Choosing the deck, porch or patio style and material that is right for you

With summer on the horizon many families are looking for more ways to spend time outside and enjoy the summer sun. Enhancing your home with a deck, porch or patio is a great way to create an outdoor living space for family and friends. There are many options to choose from including the style and the materials that vary in cost, look and maintenance needed.

Pressure treated wood is a classic option for an outdoor space as it is low priced, natural and aesthetically pleasing; however, it requires more maintenance and is subject to splintering and weathering. Maintenance for natural wood includes staining and waterproofing every year or two to protect against the elements. Various types of wood have their own benefits to reduce the amount of up-keep needed, but they also vary in price. Redwood and Cedar wood resist rot, and the very dense wood, Ipe, will resist water and fire.

Composite decking is a durable blend of synthetic man-made materials including vinyl, PVC and recycled wood fiber for a natural appearance. The main advantage of this material is it is not affected by rot or termite damage, it will not splinter like traditional wood, and it only needs to be cleaned periodically for maintenance. As a result the composite material will last longer, and in many cases it is the more cost-effective option over the lifetime of the deck, porch or patio.

A very popular brand of UV resistant, composite decking is Trex®, which includes a warranty of approximately twenty-five years and their material is made of fifty percent recycled material. Their decking also includes a skid proof surface to decrease the likelihood of someone falling or slipping. Lastly, Trex Artisan Railing® offers a beautiful, customized look with interchangeable components for maximum design flexibility.

In addition to material, the style of deck or porch chosen will have a significant impact on the function and type of outdoor space created. A backyard deck can be open air for a sunny retreat or covered with a pergola for a shady getaway. Pergolas are a quick, easy and lower cost alternative to a gazebo and can be customized to fit the style of an existing deck or integrated into a lush garden.

A bluestone deck with steel and wood pergola

A bluestone deck with steel and wood pergola

Adding on a porch can complement a home’s style and be an impressive transformation, especially for a “flat-faced” home as it provides a welcoming, well-defined entryway. A front porch enhances curb appeal and can mean added value down the road for your home. In addition, it protects the front of your home and is an enjoyable retreat on a rainy or hot, sunny day as it provides an expansive, shady area.

Front porch made with Ipe wood

Front porch made with Ipe wood