
Greenhouse: Extending your gardening season to year round is another way to extend your enjoyment of the great outdoors. A huge amount of options are available.
Gazebo & Sheds: These are also items that can be purchased already made and ready to assemble.
Breeze Way: Most often, breezeways are used to connect homes with detached garages. They can be open or enclosed. Many people expand their usage to include sitting areas, storage spaces, mud rooms, utility rooms, and the like.
Play House: Often a great way to get the kids out of their rooms, out of the house, and off of their electronic games.
Work Shop & Hobby Room: For the tinkerer, handyman, and creative genius, the privacy of an exterior addition is priceless.
Not all these ideas will necessarily connect to the home. Very often the need for building permits is contingent upon whether an addition is connected to the home or not. Every area and jurisdiction is different so it pays to not only check with your building department but get professional advice before you decide which way to go.
Take an idea and run with it. Create an out door living area that will bring the most joy into your life. Good luck!