Because of the number of electronic devices and the constant pressure to be in contact with people at all times, more and more Americans are looking to their backyards as a refuge, and a place to get away from those pressures for a few minutes at a time. There has been an increase in the number of patios, decks and pergolas being built over the last three years, and those numbers only continue to grow. If you are looking to make an addition to your backyard, you need to consider how you want the yard to look, the feel that you want the addition to bring to the yard, and how you plan to use the addition. There are three primary constructions that you will need to go over.
The most simple form of addition to the backyard is the patio. If your home is a slightly older home, it probably already has a patio of some sort on the home. A patio is little more than a flat place in the backyard where you can rest and relax. Many times the patio is attached to the home, though this is not always the case. Patios sit at ground level, and they are accessible through the interior of the home or they can be accessed through one of the gates into the backyard. You may find that your patio is bland, but that is one of the best things about adding or extending the patio at your home. Patios give you the most freedom to express who you are and design the yard to reflect your personality. You can transform your patio into a jungle hideout or a Zen meditation area with some accessories. The cost of a patio is not high, but you will not get the kind of value from a patio that you would with one of the other constructions. A patio is ideal if you plan on having small gatherings or if you just want a quiet place for yourself.
The next step up from the patio is a deck. Whereas many homes come with a patio already attached, most homes will not have a premade deck. A deck is a much larger addition to the yard, and a much more complicated construction project since they tend to be several feet off the ground. Decks have to be anchored into the ground, and they have to have significant support if the deck is to remain safe. Most of the time the deck is accessible through a set of steps or a door from the inside of the home. The value of a deck lies in its ability to add value to the home. A deck is meant to last a long time, virtually maintenance free if they are made from vinyl, and they are not specific to the homeowner the way that a patio is. The problem with a deck is their cost; they are much more expensive than a patio and they usually require a contractor to complete the project. A deck is perfect for situations where you want to have large parties or gatherings, and it is great for a grill.
If you are just looking for a semi-shady place to sit and read or talk to guests, then you might want to go with a pergola. A pergola is an open wooden structure with a slatted roof that lets air and sun flow through the structure. These are more sophisticated than patios or decks, and they often come in very easy to install packages. A pergola can either be attached to your home, or it can be placed anywhere in the yard where you might want to sit. A pergola can last your family a long time, but they are often placed on the ground, which can limit their usefulness, especially after a heavy rain. Pergolas offer a nice alternative for small outdoor gatherings and picnics.
You have a lot of choices if you want to add a place for you and your family to relax in your yard, each offering a different way to enjoy your yard. Take the time and really think about how you plan to use the structure, and you will be able find the one that fits your needs perfectly.
I am Patrick Hardin and I wrote this article after my wife and I went over our options for our backyard. We looked at all of these, and finally realized that decks offered more benefits for our family than the other choices. The size and versatility of a deck is ideal for the number of guests we like to have at our house, and the deck design we came up with complimented our house perfectly. We used http://www.deckcraftcustomdecks.com and I highly recommend Deck Craft if you are looking to build a deck.