Outdoor living areas like patios, decks, and outdoor flooring are an excellent way to enjoy the comfort of home with a taste of the outdoors. Outdoor living spaces are often used for sunbathing or other outdoor activities. Not only do outdoor living areas bump up your home satisfaction, but an improvement in outdoor living areas can punch up the curb appeal and return 92.8% of your investment after the first year.
We know all about outdoor living and can help you find your next outdoor home remodeling project. Our experience has given us insights into everything related to outdoor remodeling and we want to share it with you! We’ve combined our knowledge on material types and advantages, locations, and frequently asked questions about decks, patios, outdoor flooring, and wall texturing into one convenient place, so you can find all you need to know right here. Whether you want to learn more about deck lighting, awnings, and railings or need to know the best way to clean porcelain tiles, we have it all.
Decks add a significant amount of living space to a home. New choices in decking materials make this living space customizable to a greater degree than ever before. While deck building remains one of the easier and more rewarding outdoor projects, it’s crucial to adhere to codes and manufacturers’ recommendations to ensure a safe and long-lasting deck.
While a beautifully designed deck will add value and beauty to your home, be sure to pay close attention to the deck material you use. From wood to synthetic options, different materials offer different levels of durability. They also determine its longevity, maintenance requirements, and construction costs.
If low maintenance is your key concern, consider synthetic materials. Regardless of which type of synthetic material you choose, you will need to install it over a support system built using real wood. To keep costs down, most homeowners choose treated lumber for these invisible underpinnings.
Redwood is a popular, naturally rot-resistant wood. With a clear sealer applied biannually, redwood will last a long time. It is easy to find on the West Coast and at large home improvement centers elsewhere. Redwood is the most expensive decking material, so consider using another wood for the framing and redwood for decking.
The deck type is the first thing to consider if you’re planning a deck project. There are many available options, but you’ll want to customize based on the configuration of your home and the outdoor space you’ve chosen for the deck.
If you’re looking to extend your outdoor living experience past sundown, you’ll need to explore some deck lighting options. Consideration of a variety of deck lighting ideas should get you well on your way to a deck that’s bright and beautiful any time of day or night.
One of the keys to deck lighting is subtlety. You don’t want blazing spotlights overwhelming your nighttime outdoor experience. You also don’t want complaints from the neighbors that your backyard is beaming fluorescence into their windows at all hours.
You’ll want to focus on quality and durability for your deck lighting. Remember, it’s going to be exposed to the elements. Make sure you have a timer or daylight sensor that’ll turn your lighting on and off at preset times, a transformer that will reduce the current coming from your home to the lighting system, a cable to connect the lights, and of course, the light fixtures themselves.
Deck awnings are such a popular feature in many backyards because several outdoor activities require a little shade. As you plan and design your deck, you’ll have many choices to consider when it comes to awnings. Three main types are:
Keeping it simple doesn’t have to mean keeping it boring, though. If you’re attracted to a more traditional wooden railing, add post caps and interior latticework or woodworking to add some visual flair. Topping the post caps with lanterns can also be a functional touch that’s quite pleasing to the eye.
If you’re looking to get back to nature, consider a deck railing made of recovered wood or intertwined branches. This rustic look can be a great complement to a modern deck surface.
Color choice can also make a big difference. Lighten up a dark wood with a white or light-colored railing or add a pop of color with a yellow or bright blue design.
If you enjoy relaxing in the sun in your backyard, then make sure you put your patio where it will have a southern or western exposure. Provide shade with an umbrella, canopy, or vine-covered pergola, particularly in climates where scorching summer temperatures will make direct sunlight uncomfortable.
For a cool respite from the sun, a northern or eastern location would be fine. An eastern location gets morning sun and is shaded in the afternoon. A northern location is generally shaded by the house itself and provides little sun all day.
If you have large shade trees on your property, you might want to nestle the patio among the trees. You’ll get dappled sunlight and a feeling of escape from the house. However, don’t build the patio too close to the trunk of the trees. Most tree roots grow out, not down. Roots grow out past the drip line of the canopy of branches, so keep the patio away from the roots.
