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Project of the Month: A Poolside Outdoor Living Space

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A poolside pavilion with a bar, outdoor kitchen, outdoor television and an attached pergola that serves as a sheltered dining area was built for Manlius homeowners who enjoy entertaining and outdoor living activities.

Project planning for this exterior renovation began during the winter months. The work started in April and was completed in time for a Fourth of July celebration.

poolside outdoor living space

This outdoor living space was designed expressly for a home with an existing pool and hardscape. The structure is an open pavilion with an attached pergola area for dining. The pavilion features a grill, a two-tier counter with bar seating for four, a storage closet for pool items, custom shutters and a metal roof.

Homeowners’ Objectives

The homeowners’ objectives included:

1.  Adding more outdoor living space around an existing pool. There was a pool house but it was not designed for cooking, dining and entertaining.

2.  Creating storage space for pool equipment. The homeowners need storage space and also a way to camouflage pool mechanicals.

3.  Blending the new structure flooring with existing pavers that form a surround for the pool, fencing and landscaping. The interior flooring of the structure would need to blend seamlessly with the pool surround and be smooth underfoot.

4.  Selecting durable products that would withstand the harsh weather of winter months. Central New York winters are hard on our homes. An outdoor living space would need to be equipped to respond to the elements.

5.  Meeting a deadline for a summer party. The homeowners enjoy gathering with family and friends for the Fourth of July holiday so it was important that the project be completed on time.

Before: pool house

BEFORE: An existing pool house was removed to build a multi-purpose outdoor living space.

McClurg’s Solutions 

1.  Design and Build an Open Pavilion and Pergola

The Donahoe Group worked with us in designing the pavilion. The existing pool house was removed to create a space for the new entertainment area. The outdoor living space design includes an open pavilion with ample counter space for cooking, serving beverages and informal dining. An attached pergola provides sheltered seating that comfortably accommodates a group of ten people. Both structures include lighting for nighttime use.

pavilion and pergola outdoor living space

Stacked stone was used for the bar and cooking areas of the pavilion. Custom shutters provide shade and reduce glare that would interfere with television viewing. There is a footrest that adds a unique element to the bar. The pergola provides a shaded area for dining.

2.  Create Enclosed Spaces for Pool Mechanicals and Supplies

A wooden screen was built around the pool mechanicals for both aesthetics and protection. A storage closet was built onto the back of the pavilion for pool supplies and other equipment.

pavilion storage space

The storage closet in the back of the pavilion keeps pool supplies and toys close at hand and the entertainment area uncluttered.

pool mechanicals storage

The wooden screen hides pool mechanicals and complements the pavilion.

3.  Integrate the New Structures with the Existing Pool and Hardscape

Brick pavers were matched to the existing pavers to integrate the pavilion with the pool surround. An easy care stamped concrete floor inside the pavilion complements the pavers. The floor is both weather-resistant and easy on bare feet.

stamped concrete flooring closeup

The stamped concrete flooring inside the pavilion blends well with pool surround pavers. There is a smooth transition between surfaces.

4.  Select Durable Outdoor Products

Products used for the project include:

Counters. The counters and wall caps were fashioned in concrete. The product is both aesthetically pleasing and stands up to harsh Central New York winters.

Appliances. The grill and under counter outdoor refrigerator are from Lynx outdoor appliances.

Television. Outdoor television and speakers are from Samsung.

pavilion interior

Multiple height counters in concrete have a surface with a sheen. The area where the wall mounted television and speakers were placed can be screened by closing the shutters to eliminate glare and to protect the equipment.

Lighting. Several types of outdoor light fixtures were used for the project including string lights to illuminate the pergola, recessed lights for the cooking area and a paddle fan with a lamp for the bar area.

pavilion lighting

Lighting installed in the pavilion includes recessed lights with protective rims and lens caps installed over task areas and an industrial look paddle fan.

Interior flooring. Stamped concrete.

Pavers. Brick pavers were selected to match the pavers of the pool surround and its pattern.

Fencing. Iron fencing encloses the pool area.

Exterior wood. “A” grade smooth and rough cedar.

pergola dining area

A view of the dining area under the pergola.

5.  Complete the Project on Schedule

Scheduling was important to meeting the homeowners’ objectives to complete the project in time for their July 4th party. The project started in April and was completed by July 1. At one time we had about 15 people working on the project. By following our design-build process, we managed the timing, planned work stages and coordinated installations with local contractors.