What You Need To Know Before Building An Outdoor Living Space

There are so many decisions to be made when you’re planning an outdoor living space. From deciding on the type of material for your deck or patio, to what furniture you want in your yard, it can all be overwhelming. 

But before you start building an outdoor living space, make sure you know what to consider and what questions need answering. 

The more thought you put into things like how much space is available (and how much money you want to spend), the happier everyone will be with the result!

Plan Your Outdoor Living Space
Key Takeaways
1. When designing your outdoor living space, consider factors like zoning, privacy, and function.
2. Sustainable landscaping options, like drought-tolerant plants and energy-efficient appliances, are a great way to make your space more eco-friendly.
3. Outdoor lighting is an essential consideration for your space. Look for lighting options that complement your design style and are energy-efficient.
4. A well-designed outdoor living space should be comfortable, functional, and inviting.
5. Furniture selection, traffic flow, and space planning are all key considerations for creating the ideal outdoor living space.

You’ll Get A Lot Of Input From Everyone

The first thing to remember is that you are not the only person who has an opinion on your outdoor living space. You may have specific ideas about what you want your outdoor room to look like and how it should function, but there are other people in your life who will have their own opinions as well. 

This can be good or bad depending on how open-minded they are when they offer advice and suggestions; if they’re not willing to listen or compromise, then the project might fall apart before it even begins.

However! Don’t let this deter you from asking for help–you’ll find that most people are more than happy to lend their expertise when given the chance (and if they aren’t interested in helping out with something like this…well…maybe don’t invite them over?). 

Friends, family members and neighbors all know something about landscaping or building projects–even if it’s just “my dad said never do business with contractors named Joe”–so don’t hesitate when soliciting opinions from outside sources: everyone loves talking about themselves!

If you’re looking to create an outdoor space that’s both beautiful and eco-friendly, our guide on How to Create a Beautiful Eco-Friendly Outdoor Space has got you covered. From sustainable plant choices to energy-efficient lighting options, we’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to build a space you can be proud of.

You Have To Think About The Weather And Climate In Your Area

You may be excited to build an outdoor living space, but you need to consider the weather and climate in your area. Will it be too hot or cold? How will you keep cool in summer, or warm during winter? Will rain be a problem for your outdoor living space?

If you’re not sure what kind of weather conditions are normal for where you live, check out this handy chart:

Climate FactorDescription
SunlightConsider the intensity and the angle of the sun in your area, and provide appropriate shading options like pergolas, shade sails, umbrellas or retractable awnings.
RainfallEnsure proper drainage in your outdoor living space to prevent pooling or flooding and use weather-resistant materials. Waterproof furniture and outdoor rugs can be a good option if you receive a lot of rain, while water permeable options may be better suited to a hot, dry climate.
HumidityIf humidity levels are high in your area, invest in weather-resistant materials that are less likely to warp or corrode. Ensure sufficient ventilation in covered areas to prevent mold or mildew growth.
WindStrong winds can affect the comfort of outdoor spaces and damage outdoor furniture or structures. Incorporating windbreaks such as hedges, fences, or walls can help block gusts of wind.
Snow and ColdIf you face snow or freezing temperatures it’s better to opt for durable and resistant materials, like powder-coated aluminum or stainless-steel construction. Heating elements like fire pits, patio heaters, or outdoor fireplaces can also provide warmth.

You’ll Have To Figure Out How Much Space You Need.

You’ll have to figure out how much space you need. The first step in planning your outdoor living space is deciding how much room will be needed for the activities that take place there.

The answers to these questions can help determine what size and shape of patio or deck will work best:

  • How many people will be using the space?
  • How often do they plan on using it?
  • What kind of activities do they want to carry out on their deck or patio (eating, entertaining guests, watching sports games)?

Sustainable landscaping doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. In fact, with our guide on 15 Simple Steps to Sustainable Landscaping for the Busy Homeowner, you’ll discover just how easy it can be to create a more eco-friendly outdoor space. From composting to water conservation, our guide covers all the essentials.

You’ll Need To Make Sure There’s Enough Lighting

Lighting is an important part of outdoor living. You need to make sure that there’s enough lighting so you can see what you’re doing, but not so much that it makes the space feel too bright or glaring. 

Your goal should be to create an atmosphere that feels cozy and inviting while still providing enough illumination to feel safe and secure in your space.

You’ll also want to consider where exactly the lights will go in relation to where people will be spending their time (i.e., dining tables) as well as how much light they emit–you don’t want them too bright or too dim!

Make Sure You Check For Bugs And Insects Before Building

The first step to building your outdoor space is to make sure you check for bugs and insects. If you don’t, they could end up making your life miserable.

You’ll want to be aware of potential problems before building so that if an issue arises, you’re prepared and know how to deal with it effectively. Here are some steps for dealing with bugs and insects:

Check the area where you plan on building for any signs of bugs or insect activity (such as webs) before beginning construction on your deck or patio structure. 

