Make Summer Entertaining a Pleasure [Text]
Visiting grandkids, neighborhood get-togethers and family reunions have a way of making the summer fly by. They also have a way of pointing out what kind of work your home needs before it’s up to the task of becoming the “magnet” you want it to be for family and friends.
Here are popular remodeling projects that can make summertime at your house a bit more comfortable—for you and for your guests:
- Pool your resources. Kids love to splash around in the pool during the summer, and you’d love to sit outdoors all day and watch them play. But the sun may be too hot for that.
Solution: Enlarge the pool deck and build a roof over part of it. Shading the deck with a cover will lower the temperature of the deck floor, block harmful sunrays from burning your skin and make anyone sitting under it feel cooler.
Bonus: Not only will you be able to enjoy more time outdoors with the children, they will have a shady place for a break from playing under the hot sun.
- Stay downstairs. If older relatives are frequent visitors to your home during the summer, the most hospitable thing you can do for them is to offer them a bedroom and bathroom on the home’s main level so they don’t have to climb the stairs to get to their quarters.
Solution: Convert a little-used formal dining room into a second master bedroom, and add or expand the first-floor powder room into a full bath.
Bonus: The convenience you’re offering your older houseguests will allow you to stay in your home as you age, as you can take over the new guest suite as your own master bedroom and bathroom if a time comes when steps become a challenge for you, too.
- Embrace the view. Owners of homes with a view of a lake or another natural beauty invariably enjoy the scenery from a patio or deck. When it’s too hot or too cold to sit outdoors, though, that outdoor space sits empty.
Solution: Enclose it. Turn part of your deck into a window-encased sunroom or breakfast room, where you can enjoy the view all year round. Keep part of your patio outdoors—or enlarge it so both your patio and new enclosed sunroom are spacious enough to allow you to share the view with family and friends.
Bonus: One couple I know opted to use their sunny new room with a view as an office with two desks—one for him and one for her. They wanted the place where they spent so much of their time working, reading and surfing the Internet to be their favorite room in the home.
- Think outside of your four walls. It’s becoming routine for homeowners to convert their ordinary patios into outdoor kitchens and dining rooms.
Solution: Incorporate a built-in grill, a small sink, a mini-fridge, a gas cooker, and some cabinets and counter space into a corner of your patio, close enough to talk to guests who are seated on a comfy wicker sofa and or around a big dining table—but far enough away that you have room to prepare the meal. Include a fireplace or other heat source so you can continue to use your new outdoor room when the weather cools off.
Bonus: Turning a patio into an extra room that’s comfortable enough to use both day and evening gives you and your summer houseguests another option for refuge when one or the other needs privacy. It also spreads out the party—which invariably congregates in the indoor kitchen—so the cook doesn’t feel cramped and the company doesn’t feel “in the way.”
Do you have questions about how to remodel a room or add onto your home? Snap a photo of your home’s trouble spot and e-mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll get an answer that will help.
Jeb Breithaupt, B. Arch., MBA, has been president of JEB Design/Build in Shreveport since 1983. You can contact him at 318-865-4914.