Remodeling to Bring in the Outdoors

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Necessary home improvements
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Spring is in the air and I’m thinking about venturing out of the Chicago winter cocoon and back into the yard. If you’re planning a few spring remodeling projects, think about those that can connect you with the outdoors.

Home Improvement Starts at the Front Porch

My all time favorite is a front porch. Whether it’s a wrap around that hails from the Victorian home design or a simple, yet functional, stoop with space for several chairs, that front façade can make a powerful statement. Check out this story about Victorian home design and porches.

If you’re wondering how to boost your curb appeal, look at your entryway. Is there room for a porch? Can you widen the stoop and add a decorative bench on one side? (Check with your local building department and a contractor, because some projects require zoning review.)

Moving around the back of the house, you can find a deck–or a perfect spot for one. If your house is raised up a little from the street, a deck is a perfect way to connect with the yard. Talk with an architect or contractor about how to lay out the deck so it flows with your home’s architecture. This article from deck products manufacturer Trex should help.

Replacement Windows That Move You

Replacement windows are another great way to help bring the outdoors in. If you’re remodeling your family room, ask the contractor about adding a bank of large replacement windows to connect with the yard. Add a perennial garden, pond, or patio in the yard and make it highly visible from the family room. Here’s a look at how a replacement window helps boost your home’s appeal.

Among other “connecting with the outdoors” remodeling options are:

  • Skylights
  • Sliding glass doors
  • Patios
  • Stone seating areas with water elements

Then throw open the windows and let spring begin!

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