Photos of Renovated Decks & Patios

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Deck and Patio Design Tips

The decision to put in a deck or patio is probably one of the biggest decisions you can make as a homeowner. The design options are practically limitless and finding the right combination can make the value of your home skyrocket. While some homeowners consider a patio just a slab of concrete tacked onto the front or back of a house, there is so much more that can be done to make the patio an outdoor extension of the house as a whole.

Why do I need a patio?

There are many reasons you want to put in a patio and your own personal enjoyment is not the only one. Patios also dramatically increase the value of your home. One of the easiest ways to make your home sell for more and faster is by increasing the square footage. A well-designed and well-constructed patio can do just that. By making it feel like a separate living space, you can make potential buyers far more interested in signing after you show it.

Hire a Contractor

The very first thing you must do if you want to put in a patio is find a contractor. Patios, especially hanging patios which require ground-level support to keep them steady, can be a money pit if they are constructed wrong. The best patios must be treated like a brand new room and you cannot risk using faulty methods or improper materials during construction. A proper contractor will know the best ways to get your patio or deck put in quickly with little risk to your home's value or your personal safety.

Design Options

Put in a roof. After you have found a contractor, you need to decide what you want to put in. Patios come in all shapes and sizes, but the best ones have some sort of cover. Putting a roof over the area is easily the biggest way to make a patio attractive to potential buyers as well as protecting you from the elements. Indeed, a patio without at least a roof is hardly worth anybody's time.

Once you decide what kind of roof you want to put on, it's time to pick accessories. Nearly every patio has deck furniture for guests to relax, but there is so much more that can go on a patio than just a couple of Adirondack chairs and a matching table.

Grill or fireplace. A permanent grill or fireplace is the most popular option for many homeowners, who enjoy having an alternative place to cook other than the kitchen. Many a party has been thrown where friends and family gather around the grill, share stories, and maybe play a couple of outdoor games.

Bar. Another popular addition to a patio is a small bar. Some homeowners even go so far as to put in their own taps filled with different types of alcohol they brewed themselves. A bar is a naturally neat place for friends to chat while the sports game plays on the radio or TV.

The options are limitless if you want to put in a new patio. Hire a contractor and let your imagination run wild.

Your first considerations when planning a deck design should be clear-cut goals and careful planning. Instead of becoming swept away by impressive designs that might not be practical for your lifestyle and needs, ask yourself "why" you want a deck. What will the primary function of your dream deck be: aesthetic - for curbside appeal, to increase living space, for rest and relaxation, outdoor cooking, privacy, or entertaining? Of course, regardless of primary function your new deck should compliment your house design and be architecturally compatible with your landscaping. Some tips for greater deck use flexibility: create multiple levels within your deck design; use planters, furniture, and arbors to define social and private areas of your deck. Incorporate an easily accessed screened in, covered area into your deck design - for rainy day relaxation.

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