The inspiration has struck and you have decided to create an outdoor living space. Planning an outdoor space is a long process, but essential to maximize the enjoyment of your soon to be retreat. Yes, sifting through design ideas is exciting, but you must begin with the fundamentals.
The first thing, and perhaps most obvious, is your climate. In the US and Canada the climate ranges from temperate and wet, extreme hot and cold, hot and humid, hot and dry, and temperate and humid. In the east, winter snow is anticipated while in the south and west it is rare. Some regions experience all four seasons while other regions experience only two. It doesn’t have to be sunny all the time to enjoy the outdoors. You should be familiar with common weather patterns on your property during the outdoor planning stage.
Climate will have a unique impact on the functionality of your outdoor space, as well as the design and construction. Cold weather is perfect for utilizing hot tubs and spas throughout the year. The weather will dictate whether you need a heat source such as a fire pit, fireplace or heat lamps, while warmer temperatures require ventilation and cooling. An overhead cover will be welcome in wet climates. Just remember to ask yourself, when will you want to use the space, summer, fall and spring or year round?
Once you determine functionality, the design process can commence. If your area is blanketed by snow and chilly temperatures for most of the winter, consider designing a space close to your house so you don’t have to wade through snow. Sun risings and settings tells us more sun can usually be found on the south side of a home. It is easy to create shade but impossible to create the sunshine. What direction does the wind typically blow? You want to experience a light breeze, not a howling gush. Air ventilation is important especially in humid climates. If you live in a wet area, water runoff from your yard and roof should be factored into the design so it doesn’t hinder your enjoyment of the outdoors.
The climate can also effect the construction of your outdoor space. The best time to work outside is when it is dry, wet turf damages more easily and can be unstable during construction. Building materials often expand during the summer months, so it is nice to get them in place, settled and sealed if necessary before the hot weather expands materials.
The elements will have an effect on your outdoor space. Some tips to contemplate before you make a purchase include the following. Be sure to use weatherproof products to resist mold, mildew, rotting and fading. Some wood structures can be vulnerable to bad weather. Watch for dark colored fabric and furniture in direct sunlight, it can really heat up seats. If you are looking to purchase a television for outside make sure it is an anti-glare model. Make sure you have adequate lighting for nighttime. Pergolas are a partial covering allowing sun to come in so you can experience the best of the sun and shade.
A four season retractable roof or canopy is a perfect solution for an outdoor space. The weather can be unpredictable but with a retractable roof, you are always prepared. When planning an outdoor gathering overhead protection will not leave you at the mercy of Mother Nature. It offers protection from sun and rain with the advantage of keeping it open when you are craving sunshine. A retractable canopy has the flexibility of being placed on top of pergolas and gazebos. Weatherproof canopies have a variety of fabrics and colours to choose from, so style will not be forfeited.