Neal's Home Remodeling and Design Blog

Creating an Outdoor Living Space for Year-Round Use

Posted by Neal R. Hendy on Tue, Aug 22, 2017

When you invest in an outdoor living space, one large consideration is the bang you'll get for your buck throughout the year and the changing weather. Southwestern Ohio and the surrounding areas experience a wide range of seasonal weather patterns, and the thought of putting your budget into something you'll only get to use 4 months out the year can turn many homeowners off. The good news is that there are ways around that with some clever designs and helpful products.

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Topics: Outdoor Living

4 Awesome Outdoor Kitchen Design Ideas

Posted by Steve Hendy on Tue, Jun 20, 2017

Updated 6/20/17 | Originally published 6/27/14

Summer is upon us. It’s time to shake off “cabin fever” and enjoy spending time outside in the warmer temperatures and sun. Of course, during the summer months, our idea of a great meal is one that we cook outdoors. New appliances and concepts for outdoor kitchens are changing the way we cook in our backyards. The standard grill for hotdogs and burgers is now morphing into a the ultimate outdoor gourmet experience. If you’ve thought about spending more time grilling and dining “alfresco,” we have four design ideas for creating an awesome outdoor kitchen.

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Topics: Outdoor Living, Kitchens

Project Spotlight: Outdoor Living Room Addition

Posted by Mike Hendy on Tue, Jun 6, 2017

With an open and spacious back yard, the original outdoor space behind this White Oak home seemed disproportionately small and close to the home. With no real room to do much more than grill out, the homeowners wanted to take advantage of their space by creating a sheltered area that would work for a variety of outdoor activities, and expand the landscaping outward to ensure that their outdoor entertaining didn't feel stuck to the side of the house. The new outdoor living room and patio combination is a spacious addition that's ready for anything.

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Topics: Outdoor Living, Design Trends and Ideas

8 Great Design Ideas for Outdoor Living Spaces

Posted by Alan Hendy on Tue, May 16, 2017

Original post 5/7/2013 | Updated 05/16/2017

In our climate, summers are great! If you want to take full advantage of warm days, why not vacation at home by creating an outdoor living space for all the activities you enjoy? Add a patio for relaxing, a pool to cool down on a hot day or an outdoor kitchen for entertaining. An outdoor fireplace and hot tub can be a perfect setting for a romantic evening or a place where the family can roast marshmallows and warm up the kids after a swim. A screened porch is an ideal spot to read a book or enjoy a summer’s eve with family and friends.

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Topics: Outdoor Living, Fireplaces

5 Ideas for Improving Your Home's Curb Appeal

Posted by Frank Kuhlmeier on Tue, Apr 25, 2017

Original Post 8/18/2015 Updated 4/25/2017

There are hundreds of factors that go into the curb appeal of any given home. Style of the neighborhood, look of the home, taste of the homeowner, size of the yard or home, color, budget, climate... the list goes on. While there's no easy "curb appeal formula" that can be applied across the board, there are some standard things that factor into curb appeal for any home.

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Topics: Outdoor Living, Design Trends and Ideas, Home Remodeling

5 Outdoor Living Ideas used in West Chester Back Yard

Posted by Neal R. Hendy on Tue, Apr 4, 2017

When the owners of this West Chester home made the decision to stay put for the long-haul, they knew that would mean updates to nearly their entire home, including the outside. As a couple that loves to entertain throughout the year, many of the projects have focused on changing their home to accommodate various types of hosting arrangements. In the back yard, that meant seeking solutions to expand the usable space, while balancing how those spaces will be used when it's just them. The result is an outdoor living project with a bit of everything.

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Topics: Outdoor Living, Design Trends and Ideas

Our Most Popular Kitchen, Bath and Outdoor Living Design Blog Posts in 2016

Posted by Neal R. Hendy on Tue, Dec 27, 2016

"Best of" lists are an end-of-year tradition. We look back at the year that has been to help us see a possible direction for the year yet to be. For our part in this New Year's tradition, we'd like to take a moment to look at the 5 blog posts we've shared here that you found the most helpful or relevant in your journeys to remodel your homes.

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Topics: Outdoor Living, Bathrooms, Walk-In Showers, Kitchens

Outdoor Living Ideas for Sloped or Challenging Yards

Posted by Frank Kuhlmeier on Tue, Aug 16, 2016

Depending on the local landscape of your neighborhood, you may have plenty of flat space to work with, or as in the case of the projects below, the space available to improve your yard poses some type of challenge. Whether you have a hill right off the back door or need to work inside an established footprint, there's a solution to any challenge.

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Topics: Outdoor Living, Design Trends and Ideas

6 Before & After Outdoor Living Projects

Posted by Neal R. Hendy on Tue, Jul 26, 2016

Outdoor living extends the function of our home's property by providing useful areas to hang out, grill out, and chill out, outside of the house. While some homes come with great outdoor areas already in place when you move in, often time these lawns, porches and patios don't account for the specific ways you and your family want to interact with the outside. In the six examples below, we've highlighted before and afters that show what a bit of personalization can do to improve the usefulness and quality of your home's outdoor living areas.

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Topics: Outdoor Living, Design Trends and Ideas

5 Outdoor Fireplace and Firepit Design Ideas

Posted by Mike Hendy on Tue, Jul 12, 2016

In a previous fireplace design blog post, we reported that outdoor fireplaces and firepits were in hot demand in Greater Cincinnati, and we can state now that this shows no signs of stopping. Having a fire element in your home's outdoor spaces allows you to extend to their use earlier in the spring and further into the summer (and depending on the type of winter we're having, even during the holidays).  Whether you opt for a wood-burning or natural gas option will largely depend on how you wish to use it (and whether obtaining and storing wood is a possibility for you), but either of these choices can be designed in such a way to fit the character of your landscape and the needs surrounding it.

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Topics: Outdoor Living, Design Trends and Ideas, Fireplaces


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