Making Your Backyard a Sanctuary
It is no secret that Arizona is ranked at the top of states with the most days of sunshine per year. One of the benefits of living in Arizona is the climate with mild winters and an abundance of sunshine, which makes outdoor living a big deal for those who call Arizona home. For many people, their backyards have become an extension of their home providing indoor/outdoor living. Depending on your needs and budget, there are several ways to turn your ordinary backyard into a sanctuary.
The first step in creating your backyard sanctuary is to put together a list of wants and what functions you need the space to serve. For example, do you enjoy entertaining and need an outdoor entertaining area and lots of space for guests? Or perhaps you want a place where you can simply go to unwind from the day. List those items in order of importance – what are your “must haves” and what items would just be nice to have if the budget allows.
Next you will need to put together a solid budget and communicate that budget with us. Our team members at A Finer Touch Construction can work with you to determine what items from your list will fit within your budget and those that will not. AFT Construction can find ways to save you money and help incorporate as many items on your list into the project as possible.
If you are in need of some ideas, below are some options that range from more basic to extravagant.
At the heart of just about every backyard space is a patio area and landscaping. Depending on your budget, your patio area can be poured concrete, patio pavers, or tile such as a natural stone. Of course, you can always mix and match difference surfaces. While budget will again play a role, how you intend to use the patio area will also dictate how large or small it should be. If you are simply looking for an area to place a couple chairs, then you may want to consider a smaller patio area and dedicate more to landscaping. However, if you want an area that can serve as an outdoor dining room you will want the patio space to be able to accommodate such a space. If you are a big entertainer that has large gatherings you may want to consider a much larger patio area to allow for a large amount of seating and areas for guests to gather.
Once you’ve figured out what you will need in terms of patio space, you can move your attention to landscaping. Choosing the right landscaping can transform your space from simply an area with a few chairs, to a true sanctuary. Landscaping can serve many functions including providing privacy and shade, enhancing scenery, and providing a sense of calm and an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In addition to finding the right plants to fit your design, landscape lighting is also an extremely important consideration. Besides allowing you to highlight certain aspects of your design, landscaping lighting in critical in setting the ambience of your backyard sanctuary.
The next feature to consider, especially if you enjoy entertaining, is an outdoor cooking space. At the basic level this would simply be an outdoor grill or bbq. To step your design up a notch, consider incorporating an outdoor kitchen. Features can include a built-in grill with countertop space, refrigerator, beverage center, kegerator, stovetop, sink, pizza oven, etc.
Two great additions to your outdoor space are fire and water features. There are many options available for each. When selecting a fire feature, decide if you want functionality or simply looking to enhance the ambience (or both). If you are looking for functionality, look for a fire table, fire pit, or an outdoor fireplace. All these options can serve several functions including providing warmth on a chilly night. To add some ambience to your space, look for a fire bowl or other decorative fire feature.
Adding a water feature can add a sense of tranquility to your outdoor space. Options for water features are abundant, but tend to fall into two main categories: fountains and waterfalls. Fountains can range from large garden fountains to smaller pot fountains. Waterfalls can be a feature incorporated into a pool or a standalone wall.
While we all love the Arizona sunshine, adding a shade structure such as a pergola, ramada, or gazebo can greatly increase the usefulness of your outdoor living space by providing some reprieve from the hot afternoon sun. While pergolas will provide some shade, they have beams or trellises that create an open roof so you are not completely protected from the sun or elements. In contrast, a ramada or gazebo will have a full roof providing greater shade, but still have open sides meaning they do not provide complete protection from the elements.
In addition to providing more shade and protection from the elements, ramadas and gazebos present the opportunity to create a entertainment hub to your outdoor living space by adding outdoor speakers, televisions, games, etc. Adding a misting system can reduce ambient temperatures as much as 20-30 degrees.
With the right design and budget, you can transform your backyard into a true outdoor living space that is an extension of your home. If you are thinking about remodeling your backyard, let the team at A Finer Touch Construction assist in completing your vision and maximizing your budget.