Great indoor/outdoor flow is high on the must have list for many homeowners. But achieving this this can be a challenge in older homes…
Summer weather just makes us want to head outdoors. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done for many homeowners with older homes. Older properties were built in a time when indoor outdoor flow was not considered and the two areas were not supposed to mix. This causes plenty of problems today when:
- great indoor outdoor flow is highly prized
- older homes are more likely to have small windows
- older properties have limited decking areas and small entry doors
However, there are some easy ways in which owners of older houses can improve their indoor-outdoor flow.
Solutions on indoor outdoor flow in older homes
Far from being simply entry and exit points, the indoor outdoor flow in older homes also includes the visual flow. That’s where window size and position come into play. You want your home to be a part of it’s surroundings, not just a box found in a garden. You can install larger windows to allow more of a view to the outdoors. Maybe replace heavy drapes which block windows with blinds or curtains which draw away from the window. You could even swap solid wooden exterior doors with glass versions.
Interior and exterior decorating is another way to improve indoor outdoor flow in older homes. Bring shades of the outdoors inside by painting walls pale green or in neutral shades. Use similar flooring and furniture in both areas. You might even install similar looking lighting in both areas, as well as having a well-lit outdoor area to enjoy during the evening.
Of course, there is also the popular option of removing your back wall and installing bi-fold doors which open onto a deck or patio. This option requires more renovation work and possible building consent if the door opens or the deck is built one metre or above off the ground. However, it does provide the much-loved indoor outdoor flow we as New Zealanders want in our homes.
Improving an older home’s indoor outdoor flow
Older homes rarely had an outdoor entertaining area. Decking was rare, unless it was part of a covered veranda. Concrete porches were quite often the only outdoor eating area. So, when it comes to improving the indoor outdoor flow, an outdoor entertainment area is often a top priority.
The best solution would be to have a deck built leading off your dining, lounge or kitchen areas. To do this, a bi-fold door would need to be installed and then the decking should be at the same height as the internal floor. If space, budget or design won’t allow, then replacing smaller windows for larger versions or installing more windows may be a better option.
To find out an estimated cost of installing a new deck or having a larger window installed, check out our job estimates page. We’ve put together a handy tool which gives you an estimated price range of a wide range of common renovation jobs around the home. This makes preparing your budget and deciding which renovations to do much easier.
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