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Adding Structures to Your Outdoor Living Spaces

Adding Structures to Your Outdoor Living Spaces

Sep 24 2013

Flowers are beautiful and lawn is fantastic, but when it comes to a beautiful, pulled-together yard, nothing makes more of a difference than structures such as fireplaces, fire pits, pergolas, and trellises. If you have thought about adding these crucial elements to your outdoor living spaces but are not sure where to start, answer these questions to help you sort through the options. What does your family do outside? Do you entertain or have a regular family football game on weekends? Or are you an avid gardener that needs space for vegetables and flowers, or do you escape outside with a good book? Make a list of what your yard currently does and what you’d like it to do, and then use it to divide your yard into zones. A shady corner—accented with beautiful retaining walls—may provide a great spot for a reading nook, while an empty spot off a back door offers a lovely area for a pergola covered patio, outdoor kitchen, or fire pit. Can a structure serve multiple functions? Structures such as pergolas, trellises, fireplaces, and fire pits can do more than offer shade and warmth. A fireplace with an expansive hearth: You have got extra seating. A trellis in a side yard: There is connection between front and back spaces and a spot for a flowering vine. Do I have anything I need to hide, or something to enhance? Pergolas, pathways, trellises, and/or fire pits: Anything in your front or back yard should complement your home’s material and architecture. But, those same structures can be used strategically to shield an unwelcome view or provide more privacy, too. A water feature, for example, is a distinctive landscape feature; its sound may also diminish a noisy side street. What is the lifespan? Any structures that you’re thinking about integrating into your yard should have the same lifespan as any other improvement you’d make to your house. Investigate the wear and tear of your climate and how materials and construction methods withstand any temperature and moisture extremes.

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