Design a Dream Outdoor Entertaining Space

Many individuals prefer to spend their free time outside, relishing the fresh air and sunshine and evenings spent under the stars. But cracked patios and makeshift chairs and tables may not establish the desired ambiance. An outdoor entertaining area that offers the same amenities found inside a home can make outdoor retreats both comfortable and functional. Creative planning can help homeowners design dream areas perfect for hosting friends or family.
Design a Dream Outdoor Entertaining Space

Establish goals

As with any project, the first step when coordinating outdoor living areas is to determine what you hope to achieve with the space. Will it be a location for lounging? Will people be cooking meals outside? Is the pool the central focus of the yard? Answering these questions and more can help homeowners decide how to design their entertaining spaces. Remember, however, that goals may evolve as landscape designers and even architects make their own suggestions for the space or present limitations.

Evaluate the space

Look at the lot and decide what will go where, such as where to place the party space, where to create a quiet hideaway and where to locate a poolhouse or outdoor shower.

A large, flat yard can be divided into a series of patios that serve different purposes. Yards that are built on a hill or a slope can still be utilized with creative design elements, such as multi-tiered decking. By working with qualified designers, homeowners can bring their ideas to life.

Easy food and drink access

Traipsing in and out of the house for refreshments can become tiresome when entertaining outside. In such situations, people also can track dirt inside of the home or leave a trail of pool water in their wake. Outdoor kitchens allow easy access to food and drink that makes outdoor entertaining much easier. The experts at Angie’s List suggest outdoor kitchens be built close to the house to make it easier to run electricity and plumbing to the outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor kitchens should include a sink, small refrigerator, built-in grill, and bar area.

Creature comforts

Homeowners should think about the things that make the inside of their homes so comfortable and then replicate that outside. Sofas and loveseats covered in fabric suited for outdoors and plenty of pillows can make for great lounging. Lighting that can be adjusted for day or night, or even to set the mood, is another consideration. Shade structures, like a trellis or retractable awning, will keep the area comfortable and can also define outdoor rooms and establish privacy.

American Awnings & Replacement Windows offers a wide selection of retractable awnings. We have you covered every step of the way. From selecting the perfect retractable awning for your outdoor living space project to professional installation of your new awning.

Fire it up

Many homeowners enjoy having fire elements in their yards. Lanterns and candles may create a romantic feel, but a fire pit or outdoor fireplace may help extend use of the outdoor entertaining area beyond summer.

Entertaining outdoors is made that much more enticing with a dream outdoor living space full of amenities.

If you’re considering a retractable awning to complete your next project, contact the experts at American Awnings & Replacement Windows today. Click here to get in touch or request a free quote!

Awnings Reduce Energy Cost & Add Value to Your Home

Now more than ever, we have become more conscious and aware of our environmental impact. The push to become more green in regards to energy efficiency has become a top priority for many of us. Retractable awnings are a great way to reduce energy costs in your home while adding significant value.
Awnings Reduce Energy Cost & Add Value to Your Home
Retractable awnings can help reduce home cooling costs significantly, by as much as 25 percent. By deflecting the sun’s rays, a retractable awning helps maintain cooler temperatures in your home and create an outdoor living space shielded from the intensity of the sun. This in turn helps lower your overall energy costs by using less air conditioning and spending less time indoors during those warm summer months.

Another thing to consider when looking to buy a retractable awning for your home is the impact it can have on your indoor furniture, curtains, drapes, and carpeting. By blocking the sun’s harmful rays from infiltrating your home, a retractable awning can help reduce the amount of fading and damage over time to indoor furnishings. This adds value to your home and is a very smart investment to consider.

Retractable awnings can potentially save you thousands in home energy costs, but they also add a level of comfort and aesthetic to your home than can be enjoyed for years to come. Easily turn an outdoor patio or deck into a comfortable outdoor living area for your family and guests to enjoy. Installing a retractable awning is a cost-effective way to add value to your home without investing the time and money into expensive renovation projects.

Contact American Awnings & Replacement Windows today to discuss the best retractable awning solution for your home or business. We service much of Franklin, Cumberland, Dauphin, York & Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania including Chambersburg, Shippensburg, Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, and much more. Call 800-532-9098 today for your free quote!