If there are issues present at this stage, consider waiting until springtime when temperatures rise above freezing every day before starting work again; this will give them time off from hibernation during which they can seek shelter elsewhere rather than staying near their nest site (which may lead them right back into yours).

Looking to make your outdoor living space more inviting? Our guide on The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Outdoor Living Space More Inviting is a must-read. You’ll learn about the importance of zoning, the benefits of built-in seating, and the beauty of outdoor rugs, among other things.

Use The Sun As Your Guide For The Right Shade Scheme

When it comes to outdoor living spaces, the sun is your best friend. It’s also your worst enemy.

If you’re going to be spending time outside, you want to make sure that the space is shaded in such a way that it doesn’t get too hot and uncomfortable for those who are using it. 

You can do this by avoiding direct sunlight and using shade trees or other plants to create shade where needed. 

You can also use awnings or canopies over parts of your patio area–or even just under one small umbrella–to block out some of those rays if they get too intense at times during certain times of day (like early morning).

If none of these options seem feasible because there isn’t enough room on your property or they simply aren’t an option due to budget constraints, then consider reflective surfaces like mirrors as well as painted concrete floors instead; both will bounce light around so that instead of getting trapped under an umbrella somewhere else on their lawns/patios/decks/etc., people have somewhere safe where they won’t burn themselves while still enjoying being outdoors!

Shade SchemeDescription
Neutral ColorsUsing shades of beige, white, and light gray can create a calming, serene outdoor environment that pairs well with greenery and natural wood textures.
Cool ColorsShades of blue, purple, and green can evoke a tranquil and relaxed atmosphere while reflecting the cool tones of the surrounding landscape.
Warm ColorsBold shades of red, orange, and yellow can bring warmth and energy to an outdoor living space, although they may become overwhelming under direct sunlight.
Contrasting ShadesIntroducing contrasting shades, such as black and white, can create a striking and modern look that complements contemporary decor and emphasizes any surrounding greenery.
Earth TonesColors like terracotta, brown, and rust hues can complement natural wooden finishes for an earthy and rustic feel.

When planning your outdoor living space, it’s important to consider the effect of sunlight on your chosen shade scheme. Colors can appear different under different lighting conditions, so it’s advisable to take into account the type of natural light in the area when selecting your color scheme.

Consider experimenting with different color palettes and tones to find the perfect color theme that can create a relaxing and inviting outdoor space.

Don’t Forget About Ground Covering Materials.

Ground coverings are an important part of your outdoor living space. They can add color and texture, but they also serve as a barrier between the soil and your feet. If you’re planning on using wood, vinyl or stone for your ground covering material then keep in mind that these options may be slippery when wet.

If you have kids or pets running around outside then consider choosing a material that’s easy to maintain (i.e., doesn’t require constant cleaning). You’ll also want something that looks good with other elements in your yard such as grasses or plants.

No outdoor living space is complete without a few key elements. Check out our guide on 15 Must-Haves for Any Outdoor Living Space to make sure you’re not missing anything. From comfortable seating to functional lighting, our guide covers everything you need to create a space that’s both beautiful and functional.

Plan For Outdoor Entertainment, Too

Now that you’ve taken the time to plan out your outdoor living space, it’s time to think about how you will entertain guests. You want them to be able to relax and enjoy themselves without having to worry about where they will sit or what they will do when it rains. 

If you have kids, this is especially important because their attention spans are short and they need something fun for them to do outside.

You may also want an area where people can relax after work or on weekends without having their view obstructed by trees and bushes (or worse yet–the neighbors!). 

You might even consider building a fire pit so that people can gather around it during cooler weather; however, if this isn’t possible due either budget constraints or safety concerns (i.e., if there are children living nearby), consider investing instead in some outdoor heaters such as electric patio heaters or propane-powered torches instead!

Consider Local Codes And Regulations Before Building An Outdoor Living Space

Before you start building an outdoor living space, it’s important to make sure that you have all of the necessary permits. 

If you are planning on building on your own property and don’t need any special permits or inspections, this may not be a concern. However, if someone else owns the land (such as a landlord), they might require that certain things be done before construction begins. For example:

  • Check with your local municipality for any building codes and restrictions in place
  • Check with utility companies such as electricity suppliers or water providers for any electrical or water restrictions
Zoning ordinancesThese are regulations that determine what activities and structures are allowed on your property, so make sure to check for any restrictions that may apply.
Building permitsDepending on where you live, you may be required to obtain a building permit before constructing an outdoor living space. This process varies by location, so it’s important to research your local building permit requirements.
Electrical codesElectrical regulations vary by location. For example, you may need to install a GFCI outlet near water sources or use a certain type of conduit for wiring. Check your local codes before proceeding.
Fire codesOutdoor living spaces may be subject to fire codes if they include cooking equipment, fireplaces, or other potential fire hazards. Ensure you are aware of your local fire codes and adhere to them accordingly.
Plumbing and waste codesEspecially if you’re considering including plumbing or waste features in your outdoor living space such as sinks or toilets, be mindful of any applicable standards or codes set by your locality.

