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Upgrade Your Outdoor Living Space

Transforming your backyard into a true extension of your home’s living space is a relatively easy way to add usable square footage and increase the enjoyment of your home. Making outdoor upgrades is also a scalable project, meaning you can do as little or as much as your budget allows and continue enhancing the space over time.

Start planning how you’ll create a backyard paradise with these ideas from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI):

Living Space
Living rooms and kitchens are among the most popular choices for upgrading a patio space. This approach allows you to take entertaining outdoors with a welcoming environment that blends the comforts of indoor spaces with the ability to appreciate the sights and sounds of the outdoors.

Comfy seating is a must, but beyond that, the options are nearly endless. You might install a grilling station or even a full kitchen setup that offers the same benefits of an open floorplan indoors. You could add a fireplace for character and warmth, and even integrate a pizza oven if your family enjoys a cheesy homemade pie. A bar puts refreshing beverages in easy reach, while a water feature lends to a calming ambiance.

Before you get started, narrow down the many choices by defining how you want to use the space. Know whether your goal is to create a relaxing retreat, add entertaining space, or work in another function that fits your family’s needs.

Upgrade Your Outdoor Living Space
Upgrade Your Outdoor Living Space

Creating an indoor setting outside can also mean bringing comfortable elements like entertainment outdoors. Typical outdoor entertainment technologies include music and speaker systems, lighting, all-weather televisions, and theater systems. Speaker systems are becoming more invisible as they blend into the landscaping as rocks or planters.

However, not all outdoor products are able to withstand all weather conditions. For example, some products are marketed for indoor and outdoor use, but they’re not constructed to withstand extreme temperatures all year. Do your research to ensure your products are appropriate for your environment.

Remodelers should also be mindful of the placement of the speaker systems, so as not to disturb the neighbors and to maximize enjoyment for the homeowner.

Functional Features
Entertainment aside, there are some options for upgrading your backyard space that is as practical as they are enjoyable. For example, adding paved walkways lends both aesthetic appeal and a clear path for traveling from one section of the yard to the next. This is especially advantageous for high-traffic areas, where frequent trips might otherwise damage the lawn. The material can either complement or match the surface of the finished patio space, particularly if you choose an option like stone or pavers.

Other functional features you might consider include fire pits, which can lend warmth on a cool day, and lush vegetation, which can contribute both character and shade to space. If you live in an especially warm region, installing a cooling mist system can extend the usability of your area well into summer.

When it comes to customizing your space, particularly if it’s smaller, you can get creative with clever multi-purpose features like benches with built-in planters and tables with hidden drink wells for icing down beverages.

Find more ideas for upgrading your outdoor space at

National Association of the Remodeling Industry

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