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An exterior floor plan to complement your home

Redefining 'outdoor living'

Editor's note: This is the second in a two-part series. Read Part 1: Valuable real estate most people overlook. Last time, we noted how few people truly take advantage of the land around their homes, and we saw how a simple change like replacing certain windows with doors could radically increase the usefulness of outdoor areas. This time, we'll look at ways to make the land outside your walls serve as an extension of the interior floor plan -- to create genuine function in outdoor areas, rather than just providing the usual eye candy of cutesy-pie flower beds and lawns. On any given residential lot, the land outside the house typically ranges from two to four times the area of the house itself. Yet remarkably few houses have outdoor areas that are truly functional complements to the interior floor plan. Here are some ways to make sure you're getting all you can out of your property: 1. Decide which rooms have the most potential for access to the exterior. Consider such fa...

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