Outdoor Living Cost Guides

Have you wanted a new deck or a swimming pool for those summer months? Turning your outdoor space into a comfortable, fun and safe place for the whole family can be less costly than you think. Think about how you want to use your outdoor space. The more prepared you are when you talk to your contractor, the easier it will be to transform the backyard into your paradise.
Patios and Pathways
Patios act as great spaces for dining, grilling, putting swimming pool furniture and holding outdoor parties. They are often made of concrete, tiles or stone and installed directly on the ground. They can be any shape and either attached to the home or a detached free-standing space in the middle of the yard. They are used for everything, from sitting and enjoying the view to holding an outdoor BBQ to surrounding a pool. These are less expensive than decks and easier to maintain in the long run.  Continue Reading

Select your Outdoor Living project

Pathways are useful when wanting to create a walking space in your yard. They can be made of various materials depending on the garden: pebbles, mulch, flagstone, ceramic tiles, etc. Asphalt is a very cost-effective option. It also provides a better surface for snow and ice removal in winter climates. It's easier to repair and additional layers can be added if necessary. Consider the square footage of your yard and if a pathway would be ideal for walking your garden area.
Unlike patios, decks are designed with wood, often enclosed and act as extensions of the home as an additional room. Building a deck can enhance the beauty of your home. Although a new deck could turn into an expensive investment, picking the best contractor for the job, planning and asking questions will make the difference in the end sum.
Choose your design, materials and location. You can have the coolest idea for a deck, and it will never look the way you anticipated if it isn't designed properly. If you have an especially great view from one part of your home, then position the new deck to take full advantage of it. If you are considering a hot tub, consider the optimal wood material for holding its weight. Sealing the deck is another way to help it last longer and shine. Flower boxes and benches are some options to consider to make your deck more beautiful.
A gazebo is a free-standing structure designed to provide shelter from the elements. Gazebos are normally situated in gardens or other places with beautiful views, and they are constructed in a wide range of styles and with an assortment of materials. These simple structures are relatively easy to build but have a multitude of uses. Think of adding decorative lattice or pillars, even a hot tub! There are really no design limitations - just your imagination and budget!
Swimming Pools
A swimming pool used to be a privilege of the rich, but today that isn't necessarily true. There are many options to fit within your budget. In-ground pools are more expensive than their above-ground counterparts, but both provide terrific aesthetic options and sound investments. Don't only think about the cost of the pool itself, but maintenance as well. Although modern equipment makes maintenance easy, weekly cleanings and seasonal closings are necessary to preserve the life of your pool. Be sure to check your local building restrictions to determine how far your pool needs to be from field lines and septic tanks. Talk to your insurance agent before construction to find out about additional coverage needed for a new pool, and you may also want to talk to your local taxing authorities about possible property tax assessment increases so that you'll know what to expect.