If your family loves to spend time in the backyard, outdoor living spaces can be a beautiful extension of your home or a separate element entirely. For R. L. Rider Remodeling, outdoor living goes beyond your usual deck or patio with a grill and a few mesh chairs scattered around. We have the capability to move your entire kitchen, living room, entertainment center, or spa from indoors – only to being completely outside. We can also build gorgeous pools with decking and landscaping to match. Read on for information about the unique challenges of outdoor construction, popular outdoor living space options, and installing an in-ground pool in your yard.
Building an outdoor living room or kitchen is a world apart from a normal interior remodel. You can’t just build as you normally would and hope for the best when inclement weather arrives – the place would crumble within a month! That doesn’t include the appliances and accessories that need to function properly. Stoves, refrigerators, and firepits must stand up to the elements and work as they should whenever you desire, which means only certain lines and models can be used safely. So we know outdoor living spaces must be weatherproofed then, but what other special details need attention?
One of our first priorities when assessing a site is investigating the current infrastructure and utility connection points. Depending on the project scope, you might need water, waste lines, electric, gas, and even cable TV service. Knowing if we can extend off the current house or if we need a direct connection can help guide your budget more accurately. Heating in the winter is key if you plan to keep your outdoor living area open for all four seasons. A/C can be nice too if you want to go all out but be careful not to go to extremes – you might end up with a glorified, standalone kitchen rather than an outdoor space with kitchen essentials tastefully integrated. It can be a fine line.
If you’re not planning on using your outdoor space during cold weather, then we need to work on a winterization and storage routine to keep your space clean and safe and ready for the next spring grilling season. Without having true walls, or only partial ones, it’s tough to keep the elements out. Depending on your particular space, we might do some temporary panels that fit all of the structure’s openings or go over the more sensitive elements with weighted covers. We can plan and build around anything. While we already mentioned weatherproofing, durability is huge too because even with ideal weather, you’ll get wear and tear on your furniture and furnishings. The sun, wind, moisture, and guests will all contribute to fading, scratching, and overall breakdown of all but the most durable finishes.
It may sound like a lot, but we have our trustworthy processes and checklists to keep all these details in order, so you don’t have to worry about any of these problems.
Outdoor kitchens are undoubtedly the king of outdoor living spaces. They provide everything you get indoors if you want it to – refrigerator, cooktop, cabinet storage, plenty of counterspace, even wet bars. You can make it the focal point of a party and have all your cooking, serving, and entertaining revolve around the chef. Or you can keep it off to the side, away from the hustle, for your own grilling oasis. No matter what you choose, the beauty of an outdoor kitchen is getting to enjoy your property’s natural beauty in a wide open space.
Grilling and smoking meats and veggies is probably the main reason we see customers pining for their own outdoor kitchens. Nothing says summer in Michigan like cooking up your favorite brats and burgers! Don’t forget other important features – storage (food and tableware), accessories (heating plates, icemakers), finishes (countertops, cabinets, floors, trim), and any extras that you find useful should all be on your mind. It’s helpful if our customers have two or three big-ticket items that they consider “must-haves”– that gives us some ideas to design around and lets us know where your priorities are for the space.
Outdoor living rooms and entertainment zones can be less complicated than kitchens, but not by much. One of our favorite items to construct for customers is the outdoor fireplace or fire pit. The fireplace can get built traditionally with a hearth and chimney, and the fire pit allows open access to the flame for heating and roasting. Each one provides the perfect central piece to design a space around, and families love being able to enjoy the outdoors a little longer with some natural heat. We’ve also seen gaming areas with a place to relax for the audience, water features and fountains for a classic look, and custom entertainment systems with more TVs and speakers than your local sports bar. (Yes, this can all be waterproof and weatherproof!) Whatever your vision, we’re here to make it come to life!
We don’t overlook the finishing touches either. It’s important to keep a cohesive plan, especially if you’re planning further outdoor living or landscaping improvements. Paths should be carefully mapped and built with maintenance in mind. You could have picturesque landscaping and planting, and then no way to get to feed, water, and maintain your plants! Materials should be selected with care as well, so they can blend with future design needs and match what you already have. It’s really easy to end up with a structure sticking out like a sore thumb without some landscaping and exterior decorating to help it blend with the environment. Don’t worry – our expert team of designers and architects can handle all those details!
A pool is a great way to add excitement to your backyard. Despite requiring regular maintenance and Michigan only having a 4-month window to enjoy them, in-ground pools have remained popular over the years. Families with kids young or old have found them to provide entertainment, exercise, and a beautiful centerpiece if correctly designed for your property. Even considering the investment pools take, there’s truly something enjoyable in staying outside all day when it’s very nice out. Imagine grilling for your family and friends, playing an afternoon of bocce or horseshoes, having the game on in the background, and diving in the pool whenever you get too hot and need a respite. There aren’t many better days than that!
Pools, especially custom-designed ones, involve many intensive steps and require a lot of work. First, you must complete the excavation and appropriate site work. This could include getting utilities to the correct places if your pool has complex features or special uses. Steelwork and reinforcement are set to ready that hole in the ground for concrete. Once the concrete is set for the walls and bottom we can begin building any features around the pool e.g. decorative masonry, spa areas, fire pits, etc. The finishes start going on after this, including tiling and whatever pool lining you’ve chosen. After the final plumbing and pump systems are tested and ready, we finally get to fill the pool. Landscaping and paving occur at the end and should fit in well with the site’s general motif to avoid your new luxury pool becoming a harsh juxtaposition to the remainder of your yard.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one experience and one contact person to speak to about your project, then R. L. Rider Remodeling is a great fit for you. We handle everything and manage each trade’s subcontractor carefully in order to deliver you the finest outdoor living spaces in Michigan. Don’t get stuck calling ten different specialty contractors and trying to manage your own project – all while working and leading your own busy life. Let us take the stress out of the process so you can relax and get ready to enjoy the final product for years to come. Please feel free to call us at (517) 487-3713 or fill out the contact form on our website. Thank you!