Outdoor Living

Outdoor Living Services in Fort Worth, TX

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.

 

Consider the following information to increase the value of your home and to end up with a beautiful finished product you’ll enjoy. You can count on Lasco Remodeling and Construction. We’ll make your home improvement an enjoyable experience and help create a top dollar return on your investment. Contact us today to get your outdoor living project right from the start!

Exterior Deck Construction

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.

Deck Building Materials

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.

This rot-resistant wood is strong and durable. It is more common in the South and on the West Coast. Cedarwood weathers a silvery-gray color unless you apply a sealer. It costs about 20% less than redwood, depending on availability.
Another rot-resistant wood, cypress is most popular in the Southeast. It is not as strong as cedar, redwood, or pressure-treated wood. Consider using pressure-treated wood for the frame and cypress for decking. It costs a little less than cedar in the South and a little more everywhere else.
This is the strongest and most readily available lumber. Most pressure-treated lumber comes with a greenish cast that weathers to a silvery gray, but you can also get it pre-stained to look like cedar or redwood. Treated lumber is the most affordable deck material, and thanks to new laws restricting the chemicals used to preserve the wood, today’s treated lumber is safe.
Plastic lumber, which is made of recycled milk jugs and grocery bags, does not absorb moisture. Molded in various colors, plastic lumber can be painted, but it will never quite take on the look of wood. For proper installation, you need to use sliding clips because plastic expands and contracts in temperature extremes.
Vinyl lumber comes in white and additional colors. Its pros and cons are similar to plastic lumber. Purchase brands that have the UV inhibitors impregnated directly into the vinyl and not sprayed on after production.
Wood-polymer lumbers contain up to a 50/50 ratio of waste wood and recycled plastics and can be stained or painted. These products look and feel like wood but never require maintenance.

Deck Types

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.

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Low & Flat

The simplest, and in many cases most affordable, deck location is directly adjacent to a home on a relatively flat portion of land. This platform-style of deck sits low to the ground, allowing for easy access. One thing to focus on with this type of deck is to ensure that all deck materials are treated for direct ground exposure to prevent rot and decay.

Raised or Tiered

A raised or tiered deck may also be located adjacent to a home. This type of deck works best in a location with varied ground heights, so it can conform to the contours of the ground. Raised decks are generally more expensive and must incorporate safety features like railings.
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Two-story

Two-story decks make the most sense for locations with easy access to the second story of a home. The bottom portion of the deck generally allows for first-floor entry and is connected to a top section, which allows for second-floor entry.
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Freestanding

A freestanding deck can be a great option for homes without a natural deck location adjacent to the home structure. With sufficient outdoor space, freestanding decks can incorporate features like gazebos and multiple levels to great effect.
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Deck Lighting

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

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:

Retractable

One of the most popular choices is the retractable awning. This type of awning can be extended or removed depending on the weather or the whims of those in attendance, allowing for the greatest flexibility. These awnings come in many styles and materials, and they can be motorized or manually retractable.
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Canopy

Another option is the canopy awning. These are recommended for climates where snow or heavy rain is not prevalent, as they’re good at keeping out the sun but not as great when it comes to heavy precipitation.
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Metal

For areas where snow and rain do occur more frequently, a metal deck awning may be a better choice. These tend to be more durable and last longer, and they can go a long way toward protecting your deck from the elements, as well.

Deck Railing

A deck can add value and beauty to any outdoor living space, but on its own, it can sometimes feel a bit lonely. Luckily, the array of deck railing ideas and options provide infinite possibilities for livening up your deck.

Material

Don’t feel bound to the deck’s surface material. In fact, a contrasting material can often provide the most aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Detail

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

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.

Curves

Don’t be afraid of curves. Your deck should be flat, but your railing doesn’t have to be. Curved wood or wrought iron can be great visual accents as well.

Exterior Patio Contractor

Your outdoor parties will be a lot more successful if you make sure your patio is comfortable, spacious, and inviting.

Patio Location

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Backyard

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.

Front Yard

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.

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Courtyard

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.

Patio Size and Shape

Size
If you plan to entertain a large crowd, then you’ll need a patio that is big enough to hold a dining table and at least four chairs, a place for the grill, and room for comfortable seating in an area away from the table.
Shape

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.

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Patio Material Options

Concrete
There is nothing more classic than a plain slab of poured concrete for a patio. To make your concrete patio more interesting, consider a stamped pattern that is dyed with a coloring agent. In frost-free zones, concrete is often the material of choice. Be aware of the maintenance issues with this type of patio. You have to reapply the coating about every two years, so it doesn’t lose its color. Concrete can also show surface cracks, and the color wears off in heavily trafficked areas.
Natural Stone
For a completely natural look, nothing beats natural stone for a patio. There are many different types of natural stone to choose from, including flagstone, slate, bluestone, and limestone.
Flagstone
Flagstone patios are attractive additions to any home, and if you’re considering adding an outdoor living space to your backyard, you may want to consider this classic and convenient design option. Let the materials you already have on your house dictate the type of material you might have on your patio.
Slate
Slate patios can be a durable and great looking addition to any outdoor living space. If you’re considering a slate patio, you’ll have many options to choose from. Slate patios come in a range of colors and textures.
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Aged Slate Pavers
Aged slate pavers will give your patio a lived-in look. These pavers are “tumbled” in a machine that creates a worn look and a rustic, lived-in feel for your patio.
Mix-and-Match Slate
This design employs slate pavers of different sizes and shapes to create a visually interesting, seemingly random pattern. It’s a little less formal, but it can be more inviting and add personality to your outdoor living space.
Geometric Slate
Whether the design is a herringbone, checkerboard, or basket weave pattern, this sleek style is often complemented by more contemporary, modern patio furniture.
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Brick Pavers

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.

Stone Pavers
There are now many different shapes, colors, and patterns available in manufactured paving stones than ever before. Even high-end homes now sport paving stone patios. Pavers are modular pieces that are all the same thickness, so they go down easily and quickly, saving you time and money.
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Patio Tile

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.

Pergolas and Gazebos

Pergolas

A pergola is a backyard shade structure with an open-lattice roof supported by columns or posts. Pergolas are not designed to completely block the sun, but to provide relief from direct sunlight while allowing air to circulate freely. Most pergolas are free-standing, but a pergola can be attached to your home if you wish.

Gazebos

A gazebo is an eight-sided shade structure with a solid eight-sided roof. It usually has a built-in bench running along the inside, and sides that are open to the air, so you can enjoy the surrounding garden views.

Consider a Patio Cover

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.

Patio FAQs

A patio cover should be built right off the house in an area that needs protection from the sun or rain. Most homeowners elect to locate a patio cover right off their back door so that it serves as an extension of their living space. Common places for patio covers include over a patio, dining area, built-in grill, or outdoor fireplace.

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.

Open and solid patio covers provide different levels of protection. An open or lattice roof allows light to filter through, creating a partially shaded area. A solid roof will block all light and rain or snow. Typically, solid patio covers are made of aluminum. However, you may have a solid patio cover roofed with shingles to match your house.
Shade structures that are not attached to a building are commonly referred to as pergolas.

Professional Design Services

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.