Expand Living Spaces With Clever Ideas

Homeowners looking to add more space to their homes do not necessarily need to make major renovations. They simply have to see the possibilities in outdoor living spaces.
Expand Living Spaces With Clever Ideas
Outdoor living spaces are coveted niches in a home. The American Home Furnishings Alliance says more than 70 percent of American households have outdoor living spaces, and nearly 70 percent of people use these spaces at least once per week in-season. Furthermore, homeowners are increasingly interested in enhancing these spaces to make them more usable and comfortable.

A recent survey from the online home design and remodeling resource Houzz found that more than 4,500 users were planning a landscape update. In addition, 56 percent of homeowners surveyed were making updates to improve their yards for entertaining.
While the creation of outdoor living spaces can cost thousands of dollars depending on the renovation, homeowners have more budget-friendly options at their disposal as well. The following are some ways to create inviting spaces no matter how much square-footage is present.

Revamp a garage or shed

Rather than turning a storage area into a catch-all for items time forgot, clean out the space and put it to better use. For instance, kids may appreciate their own clubhouse away from the main living area. These spaces also can be handy bonus rooms for when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate and backyard guests need to seek shelter. Wall art, curtains, a pendant light, and some comfortable outdoor-compatible furniture can quickly transform a space.

Create a relaxing nook

Whether there’s a ledge, overhang, small terrace, or porch off the house, turn it into a relaxing area for reading a book or sipping a beverage. Use a few outdoor pillows, pull up a small folding table and dress the area with hanging lights and potted plants for a quiet retreat.

Add privacy to a porch

If it’s privacy you covet, install curtain rods and hang lightweight mesh or another translucent material that obscures neighbors’ views without blocking out natural light. Invest in outdoor sofas and chaises to create an outdoor living room right on the porch. If your budget allows, consider closing in the porch as a true three-season room so it can be used throughout fall, spring and summer.

Outdoor living spaces are booming and highly achievable, and many such spaces need not be expensive.

American Awnings & Replacement Windows can also help you create that perfect outdoor living space with one of our many retractable awning options. We have retractable awnings to fit any budget, and our expert staff can install your new retractable awning in no time. Contact American Awnings & Replacement Windows today!

Items to Improve Outdoor Living Spaces

The popularity of outdoor living spaces has been growing for years. A 2014 study from the home remodeling and design platform Houzz found that 56 percent of homeowners were making updates to improve their yards for entertaining. Similarly, nearly 60 percent of architectural practices surveyed by the American Institute of Architects in 2016 said outdoor living spaces were popular features in the homes they built.
Items to Improve Outdoor Living Spaces
Outdoor living spaces may also be sound investments for homeowners looking to improve the resale value of their properties. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2017 “Cost vs. Value” report, outdoor living spaces returned between 55 and 71 percent of homeowners’ initial investments at resale.

When planning an outdoor living space, homeowners with ample backyards have much to work with. However, to make the most of the space while simultaneously hoping to get as strong a return on their investments as possible, homeowners should look to create spaces that offer broad appeal and are not too personalized. The following are some popular outdoor living space features homeowners may want to consider.

Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor kitchens allow homeowners to prepare more than just traditional backyard barbecue fare. A standalone charcoal grill in the backyard might get the job done, but a built-in gas grill complete with burners and surrounding granite countertop makes for a more functional outdoor entertaining space.

Bars

Indoor entertaining areas often include bars, so it makes sense that homeowners want to include a place to prepare and serve beverages to their guests. Homeowners with room in their budgets may want to install wet bars where they can rinse mixers, glasses and other items needed to prepare drinks for their guests.

Warming Features

Features that can keep homeowners and their guests warm after the sun sets include outdoor fireplaces and firepits. A 2016 survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects found that fireplaces and firepits were the most popular outdoor design element in 2016. Such features can provide a focal point in the backyard while also extending the outdoor living season into autumn and even early winter.

Porch Space

Outdoor living spaces are often found in the backyard, but homeowners with bigger front yards than backyards may want to expand or open their porch spaces to create more space outside. Porch swings and rocking chairs provide a great place to relax, and porch spaces are covered, meaning homeowners can continue to enjoy time outside even when it begins to rain.

Outdoor living spaces are growing in popularity. Homeowners who want to capitalize on this trend can do so in various ways.