Green Building/Remodeling

Published on July 20th, 2009 | by Guest Contributor


Extend the Envelope of your Home with an Outdoor Room

As the summer season approaches, many of us long to spend warm, lazy hours outdoors. But while this might be relatively easy to achieve if you live in the country, how do city-dwellers get their fair share of outdoor time without driving out to a national park each weekend?

photo credit: Backyard AmericaOutdoor living

Outdoor living

Outdoor rooms might be one way to achieve this without actually leaving home. An outdoor room can help you come close to you the perfect summer time lifestyle. After all, when it comes to green living, in days past, most of our ancestors lived close to nature.

The simplest way to extend your home into the outdoor space that surrounds it is to build a deck. Archadeck is a custom designer and builder of more than 70,000 decks and outdoor living spaces since the early 1980s. According to Chris Granpre, the president and CEO of Archadeck, the home-building industry has seen an increasing demand for outdoor rooms in the last several years.

“The popularity of outdoor rooms has continued to grow over the last several years, leading to an industry devoted entirely to the building and design of outdoor living spaces. Decks and patios remain the mainstay of outdoor living, while even more expansive outdoor areas — generally referred to as outdoor rooms — are growing in popularity as an expression of a homeowner’s love of outdoor living and entertaining. Outdoor kitchens complete with refrigerators and food-prep areas are becoming increasingly common in today’s outdoor rooms. Many homeowners combine multiple design elements such as composite decking, radius rail segments, privacy screens, built-in spas and elaborate staircases that lead to luscious landscaped beds.”

Grandpre notes that the growing interest in outdoor living has significantly changed his business over the last few years, as homeowners seek to create outdoor living spaces that are as comfortable and functional as their indoor environments.

Create your own Outdoor Room

An outdoor room is an extension of your home…where everything is possible– cooking, entertaining, lounging dining, even napping.  Outdoor living spaces are replacing the living room as preferred areas for relaxation. While basic outdoor rooms contain simply a space for cooking and dining and more elaborate concepts include everything from sofas and beds to spas and meditation areas. And if you want to linger in them beyond the summer season, then you can even find ways to retain the outdoors through the year with partial and total enclosures.

Outdoor kitchens have become particularly popular in the last few years. Long gone are the days when people simply looked to their grill for backyard entertaining. People are spending more time outside and using the kitchen as a big part of their entertaining.

“The thing about the outdoor kitchen trend is that people don´t just want a kitchen outdoors, they are interested in a kitchen that enhances other amenities in their backyard,” said Moe Meagher of Archadeck. “It´s not just a stove and ´fridge that is being incorporated. It´s a pizza oven, wine cooler – all next to a gazebo or outdoor room. It all depends on the individual´s needs, what the weather is like in their region, and how much they are willing to invest in the project. ”

If an outdoor room is something that you are looking to incorporate into your green living lifestyle, then there are plenty of sources that can help you achieve this.

HGTV has a wonderful portfolio of designers that have helped people create a variety of outdoor themes including traditional, mediterranean and tropical, to name a few. Have a look at some of their designs to get some ideas. offers ideas to turn your patio, porch, or deck into a comfortable outdoor room with all-weather furnishings, low-maintenance materials, and your favorite garden collectibles.

Once you have a good idea as to what you want in your space, look at a website like Backyard America to understand options for flooring, overhead structures and other requirements based upon your specific needs and space available. This site will also help you locate a contractor to help build out your space. The site also offers specific tips for outdoor kitchens, cooking spaces and deck safety.

If you are looking for more specific help with designing and furnishing your outdoor room, then you might want to consider visiting Outdoor Rooms by Design. This family owned and operated business offers friendly, professional service and creative ideas for your backyard.  Not only will its staff assist you in transforming your outdoor space to a stylish and comfortable living room, but the company also offers financing.  Read more about them here.

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