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As the outdoor room movement continues to blossom, outdoor structures like pergolas, gazebos and pool houses are flourishing as well. For George Arp, owner of Seacoast Pool Design in Jupiter, Fla., they're especially popular in the high-end market he serves.
"Coming off the recession, customers were really looking at bare bones installations, which just included a basic pool and/or spa and decking. But now, things are really opening up. Construction is gearing up again. So it just becomes a part of the package," he says.
Why else are these outdoor structures on the rise? Here's just a few reasons.
A bit north of Orlando, Fla., is Weller Pools, a firm that focuses on commercial projects. According to company President John Tuhela, outdoor structures in his area are attracting attention, especially as a means of separating the vast outdoors into various spaces.
"The trend to have separate outdoor spacing for the adults, like a tranquil spa setting, is more and more popular. We still have separate areas for the family to enjoy with a lot of activities, or lazy rivers and more noise and fun and excitement, but mom and dad also have an area where it's more of a tranquil setting. And those are the areas where we see the pergolas, sometimes firepits, etcetera, that provide a different atmosphere and mood," he says.
In some locales, space can come at a premium — and that compounds in areas with a high water table that prohibits basements. In such cases, Arp finds the pool house concept is piquing the interest of pool owners looking for more attractive ways to store seasonal products.
"From loungers to noodles to pool cleaners, all of those things can be stored nicely in the pool houses," Arp says.
"A lot of our customers are going with summer kitchens, and that goes hand in hand with having some sort of structure over the kitchen or eating area," Arp says.
And that's not all.
"It's not unusual for someone to put a plasma screen TV out there so it becomes the football mecca in the fall," Arp adds.
Outdoor structures aren't strictly for high-end customers."They can be built anywhere where you're just trying to create a setting that's attractive, whether it's for shade, for the aesthetics or the beauty of the element itself," Tuhela says. "Anywhere where someone is just taking a little care in their outdoor setting, their pool setting or their backyard space. They really add a dramatic look to any area."
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