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Comment on : Backyard as Destination Resort

Backyard as Destination Resort


Most of us have fond memories of family barbecues in the back yard or
running through the sprinklers. Only the clairvoyant among us could have
imagined the new 'back yards': the highly appointed outdoor spaces that
are becoming increasingly popular in today's new homes.

Long gone are the days of the patio slab, rectangular swimming pool, and
rolling kettle grill. Current outdoor living features and materials are just as
stylish and creative as the homes they serve, providing multifunctional
destinations for owners and guests.

Professional designs ensure a smooth transition to and from the indoors,
provide artful square footage, and the proper utility connections for all of
the desired features. Careful planning can even accommodate year-
round enjoyment through creative options for shade, sun, and other
weather conditions.

One of the primary requests for outdoor space is a fully functional
kitchen. A built-in, gas-powered barbecue grill, complete with warming
drawers, heating elements and plenty of grilling surface, is essential
equipment for today's outdoor chef.

Because an outdoor kitchen is often designed within a covered patio or
veranda, grills are usually supplemented with a ventilation system to
exhaust smoke and odors. Other conveniences include a sink and faucet,
an under-counter refrigerator/ice maker, and a row of base cabinets
topped by a weather-tough countertop.

An outdoor kitchen logically demands an outdoor eating area. Weather-
resistant furnishings and upholstery are available in an increasingly wide
range of styles to suit any taste and need, from formal dining tables to
casual, plushy seating options. Outdoor rooms might also include a bar
island between the cooking and eating areas. Such islands double as
serving areas for casual meals.

Another popular feature of outdoor rooms is a fireplace-television
combination. Modern gas-powered fireplaces are designed to simulate
authentic wood-burning units, but with better energy use, heat
distribution, and ventilation. Such chimneys can accommodate a niche for
a flat-screen television, easily supplemented by small, outdoor-rated
speakers for surround-sound. What used to be a plain patio has now
become an enviable destination for family and guests.

To make the space accessible to the indoors and to merge indoor and
outdoor entertainment space, many designs feature all-glass folding or
pocket doors that create wide-open passages. When designed with the
home's micro-climhouse with natural  breezes. Ceiling fans keep the air moving through the
e outdoor-rated lights in the ceiling and on the walls
allow its use after dark.

To keep less-desirable weather out of both the house and the covered
outdoor space, motorized roll-down screens -- ideally concealed in the
structure -- keep pests, winds, rain, and other debris out. Such screens
come in a variety of weights and are easily controlled by a remote device
or wall switch.

The living space extends beyond the covered area, of course. Patios can
be equipped with interlocking pavers, flagstones, or stamped or colored
concrete to add dimension and interest. The open-air space might be a
deck, increasingly finished with weather-resistant engineered planks that
require little maintenance, maintain their color and structural integrity, and
are eco-friendly. To complete the look, consider adding comfortable built-
in seating and a freestanding fire pit.

Finally, modern pools and spas, are becoming works of art, incorporating
fountains and waterfalls, rock formations, frameless edges, and other
landscaping features.

Combined, a covered outdoor room, open deck or patio, and pool/spa
feature create a value-added feature for any new home. By extending the
living space with year-round options to enjoy it, the modern back yard
provides years of enjoyment and boosts property value for any

Call us at Dickson Development to discuss how we can help you make
your backyard a destination resort.


Richard Dickson
Dickson Development
666 Plainsboro Road, Suite 1300
Plainsboro, NJ 08536
(609) 799 0220 - phone