From BBQing and sharing laughs with friends to making smores and stargazing with family, your patio or deck is an integral part of your home. If designed and built thoughtfully, backyards, decks and patios can be places defined by fun, community and memories-made. Homeowners often overlook their outdoor space when renovating or building their home. Here are some tips to insure your patio or deck is not forgotten and serves as a backdrop for memories for years to come.
Consider Deck Construction Materials
When it comes to decking, all materials are not created equal. To make sure you’re choosing the material that best suits your budget and needs, multiple factors (including cost, maintenance and durability) should influence your decision.
o Pressure-treated lumber– This is the most popular material, it gives the classic softwood look and only requires maintenance if you decide to stain it or paint it
o Redwood or Cedar– These woods are slightly more durable than most others, but they are more expensive.
o Composite– Plastic or composite material requires very little maintenance after installation and is weather resistant but can be limited in colour options.
Consider Your Deck’s Purpose
Do you want different areas of your deck or patio to be designed with different purposes in mind? Eating, relaxing, playing or entertaining – there are many ways to create functional areas for these activities in the design of your space.
- Add levels– By added levels to your deck you are able to clearly give different areas unique functions as well as make the space more dynamic and aesthetically pleasing. [link to Curved Stairs blog post as example of added levels https://homesteadcustomcarpentry.com/curvedstairs/]
- Add furniture – By adding furniture to a space you make the purpose of the area crystal-clear. By adding outdoor couches and cushions, you create an extension of your living room, a place for conversation and relaxation. By adding a table and chairs you create an outdoor dining area.
Plan Around Outdoor Entertainment
If you envision yourself hosting outdoor dinner parties, BBQs, campfires or family nights – there are many ways to plan for that in the design and build of your deck or patio.
o Speakers– From fun summer songs for the kids while they play outside to soft dinner tunes, nothing adds ambience like music in the background from outdoor speakers.
o Outdoor kitchen– If you love to BBQ and eat outside, consider creating space for an outdoor kitchen.
o Firepit – Outdoor gas firepits add style to the space and come in many different shapes and sizes.
o Deck furniture– Lay out tables and chairs like you would a living room to promote conversation.
o Outdoor lighting– Lighting can serve multiple functions for your patio or deck. By adding lights to walkways or stairs you provide greater safety for your family and friends. Garden lights, lanterns, and string lights make your outdoor space more inviting, charming and magical.
Create Shade and Shelter
Really create an inviting outdoor living space by providing areas of shade for those hot afternoons or cozy covered corners for chilly Alberta evenings.
o Pergola – For something permanent, consider building pergola into your deck. Not only does it shade you from the sun but it’s a place to hang lights, speakers or plants.
o Umbrellas –If you want something less permanent, consider getting a standing umbrella you can open when needed or an outdoor table with an umbrella.
o Patio Heaters – Winter, spring, summer fall — any season is patio season when you have heaters as an added feature in your outdoor space.
We hope these ideas have given you a new vision for your deck or patio. Any space can be improved and elevated with a few simple changes or additions
Here’s to many more years of memories-made in your outdoor spaces!
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