Transforming an ordinary outdoor space into an open-air living room not only adds value to your home, but creates an area for memories to be made. This month, R Lucas Construction and Design President and CEO Ron Lucas offers tips on bringing the living room outside.
Whether it’s a screened porch, covered patio, or kitchen, more and more homeowners are creating functional, outdoor living spaces. After all, these areas provide the perfect spot to relax and spend time with family and friends.
Weather in the South doesn’t always warrant the added expense of heating and cooling an exterior living space. Georgia residents typically enjoy mild winters and a handful of unbearably hot summer weeks. Spring and fall are ideal times to be outside in the Chattahoochee Valley. If a space is covered, such as a porch, a TV can be installed. This new area becomes an outdoor den – ideal for watching SEC football or entertaining in autumn. Even during the dog days of summer, on a rainy day, a porch can be a great place to read a book and enjoy the sounds of nature.
When constructing outdoor kitchens, keep in mind it’s important for homeowners to incorporate what they will use in the space they are creating. This space needs only the appliances that will be put to good use, and they don’t necessarily need to be top-of-the-line products. For example, built-in gas grills can cost between $800 and $1,500. These types of grills won’t perform any better than similar-sized, portable gas grills, which range in price from $300 to $600. I prefer a grill I can move, because I don’t want smoke under my screened porch while I’m cooking.
Decorating an outdoor living area calls for furniture that will withstand the elements of Mother Nature. R Lucas Construction and Design handcrafts all-weather outdoor cabinets using exterior grade medium density fiberboard. Constructed in our shop and later outfitted with granite tops, these outdoor cabinets turned modular units are built on legs, so rain and leaves can flow under and around them.
My best advice? If considering an addition or renovation to the exterior of your home, be sure the outdoor living space you decide upon will fit your needs and budget. Just because the space being transformed is outside doesn’t mean the project will be inexpensive. It can be cheaply built, but will then need to be re-built in the not-too-distant future. Owning a hammer and skill saw doesn’t make someone a reputable contractor any more than having a wrench and flashlight makes a mechanic. As I’ve always said, who does your work is every bit as important as the work itself. Please be sure to use a licensed contractor! You can visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s website, and search for a Professional Licensee to determine whether or not the person you are considering for your project has a license.