Enjoy many additional hours in your own backyard with the addition of a patio, pergola, or pavilion.
Nothing says the southwest better than year-round outdoor spaces to play and work in! Anytime is the perfect time to plan and install outdoor structures so you can take advantage of the breeze and seasonal shade or filtering sun. Add a mister and spend time in the great outdoors from sun up to sun down.
A Short List of Outdoor Structures
Outdoor structures offer endless possibilities when it comes to sizes, shapes, and construction materials. It all depends on your intended use and imagination. There are a few structures that are backyard staples. Some might argue a home is unfinished without pre-planned hardscapes. Of course, the outdoor structures you choose will depend greatly on how you use or would like to use your home.
Here’s a shortlist to inspire ideas.
Already have a patio, but the sun’s giving your outdoor plans heatstroke? Maybe it’s time for a patio cover. These very simple structures are essentially a solid roof for your patio. Roof extensions designed to seamlessly marry with your existing residence. Add some lights, a ceiling fan, and misters and you have extended the inside-outside square footage of your home! If a permanent roof isn’t possible, consider adding a shade sail or awning. For very little cost or maintenance, they can provide a great deal of shade and a splash of color!
Pergolas and Trellises:
Looking for a dual-purpose way to use plants for natural shade with the added benefit of flowers, fruits, or foliage? Pergolas and trellises provide spaces for plants to climb, as well as dappled shade throughout the day. The tighter the construction, the more shade you’ll have. If you plan to train vines on your structure or appreciate more sun in the winter, leave more room between the rafters. Many options exist in this category from a block and wood structure to all man-made materials. Both with different maintenance requirements.
Of course, there’s absolutely nothing like a beautiful patio. You get all the benefits of sitting outside without stepping in mud, grass, and or crawling bugs. What’s not to like! An outdoor patio allows for a lot of creativity and customization. You can go for the creative or keep it simple with common add-ons like benches, ironwork, pavers, and brickwork. Add multiple levels, a firepit, or an outdoor kitchen to create even more interest and functionality for your new patio spaces. With the durability of newer porcelains, you can pop in long-lasting color and pattern with outdoor tiled rugs and walls.
If you already have a patio you like, and it has a covered roof, convert it to a screened porch. A screened porch lets you enjoy the outdoors late into the evening, without having to worry about stinging insects or gusty winds blowing leaves.
Gazebos or Pavilions:
Enjoy sitting out in a good rainstorm or wanting to take advantage of a freestanding structure away from your house with a solid roof? A gazebo or pavilion may be a good choice. These largely open buildings feature a floor and a roof, but not much more, making them ideal for shady or rainy destinations or poolside buildings. Add a table and chairs and you have the perfect al fresco dining spot.
By now, most have heard of the “she shed,” but freestanding recreational sheds can be hideouts for anyone. A freestanding shed is a structure that allows you to create any kind of year-round space you can imagine. Add electricity and HVAC, and neither winter’s chill nor summer’s heat will be a match for your outdoor studio space, gym, or reading room.
If you’ve got a green thumb, a greenhouse may be the perfect addition to your garden space. Even a small greenhouse structure will give you more room for plant-based experiments and somewhere to house your sensitive plants through less temperate seasons. Be sure to choose a model with excellent ventilation!
Now That You’ve Chosen an Outdoor Structure
Although many outdoor structures can come in kit form, they can be pretty complicated to build. We suggest pulling in your local handymen, general contractor, or other backyard specialists to help get the job done right. Before you know it, your outdoor structure will be ready for all your seasonal fun!