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Want an Outdoor Room? 5 Questions to Answer Before Building

Outdoor room

Thinking of adding an outdoor room to your backyard? It's a great way to make your home more functional as well as more enjoyable. But, before you start building in your backyard, here are a few questions you can answer in order to plan the right outdoor space for your situation.

How Will You Use Your Room?

The first question you'll want to answer is how you plan to utilize the space. While you may already have an idea, it's good to make sure it's right for your family. One consideration could be which room your family uses the most already. Your outdoor room can be an extension of that room or a similar space, then you can feel confident it will be used.
You could also sit down as a family and determine what everyone feels is missing from the house or the yard. However, it may be difficult to compromise if your kids want a new play area and you want a quiet reading nook. At the very least, a discussion will probably help you make the decision and know what your family will use.

How Will You Access Your Room?

Once you know what you want to create, start your location search by determining how you can access the outdoor room. Outdoor rooms benefit from easy and direct access from the house. Usually continuing a room from a similar room inside the home will utilize the outdoor room the most. For example, a kitchen can have a door that leads to an outdoor grill. If you can't design a direct connection to the house, make sure there is a wide, straight, well-lit and well-maintained path to the new outside area.

How Will You Define Your Room?

Like any other room, your outdoor room will need some kind of borders or definition to give it structure. Some outdoor rooms are defined by something as simple as a row of bushes or dwarf trees. Some are actual structures with walls. It's really up to you. Plan for traffic flow throughout the space and through the open "doors" in whichever border you plan.
If you are building a large outdoor entertainment space or have a large yard, you may want to create two or more zones for different uses. For example, you could have one zone be a dining table, and the other a place for relaxed conversations. Dividing an outdoor room into two zones allows you to enjoy the whole area more often and limit unnecessary traffic.

How Will You Protect Your Room?

The chances are that your area experiences some kind of weather or climate challenges. It may be too much sun, cold winters, or afternoon monsoons. Remember to think about how the weather will affect your outdoor room usage and what you can do to protect against it. Incorporating windbreaks, a covered "Florida room" or even a roof will help protect your room. Also, these protective elements can integrate the outdoor room into your home's architecture.

What are the Obstacles?

Before settling on a budget or a location, be sure you understand what the terrain or design challenges are. How level and stable is the ground? Which electrical or plumbing connections are available? What zoning or permit issues might you face?
Take the time to answer these questions and meet with a contractor who can help you answer some of these questions. The professional contractors at JO Contractors can help. Knowing these answers will help you move forward with confidence and a definite plan. And you will be able to start enjoying your outdoor room as quickly as possible.