Factors to Consider Prior to Outdoor Living Space Construction – Part One

Yes, upgrading the landscaping around your home can cost a significant amount of money.  But keep in mind that it will  raise the value of your property, and your lifestyle can be enhanced by installing an outdoor living space.

Living spaces outdoors boost home appraisal values by giving a living area that is enjoyable and costs less than adding an addition on the interior.

However, there are factors that need considering prior to starting:

  • Budget
  • Materials 
  • Labor



An important step to take is knowing what you intend this project will cost. Be realistic in setting your budget to cover minimum expenses, and determine the maximum you can spend for extra additions. Your budget needs to include costs for material, labor, designs, and extras. Total cost for this project is affected by adding elements such as hot tubs, fire pits, and benches, and others. However, be flexible and do not be scared to tweak the budget. After all, you’re going for a space you want to enjoy, so adjust as needed to include essential items.

Due to living space outdoors losing value over time, quality is key. When choosing items, get ones that slowly depreciate instead of items that lose value quickly.

Your budget amount helps determine how much your outdoor project will increase your home’s value. Knowing your needs ahead of time saves energy, time, and money.


When choosing materials, your lifestyle and space needs are an important part to consider. They need to stand up against the elements and everyday use.

Most often, homeowners choose traditional wood for constructing things for their space outdoors.  This includes decks, pergolas, gazebos, fencing, permanent seating, and outdoor kitchens.  Value return is high with wood. However, maintaining wood decks costs an average of $450–$850 yearly. Wood is susceptible to deterioration, rot, discoloration, and pests. Composite decks have a nice return when reselling, also. With composite decks upkeep is less, with lifetime maintenance cost of $5-$15.

Other materials to consider are stone, PVC, and aluminum, if you are not happy with composite lumber or wood. Think of what fits your lifestyle and budget.

Watch for Part Two of our series to learn even more about making your outdoor living space dream a reality.

Architectural Landscape Design offers landscaping services for homes and businesses in the Minneapolis area.  We can start with your vision for an outdoor room, plan a design that will reflect your ideas, and then provide landscaping installation that will bring that outdoor room dream to life.  We offer free in-home initial design consultations.