Outdoor living spaces can be useful and functional, and there are a number of renovation projects that can be fully planned and executed during winter.

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People are always looking for opportunities to enhance their homes, and many are investing just as much on their exterior space as they are on their interiors.

Outdoor environments can be useful and functional, not only during the summer but in colder months as well. There are a number of outdoor renovation projects that can be fully planned and executed during winter.

When looking for ideas and inspiration, first decide how you wish to use your outdoor space in colder months. Some ideas that come to mind include outdoor saunas and spas, as well as firepits and fireplaces.

The first steps should include determining the type of project you wish to take on, and the ideal outdoor location. Next, try gathering inspiration images to narrow down the creative and aesthetic aspects relating to your project. There are numerous websites that will have galleries and after photos of actual projects submitted by homeowners.

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The selection of a contractor and landscaper can be integral to the success of your project. Landscaping can help your winter renovation project come to life, and many homeowners will attest that it’s money well spent.

You will likely need to hire a contractor to do any prep or construction work, while employing a landscaper to design and plan your landscape. In some instances, depending on your outdoor project, an electrician or plumber may also have to be employed as well.

Although numerous renovation projects are ideal for winter, with some projects the weather will need to be taken into consideration. Projects that require digging, excavating or pouring of a foundation will need to be done prior to the ground freezing. However, once the foundation is in place, the installation of your project can happen even in snow. For example, if you are looking to install an outdoor spa, you are going to want to have your foundation in place prior to the ground freezing. After the foundation is in place, the actual outdoor spa can be installed all winter long.

When it comes to design preparation, planning and plotting out your project on paper can be a time- and money-saver, while not planning and making changes mid-renovation can cause unnecessary cost overruns.

Be sure to determine the measurements associated with your project. Include additional space for plantings and landscape.