Outdoor Living Spaces

By+Kelli Stopczynski

‘Tis the season for outdoor projects! If you’re thinking about creating an outdoor living space or perhaps adding on to what you already have, we asked Thomas Lovisa from Lovisa & Barone his advice on what every home or business owner should know before moving forward on any outdoor living project.

Plan the Space:

First things first, make sure you have a large enough area for your concept and set a budget. A 25’x 30’ patio won’t fit into a 15’x 20’ space! The main way to tell if your idea is going to work in your space is to have a designer come out and question you to figure out your needs and wants. Any problem or concern areas can be figured out through the design process.

Look Up:

Two out of three outdoor living spaces we create involve an overhead structure such as a pergola. These structures generally revolve around the master landscape plan and budget and can add a lot of elegance to an outdoor space.

Choose Your Designer:

Actual design of any outdoor living space is key. Be sure to choose a reputable design firm to put together your blue print. A good way to determine whether a company’s quality of work meets your standards is to ask for a design portfolio with photos of past projects they’ve completed.

Decide on Functionality

Even though we live in an area that has brutal winters and three months of great weather, we are also very fortunate to have livable weather in the spring and fall. There’s no question whether a design can be made for three season living. You can extend summer and fall with outdoor heaters, custom fireplaces and other add-ons in your outdoor living space that make the investment more worthwhile because you’re using it more often.

Choose Installers and Builders:

It’s important to have a qualified, reputable installer for each product you’re using. It might cost you a little more up front, but having your project done right the first time is well worth it. For paving projects, we recommend a certification from the ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Paving Institute) or the NCMA (National Concrete Masonry Association).