Taking Your Outdoor Living Space to the Next Level

Spending time outdoors is a wonderful way to relax by yourself or with family and friends, and it’s even better when you don’t have to leave your yard. The type of outdoor living space you choose will depend on your preferences and circumstances, but you have plenty of options.

Screened-In Porches

If you want maximum protection from insects and reasonable shelter from the elements in your outdoor living space, a screened-in porch may be your best bet. The screens will block pesky bugs without inhibiting cool breezes, birdsong and sunlight, and the sturdy roof will keep you dry during all but the strongest rainstorms.


A gazebo provides a more open-air experience without sacrificing the shelter of a roof. Gazebos are usually round with the floor a step or two off the ground and the roof held up by pillars. They can be built in a variety of colors and design styles, from picturesque to modern, and can be located practically anywhere in your outdoor living space. You can choose whether or not to have built-in seating included.

Patios and Decks

For an immersive outdoor experience that rests on solid footing, patios and decks can’t be beaten. A patio is built directly on the ground and made of wood planks, stone or concrete, while a deck is usually made of wood and rises at least a few feet off the ground. Either is an ideal spot for outdoor grilling, dining and socializing. A patio is also an excellent addition to a backyard swimming pool as it provides a flat, stable surface for poolside chairs. The space underneath a deck can be used for storage, or, if the deck is high enough, the area can become an additional seating and entertaining spot or even a private “clubhouse” for kids. A professional contractor can advise you on which option your outdoor living space is best suited for.