Stylish outdoor spaces have become popular among homeowners wanting to spruce up their environment and add value to their homes. According to a 2017 Harris Poll, outdoor living remodels were the highest ranked home improvement project, with 41% of homeowners planning to invest in projects involving decks, patios, or landscape renovations. It’s easy to see why. Developing a comfortable and stylish outdoor space adds value to your home, and your quality of life, since they encourage gatherings and time spent with friends and family. Fortunately, Arizona’s climate is perfectly suited for creating an outdoor space that gets lots of use throughout the year, whether it’s for grilling, hosting parties, or simply hanging out on the porch.

The rise of outdoor kitchens

Standalone grills are so last decade. Homeowners now modify their outdoor areas to feature the same comforts found in modern kitchens and living rooms. This could include built-in grills, gas cooktops, islands, bars, pizza ovens, and even kitchen sinks.

Splurging on a full outdoor kitchen can get expensive, so you’ll want to figure out the best setup for your lifestyle and your wallet. Companies such as Weber, Bull, and Lynx offer prefabricated outdoor kitchen kits that either arrive completed or with easy-to-assemble components. These kits can save you the cost of having to hire a contractor—and save you the trouble of having to delve into a complicated DIY project.

However, it’s best to consult a contractor for matters of plumbing, electricity, and gas lines. While “doing it yourself” might sound more exciting, one mistake can cost you. A contractor ensures that your utilities will be best positioned to accommodate your outdoor kitchen.

Styling up your outdoor kitchen

Cooking is one thing, having a place for guests to eat is another. In recent years, Americans have embraced hygge, or the Danish concept of comfort or coziness, in their outdoor home environments.

The hygge style typically involves an adjacent set of small couches surrounding an outdoor fireplace. This gives visitors a comfy place to enjoy their meal and spend hours chatting by the fire. To make the environment even more comfortable, you can cover the couches in throw pillows, or even set down a weather-resistant rug to truly make the area a living space.

Getting high tech with your outdoor space

Recent years have seen an influx of technology designed to make your backyard more of a meeting area. Consumers can purchase a bluetooth-enabled speaker system that will keep company entertained and the party going through the night. Many of these systems are relatively inexpensive and quite easy to install. The audio company Klipsch even offers a set of speakers that look like two large rocks to blend in with the surroundings.

Dimmable LED lights can also add the right level of ambiance to your outdoor space and can be draped over the kitchen area to enable some late-night grilling. LED lights are environmentally friendly too, with the average LED bulb lasting up to an average of 20 years.

Whether you’re in the market for a new home with an outdoor living space or looking to update your current space, Vantage West has you covered.

Build or purchase your dream outdoor space with a HELOC or mortgage

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) enables you to leverage the equity in your home and to make home improvements to your outdoor areas. With low rates, you can make that dream outdoor kitchen a reality and even potentially increase the value of your home. Vantage West Credit Union offers HELOCs starting at $10,000 for qualified Arizona homeowners.

If you prefer to step into a move-in ready entertainment space, it is a good idea to get pre-approved, so when you find your new “entertainment home,” you can confidently make an offer.

Vantage West offers Conventional, FHA, and VA mortgages, as well as Home Equity loans to suit a variety of needs. For more information or to schedule a consultation, visit or call (800) 888-7882.

Loans subject to approval. Mortgage options subject to change without notice. Certain restrictions may apply. NMLS #485751

About Vantage West

At Vantage West, we believe that when our members and communities thrive, we thrive with them. In the spirit of collaboration, we constantly strive to create value to earn and reward member loyalty. This is important because the more engaged our members are, the more it benefits the credit union and our overall value proposition to the membership and to the communities we serve.

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