Owning a home in Long Island can be a wonderful experience and one of life’s greatest financial investments. Most people who own a home are always looking for new ways to improve and beautify it. Certainly, interior decorating and renovation projects top the list of ways people improve their homes every year.
The New Trend of Building Outdoor Living Space
However, there is an increasing new trend to expand the living space of homes into the yard. While many homes have porches and patios, the concept of outside living space is much more expansive than traditional patios and porches. The purpose of building outside living space is to allow homeowners to spend more of their leisure time outside in environments that are beautiful and highly functional.
Exterior living spaces redefine home living and have created an inexpensive way to create livable space without building on a new addition to the home. Outside living space often includes covered patio areas and cabanas and are built to spend larger amounts of leisure time in the fresh air and to entertain guests.
Many of these outside living spaces feature built-in kitchens and grille areas, fireplaces and fire pits, exterior lighting and higher-grade flooring cover over the concrete or wood base. Additionally, outside living areas are usually fully furnished with high-quality indoor-outdoor furnishings.
Advancements Beyond the Traditional Outside Deck
Unlike a typical deck setting where there is a porch swing or a dining table, outside living areas, are expanded space that usually includes dining and living room furnishings. The ceiling areas can feature casual chandeliers and ceiling fans and solid wall space often feature televisions and entertainment centers.
For areas that are not cabanas, the outside living spaces often are designed to a roof and roll down screened in walls for protection against insects. These designs allow for the space to be used up to sixty-five percent of the year. Because of this, this new concept for expanded home living space has become quite popular across the country and is a growing trend in Long Island.
When homeowners choose to create outside living areas, one of the biggest accents for them are gardens with some type of water feature. Since the parklike environment created is meant as the perfect place to relax and enjoy the outdoors, having a water feature is a wonderful addition.
Creating A Water Feature in a Yard or Garden
The new expansion of outside living space has taken Long Island by storm with some people creating elaborate fountains, mini streams with waterfalls, man-made ponds and water gardens. While some forms of outside living spaces are not unusual around inground swimming pools, the new advanced designs are often built without a pool as a central focus. This is an important aspect since many people do not want the upkeep and liability of inground swimming pools but would still love to have great outside living space with some type of water feature.
Typically, water features such as man-made fountains, streams, ponds or water gardens are built as part of some other outside landscaping features. This can include garden areas, patio areas or areas created to be like a mini-park with benches, picnic tables, and outdoor grill stations. The good news is these types of waterways can offer homeowners the wonderful calming effects of water without needing to own property on a water body.
Creating the Right Designs for Outside Living Space and Man-Made Waterways
The most important aspect of building outside living areas and landscaped water features is designing and building them for proper maintenance and long-term use. They key to outside living space is creating them in an area that can have electricity, a fireplace or fire pit, and at least a partial roof. These two are key factors in outside living spaces because they make the space livable and usable even in the rain as well as the early spring and fall months.
When it comes to building outside water fountains, mini streams with waterfalls, man-made ponds and water gardens, the planned area should be conducive to easy upkeep and regular maintenance. Because these are man-made systems, the water design should have some type of fountain component that allows for the water to be filtered. This will ensure that mosquitos and bacteria do not become embedded in the water system.
One of the number one reasons water gardens, man-made ponds and streams are later removed is because the owner did not properly plan for a location that is conducive to filtering the water and regular maintenance. If any man-made water fountains, mini streams with waterfalls or man-made ponds are located too far away from electricity or a water source for refilling, they will likely fail and end up being removed.
With proper planning, man-made water features can be easily maintained and can be sealed up during the winter months. With the proper design and expert installation, man-made waterways can beautify any landscaped area and create the feeling of a natural waterway. They are excellent additions to outside living areas.
While some people think you must only plan these waterways on flat land, land that is rolling can be a very conducive area for a man-made waterfall and stream. Fountains can be placed in a variety of locations and are often put in the middle of landscaped gardens. Having them on level flat ground closest to the main structure of the home for proper maintenance is usually best.