January 10, 2018
Outdoor Structures…The Backbone of the Landscape
During the last few years, the backyard living concept has evolved from a deck or patio area often times paired with a pool, to true outdoor living spaces complete with full kitchens, eating, sitting and living areas with surround sound and HDTV as fun extras. With this rise in the popularity of outdoor living spaces, it’s no surprise that outdoor structures such as gazebos, arbors, trellises, pergolas and pavilions are also more in demand.
Mock Property Services can make this happen for you!
“People aren’t looking for a simple outdoor space anymore. They’re thinking in terms of defining spaces with walls, ceilings and a roof, but only in an open sense to blend with the outdoors,” says Ernie Sears, president and owner of Backyard America of Manassas, Va.
Ernie began his business as a building contractor specializing in outdoor structures, but since 1998 has been providing design services and fabricating kits for customers all over the country.
“Pergolas have really taken off over the last few years,” says Ernie.
Michael Mendelsohn, owner of Mendelsohn Construction in Scottsdale, Ariz., is also seeing his business grow as a result of more outdoor structures. “Every home I’m doing, we’re enlarging the back patio areas – even after the plans are done. People want more multi-use living centers with TVs and full kitchens.”
Mock Property Services can make this a reality!
Most outdoor structures are a variation or combination of a deck, patio, pergola, pavilion, arbor, trellis or gazebo, and sometimes they may be of a custom design or even go by different names to reflect their function or region of the country (lanai, ramada, veranda). They all serve the same basic function: to provide an aesthetically pleasing place to hang light fixtures, fans or A/V equipment, provide shade or a break from the wind, and even as a place to locate cooling misters or infrared heaters.
“These structures are all about expanding use,” says Ernie. “People want to get more useful hours per day and more useful days per year from the outdoor living spaces.”
From a contractor’s standpoint, the same basic principles of design and construction apply as to the main house: use materials and design similar to those of the home to blend the two structures, make sure you follow all codes – especially those regarding setbacks and electrical/gas hookups, and choose materials and build carefully so that the structure will stand up to the elements.
“Where snow load is a concern, most pergolas will have less structure on top to reduce surface area, and where wind load is a concern, make sure you have the structure properly anchored to the ground,” says Ernie. “But those are all things most contractors know anyway.”
Mock Property Services, is an authorized dealer for Berlin Gardens Outdoor Structures. Visit their website to learn more!
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Paver Patio vs. Deck
If your house is in dire need of outdoor space, adding a patio or deck can increase your square foot without robbing your children of their college educations. Each option offers an area to gather with friends and family, grill out, and relax under the sun (or stars); the option you choose will likely depend on your budget, space and needs. Let’s review the benefits of both patios and decks so your hardest decision will be where to place the grill.
Patio or Deck: What’s the Difference?
Oftentimes homeowners use these terms interchangeably, but there are differences between the two. A patio refers to an outdoor space placed directly on the ground. This area may be connected to the house or constructed in a separate part of the yard. Patios often have concrete bases, but some homeowners use stone, tile, pavers, brick or other materials to create the foundation. In most cases patios do not have a rail; they may or may not be covered. Today’s patios might feature party goodies like fire pits, built in barbecues, and sitting areas, making them the perfect relaxation or socialization space.
Decks, on the other hand, are typically constructed of wood or vinyl. Though they can be built near the ground, they are not placed directly on the ground and feature some type of support system to hold up the addition. Decks may be built off of the lower floor of a home, such as the living room or kitchen, or they might be added to an upper level room or even on a rooftop setting. Decks are typically enclosed with some type of railing and often offer the homeowner excellent views of their surroundings.
Patio vs. Deck: A Cost Comparison
As with all renovation projects, your budget will likely impact your choice, and the range for a deck or patio addition project can be large. For instance, Remodeling Magazine’s Cost Value Report in 2013 states the average cost of a mid-range deck addition project runs around $15,000 for a composite deck and $9,327 for wood. While This Old House averages a new deck to be just shy of $6,000. A new patio might cost the homeowner a third of that lower-end price. Additionally, according to this article from HouseLogic, a free source from the National Association of Realtors™, decks run around $33 per square foot while a patio might cost as low as $15 per square foot. In short, patios are usually cheaper than decks. The cost of the project will depend upon a variety of factors though. These include:
Another consideration to factor into the addition equation is the slope of the yard on which you plan to place the patio or deck. For instance, since a patio is placed directly on the ground, you’ll want to choose a space that is level. Patios may not be the best choice for uneven ground because the cost to create a level foundation can double or triple the cost of the actual addition.
Which Is Best For Your Needs?
Aside from cost, you’ll want to determine which outdoor addition works best for the purpose for which you hope to use it. Do you want to incorporate the landscaping into the overall design? If so, a patio might work best, as it can be surrounded by trees, shrubs and flowers. Do you want the area to be considered a space separate from the main house? Again, a patio works best here because the foundation can be placed away from the house. Patios also work well for homeowners who have in ground pools and want a space around the area in which to gather, cook out, or relax.
Homeowners interested in spotlighting a view might opt for a deck, since they can be built off of the ground and offer a wider visual range. Decks also work well for those with yards that are not level or that are built on a hill, since the supports can be cut to any height. Also, since decks must have stairs if the homeowner is interested in getting to the yard from the addition, those who want to keep the entertaining on the porch rather than in the yard may opt for this type of addition.
Whichever way you choose to go, both decks and patios offer a positive ROI and unlimited possibilities for entertaining, socializing, or simply relaxing in an outdoor space. Contact us today to see how we can extend your living space through the addition of a deck or patio, and start living your life outside, too!
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Akron Home and Flower Show 2018
SAVE THE DATE…
February 23-25, 2018
Friday & Saturday 11AM-8PM
John S. Knight Center
77 E. Mill Street
Join Mock Pond and Landscape Supply at the Akron Home and Flower Show, sponsored by the Akron Home Builders Association! We will be there answering questions and giving ideas to make your back yard oasis a reality. We look forward to seeing you!
“The Overview Effect”
Those who see Earth from space experience The Overview Effect, a remarkable sense of connection with the rest of the human race, and a desire for world peace.
On This Day in History
January 10, 1776
“The Sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. ‘Tis not the affair of a City, a County, a Province, or a Kingdom; but of a Continent – of at least one-eighth part of the habitable Globe. ‘Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age; posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected even to the end of time, by the proceedings now. Now is the seed-time of Continental union, faith and honour.”
– Thomas Payne, from the “Common Sense” brochure, published to advocate American Independence from Great Britain