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Creating the Perfect Deck, Porch, or Patio

When you live in Niagara, outdoor living in the spring and summer season is a big part of the culture.  After participating in the many choices of activities available in the region, it is no wonder that many homeowners want to create a tranquil retreat in their own backyards.  For some, doing so may be as easy as changing patio furniture and adding a few decorative planters — but for many, it requires the creation of their ideal patio or deck.

PLANNING STAGE

If you are considering a deck or patio, there are several things to keep in mind. The most integral part in planning and building a deck or patio is envisioning what you intend to use it for. Understanding your lifestyle is vital to establishing your ideal outdoor space.Its design depends largely on how you will use it.Decks and patios can be the perfect way to alleviate congestion in a cramped or warm kitchen during a summer celebration.They can be a means of escape from a hectic work day-- a haven for peace or a place to play with your children.This space may service one purpose or multiple functions—if you have the outdoor area, a deck or patio can be built to accommodate all of your needs.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Is it going to be used for relaxation, barbecuing, or eating?  What does “relaxation” mean to you?

Is it a place to unwind, have morning coffee, entertain, sun bathe, or have a front row seat to your children’s outdoor games? Consider safety, fuel, barriers, weather protection, seating, etc.

  • Do you have young children and/or will you entertain?

Consider safety, deck size, traffic flow, location, green space, entertaining and cooking spaces, storage, etc.

  • What kind of furniture do you want to use? 

Size really does matter…when it comes to furniture and decks. Consider traffic flow when sizing furniture.

  • How often do you hope to use the deck/patio?

Extend the season by adding fireplaces or fire pits, partition walls, and roofs.

  • Is privacy an issue?

Add stone/brick or lattice walls, artistic focal points, water features, outdoor fireplace, fences, etc.

  • Do you have future expectations for your space that differ from your current needs?

Adding a pool, out building, additional decking/patio areas one day?

  • How do local building regulations affect your use and design ideas?
  • What is the realistic budget you have to work with? 

 

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION…among other considerationsFront Porch

The location of a deck or patio is important for entry, sun, shade, wind protection, privacy, views, and aesthetics, etc.It is necessary to determine your yard’s sun/shade areas and how they will affect your space.If location, positioning, or size are restricted, perhaps the addition of a pergola, roof, or canopy may be necessary to provide protection from the sun and other elements—nature can otherwise have a way of turning a beautiful deck or porch into unusable space.

 

At Vanderzalm Construction Inc. we take into consideration our homeowner’s individual needs and style choices combined with the following aspects when establishing a deck design:

  • Yard/space limitations and by-law restrictions
  • Sight lines from the inside of the home as well as curb appeal
  • Nature’s impact and barriers from neighbours or less than desirable views
  • Access and often accessibility
  • Aesthetics and maintenance


MATERIALS

With such a wide range of materials available, the sky is the limit with regard to deck and patio design.There are a multitude of woods, composite materials, paving stones, and concrete options for floor surfaces, and even more options to transform your deck, porch or patio into an outdoor room.When determining your choice of materials, ask yourself-- in addition to the floor, will your outdoor space have a ceiling, and wall(s) or any sense of enclosure?Combining a variety of complementary materialsor incorporating elements of nature that are already in your yard cannot only achieve the function of extending your living space, it can establish protection, and act as the backdrop for your dream retreat.Back Porch

 

APPEARANCE, DURABILITY and MAINTENANCE

It is essential to realize that while appearance is important to all of us, so are durability, and the frequency and ease of maintenance.Certain materials need less maintenance than others do—what is your tolerance for maintenance?

 

ROUGH-INS, BUILT-INS, & EFFICIENCIES

Consideration of lighting, fuel and water access, accessibility, storage, and rough-ins is required from the beginning. Creating a barrier from a neighbouring property or a less than desired view may also be part of that plan.Whether your needs are simple and function is your priority, or you require a more elaborate plan of multiple levels, circular shapes, and a mixture of materials, the possibilities are endless.Creativity can turn function into form—one that is unique and reflective of your individual style.

We, at Vanderzalm Construction Inc., have a great deal of experience creating outdoor spaces and we would love to build yours! Call us at 905-562-4463 or 905-684-5823 or send us an email at info@vanderzalm.ca.

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