Fire pit

If this pandemic has taught us one thing, as homeowners, it would be the importance of having a functional outdoor living space. And with temperatures dropping and days growing shorter and shorter we have to adapt our outdoor space if we want to continue using it. Whether it be adding a fire pit, sealing your deck, or installing a pergola we want to make sure you’re able to be outside all year long. That’s why we’ve reached out to the experts from Graniteville to Brookhaven to provide you with a few ideas for using your outdoor space year-round.

Be prepared for those harsh winter months

Michigan winters can be brutal, but oh so beautiful. Adding a few simple accessories allows true Michiganders to enjoy their outdoor spaces all year long -even in the winter months. Hang insulated curtains and a couple of well-placed electric heaters from the pergola on your new deck. Stoke up a portable propane-powered fire pit, or electric infrared patio heater and watch the snowfall from your cozy Jacuzzi hot tub. Anything is possible with a little imagination in Pure Michigan. Contact the pros at Homeowner Services of Michigan for a free, no-obligation consultation today! – Homeowner Services of Michigan

When the winter months begin to set in, it does not mean your backyard has to go into hibernation too. One way to utilize your backyard when the temperatures have fallen is by keeping the outdoors warm with a beautiful outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Another way to heat it up is by extending your patio with an enclosed roof or pergola. By adding one of these to your backyard, you will be sure to enjoy your outdoor space year-round. – Buresh Home Solutions Inc.

Stain and seal your decking

With a waterproof deck you double your outdoor patio space. Enjoy the deck above on those sunny days and put a hot tub in the dry, covered space beneath for those chilly days. – Fluid Floors

Need a few ways to make your already stained and sealed deck even better? A basket of throw blankets for crisp fall mornings, a patio heater and Edison lights for dark winter evenings, and a cushioned loveseat for summer afternoon naps. Your outdoor living space should be every bit as comfortable as your favorite recliner and invoke as much joy as your favorite holiday. – Stain & Seal Experts

Choose enhancements that introduce wildlife

I’ve found the most significant outdoor enhancements introduce wildlife into our otherwise sterile indoor worlds. Birdbaths and feeders, bluebird and owl boxes, native plants that attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies, and even squirrel gymnastics courses can add hours of free entertainment. You would be amazed at the neighborhood critters who frequent a wildlife pond, even in a dense urban setting. Properly positioned in front of windows these nature magnets are enjoyed from indoors or out. – Healthy Building Science

Bring on the heat

One of the best ways to take full advantage of your existing outdoor space all year round in our opinion would be to start with a heating element, either a freestanding or built in wood burning fire pit. They provide warmth, they are inviting and great for snores and conversations. The second would probably be weatherproof furniture, having a comfy space to sit around the fire pit is a must. Third would be a roofed pergola for the rainy months, now it’s not really recommended to put a wood-burning fire pit under a wood structure like that, but you could do low profile gas freestanding/built-in fire pit or soffit heaters. You can custom build the pergola or you can buy them in prefab kits depending on your budget requirements. – Vertical Construction Group LLC

If there’s one thing that will solve all of your outdoor living space woes, it’s a fire. There’s no longer the excuse that “it’s too cold outside”. In fact, you don’t even need to engage in that argument anymore. You simply go outside, light your gas fire feature, and watch as everyone begins to congregate around the warm, golden ambiance. – Montana Fire Pits

Think cover

Done right, installing a sunroom creates outdoor space that can be used all year. Throw in some patio furniture and twinkle lights and the stage is set for many wonderful evenings. You may never want to go back inside! With so many different sunroom designs out there you are only limited to your own imagination! Do your research, make a list of “must-haves” and establish a budget. You can install a sunroom without breaking the bank. Not only will it add value to your home, but it may also become your very own sanctuary! Oh, and added bonus… you never have to store your patio furniture again. – Patio Furniture Co

If you are looking for a great way to extend your living space 3-4 seasons you can window in or enclose the space under your patio cover or waterproof deck.  This is a great way to cook, entertain, watch games, and still enjoy the mild weather that we have in the PNW.  Outdoor roof structures, patio covers, under decking, and waterproof decks are all options to give you cover this time of year. – USI West Coast

Winter doesn’t have to force you to abandon your outdoor spaces. With a durable, easy-to-use patio system from Southern Patio Enclosures, you can continue to use your deck, porch, patio, or gazebo all year long. When you lower your patio enclosures, you will immediately notice a ten-degree temperature difference in your outdoor space. On days when the bite in the air is just too much, simply add a few energy-efficient space heaters and enjoy a cozy, comfortable space with beautiful views throughout even the coldest winter months. – Southern Patio Enclosures

Meld your indoor and outdoor space

Take the SoCal approach and break down the walls between the indoor and outdoor by installing a panoramic sliding door. These doors come in a variety of finishes and sizes and are thermally efficient so you don’t lose precious heat from your home during the colder months. When it warms up, open your home and let the fresh breeze in. We have had great feedback, families have told us they notice an increase in how much they use their exterior space after installation and there is a more open feel to the home overall. – Advanced Builders & Contractors LA

Integrate fun and creative lighting elements

One way to enjoy your outdoor living space year-round, even in the cooler months, is by stringing up twinkle lights around or above your pool. This produces double the glow from the lights reflecting off of the water. You can utilize whatever surface is nearby to string lights from, whether draping from tree to tree or along fence posts. Twinkle lights are an easy way to add a cozy ambiance to any backyard. Combine with a mug of mulled cider and a fluffy blanket, and you’re in business! – Pool Scouts

Add modern style and relax well after sunset with the European-designed outdoor lighting collection from Curran. Solar power, rechargeable, and candle-lit designs from brands like Gloster (United Kingdom), Royal Botania (Belgium), and Point (Spain) are available in a range of styles and sizes. – Curran

Invest in proper outdoor furniture

One of the most important aspects of a year-round and well-designed outdoor living space is the furniture. With the exposure to the elements, not selecting furniture that is suitable for outdoor spaces and those that provide longevity are some of the most common mistakes homeowners make when crafting their outdoor space. You’ll want to stay away from bare metals and materials such as wrought iron as they will rust. Some great options for outdoor materials include polyethylene wicker, teak, and aluminum. Similarly, the cushions you choose are important, with Sunbrella being the go-to option due to the fact that they’re very simple to clean, UV protected, and fade-resistant. Other ways to quickly make your outdoor space functional in the winter are to invest in outdoor cushion covers, patio storage, and candelabras for lighting fixtures that are charming and inexpensive. – Portable fireplace

Incorporate activities you can enjoy year-round

Install an outdoor telescope or a viewing deck to mount a telescope.  Sometimes, it helps to be reminded that we are a small speck in the universe.  Having an outdoor telescope feeds curious minds and provides a limitless opportunity for exploration for all members of the family.  From spotting the International Space Station to counting the craters of the moon, there will always be something unique and new in outer space. – VIATechnik

Relax with calming water features

Nowadays relaxation and a stress-free environment are near impossible to achieve. I firmly believe that in order to have a place to relax, after a long mask-wearing day at work, and a place where the feeling of stress is washed away, would be in your own outdoor living space. All you need to do is either DIY or hire a pro to create and install a pondless, cascading waterfall of natural stone to achieve a very calming sound of flowing water as if you were in the mountains fishing from a natural stream. – Calvin’s Irrigation & Handyman Services

Don’t let a little snow ruin your Pure Michigan fun.
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Originally published on Redfin