Boost your outdoor living with easy remodeling projects

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: In the news
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Want to join the outdoor living craze? Adding outdoor dining and entertaining space is easier than you think and can help boost your home value. Here are must have outdoor remodeling projects:

An outdoor kitchen. While permanent outdoor kitchens get pricey ($10,000 or more), you can get a taste of the good life for $2,000 or less by going portable. Forget the gas line and built in grill and try:

  • A 36-inch portable, stainless steel gas grill with a side ledge that flips down into a countertop. Look for 4 to 6 burners, including a high BTU burner for quick searing.
  • An 24-inch wide stainless steel cabinet for storing grilling utensils, plates, etc. It doubles as a place to set trays.
  • A 24-inch wide outdoor refrigerator.

Before tackling this remodeling project, consider these tips from the New York Times:

  • On concrete or stone, add a slight pitch that moves water off the patio without making the countertop slope too much.
  • On a wooden deck, make sure the supporting beams can handle the added weight.

An outdoor water feature. Add the soothing sound of water trickling over a bed of rocks. Among the hot trends are koi ponds, cascading waterfalls from a meandering stream and table top fountains for small outdoor spaces. Test out the water flow first; water noises vary from a light trickle to a loud gush.

A fireplace. This layout from HGTV gives you a stunning brick focal point and a seating area with weather resistant cushions. Even a portable fireplace ($250 to $500) or a small fire bowl ($75 or so) is ideal to stretch the season in cooler climates.

An arbor or pergola. Top off the outdoor living space with an arched arbor leading to your rose garden or an 8-foot wide pergola with climbing roses or clematis. Feeling ambitious? Save the $3,000 to $7,000 cost and build one yourself with help from Popular Mechanics.

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