This post may seem misleading since we do not do any deck or patio work ourselves, but we love outdoor spaces and wish to give our advice on how to improve them. Please do not be too quick to discredit a deck post written by a fence company. We used to build decks and railings in the past. We simply became so busy with the fence work that we decided to go exclusively in that direction. Plus, we can recommend local companies that we know will build the perfect sun deck or patio for you!
Here is a photo of Steve Miller acting as foreman on a deck job from 2004. Steve now handles all of our service orders and also lends his expertise on jobs from time to time. He really knows his stuff. If you have ever had your Frederick Fence gate adjusted or anything else corrected, you know Steve!
House or yard?
First consider what you wish to accomplish in your new deck or patio space. A deck often feels like an extension of the home, more specifically whichever room it extends off of or where the door to the deck is located. A patio most often feels more like part of the yard. You may wish to consider adding screens to a deck, but this is harder to do with a patio.
Patios are easier to extend your garden onto simply for practical reasons. It is easier to get plants, planters, and water on and off a patio since there are no stairs to worry about. It also easier to move furniture on and off a patio.
The lay of your land
Where is the space in which you wish to add the addition of a deck or patio? Does your yard slope down rapidly or is it relatively flat? Patios are very unsuitable for uneven areas, unless you wish to invest more money into grading and excavating to get a perfectly flat piece of ground. Decks do not need help from the existing ground in order to be level. Raised decks can be installed almost anywhere since the wooden support structure is custom built to fit perfectly.
Privacy Vs. a good view
Patios can be easily secluded with trees, shrubs, and fencing (our favorite!). Decks are generally higher up and therefore are more out in the open and easily seen by neighbors. Do you have a great view out the back of your house? You may want to consider the deck option. But if you have a flatter yard, no view, and a one-story home, a patio is certainly the best way to go.
One feature that you might consider adding to either addition is a pergola, which provides privacy, shade, and beauty to your space. A pergola can help you create the right combination and the ideal space for you.
Permits and inspections
Most counties in and around our area require the acquisition of a permit before installing a deck. Depending on what city your are located in, there might be certain inspections involved with a deck as well for safety code reasons. Patios can most likely be installed without acquiring a permit.
Cost and value
The installation of a patio made from concrete, stone, or brick is almost always going to more expensive than a deck made from wood. However, a patio will last longer due to materials as well. Wood is a natural material that does natural things over time. It will split, crack, and eventually rot and need to be replaced. Stone pavers, bricks, and concrete are much longer lasting materials. They may distort or shift over time, but they can always be reused if you ever wish to remove and reset your patio. When it comes to resale value, a deck technically has a higher value based on what you spent to install it, but a patio is more attractive to buyers for the same reasons we have already stated. A potential buyer can be sure it will last.
To go along with our last point, decks require a good bit of maintenance in order for them to really last. Maintaining your deck with cleaning and applying stain or other treatments can go a long way! But finding the time and ability to do it is often the hardest variable. You may want to consider a patio if maintenance is not an option for you.
Here are some additional photos of Frederick Fence Co. decks! Installed in 2006 and 2004
Again, we no longer install decks, but you may want to check out these companies around our area that we recommend for your deck or patio project:
Cedar Brooks (Mount Airy, MD)
Grayson Plant and Stone Landscaping (Mount Airy, MD)
Great American Landscapes (Clarksburg, MD)
Albaugh and Sons (Frederick, MD)
Hidden Spring Landscape (Mount Airy, MD)
If you are in need of a fence for your outdoor space, call and let us know! We would be happy come out and envision alongside you. Like we said, we love outdoor spaces!
Internet Sources and more information on this topic: