Summer is almost over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for a beautiful outdoor living space for next summer. There are also plenty of fall outdoor activities you can create the perfect space for.

There are many different aspects to think about when building the perfect outdoor living space for your family, especially when you live in Berks County where the seasons change. If you are thinking about improving your outdoor living space, B&L Ott is here with some tips.

Build a Gathering Place

One of the main reasons why most people want to build an outdoor living space if for entertaining purposes. You might want to have your friends or family over to hear about their latest news and life experiences. 

With this in mind, it is important to have a good gathering place. It could be something simple like a nice patio table or it could be something a bit more unique like a fire pit. If you have kids or are a child at heart, you can also set up some outdoor games for some extra entertainment. Volleyball, badminton, horseshoes, and cornhole are all popular options.

Choose the Right Furniture

It is also important to choose the right furniture. Chairs with thick cushions are very comfortable. However, with Pennsylvania’s unpredictable weather and wildlife, this type of furniture can be tricky to maintain. However, if you do prefer furniture with cushions, you can buy a canopy to provide more protection for your furniture. You can also get chairs with removable cushions so you can take the cushions inside when the weather gets bad.

Set Up a Shaded Area

Summer’s in Berks County can get hot. If you are planning to build an outdoor living area, it is a good idea to put the gathering place in the shade. This way you can stay a bit cooler while still enjoying being outside. You can buy a patio umbrella or an awning. You can also make use of trees for natural shade.

HVAC Tip: It is also a good idea to make sure your outdoor air conditioning unit is in a shaded place. This can help it run more efficiently and make sure this doesn’t overheat.


Lighting can make a big difference in any outdoor space. It adds to the ambiance and makes everything feel a bit cozier. You can string some lights above your gathering place so people can still see when it gets dark or you can tie some around the tree trunks in your yard. Uplighting is a good way to make your yard seem more high-end and classy. Lining your pathways with lights can also add a special touch while making sure people don’t trip and fall once it gets dark.

Add a Grilling Area

If you plan on having guests over, you should make sure they are fed. Having a grilling area outside can help ensure that your guests get fed without sacrificing the company when you have to go inside and cook.

Choose the Right Plants

Plants bring more life into your yard as well as some color. There are plenty of choices out there. You just have to do a little research to make sure they will work in your yard.

When choosing which plants to buy, think about your families wishes and needs. If your family gets sunburnt easily, aloe plants may be helpful. If you want to attract some more wildlife, plant a butterfly bush. You will also want to pay attention to how much sun your backyard gets and which plants thrive in that amount of sunlight.

Keep Plants Away From Outdoor A/C Unit

Once you are finished relaxing in your outdoor living space, you will likely want to return back into your comfortable home. To keep it comfortable, you need to make sure your HVAC system is properly taken care of as well. Be sure to contact B&L Ott in Reading for biannual maintenance.

Other than this, you will also want to pay attention to your outdoor air conditioning unit. Plants can help provide shade to keep your system cool, but falling debris can also cause damage. Be sure to clear the debris from around your unit regularly. It is also a good idea to avoid planting plants that create lots of debris near your outdoor unit.

Keep Yardwork in Mind

Maintaining your outdoor living space will also take some work. In the summer, you have to cut the lawn. In the fall, you will have leaves to rake. In winter, you will have snow to shovel. Keep this in mind when designing your space.

  • Will any of the features make maintenance more difficult?
  • How much maintenance are you willing to do?
  • Do you need to buy a shed for extra storage?

It is a good idea to think about all of these aspects before jumping into your project.

Patio Rooms

If you don’t want a living space that is completely outdoors, you may decide to build a patio room instead. Patio rooms are a great way to get the best of both indoor and outdoor living. However, patio rooms can be a bit tricky to keep comfortable. Call on the professionals at B&L Ott to help you find the best solution for your patio room.