Adding a New Outdoor Living Space to Your Home

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Summer is in full swing, but it’s not too late to consider adding a new outdoor living space to your home.

Not only will it be a place where you and your family can enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures of the season, but creating a new outdoor space adds to the curb appeal and value of your home.

There are several different options for outdoor living spaces, including patios, outdoor kitchens, decks, porches and sunrooms. Each one offers specific benefits and requires special design considerations, and each has the potential to transform your outdoor space.


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The modern patio is far from the unattractive concrete slabs of the past. By adding features such as fire pits and fireplaces, outdoor kitchens complete with sinks and ovens, functional lighting, and outdoor furniture, it is possible to transform a boring segment of your yard into an area for entertaining that will be the envy of your neighbors.

Patios can be built out of stamped concrete, wood, bricks, stone, and tile, and can be made to match the existing style of your home. When designing a patio, keep in mind its intended use (entertaining, outdoor eating, recreation) and the amount of practical space that is available. This is especially important when installing an outdoor kitchen. As with a well-designed porch, a new patio should be designed as an extension of your home.

Another key to a fantastic patio is the use of lighting, especially if it will be used at night. Care should be paid to electrical wiring and proper placement of outlets and power sources to avoid injury and any code violations.


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Decks are typically above-ground structures made of wooden or composite planks. When it comes to designing a deck, there are many different sizes and shapes that can be used to add functionality and style. Deck surfaces can be stained, sealed, or painted based on your preferences and to add to the natural beauty of your surroundings. Decks make excellent areas for outdoor entertaining and can be enhanced with lighting and features such as outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and hot tubs.

When planning a deck, first consider what the space will be used for and the appropriate size in relation to the home — a traditional rule of thumb is that a deck should not exceed 20% of the home’s square footage. Make sure that there is sufficient space for the activities planned for the deck, especially when adding a something like an outdoor cooking area or a hot tub.

Keep in mind that, unlike most of the other outdoor options discussed in this article, decks are going to require maintenance such as sealing and pressure washing. To cut down on maintenance, you may wish to consider easy-care options such as composites and PVC or treated cedar.


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Porches are an excellent way to take advantage of the beauty and appeal of the outdoors. Modern porches can include outdoor-friendly hardwood floors, ceiling fans to encourage air circulation, customized lighting, and skylights that allow the interior of the home to continue to benefit from natural light. Like traditional porches, they are usually covered to provide shade, but modern porches usually add architectural features such as exposed beams and vaulted ceilings.

Screened-in porches are a fantastic way to enjoy the beautiful views of the outdoors without as much concern for the weather. Screens also provide an outdoor living space with better control over pesky insects.

Far from being just an add-on to a home, porches should be designed and built by skilled craftsmen. They should blend with the existing architectural style of the home with minimal disruption to drainage, existing roofing, and exterior walls.


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For those who enjoy the sunshine but prefer the comfort of the indoors, a sunroom can be a welcome solution. Sunrooms are a practical blend of indoor and outdoor spaces and can serve as an extension of the living area, dining room, or kitchen. Key to the sunroom are windows that allow the light in while maintaining a comfortable room temperature. They can be used for entertaining, as family rooms, and even home offices.

Major considerations in the design of a sunroom include the configuration of the doors, windows, and skylights as well as the type of glass to use and roof style. If you have decided to add a sunroom, it is important to recognize that the existing air conditioning for the home may not be enough to control the temperature. For that reason, many contractors will recommend an energy-efficient ductless heater and/or air conditioner that allows the temperature to be controlled separately from the rest of the home.

Let the Best General Contractor in Delaware County Build Your New Outdoor Living Space

Mancill Builders has decades of experience building new living spaces for customers to enjoy. We can bring your ideas to life for an outdoor living space – whether it’s a patio,outdoor kitchen, screened-in porch or sunroom. Let us share our best ideas for blending a functional, attractive outdoor living space seamlessly with your existing home.

Our skilled and trusted craftsmen will ensure that the work is of the highest quality, not just meeting building codes but exceeding them. We will communicate with you through every stage of your project so that we can be sure that the final product not just meets but exceeds your expectations. Call us today – we’re ready to put our 40+ years of building experience to work for you!