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Make the Most of Outdoor Living in Minnesota – Enhancing Your Yard & Home

Before we know it, summer will hit the Twin Cities and we’ll be spending as much time as possible outdoors.  Now is the time to prepare your yard and home so you can enjoy the warm weather when it arrives rather than using those beautiful days to tackle projects!  Outdoor Living MNHere are 5 great ideas to getting the most out of your home and yard during the outdoor season here in Minnesota:

1. Update or Add-on to your Deck
Wooden decks are slated to have a lifespan of about 10-20 years.  Is yours past its prime?  Whether it simply needs a new coat of paint or you’re ready to tear down and start from scratch, now is the time to do it.  Make sure your deck is ready to enjoy when the warm weather comes full force!  Replacing your wooden deck with a composite one is also an option. According to the Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report 2013 adding a composite deck to your home is predicted to provide 63.4% return on investment, plus composite decks will last over 50 years, keeping maintenance low and replacement costs unlikely.

2. Put in a new Patio
Whether you opt for patio pavers or concrete, a patio can give you a durable place to entertain (while minimizing grass to mow!).  Patios require very little maintenance from homeowners, though sealing may be necessary and a good pressure washing once a year goes a long way.  Do make sure that your patio-layer or contractor understands proper placement, ground grading, and drainage issues.  If you opt for a concrete patio, make sure the changing MN weather is well accounted for in regards to stretching and shrinking so that cracks won’t become an issue later on.  Patios offer almost unlimited design options — concrete can be stained with beautiful colors, and patio pavers offer a wide range of design layouts, ensuring a beautiful setting for all that grilling you plan on doing this summer.

3. Create Space for your Pet
If you have a dog in particular, you know that he gets as much use out of the yard (if not more) than you do.  Why not add some special touches to make your dog feel at home and keep control of your yard at the same time?  Whether you fence off and landscape a portion of the yard just for the dog, or add a patio play area, you can create an attractive layout that adds dimension and practicality to your yard.  Check out these innovative ideas for pet space from Houzz.  No dog at your place?  Adding a fountain and small nature pool with outdoor fish can be a beautiful way to bring pet life to your yardscape.

4. Add Touches to Your Garden
Maybe you have beautiful perennials or a well-kept vegetable garden, but they’re more of an eyesore than a visual accent to your yard.  Before the growing season even begins this year, take the time to outline your garden with natural stone edging or charming fencing.  Check out these creative ideas from Better Homes & Gardens for edging your garden.  For added dimension, consider adding raised garden beds outlined by wood or pavers, or even a couple of roomy, elegant pots to balance out your current garden area.  Put in a trellis to break up a long garden and add height.  Add a small fountain and some stepping-stones to break up a larger garden space.

5. Consider a Sunroom
Wish the outdoor season in Minnesota didn’t have to end?  Then maybe adding on a sunroom is right for you.  If you can find the right location and make sure architectural needs are met to seamlessly blend it to your home, a sunroom can be of great usefulness, beauty, and value.  In addition to adding natural light beneficial to your emotional needs, if engineered correctly that light can produce energy savings for your home, making a sunroom an economical addition to your home long term.  Best of all, you’ll be bringing the outdoors inside all year long!


Need assistance with your spring remodeling projects in Saint Paul or throughout the Twin Cities, MN area?  Interior and exterior, we can offer you the design input and contracting experience necessary to make your remodeling or building project a success!  Contact us at Andrus Built today!

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