By Jon Jenkins, writer for New Homes & Ideas

Spring is here and as the days get warmer, you’ll probably go outside more often instead of staying indoors. Perhaps you’ll think about going to the park or taking a vacation. You may consider just having some fun around the house and backyard. A walk around the neighborhood to observe different gardens can give you some ideas for improving your home’s surroundings. You may relax on the front porch and enjoy being outside with your kids or decide to walk outside and sit on the patio, enjoying the cool breeze and watching flowers.

Outdoor Living

Photo Courtesy of Saussy Burbank

Many homes in the Raleigh area have these features. Whether your home is a large single family residence or a new luxury condominium, take notice of some of the improvements being made to accommodate outdoor living. The real estate market in the Triangle is flourishing and that means many homeowners want customized finishes for their properties. Builders and developers are collaborating with homeowners to ensure luxurious amenities.

Grant Do, marketing coordinator for Saussy Burbank, a new home builder in Raleigh, believes in the importance of the front porch to complement a home. He says “porches have and will always be a focal point in our architectural design as a home builder.” This is in addition to the social aspects homeowners enjoy by relaxing outside.

French doors are another important feature of front porches. Do explains that contemporary design seeks to emphasize luxury while remaining practical. The company is “honoring the essence of the front porch, but striving to stay relevant and functional by design. Our current plans offer double front porches, which allow homeowners to have a private balcony extend from the owner’s suite.”

A back porch often leads to a deck or patio. Many trim options can complement a screened in porch. Some owners choose to have a porch and deck with stairs. Rex Osborne, a real estate agent and leader of the development and sales department at Windjam Properties, a new home and marketing company, says “larger sliding doors and more access from the kitchen areas” are becoming more prevalent because clients want easier access to exploring the outdoor living experience.

Ourdoor living

Photo Courtesy of Saussy Burbank

Of course, you’ll want a nice backyard. Outdoor living includes many features like luxurious patios, swimming pools, and beautiful decks. Some aboveground pools have climate controlled features. A patio may include a canopy to keep out the elements, including sunlight. There are many ways to implement beautiful outdoor living features for your home. Such amenities will result in you wanting to go outside often after dinner. Neighbors and visitors can relax outside with a pool party.

Many backyards in the Triangle area, especially luxury properties, may have a swimming pool or water feature. Children in the neighborhood may take advantage of this amenity. If you are older and use your swimming pool for relaxation and entertaining, you may want warm water to swim in or prefer this for your joints. Many aboveground pools are built with custom features to allow owners to control the water’s temperature and color. Relaxation and tranquility await you in such an environment.

Outdoor living

Photo Courtesy of Windjam Properties

Cleaning a pool is also easy through technological advances. Many owners will opt to have automated cleaners which get rid of debris and leaves. Most swimming pools have heating and cleaning mechanisms. Upgrades like fiber optic lighting provide beautiful visuals for people planning to swim in the evening or at night. Pool automation through modern technology like smartphones enable you to adjust the pool spa and deck lights.

Automatic timers are another important feature for pools. This allows owners to maintain energy efficiency while ensuring the filters and pumps stop running while the pool is unoccupied. Another contemporary trend in pools is to have a darker shade to the finish. This allows your pool to retain heat and lower the costs of keeping the pool warm.

Concrete pools and vinyl pools often include plaster or granite, depending on the owner’s preferences. These finishes give the swimming pool style and elegance and provide a wonderful ambiance. Ceramic and porcelain tile finishes have become more popular for swimming pools. Tile choices are important for the aesthetic of your swimming pool, especially given that glass tiles are preferred because they can be used in different climates.

Fiberglass pools are more difficult to install because of their size but are better for soil shifting and more readily can withstand changes in temperature. Summer in North Carolina can be quite humid. Fiberglass pools often have different curves made with granite and stone. The size of the curves can determine the amount of space available for swimming.

Screened porches have become more prevalent for home owners with young families because they want their children to have large, safe play areas. Some screens have safety precautions built into them, and other amenities such as childproof doors and regulation railings are often used. Ceiling fans, spacious furniture, and effective lighting make these spaces quite appealing for home owners as well.

Outdoor decks are great investments for properties and will add value to any house, but you must be careful about the deck meeting your budget and fitting the house’s proportions. Most decks connect to your house, so a good location for your deck is adjacent to a side room, perhaps the family room. Outdoor decks are often wood, and come in a variety of colors, including grey, chestnut, or mahogany. These fashionable colors add pizzazz and allow owners to show their individual preferences with regards to style.

For a patio or deck at a single-family residence, hardwood lumber or composite lumber often make up the materials used. Therefore, the decks remain durable and sturdy while the surface is resistant to fading and mold. “Outdoor living is a big factor when buyers design a custom home, and when they purchase an existing new home offered for sale. Our homes are now using more permanent materials in and around our deck areas,” says Osborne. These flat surfaces connected to the back of your house are great for outdoor meals and entertaining.

Function remains important for contemporary design. This is true for both single-family residences and luxury condominiums. “We’ve spent a tremendous amount of time working on floorplans, creating ease, convenience, and freedom of movement throughout our spaces, incorporating our strong bias towards outdoor living immediately connected to the homes,” says Justin Hime of The Beacon Street Development Company, which manages The Wade in Raleigh. The company emphasizes the importance of creating architecturally distinct properties with modern interior spacing and customized finishes, including flooring and cabinetry, along with large windows for sunlight.

In the Triangle area, many homeowners enjoy large decks, some of which include furniture and plants. Pergolas can offer additional garden space, which is a great complement to a deck or patio. Consider adding a lamp to enjoy being outside at night or a canopy to reduce sunlight. Contemporary designs for decks include wooden benches and aluminum rails, and enhance the backyard’s beauty.

Consider getting help from a professional if you’re looking to improve your home or buy another home soon. Do explains that Saussy Burbank seeks to “stay relevant by meeting the needs and wants of buyers through our locations, plans, and options. There are a plethora of trends out there, so it is my task to narrow in on the trends that align with our brand. I work hard to ensure that the trends we celebrate are simple and timeless. You can see that initiative reflect in our porches and patios, which are functional and well-crafted.” Saussy Burbank designs custom homes with plan innovations that will make your home more comfortable and luxurious.

Walk around your neighborhood and you’re sure to notice an abundance of landscaping ideas. Landscaping options are an important feature for homeowners, but also for developers. Hime explains The Beacon Street Development Company has plans to collaborate with Frank Liggert, a local landscape architect, to develop community parks. Hime says this is for the benefit of homeowners who traditionally find it difficult to adjust from houses with yards to condominiums. There is a perception that natural beauty may be limited in a condominium, but this is not the case at The Wade. Some of the amenities at The Wade will include walkways, a rooftop terrace, a community garden, and possibly a rose garden. The focus is on “delivering conscious spaces that will add daily value and make living at The Wade even more pleasurable.” Indeed, these are exciting changes in Raleigh.

Your home’s surroundings can be similar to a resort. This applies to both single family residences and condominiums. Relax near the pool and enjoy a swim or sit in your chaise lounge and enjoy some sunlight. But please put on your sunscreen.

You will notice luxurious improvements being made to homes and outdoor living spaces throughout Raleigh, Cary, Apex, and surrounding areas. These improvements are sustainable and protect the environment. This brings about relaxation and provides health benefits. Going outside to enjoy your beautiful garden or relax on the patio can be a wonderful opportunity to express gratitude for having such luxuries near your home.

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