The housing market is once again on the rise, even in areas that have been affected by declining economies. With boomers downsizing and millennials entering into the housing market, the competition for medium priced homes in specific areas has created pockets of higher pricing.

With so much competition for these specific neighbourhoods, buyers are settling for houses that don’t really meet all of their needs because its all they can afford. How do these buyers make their new homes work for them? One way is the addition of an outdoor room.

This concept of the outdoor room has been very popular for years in warmer climates because homeowners can use these spaces for more months throughout the year. Historically, it makes the initial cost investment easier to justify. We are seeing people spending money in their backyards to create outdoor extensions of their homes.

Here are the basic requirements to creating an outdoor room in your own backyard.

1. Useable Space.

Having a level surface is probably the single most important factor for an outdoor room. Whether you go with a patio or a deck, creating a space that is large enough for furniture, barbeques, family and friends has always been the challenge for most homeowners. How big and what material to use really dictates the design of your backyard. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2016 Cost vs. Value report, adding a wood deck to your back yard is one of the top smart investments in your home. Even patios, which are a larger initial investment are showing huge returns with new products and stone designs.


2. Privacy.

Creating privacy for an outdoor room is harder than ever with bigger homes being built on smaller lots. The view that your neighbours have into your backyard really impacts the comfort level in your own space. You can create privacy for your outdoor room by adding walls and visual distractions between the areas that you need it and the neighbours. Don’t rely on the fence on the property line and the tree at the back to do all the work.



Adding panels and details around the sides of the outdoor room work like interior walls. They easily add the privacy, but make them functional as well with built in benches and shelves. 


3. Shelter.

Putting up an umbrella just doesn’t cut it for todays outdoor rooms. With wood pergolas and all season gazebos, shelter from the sun and the rain is a must for extending your outdoor enjoyment. Even permanent structures complete with eaves are appearing in our backyards. These are perfect for protecting from the elements including the heavy snow loads like we are now recovering from.

Every renovation we make to our homes not only has to meet our needs as homeowners, it should also increase the home’s value. This idea of return-on-investment (ROI) has arguably become the most important factor influencing how we spend our renovation budgets. If you can create a home that works for your family and at the same time know that it’s the type of home a future buyer wants: then it’s a win-win in my books!