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Deck or Patio? Your Complete GuideMarch 13th, 2020 by
As the weather continues to warm up, it’s time to start thinking about the outdoor projects you’ve always wanted to tackle, including expanding your outdoor living space with a new deck or patio. Whether you’re adding to your existing deck or building an entirely new area, a deck or patio addition is an excellent way to increase the value of your home and your living space.
Explore your deck and patio options and find out how a professional, licensed contractor can assist you in creating a quality project without the sweat, stress, or hassle of doing it yourself.
Remodeling vs. New Build
If you already have a deck or patio on your property, you need to determine whether it’s best to remodel your existing area or create a brand new space. Remodeling can reduce the cost of construction, while still expanding your outdoor living space.
Unfortunately, many homeowners do not have all the skills required to safely build a deck. It’s worth looking into having a licensed, qualified contractor inspect your current construction before starting any work. Many older decks are improperly supported, use outdated fasteners, or require significant repairs. Adding to a compromised deck can ruin your project and create a dangerous structure.
Reliable contractors will know local building codes surrounding decks. In some areas, a deck or patio is limited in square footage based on the size of your home.
Even if you don’t have local laws holding you back, it’s best to keep your deck to approximately 20% of the square footage of your home. An extra-large deck could affect the resale value your home, not to mention will significantly increase the cost of your home insurance.
Deck vs. Patio
When deciding what you want to do with your outdoor living space, you have to first consider your goals. While many homeowners start their outdoor addition project imagining a deck, a patio may provide the convenient space and long-lasting value that you’re searching for instead. Compare deck and patio construction projects to determine the best fit for your home.
Because of the wide range of deck and patio options available, it can be difficult to choose the one that best suits the vision for your home or that offers the best ROI. Consider the pros and cons of each choice to help you carefully choose the best fit for your situation.
Deck vs Patio: Pros and Cons
Wood decks can have up to a 76% return on investment, which is higher than most home renovations. If you have a hilly or uneven yard, a deck is a convenient way to level your outdoor seating area without a lot of landscaping and grading work.
Because a deck is built directly off of your home, it’s typically off the ground. Depending on your location, this could open up a beautiful view from your home, which adds value and makes a great place to spend the early morning or evening.
Compared to a patio, however, a deck is more expensive and may require a permit. If you’re planning on adding an outdoor kitchen, hot tub, or other luxury features to your outdoor living space, it may be too heavy for a standard deck. Most decking materials are costly and require more maintenance than a patio.
Patios on the other hand are far less expensive than most decks. A simple concrete pad or pavers are easy to install and last longer with little maintenance. While a patio isn’t built up at the same level as your home, it offers privacy and is easier to conceal with shrubs or fencing.
A patio can become slippery when wet or covered with ice and snow. If your property has uneven ground it can become costly and time-consuming to properly install a patio.
When in doubt, discuss both options with an experienced builder. A local contractor will understand the pros and cons of decks and patios in your area and help you find the best option for adding value and beauty to your home.
The Importance of Professional Construction
Whether you choose a patio or a deck, hiring a professional contractor is essential. This home addition project comes with serious design considerations and requires intensive labor. While there are plenty of home improvement projects you can do to increase your home’s value, it’s best to leave a deck or patio to the professionals.
A licensed contractor understands the weight considerations that come with constructing a deck. Without proper support, you could put your family and guests at risk of falling through your structure if you utilize poor design and construction methods.
Even after you find the ideal design, there are a wide range of deck materials, fastener options, and other features to consider. Both decks and patios require professional equipment and may require permits in your area. The work itself is challenging and physically demanding and we think you’ll be happy you hired someone when it’s all said and done.
Questions To Ask Your Contractor Before You Begin
Be sure to properly plan your outdoor project before your contractor begins construction. A detailed plan ensures you receive your dream deck or patio at a price you agree on.
Here are some important questions to bring up to contractors you are considering hiring:
What licensing and insurance are required and does the contractor have them?
A licensed, insured contractor offers you peace of mind. If there are any issues with your deck, it may be difficult to reach an uninsured or unlicensed contractor for repairs. Reliable contractors will inspect and insure their work, while fixing any issues that may arise during the warranty period.
Who will handle the building permits and how long does it take to get them?
Because most decks and patios require a building permit, you need to be sure your contractor secures the required permits before beginning construction. This process is typically handled by the contractor, but don’t just assume they have applied for a permit without verifying it with them and receiving a copy.
Does the contractor have any references and do they have a portfolio of their work?
References are essential. Work with an experienced builder who has a solid reputation in your community. Online reviews may give you mixed messages, but reliable references and a portfolio of projects are essential for a quality contractor.
What materials will be used for the project and where will they be sourced from?
Be sure your builders explain their choice of building material and don’t let them choose the lowest-quality just because it’s the cheapest. Instead, go with a material that has a long lifetime, convenient maintenance, and a beautiful finish.
Adding Value to Your Home With a Deck
A professionally designed and constructed deck can add up to 76% ROI for your home. The design of your deck or patio is a major factor to consider when adding value to your home.
Consider these additions to improve the atmosphere and value of your outdoor space:
- Outdoor kitchen
- Hot tub
- Outdoor eating area
If you want to add one or more of these areas to your deck or patio, discuss your home remodeling project with your build team before you begin. An experienced contractor can incorporate these areas into the design of your deck or patio to create the personalized space you want, that will also add value to your property.
Discuss Your Ideas With a Contractor Today
You can reimagine and add to your outdoor living space with the addition or remodeling of a deck or patio. Compare deck-building contractors today to work with a local licensed and insured build team in your area.
Enjoy the convenience of working with qualified, experienced home contractors who can assist you with the design and handle all the permits and construction of your new space. Make your home everything you’ve imagined with an outdoor area to enjoy with your family and friends.