outdoor

Are you a new homeowner? Or have you owned your home for a few years? Either way, what happens when you have some free time and you look out your window or out your back door? Do you feel like something is missing? What about the last time you hosted a get-together? Did you tell yourself, I wish I had a deck or gazebo, to have some extra shade or space. If this is you, well we wrote this article with you in mind. We are going to chat a little bit about, decks, gazebos, sunrooms, pergolas, and fire pits.

So outdoor buildings and structures can help transform your landscape and garden, they can actually make it look more magical, and yes, I said magical. We want you to enjoy your outdoor living spaces to the fullest. If you like to spend a lot of time outdoors relaxing or entertaining guests, these constructions will help you make the most of your lovely environment. They will also improve the curb appeal as a side note. There is a financial benefit to many types of outdoor buildings — some, like a new patio or deck, can increase the value of your home, allowing you to recoup much of your investment in their construction should you choose to sell your property. What backyard structure is ideal for you? If you wish to find out, I highly suggest you keep on reading! 

Decks

Decks come in a wide range of sizes and styles. From ground-level decks to elaborate multi-tiered structures, decks provide you with a place to lounge in comfy outdoor furnishings or grill out with friends. Constructing a deck requires some careful planning that begins with material selection. Today, you can build your deck out of wood, aluminum, composite, or other materials. Although wood remains the most popular material for decks, it does require proper preparation.  All of the wood you use for your deck’s construction should be treated to reduce the risk of rot or insect infestation. Decks a perfect fit if you have a pool or are thinking about adding a pool for your summer fun!

Pros of Building a Deck

There are many benefits associated with a newly constructed deck. In addition to elevating your home’s value—especially a larger deck that boasts high-quality construction and visual appeal—you can also customize your deck’s design so that you can use it the way you envision. You can design your deck to complement your swimming pool, construct a tall deck with stairs to provide you with an expansive view of your landscape or build multiple deck levels designed for different purposes, like grilling, working, or lounging. 

Cons of a Backyard Deck

Unlike patios that tend to require less maintenance because of their stone or concrete construction, most decks, especially wood decks, require more maintenance. Each year, you should inspect your deck for signs of wear and tear.  The deck’s foundation also needs to be inspected to ensure it’s providing optimum support for the structure. 

Maintaining a Deck

Decks periodically require resealing, typically every few years. That can be off-putting to some homeowners who are looking for a low-maintenance backyard structure. While composite decks require less routine maintenance than wood decks, they do need to be repainted, resealed, and inspected, too. Since most decks are elevated, it’s important to inspect safety features like railings often to ensure that they’re secure.

Gazebos

 Gazebos come in many different styles and can be purchased as easy-to-build kits. Gazebos are open-sided structures that feature a hard roof made from wood, composite, or even PVC. Purchasing a canopy-style gazebo comes with a less costly price tag than building a more ornate model yourself, but a permanent, custom-designed gazebo could add value to your home. You’ll want to consider how you intend to use this feature when choosing a size and style. Gazebos provide comfortable shade from the sun and the elements. If you have children, this is a great structure to have since it can be used creatively by them. It is the perfect stage for tea parties or a birdwatching station.

Pros of Gazebos

Gazebos can be constructed anywhere in your landscape. Moreover, some styles are portable, so you can move them around as you choose. These structures provide shelter from the sun’s harmful UV rays with their overhead shade and will help you create a comfortable outdoor living space where you and guests can relax. Since there are many styles to choose from, you’ll be able to find or design a model that suits your needs and budget.

Cons of Gazebos

If you construct your gazebo from wood, it will require routine maintenance just as your deck would. You’ll need to inspect it for signs of moisture damage and rot and make necessary repairs. Routine maintenance typically includes power washing, painting, and resealing. If you opt for a temporary gazebo with metal poles, make sure it’s properly staked. As non-permanent features, temporary gazebos may necessitate disassembly and reassembly as needed.

