Freshen Up Your Outdoor Living Area For Spring
With spring just around the corner, it’s time to turn your home improvement efforts to the backyard and outdoor living areas such as the patio or deck that is built specifically to enjoy the extra hours of sunlight. If this is the year you have decided to extend your living space to include the outdoors, you will have a several options to consider-decks, porch or patio.
What’s so great about a patio? A nice patio is a worthwhile investment. Not only can you utilize the space while you are living in your house, but when it comes time to sell your place, your patio can make your house more appealing.
A well, thought-out patio design provides a relaxing atmosphere, an area for children’s play and ample space for social gatherings. Patios also allow you to take your cooking out of the kitchen. Throw some burgers on the grill and enjoy a pleasant evening in your backyard. The warm season can be extended well into the fall, or even winter by adding an outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen. The evenings can be extended by installing low voltage landscape lighting strategically throughout the patio.
Ok, let’s say you have decided on the patio rather than the deck or porch. The next decision is the type of patio you will build – or have built. There are several options you may select: Concrete, Brick and Natural Stone.
Concrete. Plain concrete can be pretty boring. If this is the way you decide to go, consider a stamped concrete pattern that is dyed with a coloring agent for a more natural look. Concrete requires maintenance. You will need to reapply the coating about every two years so it does not lose its color. In New England, cold weather may cause concrete to show surface cracks; however, in warmer climate concrete is often the material of choice. The cost of the concrete slab will be less expensive than the cost of the materials when using brick pavers.
Brick. Clay brick are popular in New England not only because of the colonial influence on homes here, but because it is a segmented paving system. Unlike concrete, bricks allow for a little shifting without affecting the integrity of the surface. However, brick is porous so it retains moisture. In freezing weather, it cracks so it must be replaced. In shady areas, slippery moss grows on the bricks and it has to be scrubbed off. Cost-wise, brick is middle of the road. It will cost more than concrete slabs, but less than natural stone.
Natural Stone. If you are want a natural look, nothing beats natural stone for a patio. Natural stone is a favorite among contractors, designers and homeowners due to its timeless beauty, versatility and durability. There are many different types of natural stone to choose from including flagstone, slate, bluestone and limestone. One drawback may be the cost. Natural stone costs more because it is quarried and must be trucked in adding transportation costs. It also cost more to install since it takes longer to lay down.
If you want to get your patio installed before summer, start now looking for a professional patio installer–unless you are going to DIY. Decide on the material you will use and the design layout of your patio. The advantage of using a professional is that they can help you decide on the best material to use for your geographical region and a patio design that best fits your space.