June is a wonderful kickoff to summer—everyone wants to spend time outdoors enjoying the ideal weather. We all shift focus to our outdoor living space—decks and patios, grills and fire pits, and all the fun that summer brings. Whether you want hammocks and shade for relaxation, or a party patio that’s perfect for hosting, let’s dive deeper into what your ideal deck would be.
On close inspection, you’ve probably noticed a few parts of your outdoor space that could use a facelift. Follow the steps outlined below to help you upgrade your deck to the ultimate relaxation space.
1. Choose what deck upgrades are your priorities.
Who wouldn’t love to have a luxurious HGTV-style deck, complete with a full outdoor kitchen, bar and waterfalls galore? But it’s important to determine your needs versus your nice-to-haves.
Consider your pain points of your current deck. Is the flooring rotten, warped or loose? What about your railing system—are the spindles and handrail holding up to the extremes of winter and summer weather? Does the square footage fit the needs of your current family size, or what you need to host family gatherings or neighborhood parties?
Have you thought about the maintenance and upkeep of your deck? How often do you power wash and sand and stain the decking and rails? Fortunately, there are now quite a few options for low-maintenance decking. Browse through this slideshow from This Old House about composite decking. It offers insight about the various types, colors and price points of materials.
2. Decide on a budget.
We always suggest that new clients use an online calculator for the current square footage rates for decking in their area. This will help you become aware of all of the costs associated with decking.
Do your research and homework. Look for local product suppliers, not just big box stores. Box stores usually carry “okay” products, but local suppliers can give you “better” and “best” options.
If you’ve decided to upgrade your deck, then you understand the opportunity you have to increase your home’s livable space by bringing the living outdoors. Your budget should reflect this. Have you been putting part of your paycheck aside to save for the deck? Or will your local bank finance a construction loan?
Your investment will not only contribute to the functionality of your home, but will also increase the home value as well.
3. Get quotes from area contractors.
To find a contractor to work with, call references and check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If you have a friend, family member or neighbor who has worked with the contractor, stop by their home and inspect the workmanship.
Other questions to consider: Does the contractor carry insurance and an updated license? What are the payment terms for the work? It’s unlikely a contractor will be able to start work right away (in fact, it might be a red flag if there is immediate availability), but a timeline to complete the work will be important. Ask each contractor for a quote to estimate your options with your “needs” and “nice to haves” as well as building supply options.
At Hall Vanhaitsma Exteriors, we offer free estimates for all of your outdoor projects. From cable-rail decking systems to cement fiber siding, we’ve done it all and have the references to back our quality work.
4. Plan for demolition and construction.
Once you’ve decided on a contractor, you’re ready to start!
If your upgrade will involve demolition, have a plan for dealing with the noise and disruption of your normal home life and privacy. Do you have a home office? You might want to work at a local coffee shop or library for a while. Pets? What about children who would be curious to watch? If you have young children who still nap during the day, consider the possibility of staying elsewhere during the days the crew is on-site.
Other considerations are to put down carpet runners, have brooms and trash bins handy, and choose a bathroom that you’re comfortable with the crew using during the day.
5. Enjoy your extended living space.
Spending time together builds community and camaraderie. Whether that’s within your family (are the kids growing up faster than you thought?) or with neighbors, an outdoor space is a relaxing and fun way to enjoy the great outdoors and great conversation, food and drinks.
Not only will it be exciting to have a new outdoor space, it attracts others as well! From holiday parties to birthdays and just-because dinners, your upgraded deck will be the foundation for years of fun.
If you have any questions about what deck features would be a good fit for your upgrade, contact us today and we’ll set up a time for your free estimate.