420287_257601444324561_60005872_nArizona residents can enjoy the outdoors most of the year. It makes sense to take advantage of outdoor spaces and create a lifestyle that will enhance your quality of life.

Outdoor spaces can include everything from ramadas, barbecues, living room furniture made for the outdoors, shade sails, decorative lighting, kitchenettes, built-in stereos and televisions.

Creating wonderful spaces to enjoy and entertain is something Rod Pappas, owner of Xeriscapes Unlimited, has a lot of experience with. He typically spends 80% of the year cooking outdoors and made a mini-oasis for his family and friends. Since he knows firsthand the enjoyment outdoor spaces can bring, he takes pleasure in helping others create their own sanctuary!

Before creating an outdoor space, we have a few tips to help make the process easier and provide greater success.

Before we get to the fun “b’s” like “beautiful, barbecues, backyards and bars,” let’s start with the not-so-fun “b” word – budget.  Some may see a budget as limiting while others use it as a guideline for all that can be done. Having an idea of where you are with respect to your dollars and just how far you will go is the first place to start. With that out of the way, the fun can begin!

Let’s start with your wish list; let your creativity fly and don’t hold back! Do you want an outdoor kitchen, custom patio, ramada or dining area? Will there be a fire pit? Do you want a water feature or waterfall? Will you have a grill, a smoker, a pizza oven or all of the above? Does your existing landscape work or are changes needed? How does your vision of what you want relate to what you have?

If you are unsure of what you can do, research different styles. With the use of the Internet and social sites like Pinterest, you can get many ideas of what can be done and begin a wish list. There are also many brick and mortar locations that allow you to see the many possibilities. Some even have events that allow you to try their own recipes. Let your creative side unleash! Look at all of the possibilities and functions, and then take into account who you are and how your family will use the space.

Will the space be used all year or just in certain seasons? Making the space more comfortable in the summer or winter can be done with a few additions. For example, adding a misting system in the summer can considerably reduce the outside temperature. Conversely, adding a fire pit can really heat things up in the winter!

If you plan on having an outdoor bar and kitchen, you may want to consider how that orients with your indoor kitchen. Is it helpful to add a pass-through from the outside to your indoor kitchen? Do you plan on having a refrigerator outside?

You likely would not forget about lighting inside, so let’s not forget the lighting outside. Lighting can create warm and cozy spaces as well as provide a lot of functionality.

Once you have identified the type of space you wish to create, you have many choices with respect to execution. Depending on the scale of the project, it may be a do-it-yourself project or it might be one where a professional is required.  While you might have many choices when hiring, we would like to share a word of caution.

Hiring a licensed contractor offers many additional benefits and protections to the property owner. Licensed contractors must be in business for a specified amount of time before they can obtain a license. They also must pass a business management test. Applicants are subjected to a criminal history background check and must not have any unresolved contracting complaints. If problems arise, the property owner has recourses available to them through the Registrar of Contractors that they would not have with an unlicensed contractor.

At Xeriscapes Unlimited, we are licensed and have been in business for nearly 30 years. Our company has a landscape maintenance division, an irrigation division and a full construction division. We have the talent, creativity and expertise to assist our clients in making their wishes become reality!

The possibilities are truly UNLIMITED! To schedule a meeting, give us a call at 602-252-6434 or email us at info@xeriscapes.com