• Retrofit Luxury Design to Existing Outdoor Space

  • How do you enhance your livability quotient? Think “retrofit.”

    As a general rule, whenever deck or porch spindles and rail systems can be eliminated and/ or replaced with welcoming steps and usable benches, pull a Nike and Just Do It! These small changes create an enticing element in your landscaping.

    That is the secret to a great retrofit. Generous steps that wrap around several portions of an existing deck make it very accessible; it marries two outdoor living spaces together, versus restricting them with a rail. One important thing to remember is that the steps are three deck boards deep instead of the customary 2. This helps develop a sense of place (that’s what the books say anyway) and tends to be where impromptu gatherings occur. Kids naturally hang out on these decks and patios, and it’s a great space for colorful pots of annuals, too.

    Another way to enhance the livability quotient? Add a ├Črockin├« natural boulder fire pit. Huge slabs of pre-historic looking stones serve as transition from the synthetic Azek deck through the green lush lawn where future bonfires will likely attract neighborhood kids, friends and family.

    The return on investment is high on projects in which we employ the sub-structure of the previous deck, tweak the patio, transplant out-of-place ornamental grasses and shrubs that beg to be redeployed and add a few elements for fun. But my favorite retrofit ROI has nothing to do with finances and everything to do with fun, memories and family!

    Do you have a deck or patio that is begging for a retrofit? Send me a photo at randy@choosesurroundings.com