Although the summer is coming down to an end, that doesn’t mean that you should forgo thinking about your outdoor space until next year. The fall provides many opportune times to enjoy a day outdoors with friends and family. The weather is crisp but wonderful for a day of reflection and discussion, and there are a wide variety of possible get-togethers, including football Sunday, Halloween and Thanksgiving. You’ll want a home that you can be proud of and that includes your outdoor space.
The possibilities for renovation are endless. You can get a spiral staircase kit for the perfect entranceway to your deck, pavers for your patio or a new grill station for outdoor fall grilling. When you think about it, the fall is the perfect time to look into renovations before winter comes. And just think of it this way: by the time the warmer weather comes back, your outdoor space will be ready. But before you get too excited, there are still some considerations.
The Money Pit was a classic comedy in the 1980s that chronicled Tom Hanks and Shelly Long going through the worst home renovation of all time. Besides the funny spots and great acting, the reason many people enjoyed the movie was because of schadenfreude. Any homeowner or contractor has dealt with home projects that have gone disastrous, but luckily, there are ways to prevent your own money pit from occurring. Here are several precautions you’ll want to take:
Come up with a game plan: Your outdoor space is an extension of your personality and hobbies. Are you a gardener? You might want to construct a space for gardening. Do you have children? You might want to include a playground, pool, or leave a lot of open space for mid-day touch football games. If you’re entertaining, where will everyone be and what amenities can you offer for the perfect environment? By knowing these things in advance, you should be able to come up with an idea to get started.
Set up a budget: If you’re not too careful, your perfect outdoor living space could be less than perfect for your bottom line. Make it a point to know exactly how much you’re willing to spend and how much certain projects cost. Also keep in mind that where you live matters in regard to price. A project in the Midwest will generally be cheaper than one in the West or East. And don’t forget about regulations and zoning in your area. Not knowing height regulations or colors could lead to further renovations and even more costs.
Find the right professional: You’ll have no shortage of options when it comes to landscape architects or contractors, so you’ll need to do your homework to find the right one for you. A basic online search is your first step, or you could ask around and inquire from neighbors, friends and family who they chose and whether or not it was a positive experience. When you do find a few that you like, make sure to get references and tell them your budget and plan upfront to see what they can do for you.
By doing these things beforehand, you should have the outdoor space you want for the fall, next summer and beyond.
Hannah Grayson is a home interior designer who enjoys gardening and cooking. She looks forward to planting her own vegetables and turning them into delicious meals.