This summer you don't need to build an extension to create an extra living space, you simply need a carefully planned terrace for relaxing and entertaining.
1. PLAN THE SPACE AS IF IT’S A REAL ROOM
Just because your outdoor space has no walls, doesn’t mean it can’t be planned or furnished like a real room. As an alternative to sun loungers, deck chairs and folding tables, consider outdoor, all weather sofas, armchairs and occasional tables. If space allows create adjacent areas for sitting and eating.
2. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
For convenience, the best location for an outdoor room is adjacent to the main property (and the closer to the kitchen the better). Alternatively, you may prefer to create a sanctuary where you can get away from it all.
3. KEEP IN THE SHADE
Shade is essential. Remember that if you choose a large standard sun umbrella the supporting pole will compromise the space. A large awning offers the most flexibility. A pergola is an attractive option but if it is attached to the house it will starve adjacent rooms of sun.
4. INVEST IN A GOOD FLOOR
Wherever you choose to create an outdoor room, a solid base such as paving or decking is essential. Raised beds will help to define the space and soften the look.
5. CREATE HOME COMFORTS
The more of these, the better – particularly if your outdoor room is a long way from the house; a permanent barbecue or an outdoor kitchen, a garden tap, a power socket (ideal for music, laptops etc), hammocks, an outdoor shower and a small shed for storage (and a small fridge) will create a space where you can spend all day. Worried about the cost? It’s far cheaper than an extension!