4 Discussions to Have Before Building Your Outdoor Living Space in Calgary
Outdoor living spaces have the ability to help you and your family connect with nature, while also extending the overall usable space of your property. As the spring season rolls along and the weather becomes warmer, many Calgary, Alberta homeowners tend to find themselves looking for ways to improve their home’s outdoor living area through exterior renovations and outdoor design.
Investing in adding or upgrading an exterior living space may lead to making some complementary interior changes as well, or vice versa. “Bringing the outside in” has become an essential trend in modern interior design as of late, which helps homeowners develop a stronger connection with nature.
What is Outdoor Living?
When we talk about outdoor living, we are referring to an ability to enhance your lifestyle at home by actively using your outside areas to improve both the overall function and beauty of your property.
If you’re thinking about a 2022 outdoor renovation in Calgary, Alberta, here are 4 key discussions to have first:
1. The use and purpose of your outdoor living space.
First and foremost, you should ask yourself how you’d like to use your new outdoor living area.
You can search the web and find thousands of outdoor living space examples, but what you and your family intend to do with this area will ultimately dictate what is needed in the design of your exterior makeover and what the end result of your project will look like.
Are you simply looking to create a relaxing space to get some fresh air and soak up the sun on your days off, or do you have bigger goals in mind such as entertaining guests or nurturing your passion for cooking? If the latter, then you will likely want to integrate more complex elements to your overall concept.
Outdoor cooking stations, audio solutions, gas fireplaces or tables, and more can all be excellent additions to a multi-purpose outdoor living space that is perfect for both the relaxing family game nights in the backyard, as well as the larger outdoor gatherings with friends and neighbours.
2. The local weather conditions.
Every Calgary, Alberta homeowner is more than familiar with our unpredictable climate. When planning an outdoor remodel of your own, it’s important to remember that even though we start a day with blue skies and sunshine, it can quickly change to thunderstorms and hail (then sometimes right back to sunshine!).
If you want to design an “outdoor” living space that will be functional no matter what Mother Nature decides to throw your way, then you may want to consider a sunroom addition to protect you from the elements year-round. Sunrooms in Calgary, Alberta offer up the perfect four-season solution for anyone wanting to plan a practical outdoor living room renovation.
For darker homes, the addition of a sunroom can also be a terrific way to allow more natural light into the interior of your house. This is another prime example of bringing the outside in, by highlighting your beautiful exterior surroundings through the added openings and windows of your sunroom.
Sunrooms can truly feel like an extension of the outdoors!
3. Your home’s privacy needs.
Depending on the size and location of your property, adding an element of privacy to your brand-new outdoor living space will likely play an important part of your design. For example, someone adding or improving an outdoor living area in a more mature Calgary neighbourhood, like Montgomery or Chinook Park; (known for having larger lots and large, mature trees), would have different privacy needs than someone living in a newer community, like Auburn Bay or Evanston. These neighbourhoods have properties that can be less than half the size, with neighbouring homes built noticeably closer together and have ‘new-growth’ trees and vegetation, offering less privacy than some of the more mature neighbourhoods.
Regardless of your needs, outdoor privacy solutions come in many forms and often have the ability to improve the overall look and design of your project.
Incorporating stunning wooden privacy panels, multi-purpose walls, landscaping, tree & vegetation plantings, and structural solutions like pergolas and gazebos, are all popular methods of creating a more secluded outdoor oasis in your very-own backyard.
4. Any budget constraints.
Last but certainly not least is your budget.
How much does it cost to create an outdoor living space in Calgary, Alberta?
The answer is “it depends”!
The wants and needs for these exterior living areas will be quite different for every homeowner, and your budget will depend on how you intend to use your space, as discussed in our first point above.
What do YOU need for outdoor living?
Planning a budget for this type of project should come down to how you expect to utilize your outdoor living space, your lifestyle, and personal taste. Not all outdoor renovations require you to dig up an entire yard, but keep in mind larger scale projects are typically accompanied by larger costs.
According to Homestars.com, “while costs vary greatly, homeowners report spending between $1,809 and $6,901 for individual landscaping projects; however, for complete landscaping on a larger scale or estate property with a true oasis feel along with professional landscaping designs; investment ranges can be high 5 figures and into low 6 figures. A good rule of thumb to follow is to expect to invest about 5-10% of your home’s overall value on landscaping, but this all depends on the range of seasonal use, which is based on how well the 3 or 4 Season Room is constructed. Some of the factors that impact the cost of an outdoor living space remodel include the size of property, materials and plants, and features added, and whether a portion of the space is enclosed or not.
At Pinnacle Group Renovations most, if not all, of our exterior projects are done in conjunction with an interior renovation; some occur at the same time; for others the exterior becomes part of ‘Phase Two’. Connecting the interior of your home to the outdoors through thoughtful design has the ability to create a clean and consistent look throughout your entire property. While we all continue to spend more time at home as a family than ever before, our living spaces, both inside and out, have taken on new roles. In order to keep up with our changing lifestyles, our homes must also undergo changes of their own.