Double your home’s living area without adding a single square foot?
It’s no joke. To pull it off, though, you need to change the way you think about the property that's right outside the walls of your house. Rather than seeing it as some leftover ground to be prettied up with a few flower beds, consider it an integral, functioning extension of your home’s interior.
|Is there a beautiful room hiding right outside|
the walls of your house?
The land outside every house offers tremendous potential living space--often several times the total square footage of the house itself. Yet more often than not, this valuable real estate is drastically underutilized. Even when a property is nominally “landscaped”, it’s usually treated as a static showpiece filled with cutely shaped planting beds, meandering plots of grass, and other two-dimensional treatments, none of which improve its usefulness as living space.
It’s understandable why so few people make full use their outdoor area. For one, many older homes provide only a minimal connection to the outside--often nothing more than a front door and a back door. Since the floors in older houses also tend to be raised off the ground a few feet, access to outdoor areas can be awkward even when more exterior doors are present. Yet even in newer homes with more generous access to the outdoors, the surrounding property is seldom treated as a true extension of the indoor living area.
So how better to better utilize the land outside your own house?
|Replacing a window with a door is relatively dirt cheap|
and can totally transform your house.
If the door is no wider than the window was,
there isn't even any structural work required.
Improving access to the outdoors is also among the simplest and most cost effective of remodeling projects. As long as the new door (or doors) aren’t any wider than the existing window opening, no structural changes are required. The section of wall below the window is simply removed and a door unit installed in its place.
|This is all it takes to add an inviting and usable|
room to your house. You can't get living space
Once you’ve decided on where the doors will be, consider how you’ll make the transition to the garden. If the floor of your house is considerably higher than the ground outside, a deck or terrace with a number of descending levels will bring you gracefully down to ground level. If this transitional space can serve exterior doors from more than one room, all the better.
Next time: Planning the garden as outdoor rooms.