Hello there! Before you dig into this fun little lifestyle quiz about outdoor living, here’s what you should know about me:

I am a timber enthusiast. I have helped many people brainstorm, plan, and build outdoor living structures that have made a lot of people smile. I am also quick to be upfront and honest with clients when pursuing a certain project may not be in their best interests.

From this perspective and pool of experience these questions are formulated for your use. Directions: Read and consider all questions. Keep track of how many A’s or B’s that you choose.


Is an Outdoor Living Pavilion Right for Me?

Let’s find out.


Do you live in a wet climate such as Washington, Alaska, Canada or Oregon?
As a resident of this wet climate you understand that a roof that can shed water is a precious commodity even just for storage.

Which option suits your style best?:
A. I try to value and use any covered area around my home.
B. I don’t find extra space to store things to be helpful.

Do you find that your barbecue becomes green and weathered during the wet season from disuse?

Note: Two particular benefits come to mind of the convenience of easy year-round cooking on the grill:
Saving money: Comfortable grilling means that you spend less money eating out.
Healthier eating: As you can control the portion size and the ingredients that you use.

Which option suits your style best?:
A. I would enjoy year-round grilling and my health and finances would benefit as well.
B. I am not motivated by food and would gain no benefit by having access to convenient year-round grilling.

Do you like to spend your free time outdoors?
Imagine the possibility of enjoying the convenience of indoor living but yet being outside. This is the concept of a three-season living room. Typically located as a hub with direct access to the kitchen, this type of living space is usually equipped with a built-in barbeque kitchen. French doors, screens, partial walls, and large overhangs are used to maximize the user benefits: Easy access to sunshine on sunny days, rain and wind protection when required for more comfort, and the continual exposure to fresh air. Even during Winter this room could be enjoyable with a few extra layers!

Which option suits your style best?:
A. I want to spend a large percentage of my free time outside. I would like the ability to read, use my laptop, drink coffee, and other enjoyments in the great outdoors more often.
B. I find that my free time indoors is more enjoyable than outdoors. I prefer to read and pursue my interests indoors.

Do you have family and friends over often?
As someone who entertains a lot, an outdoor living/barbecue area gives you and your guests a myriad of benefits. Along with the extra space to entertain, and the enjoyment of your outdoor setting, this is a perfect way for everyone to have fun and pitch in with cooking. More and more grilling recipes are available through barbecue/grilling websites. Life is far more enjoyable when you can invite your friends over and enjoy the beautiful outdoors!

Which option suits your style best?:

A. I entertain often and an outdoor living/entertainment space would add a versatile and fun way to spend time with my family and friends.
B. I prefer to watch the forecast and plan my outdoor entertaining accordingly, so I don’t need extra space for my guests.

Do you have energetic children, grandchildren, or teenagers as residents or guests?
One application could be to combine a multiple-use play area, lounge, and outdoor kitchen. You can set up tables and chairs to feed a crowd, or you could set up a gym, basketball hoop, volleyball net, lights etc. You can also have lounge chairs and tables set up for when you’ve got free time alone or with just a few friends. This layout typically requires that one wall is dedicated to cabinets for kitchen use and table and chair storage.

Which option suits your style best?:
A. I have active children around from time to time who would enjoy the opportunity to play loudly and burn off some energy without disturbing others.
B. The children in my life have little need for physical activity or simply go outside to play regardless of the weather.

Do you anticipate a backyard wedding, reception, or other events in the future?
This type of outdoor pavilion is very similar to the previous multi-use structure. You will want a large unobstructed space that will work well for any event where your guests will want to see and hear the main event. I can just picture a beautiful timber structure, nestled into a hillside with a territorial view and southern exposure, retractable glass wall system on three sides, all open to allow the soft, warm spring air breeze through the guests milling both inside and in front of the pavilion, where preparations for the event are going on in the back.

Which option suits your style best?:

A. I expect some kind of event in the future.
B. I don’t expect any type of future event.

Your ScoreCard – How many A’s did you choose?

All A’s – You don’t have a moment to lose. Get your plans together and break ground as soon as possible.

5 out of 6 – You still have a large hole in your life. Schedule a brainstorming session for the very near future.

4 out of 6 – Time is of the essence. Associate with people who can give you ideas and help motivate you.

Half and Half – You want to proceed slowly. Gather pictures, articles, and info. You can also ask those that know you well what they think that you would enjoy.

2 out of 6 – Carefully analyze the pay-off – The right setting will give you a rewarding and enjoyable investment.

1 out of 6 – You probably don’t want to invest in outdoor living unless something changes in your life.

All B’s – Don’t invest… It’s not for you.

Thank you for your interest in this article. There is a sequel to this article which talks about “How to get an outdoor living pavilion to fit into your lifestyle, existing home, architecture, and your style.”

I’ll be sure to get you a copy hot off the press! If you would like one, send an email to bert@arrowtimber.com. If simply calling is easier for you, Please call me at (360) 901-5117

– Bert Sarkkinen


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