Building a Backyard Entertainment Center

Have you been dreaming of an outdoor oasis? Backyard entertainment areas are becoming a popular project for homeowners. Not only are they functional, but they can also add value to your home. No matter the size of the space you have to work with, creating a beautiful outdoor living area makes backyard entertaining fun and enjoyable. If you’re looking to begin your project, here are a few tips to get you started!

Create a Design

To make sure your space is everything you hoped for, do some research and think about what this area will be used for. Are you hoping to host game day parties? Family dinners? Outdoor BBQ’s? Or all the above? Pinterest is a useful platform to get design ideas started. You can even narrow your search down by describing the type of backyard space in the search engine to better find a design that can fit in your space.

Another way to get ideas is speaking to your contractor about what you want and seeing what ideas they have. Your contractor has first-hand experience with different size yards and designs, and will be able to give insight to your functional needs of the project. When planning your design make sure to budget and consider landscaping. Landscaping creates a welcoming curb appeal and will really take your addition to the next level.

Make a Budget

When committing to a big project such as this, it's easy to feel overwhelmed financially. To avoid financial stress, it’s best to make a budget and stick to it. Most home renovation projects can go over the initial quote so it’s best to plan a budget a little higher than what has been estimated. If initial funds are holding you back from making a useful change to your home, a great way to get your backyard project going is to refinance your home.

If you currently have a mortgage and are hoping to have the least impact on your total monthly payments, a cash-out refinance is definitely something to look into. This is a type of mortgage refinance that evaluates the equity you currently have in your home and provides you with a lump sum of cash in exchange for changing the terms of your current mortgage.

Cash-out refinances are popular since they offer some of the lowest interest rates as well as some of the longest repayment schedules, making the monthly payments easier to afford. A cash-out refinance with an FHA loan actually offers some of the best interest rates and repayment options for anyone with a credit score as low as 600.

Find the Right Contractor

It’s far too common to hear the horror stories of renovations gone wrong. Before taking on a backyard project, make sure you find the right contractor for the job. While it’s always a good idea to get recommendations from family and friends, it’s still important to make sure you’re asking questions so you can feel confident when selecting a contractor.

The most important questions to ask are to the contractor's references. Asking their references about the experience is key to finding the right fit for the job. You want to be sure to get more than one reference (a few is good) before committing. Here are a few questions to keep in mind:

  1. What kind of work was done?
  2. Did you receive an estimate and did the project stay on budget? If not, what happened?
  3. Did the project get finished in the time that was estimated?
  4. Would you hire this person/company again?
  5. Was the contractor and crew respectful? Did they keep the job site clean?

Once you find a contractor that you’re confident can bring your idea to life, then the rest should be smooth sailing.

Building a backyard entertainment center might seem like a pretty big task at first glance, but breaking it down into a series of steps, determining the proper budget, and enlisting the help of the right contractor will make the whole experience glide. After all, the whole point of a backyard entertainment center is to create the perfect space to relax and unwind, so don’t fall into the trap of stressing out too much over its construction.

Ready to revamp your home’s outdoor area? Start off on the right foot by using iScape to visualize the finished project. Download the app today!