Common Design Mistakes

Updated Feb 14, 2013

When your clients are planning to fork over big bucks to create an outdoor living space, you can’t afford to make mistakes. The more time you spend on the design by reviewing its nuances, the more familiar you will be when the outcome is realized.

There are five important design mistakes that can break your project. Avoiding them eliminates unpleasant surprises, misunderstandings and general dissatisfaction, not to mention unexpected cost overruns at construction time.

1. Spaces created are too small to use.

Beware of undersized spaces. A patio should be at least 10 feet by 10 feet to accommodate a table and chairs. Functional walkways must be more than 3 feet wide to accommodate a wheelbarrow, lawn mower or garbage can. Consider 4 feet wide a better choice because this dictates the dimensions of the gate so it won’t become a bottleneck. It is wise to know exactly what you want to do with the space in as much detail as you can.

2. Failure to connect the indoors with outdoors.

If the outdoor landscape is a visual extension of adjacent rooms, they must be designed to flow together without abrupt changes. For smaller homes, the patio is vital to harvesting more living space for days of good weather. It also provides a view outdoors that ties in nicely with interior themes. This connection is best achieved with hard materials such as paving that may be laid to match the color and texture of adjacent indoor rooms. The same applies to masonry, fencing or walls and even your choice of outdoor furniture.

Read the full article here.

By Maureen Gilmer Scripps, Howard News Service

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