Today, in our fast-paced, busy, and technologically-driven lives, we naturally long for an escape into the great outdoors. Often just relaxing in the backyard is enough to recharge our batteries. If you’re thinking about giving your backyard a makeover and making it into a wonderfully livable space, here are six tips from masonry contractors for creating an inviting outdoor living space in Troy, MI.
Today, many homeowners are putting as much effort into remodeling their backyards as they do to the interior of their homes, and the results are spectacular. You are less likely to see a neighbor with an isolated charcoal grill, ugly plastic lawn furniture, or lonely table with a rickety umbrella that collapses every time the wind blows. Today’s outdoor living spaces are design masterpieces.
Image Source - Unilock
How will you use the space? This is the first and most important question. Make a list of activities you anticipate enjoying in your new space: cooking, relaxing, entertaining, playing with the kids, reading, meditating, napping, gardening.
Lay Out Your Zones
Think of your landscape in terms of public and private spaces. You could think of public spaces as where you will do cooking, sharing meals, and entertaining. Private spaces are all about relaxation and tranquil spaces for reading or meditating. These can be part of a grand patio area, or completely separate spaces joined by walkways or stairs.
Add Special Features
What kind of masonry features would make your outdoor space even more inviting? A fireplace or fire pit? A koi pond? A fountain or waterfall? A secret garden accessed by a meandering pathway and surrounded by a beautiful stone wall? Where would you like to see these elements in relation to the zones you have envisioned?
Think Big Picture
Now that you know what zones you need, think about how big they need to be and how they will connect. You may want to make your outdoor zone a little bigger than you predict you’ll need—especially when thinking through your cooking, dining, and relaxing areas. This can ensure that there is ample space for multiple people to gather without tripping over each other. Consider the ease of movement between spaces: Which access points need to be straight and efficient, and which can meander slowly? Also think about whether you prefer one grand space—a “great room”—that houses all of your activities, or if you prefer to spread your outdoor spaces throughout the landscape.
When you’ve decided on the layout, shift your focus vertically. Is there a slope you can take advantage of, to create dramatic multi-level terraced living spaces? Which zones would benefit from a seating wall or a retaining wall? Which zones would benefit most from a permanent shade structure?
Choose the Right Materials
Next, choose your materials that best complement your home’s architectural style, the landscape, and your personality. Paver patios have overtaken wood decks as the preferred material for backyard retreats. Pavers are much lower maintenance than wood, and give you endless options in terms of colors, style, and layout. They also add significantly to the value of your home. In terms of personal artistic expression, you have nearly unlimited choices in combining paver shapes, textures, colors, laying patterns, accents, borders, and whether you want a curvaceous or linear outdoor shapes. Your backyard is your palette—and we’ll help you bring your vision to life!