A Guide to Expanding Your Living Space Outdoors

Imagine this: you’re enjoying a refreshing summer breeze, the warmth of the sun, and taking in the colors of your garden from the privacy of your own backyard.  Sounds relaxing, doesn’t it? Often, when we think about expanding our home’s living space we focus too much on the interiors of our homes and forget about the beautiful setting that’s right outside our front and back doors. Open and screened porches, decks and patios are fantastic options to gain more living space and you can design it to suit whatever you like to do outdoors whether that be hosting barbecue parties, alfresco dining, soaking up the sun, stargazing, or sitting around a fire. 

Contemporary deck

Do your existing outdoor areas suit your family’s needs?  If you don’t have any, would the addition of a porch, deck or patio make your home more enjoyable?

Here are the top reasons for expanding your living space outdoors:

  1. Increase your home’s value. Outdoor living areas are desirable home amenities. When you add these to your home you get to enjoy them now and if you decide to sell in the future, it will be special feature that buyers will love.
  2. Adds great entertaining space. The kitchen is a magnet for guests, but when you have an outside area you can divert some of that traffic to your porch, deck or patio. And if space is tight inside, you will be able to accommodate more guests. Keep in mind, a porch, patio or deck can be added to the front or side of your home as well as the back.
  3. Provides a great spot to relax or rejuvenate. The natural surroundings of your front and back yards are unlike any indoor setting you can create. Take advantage of your landscaping, a beautiful view, or canopy of trees.
  4. Incorporating an outdoor kitchen or fire feature can extend its use into the fall and becomes a natural extension of your indoor spaces.
  5. It’s a safe outdoor environment for kids to play and still be within sight and earshot.

    Covered front porch

You’re not alone if you realize there is a lot of room for improving your home’s outdoor living spaces.  To help you get inspired, we put together a list of questions designed to identify your wants and needs.

  1. What type of activities would you like to be able to do; entertain, read, watch TV, work, cook and enjoy meals?
  2. Who will use it? Is it meant for the whole family or someone’s personal get-away?
  3. Do you want to use this space during the warmer months only or year-round?
  4. Is there a particular outdoor view that you’d like to maximize such as a garden, lake, swimming pool, or a children’s play area?
  5. How do you want this new area to connect with the existing rooms in your home?
  6. Are there any underutilized rooms or outdoor spaces that could be converted?

Stone patio

These questions will give you a start in developing your vision for your outdoor spaces. The possibilities are limitless! We invite you to visit our Additions Portfolio and Houzz Profile where you can see a variety of outdoor projects we’ve created for our clients.

Backyard deck

If you are ready to bring your vision to life, the Schroeder design team can help you create a customized solution for your family. We’d love to discuss your ideas and see if we help you create the outdoor environment of your dreams.