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HOW TO BUILD A CUSTOM HOME, Part 9: Exterior Design Features — Outdoor Living

In this series, the professionals at the B.O.L.D. Company will take you through the process of building a custom home in the Greater Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky area. From plan and lot selection, to mortgage approval, to the actual construction, we’ll take you behind-the-scenes each week for an inside look at a different part of the process.

This week, we look at outdoor living spaces:

Outdoor living spaces add value and open-air living and entertaining space to your home. From decks to patios, covered porches to screened porches, there are outdoor living options for every budget.

PATIOS

The most basic type of outdoor living space is the patio. With a floor of poured concrete, brick pavers, or stone, patios are inexpensive to install and very easy to maintain. Patios provide a place for outdoor entertaining, dining, grilling, sun bathing, or for installing a hot tub.

–Special features to consider for your patio:

Stamped concrete – Concrete can be customized to resemble just about any type of material: brick pavers, cobblestones, wood, etc. By “stamping” patterns and textures and adding color, you can have a “brick paver” patio that won’t allow weeds to grow between the pavers, or a “cobblestone” patio that won’t succumb to heaving of the frozen ground underneath.

Patio cover – To provide shade to a patio, consider adding a pergola, arbor, or patio cover to your design. Common materials for covers include wood, synthetic wood, aluminum, or fabric. They can be solid and provide maximum shade (in the case of a roof cover of aluminum or fabric), or they can provide partial shade (in the case of a pergola or arbor).

Gas hook up – Instead of having a propane tank for your gas grill, install a gas line hook up out to your patio!

DECKS

Decks are also a fairly inexpensive way to expand the living space of your home. A deck, however, can be built to accommodate damp or uneven ground where a patio cannot, and it can be built at ground level or higher. Often, a deck is built in conjuction with a patio – a deck creates shade for a patio below. Decks can be built from pressure-treated wood, redwood, cedar, or composite decking. Some composites are made from recycled materials, which can be a more eco-friendly product, and good composites are more easily maintained than a typical wood deck.

—Special features to consider for your deck:

Deck cover – To provide shade to a deck, consider adding a pergola, arbor, or deck cover to your design. Common materials for covers include wood, synthetic wood, aluminum, or fabric. They can be solid and provide maximum shade (in the case of a roof cover of aluminum or fabric), or they can provide partial shade (in the case of a pergola or arbor).

Gas hook up – Instead of having a propane tank for your gas grill, install a gas line hook up out to your deck!

Door/stairs – decks can be designed like a balcony – where the only entryway is from the house, or they can be built with an additional entryway to/from the yard. For decks built off the ground, this will include stairs.

PORCHES

Covered porches are a part of the design and foundation of the home, compared to a deck or patio which is an extension added on to the home. Covered porches, while allowing light, open-air, and breezes, also provide greater protection from the elements than would a regular patio or deck. As you might imagine, covered porches tend to be more expensive than patios and decks, and must be planned for from the beginning of construction.

Screened porches provide an even greater level of protection from the elements – while light and rain and air can get through the screens, bugs cannot.

Sun porches provide the greatest level of protection from the elements – surrounded by glass windows, light but not air can get in (unless the windows are open).

–Special features to consider for your porch:

Ceiling fans – Move the air around on a hot day with a ceiling fan.

High ceilings – A vaulted ceiling in a screened or other porch will give rising hot air somewhere to go other than where you are sitting

B.O.L.D. Homes, a B.O.L.D. company, has been established as among the premiere Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky custom home builders since 1986. We have well over 500 customer designed homes to our credit. Work one-on-one with the owners of the company – including a licensed real estate broker, a licensed real estate agent, a licensed professional engineer, and a CAD draftsman/designer – to design your dream home full of the features important to you. We can help you find a balance between luxury and budget.

Builders Of Lifelong Dreams

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