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Outdoor Living Spaces – Start Now!

We may be experiencing snow day after snow day here in Virginia, but believe it or not, it’s the perfect time to start planning your outdoor oasis.

the winter is the best time to start planning your outdoor living space

If you’re considering building a deck, patio, porch, installing a pool or an outdoor kitchen – don’t wait until it’s already warm and you can’t wait to get outside. Winter is actually the best time to get started, so here are a few things to keep in mind.

Ahead of the crowd
Starting your outdoor plans now means you can get ahead of the rush of people reaching out to contractors and designers. This means your project will take priority, which means it will actually be done for you to enjoy it come spring and summer. Contractors get flooded with requests for patios, pools and porches the first warm, sunny week of the year. Think ahead and have your project done in time to enjoy those warm, sunny days in your new outdoor space.

Outdoor living spaces: Pool house with covered patio
Set a budget, make a plan
A budget is the best place to start when making plans. Working with your contractor, you can determine what elements of your outdoor space are the most important to you, the kinds of material you should consider and the general size and scope of the project. This keeps you from wasting time researching features and designs that aren’t going to fit into your budget or allows you to expand your search and inspiration if it will.

Outdoor living spaces: a balcony overlooks a custom, sunken fire pit and patio
Design first
Having a good, professional design in place first does several things. First and foremost a design is a plan for you and your contractor to follow. Your contractor may be able to create the designs based on your input, or you may need to work with a landscape architect, designer or all three depending on the elements you’ll be including. Secondly, a design streamlines the process – with decisions being made in advance, the build out and installation can move forward with fewer hiccups or hold ups while everyone gets on the same page. Finally, a good design means that you can begin to choose materials, finishes, plants and more so even if construction can’t start right away, you can still make progress on the project.

A covered porch extends out into a stone patio and built-in stone walled fire pit with seating
Get inspired
When you’re stuck inside on cold winter days, or are going into another stretch of snow days, take some time to get outdoor inspiration from places like Houzz and Pinterest. You can also check out the James River Construction Outdoor Living Gallery for real-life ideas from our own clients about how to make the most of your outdoor space. Giving your contractor and designer examples of things you like will also help the design process move more quickly and ensure you all have the same vision in mind.

Take a mental vacation to your warm, happy place and get started planning that outdoor oasis you’ve always wanted.

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