While we want to get out and resume our lives as we knew them, most of us are still playing it safe and staying home as much as possible here in Central Ohio. As spring arrives and with it the promise of summer and fall, we’re looking to our backyards for entertaining and relaxing. But is it the oasis you’ve always wanted?

On trend for 2021 is the need to make our backyards better. We crave areas to dine outdoors, spend time with the family, create a staycation feel and have a private outdoor escape. It’s become an extension of our indoor living. A reimagining of the space that we have available. It’s a shift to making it functional for a place to escape from the house. Did you know it can also boost the overall value of your home? For the latest local data on ROI for home remodeling projects check out Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs Value report.

If you are searching for a backyard that makes you want to spend more time outdoors then read on for inspiration and ideas from our Design-Build Team at The Cleary Company in Columbus OH.

What can you do to your backyard to create the outdoor living oasis of your dreams?

1 – Outdoor living – After spending so much time at home, we really see the value in being outdoors as much as possible. When creating an outdoor living space, we suggest considering these items:

  • Large tables for socially distanced gatherings or neighborhood get-togethers!
  • Comfortable weatherproof furniture placed in designated groupings for conversation or cozy alone time.
  • Water features for background noise.
  • Lighting- string lights, torches, and solar fixtures. Consider safety as well as atmosphere – lighted pathways and placing ambient lighting over seating areas.

2 – Outdoor kitchens – Maybe you’re ready for more than just a grill on the patio. The outdoor kitchen continues its popularity with homeowners. We love implementing these features in our designs:

  • Built-in grill
  • Beverage refrigerator
  • Kegerator
  • Countertop for food prep and entertaining
  • Prep and/or cleanup sink
  • Pizza oven – portable or built-in

3 – Pools – The addition of a pool continues to be on the rise. It was very hard to find above-ground pools last year, and no one (that didn’t already have one planned) was able to have an inground pool built. They don’t have to be big; just a way to relax, cool off and float around. When is the best time to call a pool contractor? At least a year before you want to be using it.

4 – Decks and patios – For most of us, a deck or patio is what summer means. Hanging out with the family, watching the kids play, having neighbors over for a cookout – it all happens on a deck or patio.

  • Create regions on your patio or deck – for the grill or outdoor kitchen, seating areas, and a table. A multi-level deck is a great option.
  • Choose materials that will weather well.
  • Take advantage of a walk-out basement by adding a patio and sliding doors.

5 – 3 season rooms and sunrooms – Large picture windows, sliding doors, retractable screens and heat allow these rooms to be used for most, if not all, of the year. They serve as an extension of the interior living space, anchor the backyard space and increase the overall function and enjoyment of your home. Our Design Team can create several options to fit your needs.

  • Build additional square feet onto your home’s existing footprint.
  • Enclose an existing patio with either a pergola, roof and/or walls.
  • Replace screens on an existing porch with new insulated windows.
  • Remodel existing rooms to open up the views of your yard.

Other things to consider when planning your backyard living space.

Shade – Unless you are blessed with many trees, you will want some shade for hot summer days. Many options are available to create shade. These features also serve to anchor a space, add character and create welcoming spaces.

  • Retractable shades and motorized screens
  • Umbrellas or shade sails
  • Pergola or covered porch
  • Gazebo

Gardens – Gardens are having a moment for more people and creating a sustainable garden is one of the most searched items on Google. Why not try a raised garden bed, install a drip irrigation system, or just design some container plantings?  Native plants are on the rise to help bring back bees and other pollinators, so talk with a garden nursery for advice on the best plants to use in your yard.

Technology – We love being connected, even if we’re outside. A Saturday football game setup, a spot to connect and work from home, or just some fun perks all add comfort and fun to the backyard design.

  • Electricity for outlets, heaters, lighting, and media
  • WIFI
  • USB ports
  • Bluetooth speakers

Among the many things the last year has shown us is what we love about our homes and what we need to change. On the plus side, any upgrades you do in your yard also adds value to your home. If you’re ready to create your outdoor oasis or remodel to include a new sunroom, 3 season porch, patio or deck, we’d love to talk with you. Our Remodel – Design – Build Team will collaborate and create what you’re missing in your outdoor living spaces.

Visit the Outdoor Living Portfolio on our website for inspiration!

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