Enhance Your Backyard With a New Deck or PatioMany homeowners have the desire to improve their home so that they can enjoy spending time more comfortably in their backyard. In many homes, the property was constructed originally with a basic concrete patio slab that is rather small in size and nondescript. While this area may provide you with a space to put a few lawn chairs, it may not give you the full outdoor living experience that you are dreaming about for your home. Because of this, you may be dreaming about adding a new deck or an upgraded patio to your backyard. As you make your decision about which option to consider installing, there are a few points to keep in mind.

The Different Features You Can Add to Your Outdoor Living Area
Both decks and patios can be as gorgeous and elaborate as you would like. However, if you plan to add special features to your outdoor living area, you may determine that one is more feasible than another. For example, if you want to install an outdoor kitchen, you may enjoy a concrete or paved area more fully. This is because a masonry surface may be resistant to fire and may be more durable to holding and using items like a large grill, an outdoor refrigerator or other items. If you plan to include these on your patio, consider if they are covered under your home protection plan before you install them.

The Elevation of Your Yard
Both concrete patios and wood or synthetic materials can be used for decks, but it can be more expensive to pour concrete. More than that, if you have a steep grade to your yard, your cost for a concrete patio may be even more significant due to the increased amount of concrete that will be required. If you have a level surface to work with, you may consider either option. However, a more affordable option for a basic patio or deck on a level surface will be a wood deck.

The Maintenance Factor
When you invest in a new deck or patio, you may want to have ample time to relax and enjoy it, and you may not want to spend all of your time maintaining and repairing it. The type of material that you choose to use for a deck or patio will play a key role in your repair and maintenance efforts and cost over the years. A wood deck may require the most upkeep, and it may need to be stained every year in order to keep it looking great and preventing it from splintering due to exposure to the elements. A vinyl or synthetic wood material may be a better option if you prefer the look of wood. With vinyl, concrete and stone materials used for a deck or patio, you can essentially expect the majority of the maintenance work to include power washing the surface from time to time.

The Style
A final point to consider as you determine whether to construct a deck or patio for your home is the style. Decks and patios both can be rather basic or elaborate. Both use natural materials or materials that mimic natural materials. However, with concrete, you may be able use decorative concrete, staining and other techniques to have greater flexibility with the final look.

While it may seem like a difficult decision on the surface, your decision about whether to install a deck or patio may be easier than you might think. After you have reviewed and considered these points, you may be able to make a better decision about your outdoor living project.

AUTHOR BIO: David Glenn is a home improvement expert. He occasionally freelance writes about real estate tips, home maintenance and DIY home repair.

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