The rest of the country maintains a common myth about the Pacific Northwest – that it’s basically impossible to enjoy the great outdoors during the rainy season. Well, we’re here to dispel the idea that year-round outdoor living is only possible in places like Southern California. With a little forethought and the following design features, you can create an outdoor area that’s enjoyable year-round.
1. Install waterproof decking. Waterproof decking is the best choice for your year-round outdoor living area because it won’t discolor, swell, check or splinter during the rainy season. And you won’t have to worry about breaking your back to refinish it every year or so – waterproof decking is virtually maintenance free.
2. Install a solid patio cover. Vancouver and Portland residents are discovering that a solid patio cover is the way to go for year-round living. To help you imagine what a solid-roof patio cover looks like, imagine extending your current roof to cover your outdoor living area. Just like a regular roof, a solid patio cover is strong enough to provide protection even during the dreariest months. To avoid turning the area underneath your patio cover into a cave, consider adding skylights.
3. Slope patio cover away from home. From Veneta to Vancouver, patio covers that slope away from the outdoor living area will stand up best to the elements. Driving around the Pacific Northwest, you’ve probably seen plenty of patio cover eyesores that are so bogged down with rain and debris that they look about ready to collapse. A properly sloped patio cover prevents this problem by directing water away from the home so rain naturally drops down away from the living area.
4. Create a warm microclimate with fireplaces, trellises and plants. The Pacific Northwest is temperate year-round – roses thrive here, for instance, specifically because our temperatures never hit the below-zero temperatures of the Midwest. Still, no one wants to lounge in a chilly outdoor space. To create a warmer pocket of air around your patio cover, add trellises with year-round climbing plants, which naturally create a warmer area. Think about where you can strategically place plants to block the wind. Finally, add a fireplace or heat lamp if your outdoor area is still too chilly.
In Pacific Northwest cities like Vancouver patio covers can create outdoor living areas that are usable year-round. To make your outdoor living area more functional, we suggest adding waterproof decking, a solid patio cover with skylights and plenty of visually delightful, protective flora.