Summer is the perfect time to spend outdoors and enjoy our back yards. Whether you’re entertaining friends and family or enjoying family time, our outdoor spaces have become integral to our lifestyle. We’ve put together a list of 10 outdoor upgrades you can do to enhance that lifestyle factor, and add value to your home.
1. Replace or paint your Front Door
The facade of your home will make or break first impressions. Replacing your front door and the door hardware can make an immediate impact and transform the front of your home. Alternatively, painting the door and trims in a contrasting and complementary colour is a fabulous way to update the look of your door without breaking the budget. Similarly, if you have a door mat, replacing it with a new patterned version will help lift your entryway. If you have the budget, consider refurbishing the surface of your entryway (new tiles, decking, paint etc.).
2. Replace the Garage Door
If you’re lucky enough to have a garage at the front of your home, consider whether it needs an upgrade. Garage doors can be custom made to a many styles, colours, and include manual and motorised versions. According to B&D, there are more factors than door type and size to consider when choosing your garage door.
3. Fix the Facade
While you’re looking at the front of your home, check the following for repairs, maintenance, or upgrade:
- Steps and Balustrades
- Fascia boards, Rake Boards, Barge boards
- Decorative trims
- Box ends and gutters
- Windows and fly screens
- Fences and gates.
If everything is in good order, removal of cobwebs and dirt with a high pressure cleaner will give your facade a fresh look.
4. Refresh your Landscaping
You can achieve excellent results quickly and cost-effectively with landscaping. Garden maintenance is the easiest place to start, but with some planning, you can easily incorporate the following:
- Retaining walls
- Garden edges (maybe incorporate seating?)
- Stepping stones and pebbled areas.
Relocating elements such as garden sheds, and the clothes lines to unused zones will also give you more space to use and enjoy. And while you’re at it, check the integrity of your boundary fences and pool fences. Pool fencing will need to comply with Council regulations – checking heights and locks is a good place to start.
5. Add a Deck
If you are pondering the merits of adding a deck to your home, then just do a Google search on the subject – almost every article mentions the addition of a deck as the number one thing you can do to add value to your home. The bonus is, the added value to your lifestyle! Opening your home out onto a deck and the outdoors extends your useable space and opportunity for entertaining and just relaxing and enjoying the outdoors.
The choice of materials for your deck are many. From wood, composites, plastic, and aluminium, you are likely to find something to suit the aspect, design of your home, and your budget. Check out this Consumer Reports Deck Buying Guide for some benefits and limitations of decking materials.
6. Fire Pit
Fire pits are gaining popularity in Australia and can help bring that “sitting around the campfire” feel to your backyard. If you’re considering incorporating a fire pit into your outdoor design, it would be wise to give this decision some careful consideration.
- Council restrictions and use during bushfire season.
- Permanent structure or a moveable fire pit?
- Fuel type.
- Is the space large enough to accommodate a safe distance from fire pit to seating?
- Clean up and impact on surrounding features (seating, paving, plants, etc.).
- Safety plan.
Home Beautiful has a great article on things to consider before investing in a fire pit.
7. Add an Outdoor Kitchen
For those with a little more budget to play with, the addition of an outdoor kitchen can take your entertaining to the next level. Built-in cabinetry which complements your internal kitchen will create a beautiful aesthetic. The addition of plumbed in gas, sinks, filtered water taps, wine/drinks fridges, and your dream Barbecue will not only be hugely practical, but also add to your enjoyment of the space. No more running to and from the kitchen or fridge! More time entertaining!
8. Privacy Screens
While you’re thinking of that outdoor kitchen, you may need to close off one or both sides of your deck or outdoor space from neighbours’ prying eyes. Privacy screens are a fabulous solution and the range of materials and colours should complement or enhance your existing home design. Vertical gardens can also act as privacy screening and can help decorate the space in a natural way.
9. Outdoor Blinds
Should you need to keep out the elements – wind, rain, hail, heat – then Outdoor Blinds may be worth considering. You have some great choices with outdoor blinds, such as:
- Premium grade plastic, canvas, metal, and mesh
- Vertical or horizontal models
- Manual and electric functionality
- Bespoke or off-the-shelf colours, patterns and designs.
10. Regular maintenance
We are going to state the obvious – apologies – regular maintenance of your outdoor areas really is the key to gaining years of use and enjoyment of your outdoor areas.
We hope you found the above list useful. Maybe you’ve already got a few things on that Outdoor Upgrades ‘To Do’ list and don’t forget, we’re here to help.