A deck is a relatively easy add-on that can boost your enjoyment of your yard. A patio is a simpler enhancement. Before getting started on either, consider:
How will your household use your deck or patio? For entertaining? Outdoor dining and cooking? Relaxation?
The size of your yard and what you plan to do on your deck or patio inform the size of your project. Ensure your plans accommodate your desired features. Those could include a firepit, a hot tub, or an outdoor kitchen.
- Choose a location that supports your plans:
- Close to the kitchen if cooking or entertaining are priorities.
- In a sunny or shady spot depending on your preferences.
Convenient path to and from the house for guests, bathroom access, and quick escapes from bad weather.
Consider marking your chosen spot with stakes and string. Then observe things like sun exposure, yard debris, and moisture.
Options abound. Patios could be concrete, brick, stone, pavers, even gravel. For decks, many people are aware of the cost and longevity benefits associated with Trex and other manmade decking materials. What many don’t realize is combining non-wood products with real wood can bring out the best in both.
As you choose materials, remember they should complement your home and existing landscape.
Ensure your materials choices align with the maintenance you’re willing to do and meet your expectations regarding wear and tear. Solid, flat floors are easiest for cleaning and arranging furniture.
Few people seriously consider adding a roof or walls to a deck or patio. Yet a covering can make the space more usable year-round. Consider a permanent roof or retractable awning — something a step up from a canopy or patio umbrella. Meanwhile, a few fence-like wall sections, or even curtains, can provide privacy. Screening will help control both bugs and sun glare.
Design your space with comfort and convenience in mind. Keeping seasonal furniture accessible yet protected can become a hassle. With a few built-in benches (maybe even a table), there will always be a place to sit when the mood strikes.
The best time to plan the lighting for a deck or patio is before it’s constructed — when the wiring can be routed in inconspicuous ways. Consider anchoring downlights to posts and overhead beams, and outlining parts of the structure with low-voltage incandescent string lights.
Also give thought to wiring, outlet, and wi-fi needs for things like outdoor speakers, laptop computers, TVs, electric heaters, and fans.
Use foliage to blend your outdoor structure with your yard and create your desired atmosphere. Foliage can also provide color, texture, fragrance, shade, privacy, and noise reduction while adding depth and scale.
Location, size, materials, and features all affect the budget. Your Club-authorized contractor can help you with options that meet your needs.
Members who want an outdoor structure built should give us a call to get started early!