freshly landscaped backyard with pool

Top outdoor living addition trends in Charlotte for Summer

Outdoor living additions offer a refuge from the indoors, a place to relax, entertain, and connect with nature. As we look to the summer of 2024, several Charlotte outdoor living addition trends are set to take center stage, transforming backyards, patios, and gardens into stunning and functional extensions of the home. Here’s a look at some of the trends and what we want our clients to be aware of when planning these projects.

Outdoor Kitchens and Dining Areas

Trend Overview: Charlotte outdoor kitchens long ago evolved beyond the basic barbecue grill. Today, homeowners are investing in fully equipped outdoor kitchens with built-in grills, refrigerators, sinks, and pizza ovens. Paired with stylish and comfortable dining areas, these spaces are perfect for entertaining family and friends.

Planning Tips:

  • Design for Functionality: Ensure your outdoor kitchen is designed for ease of use, with ample counter space, storage, and a layout that promotes efficient movement.
  • Material Selection: Use weather-resistant materials such as stainless steel, granite, and treated wood to withstand the elements.
  • Utilities: Plan for necessary utilities like gas, water, and electricity. Working with a professional remodeler like Palmer Custom Builders ensures that they are working with skilled, licensed, and insured tradespeople who prioritize safety and compliance with local codes.

oversized porch swing in screened-in porch in front of flat screen tv

Cozy Outdoor Living Rooms

Trend Overview: Creating cozy, inviting outdoor living rooms is becoming increasingly popular. These spaces often feature comfortable seating, outdoor rugs, coffee tables, and outdoor fireplaces or fire pits.

Planning Tips:

  • Furniture: Invest in high-quality, weather-resistant furniture that can withstand sun, rain, and wind. Look for pieces with removable and washable cushions.
  • Heating Elements: Consider adding a fire pit, outdoor fireplace, or patio heater to extend the usability of the space into cooler months.
  • Lighting: Incorporate a mix of lighting options, such as ceiling fans with light kits in pergolas, lanterns, and built-in LED lights, to create a warm and welcoming ambiance.

Multi-Functional Decks and Patios

Trend Overview: Decks and patios are being designed to serve multiple functions, from lounging and dining to gardening and entertaining. These versatile spaces often feature different zones to accommodate various activities.

Planning Tips:

  • Zoning: Plan your deck or patio layout to include distinct zones for different activities. Use outdoor rugs, planters, or furniture arrangements to define each area.
  • Durable Materials: Choose materials that can handle heavy foot traffic and outdoor conditions. Composite decking, stone, and concrete are popular choices.
  • Shade Solutions: Incorporate pergolas, awnings, or umbrellas to provide shade and make the space more comfortable during hot weather. Ceiling fans add much-needed circulation while lights allow use into the evening hours.

exterior view of screened in porch addition and side deck

Screened Porch and Sunroom Additions

Trend Overview:

Screened porches and sunrooms are increasingly popular for enhancing indoor-outdoor living experiences year-round. Whether it’s a cozy, enclosed porch or a bright, sun-filled room, these additions bring comfort and value to any home.

Planning Tips:

  • Design Harmony: Ensure your screened porch or sunroom design complements the overall aesthetic of your home and garden. Use materials and colors that blend seamlessly with existing structures.
  • Climate Control: Consider how you will regulate the temperature in your screened porch. Options like ceiling fans, heaters, and insulated windows can help maintain comfort year-round. (With Sunroom additions, you may be able to tap into your home’s HVAC system, but in some cases, we’ll need to install a separate ductless system to be code compliant.)
  • Functionality: Think about how you will use the space. Furnishings, lighting, and electrical outlets should be planned to support your intended activities, whether it’s relaxing, entertaining, or working from home.

Sustainable Landscaping

Trend Overview: Sustainable landscaping is becoming a necessity. Homeowners are opting for eco-friendly practices, such as native planting, xeriscaping, and using recycled materials.

Planning Tips:

  • Native Plants: Choose plants that are native to our region, as they require less water and maintenance.
  • Water Management: Implement rainwater harvesting systems, drip irrigation, and permeable paving to manage water efficiently.
  • Eco-Friendly Materials: Use recycled or sustainably sourced materials for hardscaping elements like walkways, patios, and garden beds.

inside of screened-in porch with large patio rug and outdoor seats and couch

Outdoor Workspaces

Trend Overview: With the rise of remote work, outdoor workspaces are becoming a sought-after feature this summer. These areas provide a peaceful environment for work while enjoying the fresh air.

Planning Tips:

  • Comfort: Ensure your outdoor workspace is comfortable with ergonomic seating and a sturdy, weather-resistant desk or table.
  • Connectivity: Plan for reliable Wi-Fi access and adequate power outlets to keep your devices charged and connected.
  • Shelter: Incorporate a pergola, canopy, or umbrella to provide shade and protect against the elements.

Smart Outdoor Technology

Trend Overview: Smart technology is making its way into outdoor living spaces, offering convenience and enhanced functionality. From automated lighting and irrigation systems to outdoor speakers and security cameras, the options are expanding.

Planning Tips:

  • Integration: Choose smart devices that can be easily integrated into your existing smart home ecosystem.
  • Durability: Ensure the technology you select is designed for outdoor use and can withstand weather conditions.
  • User-Friendly: Opt for systems that are easy to use and maintain, with intuitive controls and reliable performance.

Remodeling your outdoor living space in 2024 is all about creating a functional, comfortable, and beautiful environment that suits your lifestyle. By worked with a qualified professional remodeler who understands the latest trends and can integrate them into your existing spaces, you can transform your outdoor area into a true extension of your home.

When embarking on any remodeling project, it’s crucial to consult with professionals who can provide expert guidance and ensure that all aspects of the project are executed to the highest standards. From design and material selection to installation and maintenance, professional insight can make a significant difference in the outcome and longevity of your outdoor living space.

By: Gary Palmer, Licensed NC Residential General Contractor, and Licensed SC Residential Builder.

Need help determining whether a Charlotte outdoor living addition is right for your family? We are a full-service Design/Build Residential General Contractor. Reach out to us at and we’ll discuss how we help you plan your dream home and avoid costly mistakes.

By Gary Palmer
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