Plan Ahead To Keep Costs Down When Building An Outdoor Living Space

When you’re building an outdoor living space, there are a lot of things to consider. You need to think about how much it will cost and how long it will take. You also need to think about what materials you want to use and whether or not they’ll be in stock at your local hardware store when you’re ready for them.

For example, let’s say that one day you decide that the perfect addition for your home would be an outdoor kitchen with all the fixings: sink; refrigerator; stovetop burners; grill surface (or two); storage cabinets…the works! But before you can begin this project, there are some things that should be kept in mind:

Materials – Will these materials cost less if purchased separately or as part of one big package deal? If they do come as part of a package deal, does their price include delivery charges? Are there any discounts available when purchasing large quantities? 

If so, what is their policy regarding returns/exchanges? Is shipping included in these prices or will I have additional fees after checkout ?”

Creating a beautiful outdoor living area can be a challenge, but our guide on The Do’s and Don’ts of Creating a Beautiful Outdoor Living Area has got you covered. From choosing the right plants to arranging furniture for maximum flow and function, our guide covers all the basics.

Make Sure There’s Plenty Of Storage Space Available When Building An Outdoor Living Space

When building an outdoor living space, you want to make sure there’s plenty of storage space available. This will help you keep things organized and safe when it comes time to store items. Here are some tips for making sure your outdoor storage area is well-organized:

  • Make sure all tools and equipment are stored in the same place so they can be easily accessed when needed.
  • Label everything with permanent marker so it’s easy for guests or family members who don’t visit often know where everything belongs. You might even consider adding a picture of each item next to its label if someone doesn’t know what something looks like!
Storage SolutionDescription
Suncast Wicker Deck BoxOffers a large storage capacity and a stylish wicker design that is both weather-resistant and easy to clean.
Rubbermaid Outdoor Horizontal Storage ShedProvides an ultra-durable and spacious storage option that is also sturdy enough to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Keter Westwood Deck BoxThe weather-resistant and UV-protected frame of this deck box offers ample storage space and a stylish design that complements any outdoor living area.
SONGMICS Outdoor Storage Ottoman BenchThis sleek storage solution functions as both a bench for additional seating and a storage unit for stowing away outdoor cushions, pool toys, and more.
Lifetime Extra Large Deck BoxA roomy deck box that can hold up to 130 gallons and is constructed of high-density polyethylene plastic for ultimate durability.


You should now have a good sense of the steps involved in building an outdoor living space. It’s not as complicated as it might seem at first glance, but there are still some things you need to keep in mind when planning your project. 

First, make sure that you have enough space for everything–from entertaining guests to storing all their stuff! 

Second, think about how much light will be available at different times of day (and year) so that no matter what time of day or night someone shows up at your house wanting coffee or cocktails (which happens often), there will always be enough light available for them to see what they’re doing while still feeling comfortable with minimal illumination around them. 

Finally, don’t forget about ground coverings like grass or mulch when considering materials like gravel which may look nice but won’t provide much traction when walking over them barefoot!

Further Reading

If you’re looking for more information on outdoor living spaces, be sure to check out these resources:

8 Things to Consider When Adding an Outdoor Living Space: This guide covers everything from choosing the right materials and lighting to zoning regulations and plant choices.

5 Tips on Building an Outdoor Living Space: Learn how to build a comfortable, functional outdoor living space with this helpful guide. Topics covered include furniture selection, traffic flow, and more.

5 Things to Consider When Planning Your Outdoor Living Space: This guide delves into key considerations when planning your outdoor space, such as budget, function, and privacy.


How do I choose the right materials for my outdoor living space?

Factors to consider when choosing materials include durability, style, and budget. Look for materials that can withstand weather and other outdoor conditions, complement your design choices, and fit within your budget.

What should I consider when designing the layout of my outdoor living space?

Traffic flow, zoning, and function are all important considerations for layout design. Ensure that all zones are easily accessible, that there are traffic patterns to guide visitors and that there is sufficient space for the intended functions.

What types of lighting should I use for my outdoor living space?

Outdoor lighting options include LED, solar, and battery-operated lights, floodlights, bollards and so on. Choose lighting that complements the other design elements, is integrated into the electrical system for convenience, and adds to the overall ambiance.

How can I make my outdoor living space more eco-friendly?

Consider using environmentally-friendly materials, reducing water use with drought-tolerant plants and water-efficient irrigation systems, and opting for outdoor appliances that are energy-efficient.

How can I maximize space in a small outdoor living area?

Key strategies for maximizing space include investing in multi-functional furniture, creating “zones” for different activities, using vertical spaces, and sticking to minimalistic designs that emphasizes function over form.