Outdoor Living Ideas – Planning Your Outdoor Living Space in 3 Steps

Outdoor living spaces are a great way to add value to your home and create an inviting space for family and friends to come together. By creating an outdoor living space, many homeowners are able to create a space that would otherwise get used infrequently, or not at all. Some of our outdoor living ideas include:

outdoor living ideas contractor
Photo: Custom Home by Balducci Builders, Inc.

Outdoor Living Ideas – #1 – Define Separate Outdoor Living Areas

One of the best ways to create an outdoor living space is to define it through a structural element. This can include anything from a pergola, trellis, or fence. By including a structural element, it will inform guests that they are entering a new space that is separate from the rest of the home. While you want your outdoor space to be separated from the rest of your home, you do want your outdoor space to flow from the rest of your house. The best way to create a harmonious flow from the indoor and outdoor living spaces is to continue the same style of your indoor decor with the outdoor spaces.

Outdoor Living Ideas – #2 Create an Easy Entry Point to the Outdoor Living Space

A great way to mingle the indoor with the outdoor space is by including a way to easily access the two spaces. A simple doorway may do the trick; however, we believe that the larger the entryway, the better. The easier it is to access the two two spaces, the more seamless the transition. We recommend installing large French doors or ultra-wide sliding doors. If this is not feasible, it might be a good idea to include a couple of windows around the doorway to let in extra light and a clearer view to the outdoor living space. As a bonus of having a clearer view to the outside, you’ll want to spend more time in your outdoor space.

outdoor living ideas contractor
Photo: Screened Porch by Balducci Exteriors

Outdoor Living Ideas – #3 Define the Purpose of Each Area in the Outdoor Living Space

Once your outdoor living space is clear and defined, it is time to decide what areas will serve what purpose. Some of the most popular outdoor living ideas include outdoor kitchens, dining rooms, and living areas.  You may choose to include all of these options, or any combination of the three (depending on the size of your outdoor living space and your personal preferences). Some other ideas include zen gardens, basketball courts, and bocce ball. The possibilities are endless!

outdoor living ideas contractor
Photo: Custom Outdoor Kitchen by Balducci Builders, Inc.

Outdoor living spaces can be the perfect entertainment area for family and friends; however, planning an outdoor living space can be overwhelming. We hope that these outdoor living ideas will help you plan your home’s outdoor space. Of course, after your outdoor living space has been planned out, it is time to choose the finishing touches of the space. This includes items such as lighting, seating, appliances, and materials. If you have any further questions regarding outdoor living spaces, don’t hesitate to contact Balducci Exteriors.

Outdoor Upgrades with the Highest Return on Investment

Do you plan on moving in the near future? Many homeowners who prepare to move within the next few years often feel overwhelmed at the amount of home improvement projects that they feel their home needs. Since most people don’t have unlimited budgets, it is good to know which projects will give you the best bang for your buck. Your home’s exterior is the first thing guests will notice about your home; thus, it is important to keep your curb appeal updated. Even worse, it can steer potential buyers away.

 

Whether you plan on moving in the near future, or you simply want to upgrade your curb appeal; researching the return on investment for home improvement projects is a must, especially in the metro Richmond area. According to the 2017 Cost vs. Value report (www.costvsvalue.com), here are the top three outdoor upgrades with the highest return on investment in Richmond, Virginia:

 

3. Wood Deck Addition

wood deck addition roi home value richmond
Photo: remodelingcalculator.org

A wood deck addition is a great way to add some outdoor living space and value to your home. Wood deck additions have an impressive ROI of 62.7%. Although there are many options for wood decks, the most popular choices are lumber and cedar. One of the major drawbacks with wood decks is that it requires lots of maintenance.

An important question to ask yourself is whether you plan on hiring someone to do the maintenance, or will you be doing the work yourself? The cost of hiring someone to keep your deck in good shape can get costly quick, which is why composite decks are a popular option. Although composite decks require less maintenance, their high costs cause their lower ROI.

