Spring has arrived and many homeowners are starting to spruce up their yards and outdoor spaces in preparation for warmer weather and spending more time outside. Spring and summer in the Okanagan means BBQs with friends and family, and spending time in the backyard on warm long-lasting evenings.
You may be starting to think about re-doing your existing deck or maybe even building a new deck or patio. The addition of an outdoor deck has rapidly become a popular way to enhance both the functionality and aesthetic appearance of a home and surrounding yard. Building a deck or patio increases usable living space at a much lower cost per square foot than building a standard construction addition to the home. There are many reasons why a new deck increases the value of your home, in fact homes with a well maintained deck typically increases your homes original value by as much as 50-70%.
So if you want to get started planning your new patio or deck, there are a few things to consider:
Deck vs. Patio
Most people use these terms interchangeably but there are some fundamental differences. A patio refers to an outdoor space placed directly on the ground, it may be connected to the house or in a separate part of the yard. Patios often have concrete bases, but some homeowners use stone, tile, pavers, brick or other materials to create the foundation. In most cases patios do not have a rail; they may or may not be covered. Decks, on the other hand, are typically constructed of wood or vinyl. Though they can be built near the ground, they are not placed directly on the ground and feature some type of support system to hold up the addition. Decks may be built off of the lower floor of a home, such as the living room or kitchen, or they might be added to an upper level room or even on a rooftop setting. Decks are typically enclosed with some type of railing and often offer the homeowner excellent views of their surroundings.
The materials you choose largely depends on what type of look you want to achieve. Also, there are different considerations such as cost, maintenance, and long term longevity. Different types of decking materials can include:
Pressure-Treated Wood – Pressure-treated wood is softwood that has been immersed in a bath of preservative and then put in a pressurized tank. It has superior resistance to bacteria, mildews and many varieties of insects feed on it, giving it far more longevity than untreated softwood. Most decks built today used pressure-treated wood, if not for the decking then for the support system.
Cedar and Redwood – Because of its natural oils cedar is naturally resistant to rot and insects. These woods have a beautiful natural aesthetic appeal, although they can be more expensive they increase the value of the home without having to replace the deck in 10-15 years. Maintenance is always a consideration with wood as it generally needs to be restrained every 3-4 years, however Both cedar and redwood age to a beautiful, natural silver color so that yearly maintenance is not required.
Composite Decking – Composite decking is a mixture of wood fiber and ground-up, recycled plastic that is pressed into planks with a realistic wood grain. Composite decking will not shrink, warp, or split the way pressure-treated wood tends to do. This material is generally more expensive than traditional lumber but will outlast wood and is virtually maintenance-free.
Vinyl Decking – Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a special type of plastic resin widely used in the manufacture of various products. Whereas composite decking contains from 10% to more than 60% wood filler to plastic or vinyl material, vinyl decking is pure vinyl with maybe carbon or fiberglass fibers added for strength. This material is lightweight, affordable, durable, and easy to maintain (in comparison to wood it can be pressure washed rather than re-stained). The downside is if a section of vinyl decking is damaged, you may be looking at replacing the entire surface.
Aluminum Decking – This decking material is lightweight and easy to install. It will never warp, crack, split, or twist and mold or mildew are non-existent because there is nothing to feed on. However at $7+ a square foot it is the most expensive of the non-woods.
There are so many new deck innovations that the possibilities are endless. At the end of the day, it’s about choosing what works for your tastes and lifestyle.
Once you have made some decisions about the placement and materials, you can start planning your build. This is where working with a professional is extremely helpful, since this is an addition to your home you want to make sure everything is structurally sound not only for safety purposes but also to ensure the durability and ultimate longevity of your new outdoor space. Accent Renovations has completed many deck & patio renovations, from small patios to large elegant decks, we can build you your dream outdoor living space. Contact Us to discuss your plans for outdoor renovations this spring.