Whatever part of the country you live in, warm weather entices people out of their homes. There are more ways for your clients to take advantage of the outdoors than a deck off the back of the house.
Although deck and patio design can be flexible and free-form — almost independent from the house — an open design is at the mercy of the weather. Put a roof over it and the design becomes more complicated, but the living space can be enhanced with lighting, fireplaces, and flooring choices. “You can set up something like a room without walls outdoors,” says Paul Zachman, owner of Boardwalk Design, in Pittsford, N.Y., whose business focuses on decks and patios and what he calls “non-traditional patios.” “An outdoor living space with partial or no walls and/or landscape privacy that’s not screened in makes you feel you’re part of the landscape,” he says. There are several considerations when adding these kinds of spaces. “In some respects an open deck is a 2-D concept,” Zachman says. When you put a roof on, it has an impact on design flexibility. Does the roofline fit with the home’s existing rooflines and with the style of the house? What about the windows on the home? What will be the new view from the inside of the house? Zachman often angles a long porch area off a home to accommodate an interesting footprint while matching the rooflines. “You have to have a compatible solution that adds to the house and doesn’t detract,” he says.