Business View Civil and Municipal | May 2021

7 CIVIL AND MUNICIPAL MAY 2021 5 TRENDS FOR 2021 OUTDOOR LIVING SEASON N ow, more than ever, outdoor living is in! While homeowners have increasingly invested time and money into their yards in recent years, 2020 saw interest in outdoor living spike to unprecedented levels as homeowners everywhere adjusted to a new normal by reimagining how to use and enjoy their exterior spaces. As a result, the outdoor living design trends for the 2021 outdoor living season have never been more inventive. “Outdoor living spaces offer a chance to decompress, enjoy nature and safely connect with friends and family,” said Chris Cramer from Boise Cascade, a leading U.S. wholesale distributor of building products. Cramer manages the Boise, Idaho branch. “Thanks to the impressive design and quality of today’s outdoor products, these spaces often rival the convenience, comfort and design of the indoors.” Boise Cascade has teamed with Trex Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood- alternative decking and railing and a leader in high-performance, low-maintenance outdoor living products, to identify five trends expected to shape the outdoor living landscape in 2021. 1. Outdoor Offices Among the top trends predicted for the coming year is the emergence of outdoor workspaces. With working from home and remote learning expected to continue, contractors report increased interest in outdoor spaces that can comfortably and functionally accommodate professionals and students. Requests for stylish sheds and backyard cottages are on the rise. Pergolas, too, are in high demand. In fact, leading home design site Houzz is calling 2021 “the year of the pergola” due to their versatility and affordability. A relatively easy addition to any deck or yard, a pergola creates the look and feel of an outdoor room while adding a distinct architectural element. Of course, its main purpose is providing shade – essential for enhancing visibility of laptop screens and devices, as well as offering cool relief on hot days. 2. Expanded Elbow Room During the past year, our homes have become offices, classrooms, fitness facilities and rehearsal spaces. It’s no wonder many homeowners find themselves suffering from cabin fever and desperate for some extra elbow room. One simple solution is to optimize the space beneath an elevated deck, an often overlooked area, by adding an under-deck drainage system. Designed to divert water away from the foundation, systems like Trex® RainEscape® protect a deck’s substructure from moisture and create dry space underneath the deck Outdoor living spaces offer a chance to decompress, enjoy nature and safely connect with friends and family OPENING L INES