Hammertime – Outdoor living on the OBX
By Jeffrey Ballard, GC –
Are you making the most of the outdoor living opportunities at your Outer Banks home? From outdoor kitchens to gazebos, patios to pergolas, we can enjoy outdoor living almost year round here on the coast.
We tend to forget there is a whole world right outdoors, but for entertaining or just relaxing we should have a look at creating spaces outside of our home. Outdoor living areas can increase the value of a home without hitting the budget too hard, and give us expanded space for our families to enjoy.
With stone paver patios and salt-treated decks, we can increase our living space with minimal walls, or no walls at all. A strategically located gazebo can be an awesome place to get away and relax, and make you feel as though you’re in a whole different world. A pergola can create a shady sanctuary in your own back yard.
Don’t get stuck inside a hot kitchen on a sunny day when you could be enjoying the breeze cooking in your outdoor kitchen and enjoying friends and family on the patio! New technologies and smart thinking have brought outdoor kitchens a long way, bringing state of the art cooktops, refrigeration and even dry storage within reach.
Entertain guests and enjoy the stars sitting by your outdoor fireplace on a cool night. Add a hot tub, a Tiki bar or install an outdoor pool table, and you may eliminate the need to ever go inside again.
Need some “me” time? Anyone can string up a hammock between some trees or under the deck and, voila, instant getaway! Or, create a little privacy with simple lattice separations on your outdoor patio for some extra peace of mind.
The beauty of outdoor living areas is that they don’t need to be perfect. Adapting your design to the nature already existing in your yard means things can be a little uneven or asymmetrical. This makes your design unique to your property, and with some structural help from a good carpenter or a stonemason you can easily apply finishes to these areas for the satisfaction of self-completion.
As always, check with your local planning board on rules and regulations, or ask your favorite contractor to help guide you. Most towns encourage outdoor living, and if your permit application is worded properly they can be very helpful providing information for a safe installation in our unique wind zone.
So have fun and be creative. You can easily add a whole new environment to your home: a place to sit read a book or take a nap with just enough cover for privacy, or an exciting new space to share with friends and family outside the box.
Jeffrey Ballard is a local licensed building contractor and the owner of Ballard Custom Designs, a division of B&B Contractors. Contact him at 252-489-9551 for questions, quotes or consulting. Check him out online at www.ballardcustomdesigns.com.