Fall just might be the best season to be on Cape Cod. The weather is still nice enough to enjoy, but the tourists are gone (after spending a staggering $902 million last year), the streets are empty and the air is crisp and salty. Between the pumpkin beer, pumpkin coffee, the tantalizingly short scallop season, and the delightful return of root vegetables, it’s also foodie heaven. Basically, it’s perfect.
This is the best time of year to own a home with a little bit of breathing room. Usable outdoor spaces invite long, lingering evenings over a hot cup of coffee or glass of wine, and nothing can quite match the feeling of sitting on a porch overlooking a foliage framed backyard. In addition to making a home comfortable and a pleasure to live in for you, appealing outdoor space may also make your home more appealing on the market.
4 Ways to Improve Your Outdoor Living Areas
1.) Add a fire pit
Of all the tips on the list, this might be our favorite. Fire pits are usable in three of the four seasons – the only time we aren’t firing ours up at home is during the dead of winter. Depending on your wants and income level, this could be a major undertaking involving permanent custom stonework and seating making it a true outdoor “room,” or a simple trip to the home improvement or grill store. You can find small, basic copper pits for as little as $65 at Sears or Wal Mart, and they can run up to $2,000 at more upscale stores such as Paine’s Patio and Breakaway. Be attentive when looking because while most are wood burning, some run on propane and others require a hook up to a natural gas line.
2.) De-clutter your landscaping
We’re not advocating ripping out all of your trees or shrubs, but look at your landscaping with a critical eye: Is it making your space feel smaller than it is? While we agree that bigger isn’t always better, keeping some sense to your landscaping can pay big dividends from a livability standpoint. This could be as simple as removing a few weeds and unwanted bushes, to something more extensive, such as rethinking the way your yard is laid out. Adding a shed or another focal point to your yard helps with design and flow, and ensures that you always have a place to hid the clutter.
3.) Invest in durable outdoor furniture
Ok, there are a few areas of your home where you can go for the bargain basement item and not notice the difference. We’ve covered how to do over your kitchen and family room for pennies on the dollar and no one would notice, but outdoor furniture is not one of those spots. Take a trip to stores that specialize in outdoor furniture – yes, you are going to pay more, sometimes a lot, but it’s an investment that will last for 20 years. Good outdoor tables and chairs are something you just can’t do without, especially if you’re hosting company or use the house frequently in the summer and fall. Teak furniture is durable and beautiful, but requires yearly staining. Adirondak chairs and gliders will last for years.
4.) Move meals outdoors!
The best way to get more out of your outdoor space? Use it! The picnic table isn’t just for dinner. Make it a habit to take your meals or reading outdoors and enjoy the space you’ve put so much time into. Not only will you get more sun and fresh air, but you’ll get a better idea of what you need to add, want to add and what you want to avoid. The dirty little secret we don’t tell the tourists is that our weather is nice until November, so you’ll really get some good use out of anything you place outside!
Want to find a great Cape Cod home with an outdoor space to make your own? Check us out at http://www.capecodhouses.com!