PVC ( also called vinyl ) or composite , which has wood content that has been encapsulated in a PVC wrap . Decks can either be ground level or elevated . When considering which option is best for you , you ’ ll want to look at the costs and also which one works well with the style of your home . The good news is that regardless of the option you choose , you ’ ll get a positive return on your investment , somewhere between 30 % and 75 %.
For a wood frame house , wooden , composite or PVC decks can match the trim of your existing home . Since wood can be painted , it offers the most color options ; however , it will also require frequent repainting . Both PVC and composite decks are available in a wide range of earth tones to match your home ’ s style .
Vince Lorenzi , owner of Lorenzi Home Design Center , explains that there are cost differences , but feels that PVC and composite decks require less maintenance in the long run .
He says wooden decks will run about $ 2 to $ 3 per square foot . These are attractive , but do require more maintenance and will have to be resealed every few years to give them maximum life . Both PVC and composite decks will run an average of $ 8 to $ 9 per square foot . They will require power-washing for cleaning , with frequency depending on location . If the deck is adjacent to trees and shrubbery , leaves and pollen will settle on the frame , so washing is required to keep it looking sharp .
If your home is made of stone , you may opt for a patio that is a continuation of the stone look , but this also works well with a wood frame or brick home . Patios work best in yards that are level , while a deck can be placed pretty much anywhere , including a hilly or uneven lawn .
According to Marci Buckiso of The Fireplace and Patioplace , a local expert
in furnishing outdoor living spaces , homeowners are especially keen to add fire features to their outdoor area , functioning as a gathering point for both family and guests . Traditional wood-burning fireplaces not only add physical warmth and beauty , but emotional warmth as well . Contemporary homeowners are opting for very modern linear gas fireplaces , with smooth , clean lines to mirror the style of their home .
“ For those homeowners who don ’ t have the space for a traditional fireplace , firepits make a great feature , creating a beautiful flame that glows through crystal rock ,” says Buckiso . And they ’ re available in three different heights , with a lower coffeetable height , dining table and bar height . The homeowner also has the option of selecting a wood- or gas-burning firepit .
OUTDOOR KITCHEN SPLENDOR
When the summer heats up , the prospect of slow-cooking a roast or searing some ribs is just not as appealing when you know it ’ s going to heat up your house and drive up your air-conditioning bill . Take a tip from our pioneer ancestors who baked their bread and cooked their meats outdoors in the summer to maintain a cool house . This simple idea can really help keep your home cool during the dog days of summer , while saving you money on energy costs .
With an outdoor oven and grill , barbeques can be a spontaneous dinner idea , rather than a major event that must be planned days in advance . The grilling process gives steaks , chicken , fish and pork a wonderful smoked flavor , while reducing the overall fat content .
And it ’ s not just meats that can benefit from grilling . Bell peppers , onions , zucchini and tons of other vegetables take on a wonderful flavor when tossed lightly with olive oil , wrapped in foil and cooked on a grill .
With an outdoor kitchen , grilling is not just for summer either . With a covering for rainy days and outdoor heating available , it can be used virtually year-round . Although just a simple oven and grill can change the way you live , a sink with running water and an added fridge can really make cooking outdoors convenient .
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