Outdoor living spaces the hottest trend in home renovations

People walk into the Ridge Meadows Home Show thinking about DIY projects, new products, and renovations that will make their place more livable and lovely.

Well, they are sure to get lots of great ideas at the show.

One of the current trends, according to local experts, is creating more living spaces outdoors.

It started with the COVID-19 pandemic, the shutdown of businesses, and people being forced to spend more time at home, said Alex Yakovyshenko, general manager of Haney Builders’ Supplies. That business sponsors the Family Festival at the home show, and they are in the thick of the show with a booth in the arena.

Yakovyshenko said during that pandemic, he saw a lot of seniors come into the business with projects like gardens, decking, fences, landscaping, paving stones, and other outdoor improvements.

“They got substantially amplified through COVID,” he said.

He hopes that will take off again this year, once a stretch of good, spring weather arrives.

Kathy Newman has worked at the business for decades, and added they are seeing a hot trend toward outdoor kitchens.

“That’s the big thing now – outdoor living spaces,” she said.

There is a huge variety, depending on the amount of space and the budget. Most are covered and include a barbecue, and then other features may be small refrigerators, cabinets and food prep spaces, outdoor fireplaces, and even bringing televisions outside.

Small-space gardens are also popular, where people can grow their own produce, added Newman.

They also discussed how people are trending toward low-maintenance outdoor products, such as artificial turf, and decks built with composite wood products that can be pressure washed instead of painted or treated.

“People are working long hours, they’ve got to commute, and they want to cut down maintenance and increase their quality of life,” said Newman.

Yakovyshenko said people can get a lot of good ideas at home shows.

“I love to walk through the show, and see what people have brought,” he added.

Travis Franklin works as a realtor, and advises sellers on how to get their homes looking their best. He is very involved in the show, both working as a director, and as Macdonald Realty driver shuttling show visitors around the grounds.

“We’re there to provide a community service, and it’s a lot of fun,” he said.

When people are looking to improve the appearance of their home, he always tells them to start with flooring, paint, and trim.

“That stuff is relatively cheap, and makes a huge difference,” he said.

He said people should shop around, to look at the latest flooring styles and preferred colors, to bring their homes up to date.

“Things are changing all the time.”

The home show has a lot of items that can improve the appearance of a property.

“There’s a lot of good stuff, that won’t break the bank.”

People who need to update their kitchens will be ready to spend a little more, but he said the new countertops and backsplashes are an eye-catching improvement that “will make a huge difference.”

He said a visit to the home show, and talking to some of the exhibitors, is a great place to start the renovation process.

“You’ll get lots of ideas,” assured Franklin. “The organizers do a great job of setting it up, and ensuring there’s a good mix.”

The Ridge Meadows Home Show will be taking place: 4 to 9 pm Friday, May 5; 10 am to 8 pm on Saturday, May 6; and 10 am to 4 pm Sunday, May 7 at Planet Ice and the Albion Fairgrounds, at 23588 Jim Robson Way, in Maple Ridge.

Tickets are $5 per person or $8 for a family. The Family Fest is free.

For more information go to ridgemeadowshomeshow.com.

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