Sunrooms

 A sunroom is an enjoyable home feature that helps you bridge the gap between your home’s indoor and outdoor living space. As a permanent feature, a sunroom—even one that’s unheated—can add considerable value to your home. When constructing one, you can opt for a screened room, a three- or four-season room, a solarium, or a custom design that’s fully integrated with your home’s heating and air conditioning system and boasts windows of any size or shape you choose. Whether you’re interested in constructing an enclosed patio or an integrated room addition lined with windows or screens, you can design your sunroom to suit your needs and budget. Sunrooms are perfect environments for reading your new series or even enjoying a movie at night. For the kiddos, it is a great place to do homework and play board games.

Pros of Sunrooms

A sunroom allows people to enjoy the outdoor setting while staying protected from insects and direct sunlight. Sunrooms are great places to entertain, and because they’re protected from insect pests and other critters, they’re ideal for setting out drinks and snacks for guests to enjoy. Many people build solariums or small conservatories to provide protection for their tender plants. 

Cons of Sunrooms

The cost of building a sunroom is the chief con of this type of construction. A formal room addition typically requires a building contractor, permits, and disruption of the household. Generally speaking, sunroom construction is not a do-it-yourself type of project as a temporary gazebo. It requires advanced construction expertise, which also adds to its more costly price tag.

Fire Pits

 We thought you might be interested in one of our personal favorites. While a fire pit doesn’t provide backyard shelter, it’s a structure that provides warmth. It is the perfect place to create those special memories with friends and loved ones! A fire pit makes a wonderful focal point for a yard. It can be used for cooking outdoors and can be designed in various sizes and styles. When considering the addition of a fire pit to your outdoor living space, you can choose a portable one with a fire bowl or design your own brick or stone pit. 

Pros of Fire Pits

One of the benefits of constructing a stone fire pit is the ability to customize its design. For example, you can build a large hearth-style fire pit that enhances your patio’s privacy and even serves as a windbreak, allowing household residents and guests to enjoy the patio well into cool fall evenings. Fire pits provide light for your outdoor living space so you can spend more time outside at night if you choose. A custom stone fire pit may also enhance your home’s value. 

Cons of a Backyard Fire Pit

A fire pit can be a safety risk, especially if you have young children. So we recommend taking the proper safety measures and safety talks with the entire family. Take steps to screen or otherwise guard it when it’s in use. Although fire pits are necessarily constructed from durable materials like stone or brick, they can develop serious cracks that impede their use. You’ll want to inspect your fire pit routinely and hire a contractor to repair it if it begins to crack from wear and tear.

Pergolas

 Pergolas are permanent structures that feature columns supporting an open roof of beams or rafters. Pergolas can be stand-alone features or partially attached to your home or garage. Pergolas help provide shade, but their open-framed roofs allow light into the sheltered space. Many people design their pergolas as supports for climbing vines, and these can provide additional shade when they cover the structure’s rooftop. Pergolas are perfect for plant lovers so if that’s you this is a perfect structure to use that green thumb of yours!

Pros of Pergolas

Pergolas can be built in many different styles, so it’s easy to construct one in the style of your home. Pergolas make excellent backyard privacy features and provide a comfortable, shady space for watching children play or entertaining backyard guests. You can also add lighting features to your pergola or install hanging baskets of plants to customize its look. A well-constructed pergola can enhance your home’s value, too. These structures can be custom-built or purchased as a kit. You can even find louvered pergolas or kits made with low-maintenance materials like PVC.

Cons of Pergolas

Pergolas, with their open-framed roofs, provide less shelter from sun and rain than a structure like a gazebo. If your pergola is made from wood, it will require routine inspection and maintenance. Each season, you’ll have to inspect your structure and make any necessary repairs. Every few years, plan to reseal your pergola to guard against wood rot.

Final Thoughts

Finally, be sure to think about protecting your outdoor living space or entire backyard with fencing if you don’t have it yet. Today, fencing options include materials like a chain link, iron, wrought iron, wood, bamboo, ecostone, and vinyl. A tall wood or vinyl fence can help you enclose your space, it provides extra privacy. You may also want to choose a model that suits the style of your house as well as your budget.

Many of the outdoor structures discussed here can add value to your home and enhance your enjoyment of your outdoor living space. When selecting an outdoor structure, weigh the pros and cons of each type, and learn about their maintenance needs so you’re not surprised down the road.

We hope you found what you are looking for. If you are still in doubt, we suggest you do some extra research. We invite you to make that lovely home of yours perfect and magical!

*Originally posted on Porch.com

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