Our Best Outdoor Living Space Ideas and Tips for Homeowners

Outdoor Living Space ideasAdding a new deck, enclosed porch, or sunroom can give your family a new living space in addition to adding value to your home. For many homeowners, this type of space becomes their favorite place in the entire house. We specialize in custom outdoor living space ideas that add both function and beauty to any home. We love helping homeowners turn their outdoor living space ideas into reality.

Types of Outdoor Living Spaces

If you’re considering building a new outdoor living space, your first decision will be what kind of space you want. There are pros and cons to each type of space. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Decks – fully outside with no roof, though you can add a pavilion, awning, or other sun-blocking options such as pergolas
  • Enclosed porches – also called screened porches, these typically do not have glass windows or heating/cooling, but do have screens that provide some protection instead of being open
  • Three-season porches – like an enclosed porch, they typically have large screened windows, but may have glass instead and some have electricity or entire walls of windows
  • Sunrooms – the most “indoor” of the outdoor living space options, with heating/cooling, electricity, and glass windows to protect the room from the elements

Our team has experience building all types of spaces, as well as combination spaces (such as a sunroom that leads out onto a deck). You can learn more about the types of outdoor living spaces here.

Low-Maintenance Tips

Many homeowners want a beautiful outdoor space without the hassle of adding more maintenance to their schedule. If this describes you, here are our best tips for outdoor living space ideas:

  • Choose an enclosed porch or sunroom instead of a deck. Because it’s outside, a deck is going to be the most labor-intensive, requiring maintenance to clear leaves and debris. Additionally, decks require seasonal maintenance and occasional refinishing.
  • Fill your space with outdoor furniture and fabrics. Outdoor seating, outdoor rugs, and other items made for outdoor living spaces are sturdier and resist damage from the elements. Even in a sunroom, keep in mind that it usually makes sense to choose outdoor furniture, rugs, etc. since they’ll fade more slowly in the sun.
  • Let us know you want a low-maintenance option. We’ll recommend the best materials for a maintenance plan that works for you.

Your new space doesn’t have to be labor-intensive. After all, you’ll want to spend your weekends and evenings enjoying this new space, not doing work to maintain it. Fortunately, with our custom spaces, you can build a new deck, porch, or sunroom that fits in with your busy life.

Nature-Inspired Outdoor Living Space Ideas

Outdoor living spaces are all about making the most of your backyard. It makes sense to have a nature-inspired space that takes advantage of everything your property has to offer. Here are a few ways we help you bring the outdoors in:

  • We build spaces that take advantage of the sun. We’ll take your home’s position into consideration as we plan the space.
  • Our outdoor living spaces are perfect for gardeners. We can create built-in planters and custom spaces for the plants you want to grow.
  • We’ll make your space feel like an outdoor oasis with colors and textures. As we design your space, we’ll help you choose finishes that perfectly complement your backyard.

Does your backyard have trees or other large plants? We can design a deck or other outdoor space around them, so they can still provide shade or beauty to your yard. We can also build two-story decks or other space in order to create the perfect option for a steeply-graded backyard or a yard where your view might be otherwise compromised.

Ideas to Make Your Outdoor Living Space Family-Friendly

One of the most common requests we get is for a custom outdoor living space that the entire family can enjoy. This type is space is perfect for spending time together. Here are a few outdoor living space ideas for family-friendly spaces:

  • If you have small children, add lockable doors and gates so they can stay safe while playing. This is especially important if you have water or fire features.
  • Add a wet bar so you have a sink/water source for easy clean-up. It’s easier than cleaning up with a hose and stops the kids from tracking mud and dirt into the house.
  • Make sure there is plenty of open space for play. Yes, you want to fill your space with furniture, plants, etc. but kids also need some room to run around.

Your new outdoor living space doesn’t have to be primarily a playroom. You can also make it a multi-purpose space that grows with your children and their interests. Additionally, your space can play double duty and be relevant for both kids can adults. For example, we can design a deck with built-in speakers and a projector that is perfect for family movie night, but can also work well to host your friends for your favorite sports events or even give your teens a space to play video games with their friends.


When you work with Structurally Speaking, we start with a free initial consultation to talk about what you want in an outdoor living space. At this point, we can also answer any questions you may have. Here are a few commonly asked questions we hear from clients:

How can I design an outdoor living space that’s best for me?

The best choice is to work with our owner, Jim Brennan, to design a custom space that perfectly suits your needs. Jim has decades of experience walking homeowners through the process of building an outdoor living space they will actually use. We’ll make sure it is both functional and beautiful.

Can I expand a current outdoor living space?

Yes, you can change your current space so it is more functional. Some of the best outdoor living spaces are combinations, where we add a deck to a sunroom or enclose part of a porch. Once we look at your space, we can figure out what is best for you. Click here to set up your free consultation today.