2. Steel Entry Door Replacement

steel entry door roi home value richmond
Photo: Pella

A steel entry door replacement has an ROI of 81.5% in Richmond, Virginia. Steel is durable, weather resistant, and doesn’t warp or rot like it’s wood counterpart. Compared to wood and some fiberglass options, steel entry doors are relatively affordable. Since wood doors require routine sanding and re-coating, steel entry doors are a good option for homeowners who prefer an entry door with low maintenance. Additionally, they provide good insulation (because of their foam core) and can even save you a couple of dollars on your heating and cooling bill!

1. Manufactured Stone Veneer

stone veneer ROI richmond home value return on investment
Photo: Boral Versetta Stone

The project with the highest return on investment in Richmond, Virginia for 2017 is manufactured stone veneer with an ROI of 102%. This is even higher than the national average of 89.4% ROI. Stone veneer creates a feeling of ageless character and aesthetic. In addition, it is manufactured to withstand time; most manufactures offer a 50 year limited warranty.

Manufactured stone veneer is one-third the weight of full-thickness stone; thus, it can be adhered to most wall surfaces. Since the product is manufactured, it comes in a variety of colors and textures-which closely resemble the look of authentic stone.

 

These are the top three home improvement projects with the highest ROI for the Richmond, Virginia area. However, you should choose your next home improvement project based off of what you believe would be the best value for you and your family. As always, call an expert for any questions on home improvement projects.

 

© 2017 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling
2017 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com

Small Curb Appeal Updates with a Big Impact

Does your home’s exterior look less than inviting? Before undergoing a huge home improvement project, consider these small curb appeal updates that yield a huge impact on your home’s curb appeal:

 

Dress Up the Front Door

replacement door andersen windows

Photo: Andersen Windows and Doors

We did a previous post on replacing entry doors that covers just how much a new entry door can make a difference to your home. Check out the blog post here. Entry doors make a huge impact on guests as they enter your home. A dirty, old entry door can steer guests away and suggest a negative view of the interior of your home. By replacing or updating your entry door, you can create an inviting first impression to guests.

Replace Old Hardware

door replacement repair curb appeal

Photo: directdoorhardware.com

Old hardware can date the exterior of a home. By updating house numbers, door knockers, door bells, and locks, you can significantly update your home’s curb appeal with little time and effort. When replacing hardware, make sure that all of the finishes complement one another to create a cohesive look!

Consider Lighting

outdoor lighting curb appeal contractor electrician

Photo: The Home Depot

Incorporating lighting into your home’s curb appeal can make a huge difference. Lighting can create a welcome ambiance for your home, as well as add security and safety. One option would be to replace or install wall light fixtures next to your entry door. Another option would be to include some low-voltage, or solar powered, landscape lighting to light up the walkway leading to your home’s entryway.

Add Plants

plants curb appeal front entry door replacement

Photo: Pinterest

Adding plants is a great way to add life to your home’s exterior and to create some serious curb appeal. New plants can be incorporated in your landscaping, by adding flower boxes, or incorporated around your entryway. Don’t have a huge front yard, or no yard at all? Purchase ready made containers from your local garden center.

Update Mailbox

diy home improvement curb appeal mailbox replacement

Photo: Pinterest

When updating your home’s exterior, don’t forget about the mailbox! Your mailbox should complement your home’s architectural style and exterior colors. A good tip is to match your mailbox to your home’s exterior trim color and complement it with a post color that matches your siding color. Before choosing a new mailbox, it is also important to check with your neighborhood HOA to find out if a particular mailbox is required.

 

These tips are a great way to create a more inviting look for your home’s exterior. If these tips aren’t enough to transform your home, it may be wise to consider contacting an expert, such as Balducci Exteriors to help you transform your curb appeal into one that will have all of the neighbors jealous.