It might seem hard to believe, but summer really is right around the corner! Good weather should be enjoyed to its fullest extent, which is why your new home planning should include an enticing outdoor living space. One of the biggest regrets PATCO hears from homeowners is that they didn't budget for a deck or patio. Many people think that they'll just tackle it as a DYI project "someday", calling on friends and relatives to lend a hand. The problem is - that day may never come!
Adding a deck is one of the most requested home projects today, and demand is steadily rising. New durable outdoor materials, furniture and accessories plus unique shade options and smart tech that lets us watch movies and have full kitchens have no doubt fueled the interest. So if you’re hoping to make the most of good weather, a new deck has likely crossed your mind. Here’s what you’ll need to know about finally getting one:
First thing to consider - you’ll want to decide whether your property is good for a deck or patio — or a combination of both.
Deck. A deck is a platform with decking boards, usually made of either wood or a composite material. A deck is ideal for sloped yards where you want a flat area. It’s also good for homes that sit high above the ground or atop a basement, because they can be built as high as you need. If your home sits higher than about 14 inches off the ground, a platform deck is probably for you. PATCO highly recommends low maintenance composite decking - it looks great, comes in a multitude of colors, looks just like wood, and definitely gives you the best value for your dollar. Composite boards are engineered products that are a mixture of wood fibers and plastic; a lot of the material comes from recycled plastic grocery bags. Some companies use old shredded carpets for wood fillers. Newer composite boards are wrapped in a thin plastic layer so they won’t stain or fade.
Patio. A patio is on flat ground and is usually made of concrete, pavers, flagstone, wood or another hardscaping material. Doing a patio on a sloped lot is costlier and much more difficult, because retaining walls must be built to create a level surface. If your door opens right at the ground level, then a patio is the option for you. Did you know that you can color concrete? You can! This allows you to coordinate with the scheme of your home. Concrete can also be stamped with a variety of creative patterns.
What do you want your deck to do? Typically, people want a deck that’s multipurpose, with areas for eating, cooking and hanging out. But, as with most things, the sky is the limit. So depending on your budget, consider things like an outdoor TV, a fireplace, a fire pit, a hot tub, a kitchen, a water feature and more. Figuring out what you want your deck to do will also help determine its size, safety measures and traffic flow. Do you host a lot of parties, or is it just you and a partner? Do you have a lot of kids? The last thing you want or need is a deck that’s too small or too large for your needs.
Also consider privacy on your deck. If you don’t want to feel like you’re on a stage performing for your neighbors, you’ll want to think about adding an arbor, a pergola, latticework or something else to create privacy. How will you access the deck? PATCO's open concept floor plans include a door off the dining area that works perfectly! Keeping access close to your kitchen means that you don’t have to climb a bunch of stairs, walk claer around the house, or cut through the garage just to go back in for some more BBQ sauce or pepper.
A good lighting plan will greatly extend the time during which you can actually use your deck. Consider ambient lighting for lounging, task lighting for things like cooking and grilling, and safety lighting for stairs and railings. Your PATCO design / build team can share with you various lighting options that will make enjoying your outdoor space more enjoyable long after the sun goes down!
Although including a deck or patio in your construction budget will increase your initial costs, keep in mind that deck additions are solid investments. A deck addition often recoups 70 to 80 percent of its value when a home is sold!