Home Improvement

Outdoor kitchens and backyards are some of the most fun and special places in many people’s homes. It’s a space for making great memories, eating delicious food and hanging out with great people. By making some smart investments in your outdoor space, you can do even more of the things you love while potentially adding substantial value to your home. Considering making some upgrades to your outdoor areas this spring? These six ideas will enliven your outdoor setup and give you a great go-to hangout space for warmer weather.

1. Create a true outdoor kitchen setup.

If you love cooking on your grill, installing an outdoor kitchen can be a major lifestyle upgrade. Adding culinary essentials like counter space, a sink and a mini fridge can make your al fresco meals ones to remember. Outdoor kitchen kits are even available that provide outdoor kitchen essentials in a convenient package. There’s an almost infinite variety of outdoor kitchen designs, so check out home design magazines and websites for inspiration and mix and match elements you like. In addition, give some thought to whether your grill might be ready for an upgrade. A powerful new cooking tool like a WiFi pellet grill or a kamado grill could be just what you need to stoke the flames of your inspiration!

 2. Put in a deck.

For many people, a deck is the cornerstone of a great backyard area. It’s the perfect place for grilling, hanging out and generally enjoying the perks of being outside. So, if you’ve been thinking about adding a deck, now might be the perfect time! Homeowners who want to go all out might even turn their deck into a sunroom or screened multi-season porch. You can definitely build a DIY deck if you’re handy enough, but a contractor is worth the investment for many people’s peace of mind. Plus, a contractor will help you customize your deck design and maximize its durability. If your deck will have room for a storage area underneath it, consider turning it into a full-fledged shed.

3. Add a privacy fence.

A privacy fence can be just the thing to make your backyard feel more intimate and secure. Plus, it doesn’t even have to be an actual fence! There are tons of ways to add privacy to your backyard, and each of them will give your space a different feel. Wooden lattice fencing, for example, will allow light through and give you a place to grow climbing plants. A tall wooden privacy screen is great for those who seriously don’t want to be bothered. Rows of trees and/or plants can provide a natural alternative that many people prefer to fencing. Finally, if you have a pergola, consider adding some outdoor curtains to it for a clean and luxurious vibe.

4. Add a bar area.

Whether you’re entertaining guests or just enjoying a drink with your partner after a long day, an outdoor bar makes a great social space. A bar provides convenient seating for great conversations, and if installed alongside an outdoor kitchen, it makes it easier to talk to the person cooking. If you like to show off your taste in countertops, a bar also offers a great way to do it. For best results, combine with an outdoor mini fridge! Cold beverages and a patio go together like whiskey and ice, or like sweet tea and lemon, or — well, you get the idea. Adding a mini fridge to your outdoor kitchen area makes it a snap to grab a tasty beverage whenever you want one, in addition to being a key part of a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen.

 5. Add a fireplace or fire pit for all-season fun.

Speaking of flames, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits make wonderful gathering places regardless of the season. They’re a fun social spot in warmer months that’s perfect for having a few drinks and telling stories. In colder times, meanwhile, they can provide the warmth that lets you keep enjoying your patio! Any fire receptacle needs to be built according to local fire codes and safety standards. Thus, it’s usually best to hire a hardscaping contractor to build yours. They’ll help you ensure that your patio is free of fire hazards and safe for your family and guests. Don’t forget to also add some comfortable chairs and couches around your fire pit or fireplace.

6. Upgrade your decking planks or hardscape flooring.

The flooring of your patio or deck is a huge part of how it looks and feels. Patio and deck flooring also accumulates wear and tear much as any other flooring does, so upgrading or replacing it can make a big difference in your outdoor space. Plus, if your deck flooring is getting old, it may no longer be as structurally sound as it once was. If your flooring or decking is very old or worn out, consider replacing it completely. An outdoor kitchen or patio with new flooring can look almost like a totally new setup! If you don’t need a full replacement, consider options like having your pavers cleaned and sealed or refinishing your deck. These can give your outdoor space the pop you’re looking for while keeping costs manageable. 

Getting your backyard and outdoor kitchen spruced up definitely requires some resources. But it’s an investment that many people find to be worth it, whether in the form of a higher home sale price or simply in the quality of time spent with family and friends!

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