Considering an Outdoor Living Space?

I would like to welcome Roger, from Casa Vita Outdoor Living, who is our latest sponsor and contributing a guest post for today. Thank you so much, Roger!

Is Vancouver the right location for outdoor living? Some people say no, but I disagree. Here are my thoughts.

I read a magazine article the other day about homeowners in Illinois who created an outdoor living space, including a fireplace and kitchen, which they used for three seasons of the year. If they can do it in Chicago, Illinois, it can certainly be done here! We normally have a mild spring, great summer and temperate autumn – that’s three seasons of the year! Most of the time our winters are even mild enough so that we can still get out to cook on our barbecue – goodness, we even managed it during the snowstorm of 2008! So what’s not right about Vancouver?

Don’t we all dream about extending our living space to the outdoors? Why are we hooked on watching garden makeover programmes if we’re not able to do it ourselves? We all dream of exactly that, yet many of us are too intimidated to take the step and make it so.

At Casa Vita Outdoor Living, we can help to create your dream outdoor living space. Here are some handy tips to consider when planning your own space:

1. Budget
It’s no good dreaming and planning the perfect space if at the end of the day, it all comes crashing down because it was out of budget. Set your budget and inform your builder, and give yourself a margin of 10% – 15% for changes or delays. This way, everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal.

2. Design
Work with your builder or designer to ensure your plan is how you envision it – a few small changes at this point are less costly than when construction work is underway. Obviously, if something really isn’t working for you then it’s good to change your ideas, but too many changes when the project is underway costs you money and time.

3. Style
Do you want Mediterranean, French country, Zen or Minimalist? Put together a board of photos, materials and items that you have seen in magazines or on the internet. This information will help your contractor understand your likes and dislikes, when planning and designing your space.

4. Essentials
What do you want to see in your living space? An outdoor fireplace, a cascading waterfall, an outdoor kitchen and grill, a Forno Bravo pizza oven – the choices are endless, so first things first decide what you actually need.

5. Function
Focus on what you really want to achieve from the living space. Most people would like a combination of the following: a quiet oasis, a place where family can hang out and a place to entertain friends – essentially, three rooms! We can help you think about how to achieve all three in one area.

6. Lighting
Remember the lighting – many people only think of this at the end, when it’s more difficult to incorporate into your plan. Also think about gas points and electrical outlets and even where you’re going to store the wood for that gorgeous outdoor pizza oven!

7. Hardscaping and Landscaping
Two different things, yet all to the same end.

  • Hardscaping is the style and type of brick and stone you want, the pavers, the decking, the fencing and even the seating.
  • Landscaping adds softness to your outdoor space with plants, greenery, scent and texture, height and form.

Casa Vita Outdoor Living can help you define your space with beautiful hardscaping and landscaping.

8. Permits and Bylaws
Before you start your project, check with the City if you require permits for any of the work and if your project abides by City by-laws.

9. Remember the Neighbours!
Invite your neighbours round to see your beautiful outdoor living space once completed – they will be curious (and possibly envious!) to see your finished project.

Visit our website if you would like further information or to sign up for our quarterly newsletter.

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