Column: Summer-proof living space

The time is now to start outdoor projects. (Submitted photo)

The time is now to start outdoor projects. (Submitted photo)

Consumer confidence is very strong and our suppliers are struggling to meet demand. Oddly, there is a national shortage of respectable size trees and shrubs as a result of growers’ reluctance to spend heavily on planting seedlings during the recession. Homebuilders’ are smiling again and breaking ground on new additions regularly. It’s an exciting time to be in business and the ugly economics of a few years ago are a distant memory. Although, the lessons are still fresh.


A fair amount of the demand is driven by curious homeowners wondering whether to move or to update. Many are past clients where we accomplished a major renovation that they love. But they are wondering if they should give their home another round of updates. Or not. Sort of like the next chapter in the life of their home.

What about you? Is your outdoor living space ready for the next chapter or phase? Phasing is a brilliant strategy … completing phase one now and implementing additional phases as budgets and appetites merge. Chapter two has a different purpose than that. An incredible outdoor living space already exists and the thrilled family is wondering if there is more. And, of course, there is.


Materials and styles have changed. Our interests and lifestyles change too as we have children, kids move on to college or get married. Grilling out becomes more compelling and escaping from the sun imperative.

Thus, the perennial debate: to update or to move. We all have our own criteria to measure. ROI, walkabilitly, the hassle of moving, opening up the interior floor plan, renovated bathroom/kitchen, solid outdoor roof structure, outdoor fireplace and the list goes on.

Is your home ready for chapter two?