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What's Up Magazine

Outside In

Apr 24, 2014 11:22AM ● By Cate Reynolds
The saying goes, “you only get one chance to make a first impression,” but with home-related renovations, installations, and improvements, you can impress neighbors and guests all over again. Never more so than right now, with exterior trends that blend wow-factor function with aesthetic beauty. Design, product, and engineering innovation give homeowners the opportunity to rethink curb appeal time and again. We present several exterior trends that caught our eyes.

Trend: Vanishing Pool EdgeImage title

Cost: Adds about $15–50K to overall project

Pools with great views are nothing new to waterfront homeowners, but taking advantage of that view with the installation of a custom vanishing edge swimming pool is—a negative edge that frames a property’s stunning. Adding a vanishing edge typically means building a catch pool below the main pool as well as constructing the vanishing edge wall which is typically finished in tile or stone. Alternatively, a catch pool could be replaced by a grated collection area connected to a buried surge tank. This is typical where space is a premium—and the grate could be covered by river rocks at the base of the wall.

Trend: Composite Decking Colors and Finishes

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Cost: About $7-10 per square foot

Composite decking appeal is trending up more than ever. High-performance, low maintenance, and great looks continue to be the focus of major manufacturers and the combination with stainless steel cable creates a unique, custom look without compromising surrounding views. Additional options such as glass or aluminum pickets and low voltage lighting invoke breathtaking combinations to suit any desire.

Trend: Asphalt Stamping for Driveways

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Cost: About $3–10 per square foot

For the ultimate in durable driveways with amazing aesthetics, consider giving yours a facelift by means of asphalt stamping. Structured asphalt technology enables you to enjoy the effect of real stone or brick driveway designs, but with many additional advantages such as: continuous, flexible pavement surface resistant to cracking and lifting; elimination of plant growth or insect activity; broad range of patterns, colors, and custom configurations; no raised, displaced, or broken pieces; and long term beauty with minimal maintenance.

Trend: Updated Screened Porch

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Cost: Starting at $20K

This isn’t mama and papa’s screened porch. Enhancing your typical screen porch by giving it an update with materials that are low maintenance and beautiful has seen an uptick among local builders. Standout features have included: an exotic hardwood tongue and groove Ipe floor; enhancing the presence of the structure with larger columns; adding stainless steel cable railings instead of a typical porch railing; the option to be enclosed with windows in the winter; and even the addition of an outdoor fireplace. With the new linear gas fireplaces on the market, you can enjoy a fire instantly with a push of a button and the sleek look of the linear flame gives a more modern edge to room and is easier to vent. The trend of not just entertaining outside, but living outside continues to be a huge push.