Return to the Building a Home Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Outdoor spaces...

Posted by lavender_lass (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 14, 13 at 18:10

I'm starting to think I don't need that many indoor spaces, but I do love my outdoor spaces! Ideally, I'd like to have a wooden pergola (with seating for 2 and maybe a swing) a sunroom with screens for summer...and views to enjoy year round, a separate porch off the master bedroom (maybe with a hot tub) and a greenhouse.

The greenhouse would be solely to winter over plants and start seedlings, which would be very helpful, since our last frost date is often early June.

Maybe it's the long winters...but I SO miss the gardens for half the year, I tend to go a little overboard with the porches! LOL

What are your plans? Any outdoor spaces or indoor/outdoor areas?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Outdoor spaces...

Once I finish building the house, I want to build a free-standing, elevated screen porch (gazebo?) I didn't want an attached porch, as it would block both natural light and our mountain view. I plan to put the porch behind our garage, about 20' from the house, and elevated to match the main house, which would put it about 8-10' off of the ground.

We're going to build a small deck on the back of the house, and a connecting deck like a bridge over to the porch. I have further plans for our big barn, too. I'm going to make 1/3 of it a great room, with insulation and tongue and groove paneling. Overnight guests can stay there, as it already has a full bathroom. All I need is money and energy!

RE: Outdoor spaces...

Great post. Outdoor space was just as important to us as the interior.
Siting the house optimally within the landscape and blending the architecture with the natural topography was a priority.

18 months later, usage patterns:
Screened porch on back elevation, with comfy seating for 7 is the favorite room in the house. The porch is accessed from the breakfast nook/kitchen. Used much of the year in Northwest Arkansas. Family and guests gravitate toward this room.

Large front porch with 2 rockers is welcoming and perfect for decor/planters. Used frequently by all.

Open elevated deck on rear elevation, with bar top table and swivel chairs for 4 is typically only used for dining when hosting guests. Back stairwell to ground level fire pit with 5 Adirondacks is generally only used when entertaining family. With large gatherings, these areas are easily accessed and used by guests and kids.

Balcony off of guest bedroom, overlooking ravine, is often used by overnight guests during morning hours. Easy access to nearby coffee station.

With 28 acres, cleared football field size area immediately off of driveway entrance. Inspired by numerous Houzz ideas for cleared woodlands. This area of the property leads to a lengthy limestone studded draw, and a natural 6 layer limestone waterfall.
Reduces my blood pressure and brings a smile just by pondering the outdoors...8-)

RE: Outdoor spaces...

Our plans include an L-shaped front porch and a screened in back porch. We are putting in an attached covered carport that we can clear out for crawfish boils and BBQs. This does block out a lot of light but we actually want that here where we get only about three months of winter and the rest of the year we are eating ramen noodles so we can pay the cooling (elec)

RE: Outdoor spaces...

you should build efficiency into the plans by
starting now to design ductwork & select
hvac system.

much easier to build it right than to go
back & retrofit it.

air sealing the house & mastic sealing
ducts are often overlooked making utility
bills a nightmare.

are you building LL?

best of luck.

RE: Outdoor spaces...

bgj - your descriptions made me smile too. :)
When we first started talking of building, we said, we'll do the out door spaces after. We made sure to plan for them, however.
Then, we wound up building our shelter house before the house really started. We've already used it a bit.

I cannot wait for the big front porch facing the field, and the back patio, facing the woods over to the clearing where the shelter is.

Outdoors makes me happy :)

RE: Outdoor spaces...

I want a peaked roof over part of our south-facing back terrace, so it shades in summer without blocking the winter sun coming in the glassed-in-but-not-climate-controlled porch. On a sunny winter's day the porch can be 20-30 degrees warmer than outside!

RE: Outdoor spaces...

Oh I think it's nearly impossible to go overboard on porches! Or pergolas or gazebos. Personally I love those spaces, but visitors seem to really be drawn to them too. There is something about being in nature, but close enough to the kitchen, that is very peaceful and comforting. LL, we are right in the middle of planning the outdoor spaces and I think it is just as important as the inside... but you can take your time in doing it, which is kind of nice. Our long term plans have a front kitchen garden with a picket fence (and table and chairs for picnics), a front gravel patio for star gazing and fireworks watching, a ridiculously huge south garden with a patio in the middle of it all, and a play garden for the kids... and hopefully, their kids. And a treehouse. Of course a treehouse. ;) It will take decades. But oh the dreams!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Building a Home Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here