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Many homeowners these days are extending the value and utility of their homes by adding outdoor living space, and using it to relax and enjoy the freshness of outdoor weather, as well as to entertain friends and guests. With a little preparation and planning, it can be reasonably easy to create an ideal living space outside which you will be tremendously proud of, and which you will derive years of enjoyment from. Here are some of the factors you should consider when setting up your dream outdoor living space.

Managing sunlight

If you don’t want your outdoor living space exposed to the harsh rays of the sun at all times, there are some steps you can take to provide some protection and some shade while you’re making use of the area. First of all, you can plant some shrubs such as arborvitae to provide shade for the area, and when those shrubs are more mature, you even have some privacy if you desire. You can also add a screen onto your current porch, and if necessary, you can build the porch and then construct the screen around it. A screened-in porch can be very useful in terms of providing privacy and protection from the sun, especially if your outdoor living space has direct exposure to sunlight at certain times of the day.

Accounting for the weather

While winters on the Delmarva peninsula can be bitterly cold and rainy, your outdoor living space can be a great spot to spend time in the spring, summer, and fall. If you were to plant deciduous trees around your living space, you could enjoy shade during the warm season, and when it got colder outside, you would have the warmth of the sun filtering through the leafless branches of your trees. You can bring in even more heat during the chilly season by adding a dark roof or ceiling over your outdoor living space. 

Don’t overlook safety

There are several terrific features that you can include in your outdoor living space, for instance, custom screening, elaborate seating, and possibly even a custom deck. However, one of the most important features you can add to your area would be some safety railings, which can help protect your family and guests against the possibility of falls and other accidents. This is especially important if your outdoor living space is elevated above the surroundings, creating a dropoff at the perimeter of the living space. The great thing about this is that you won’t even have to sacrifice style or aesthetics when installing railings, because there are endless types of beautiful and functional options available.

Allowing for wind

Since winds on Delmarva tend to be prevalent and strong, it will call for a little extra planning on your part when you’re setting up your outdoor living space. If you don’t allow for the possibility of strong breezes, you might find that you and your guests are frequently chasing after lightweight materials that are blown off the table. One good solution for this is to install a windbreak with sliding panels or shutters, which can be utilized on those days where the wind is strong enough to be a nuisance.

What to do about pests

If you have established a screened-in porch, you won’t have to worry about annoying insects that might bother you at certain times of the year. In fact, a screened-in porch may provide you the very best protection against all kinds of wildlife which might otherwise become a bother. Birds might find your outdoor living space appealing, especially when there’s food on your tables, while bats and bugs might also be attracted to your outdoor area for that same reason. You’ll also be able to screen out ants, flies, and mosquitoes which can become enough of a pest to really irritate your family members and visitors. Having a screened-in porch is even more critical during our hot and humid summers when the insects are out in full force.


Having an outdoor living space can be a beautiful extension of your home, and can provide you with a convenient way of enjoying the terrific outdoor weather. With some planning and awareness, you can set up your living space to be extremely functional, while also avoiding the less pleasant aspects of being outdoors. Keep some of the above tips in mind when setting up your outdoor living space, and you will have a very useful area for years to come.

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