John Erwin Remodeling says Outdoor Living continues to grow in popularity in the Pacific Northwest.
In Thurston County we have what most would call a mild wet climate; we get an average rainfall of about 50” per year, with the average low temperature only reaching 33 degrees in February and a high of 78 in August. More and more homeowners are looking to expand their living space outside, we used to always say, bring the outside in, now we are saying bring the inside out.
Home owners are no longer looking for just your basic 12’x20 deck. “Some of our high end clients are looking to expand with large covered decks and patios with all the same amenities you might normally find inside the home” says John Erwin of John Erwin Remodeling Inc. Some of the design elements include a sitting and entertaining area, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, ceiling hung heaters, hot tubs and flat screen televisions. “Clients with more modest budgets still want the same features but are scaled back, to fit their budget” Erwin says.
Designing and planning your new outdoor living space is very important with many factors to consider. First and foremost is your budget. According to Remodeling Magazines Cost vs. Value annual report the average composite deck addition in the Seattle market is around $11,615 and a larger upscale deck is $38,071 with an expected initial return on your investment of 84.4%-62% respectively. “That falls right in line with what we have been seeing and building here in Olympia. If our clients want to build a covered outdoor project, it can add anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000 to the project.” Erwin says.
Here are a few tips John Erwin with John Erwin Remodeling Inc. has while designing and developing an outdoor living space.
1. First you have to determine the feasibility of actually doing the project. Will your project meet current codes and setbacks and any neighborhood association requirements?
2. Have a target budget in mind and be very open and honest about your budgetary goals.
3. Write down all your design elements you are thinking about. You can go on line to www.houzz.com and find amazing pictures of outdoor living spaces. Don’t worry about finding the perfect one, just print off the ones you like with the design elements you’re looking for.
4. Don’t forget the light! If you are planning a large covered patio or deck, remember lighting is one of the most important design elements. When a roof structure is built it often times will block the direct sunlight from the kitchen, living or dining rooms making the interior that was once bright and light into a dark shaded cave. Orientate skylights into the design of the new roof so natural sunlight can still flood into the home. Install multiple can lights so you can enjoy your outdoor space at night. New LED lights can really add a warm soft accent around the perimeter.
5. Most importantly work with someone experienced in creating the outdoor living space you’re dreaming of.
John Erwin of John Erwin Remodeling Inc. is an award winning designer and remodeler and has been in business for over 20 years in Olympia.