Lessons learned from “the year of the pandemic,” like those from the Great Depression, will likely affect us for decades to come. One particularly powerful new trend is the appreciation for the family home. Every family, of every size - couples, those with children, those with multiple generations in the same residence and empty-nesters - all have discovered the simple but sublime joys of home. This is especially true with regards to the outdoor entertaining spaces. 

Outdoor entertainment expert Tommy Thompson of Acme Brick, notes that even as social distancing restrictions are disappearing, “the trend toward upgraded outdoor entertainment spaces is not declining. It’s picking up even more steam! 

“This has led to an emergence of homeowners planning to remodel or otherwise upgrade their outdoor spaces - from cooking and entertainment spaces to spectacular gardens and sustainable, low maintenance landscaping.”

Are you ready to take it outside? For the highest quality outdoor products, check with Acme Brick, Tile & Stone

Four Questions to Ask

When considering outdoor improvements, real estate experts suggest that homeowners take both a short-term and long-term view.

For the short term, it’s a good idea to ask two questions: 

  1. “What additions will your family and your friends enjoy immediately?”
  2. “What funds are available for the completion of the project?”

As for long-term questions:

  1. “How will improvements affect the monthly/yearly maintenance expenses of the home?” (For example, a new swimming pool might be great for a few months each year, but this addition will require year-around upkeep.)
  2. “What additions or remodeling will give the greatest enjoyment and the potential return on investment when it comes time to sell the property?” (Staying with the swimming pool example, real estate experts note that pools and hot tubs typically do not add value, equal to their costs, when the home is re-sold.)

Need Some Inspiration?

As an Acme associate, Tommy Thompson talks to hundreds of homeowners, builders, and designers every month. This makes for some valuable “research” on what’s hot and what’s not in outdoor improvements.

“Builders and homeowners have hundreds of ideas about improving their outdoor spaces,” he said. “However, there are five outdoor improvements that are overwhelmingly popular.

“First, pivot doors or sliding doors, which allow a full exterior wall to open to the outside, have been really popular. These turn your indoor space into an outdoor space pretty nicely!
 
Outdoor grills which incorporate a ‘griddle’ have been high on everyone’s list. This allows the homeowner to cook stir fry, hibachi style foods, and breakfast dishes, as well as steaks and burgers. This is very popular among families.

Fire pits which include cooking grates are really catching on. When a family has younger kids, it’s always a good time to cook burgers on your fire pit while the kids are “camping” in the backyard. It also gives your meats a wonderful smoked wood flavor.

Outdoor fireplaces on the back patio or sunroom have also been in high demand. These add a place to mount a flat screen TV and give great ambiance to your outdoor space. They also make a colder space (in the winter) more usable.
 
“Finally, many homeowners have realized the benefits of synthetic turf for yards. Our GrassTex turf products are beautiful in every season, they save hundreds of dollars each month (depending on the size of the yard) on water costs, there’s no mowing (saving money on fuel and labor) and it is easy to clean. More and more HOAs are approving this turf and homeowners love it!”

Seven More Outdoor Improvement Ideas

If the previous five ideas have your design juices flowing, here are seven more to consider.

  1. MAC Metal siding is durable, low maintenance, and beautiful.
  2. thinBRIK can add a warm ambiance to any outside space.
  3. Brick pavers can enhance the look of any garden path or patio.
  4. “Sanity sheds” are the new outdoor oasis.
  5. Wrought Iron doors make any entrance elegant.
  6. Patio heaters extend the use of an outdoor space in any weather.
  7. Tejas Originals RTF (Ready to Finish) cabinets and outdoor products are easy to assemble and greatly enhance outdoor entertainment spaces.

Get Out There!

Whether it’s dinner with friends or a “staycation,” the perfect place to spend quality, restful time may be your own backyard. For more information on products to upgrade the largest room in your home, check with the outdoor experts at Acme Brick.