If your town building code allows it, a front yard patio located near a walkway to the front door can act as a welcoming place for friends and neighbors to stop by for a chat since it’s a less intimate space than a backyard patio.
Your front yard may offer better views of your tree-lined street and your neighbor’s pretty landscaping. A top-of-chair height border of shrubs will help screen your patio from the street and create a sense of privacy.
Generally a staple of Spanish or Mediterranean architecture, a courtyard patio is surrounded on three sides by the house. It’s accessed through a gate or archway in front. This intimate space acts as an outdoor room, particularly in hot climates where it can be used most of the year in nice weather.
Courtyards can fit into any small space you have. With little or no grass, enclosed by walls, fences, or bushy trees, a courtyard patio is intimate and cozy. You wouldn’t have the same feeling in a large space.
The shape of your patio might determine where you put it. If you have existing trees near your house that you want to keep, you could build your patio around them.
Any nearby natural boulders can be incorporated into the patio design for a natural look. A rectangle shape made of cut flagstone, brick, or paving stones will lend a formal, symmetrical look to your home while a curvaceous circular shape will give it a more casual feel.
Brick paver patios are attractive to anyone designing an outdoor living space for many reasons: they offer attractive design options, are relatively inexpensive, and will last for years if installed correctly. With many options available for brick paver patio designs, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find the style that’s right for you.
Brick is porous, so it retains moisture. In freezing weather, it cracks, so it has to be replaced. In shady areas, slippery moss grows on the bricks and it has to be scrubbed off using a bleach solution and brush. In sunny areas, the moss problem is not as profound but still grows and has to be cleaned off, otherwise walking on it can be treacherous. This paving product lends a charming, Old World look to a patio.
Whether you’re remodeling your existing outdoor space or installing a brand-new patio, you’ll have almost countless options to peruse when it comes to patio tiles.
The most common type of patio tile is made of unglazed clay. If it’s been fired correctly, this type of tile will be harder and denser as a result. Red clay is most commonly used for this type of tile, though white, gray, and black clay can also be used.
Glazed tiles can be used as accents to an unglazed clay patio, around the edges, or in patterns within the unglazed tiles.
A patio cover is a backyard shade structure that is attached to your home. Typically, two posts or columns support the outer portion of a patio cover. The roof of a patio cover may be open or solid depending on what level of protection you require.
In many parts of the U.S., weather determines if your patio should be covered. In areas where the unrelenting sun makes it nearly impossible to sit outdoors unprotected, a covered patio is an obvious choice. Even in areas where the summer sun can bear down for months but the winters can be brutal, a covered patio will allow you to enjoy the outdoors longer under cover protection from rain or wind.
Wood patio covers are very popular for homeowners that want their materials to remain consistent, especially on the outside of their home. Wood patio coverings come in many shapes, sizes, materials, and prices. Additionally, there are many types of eco-friendly wood choices available on the market today.
The size of a patio cover is dependent on the size of the area you wish to protect or shade. If you’re building a patio cover to accommodate dining or other patio furniture, make sure the posts are spaced wide enough for people to easily walk around the furniture.
The height of a patio cover can range from eight to twelve feet tall. Keep in mind that the taller a cover is, the less protection from the elements it provides. Alternatively, the lower a patio cover is, the more cramped it will feel. Check with a landscape architect or patio cover installer to decide on a height that is proportionate to the desired length and width.
We’re firm believers that your outdoor living spaces should be what you want, not what a design team assigns to you. You can completely customize the design of your patio, deck, or other exterior spaces with our professional design team at our showroom in Fort Worth, Texas. We can create a visual rendering of your remodel before we even begin the project to make sure you approve of the design.
Our design team has a wealth of experience in home remodeling of all types. Please feel free to ask us any questions that you may have about your outdoor remodeling project. Contact us to schedule an appointment or a free design consultation today! We look forward to working with you to create the perfect outdoor space for your home.