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Old 04-10-2010, 11:17 AM
 
2 posts, read 20,650 times
Reputation: 13

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Hi,

I am currently looking into building a house. At the moment, I am trying to figure the best solution when it comes to building a backyard patio.

I have several options, concrete gallery, since I am building my house from scratch I can pour the same cement that is used for my foundation, and digg deeper to make extra rooms under the gallery or even a cold room.

I also heard about Wood Decks, my wife says it looks nicer to build a wooden deck since it looks nicer, "Warm Looking".

I also read about PVC decks, and now I am completely confused.

I was wondering what you guys thought, if you had the option to do it all over again.

Since I am also building the home from scratch, I was also thinking of making a canope to cover the backyard gallery.

Please let me know, it will help a lot.

Alex

Last edited by aterri; 04-10-2010 at 11:27 AM..
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Pomona
1,955 posts, read 9,502,894 times
Reputation: 1535
Haven't heard much about PVC ... wood composite, yes, but not PVC.

Concrete ... typically drab looks, but tough and very low maintenance. Heavy, so any rooms underneath will have to be built stronger, adding cost.

Wood ... warm, nice, but higher maintenance, especially if pests are prevalent.

Composite ... costs more than wood, but offers the warmer look of wood along with low maintenance.
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,390 posts, read 17,314,904 times
Reputation: 14022
If the design of your home and landscaping doesn't dictate one or the other, then I think it's simply a matter of preference. The "concrete slab" is pretty blah, but you can do things to it to make it look pretty nice, even "warm".

My daughter has a large patio (approx 20x30) built under the roof of her house. It's a stamped, colored and textured concrete slab but looks like tile with it's epoxy coating. They have a hot tub built into it as well as a kitchen area -- grill, refrigerator, keg cooler. It's very nice, and the "tile look" is carried out in the design of the backyard pool and concrete pad around it. It's the southwest look (in Tucson) and everything is done in natural adobe colors, so "warm looking" is understating it.

When my current home was built 30 years ago, the patio was a plain concrete slab. It started sinking into the ground, probably soon after the original pour, so another pour was made on top of the original one. I bought the house when it was a couple years old, and the patio was already sinking again. I finally took it out -- a huge job considering that it was then 12 inches thick -- and replaced and enlarged it with bricks over a gravel and sand base. It's a nice look, much warmer than plain concrete. If I stay here long enough I'll add some more bricks for walks and edging around trees and bushes, etc. (I rented out the house the first 15 years that I owned it.)

A neighbor did something similar with his patio, except he had his poured, stamped and colored to look like red brick, much like mine. His is easier to care for and keep clean than mine, but it's obviously stamped concrete. They just don't look the same. Another advantage of mine is that I can easily enlarge it or make changes to it by myself. But then, he doesn't have to worry about weeds growing between his "bricks". Again, it's a matter of preference.

If my house sat up a little higher on the foundation, I might have built a wood deck, but there wasn't much room for that if I wanted to have good drainage away from the house. Wood decks are always nice, and in many cases they're the only option. (And I include PVC/vinyl in this type of patio.) PVC eliminates the upkeep that's common with most wood decks. Even redwood decks need upkeep. I've built redwood fences before and seen what weather does to them. (And we have a redwood deck off of our bedroom.) We now have a vinyl fence -- no upkeep required and it looks like new year after year.

I suggest you get some books at the library, Home Depot, etc. on building patios. You'll see good examples of what can be done and maybe get some ideas about how you want to design yours.
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,722 posts, read 40,846,849 times
Reputation: 9197
Around here, between rot and termites, wood decks have to be replaced or significantly rebuilt after 10-15 years or so, depending on how well you protect it. Details matter also, Joints made with connectors like Simpson Strong-Tie connectors are stronger and will last far longer, but they are also not real attractive unless you hide them with trim.
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:07 PM
 
Location: My Private Island
4,941 posts, read 7,287,007 times
Reputation: 12256
Quote:
Originally Posted by aterri View Post
Hi,

I am currently looking into building a house. At the moment, I am trying to figure the best solution when it comes to building a backyard patio.

I have several options, concrete gallery, since I am building my house from scratch I can pour the same cement that is used for my foundation, and digg deeper to make extra rooms under the gallery or even a cold room.

I also heard about Wood Decks, my wife says it looks nicer to build a wooden deck since it looks nicer, "Warm Looking".

I also read about PVC decks, and now I am completely confused.

I was wondering what you guys thought, if you had the option to do it all over again.

Since I am also building the home from scratch, I was also thinking of making a canope to cover the backyard gallery.

Please let me know, it will help a lot.

Alex
If you are building your home on a slab foundation, a concrete patio would transition best and be the most cost effective.

Crawl space foundation, a deck would transition best. Composite wood is expensive but it's low maintenance and durable. You will get your money's worth just in maintenance costs alone over the years.

Also, think about what kind of entertaining you will be doing, grilling, large gatherings requiring alot of patio furniture, fire pits, etc. when choosing your surfaces and budget.
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Old 04-10-2010, 05:02 PM
 
3,337 posts, read 4,308,059 times
Reputation: 2204
I like a rock salt finish on concrete. It does wonders. You can copy the look with a stamp but in my experience there is no cost savings. Brick or stone edging also takes a bit of the harshness off.

I like wood but will freely acknowledge that it can be a maintenance issue. If I were addind a deck I would give seriosu thought to ipe.
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:05 PM
 
29,988 posts, read 37,103,870 times
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Suggest the OP take a good look around the area the house will be built. What do other comparable homes offer, wood decks or concrete/stone patios? IMO, concrete or stone patios ground a house more and are associated with higher value homes than are decks.

The style of home and the fall of the land away from the house will make a difference. A rustic home or log home are better complimented by decking than concrete. If the land falls quite away from the home and steps would be too many or too steep then decks are often chosen.

Decks do require maint. and they are not cheap to replace. One by one I have watched my neighbors do away with their decks for stone or dyed/stamped concrete patios.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,363 posts, read 20,159,003 times
Reputation: 16326
I hate starting new threads so thought this was the closest (I searched deck or patio). We currently have a deck that's old, we got estimates for a new deck, paid $$$ and the company we chose went through bankruptcy and we lost our money - Anyway: they (all the companies for estimates) said the footers are wonderful, solid, etc. - to be honest, deck wasn't maintained (husband had it put in, but that was before my time).

Anyway: I'm wondering if it might just be better to rip the deck off, have a little porch area off the back of the house and have a stone patio on ground level? (Cape Cod so I guess it's call 1 1/2 stories?) - we have a below ground basement, deck is currently off the kitchen (back of the house) and steps down to the ground.

To be honest if a new deck is built, it wouldn't be maintained either - the idea of a simple patio is appealing: I'd love a little firepit, wouldn't have to worry about the wood, etc. - This area gets some sun but would have a good deal of shade.

Which is more affordable (given that we already basically threw away a good deal of money and aren't rich by any means).
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
12,500 posts, read 48,537,614 times
Reputation: 14060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamingo13 View Post
Which is more affordable ?


For you, concrete (.)
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,123 posts, read 5,768,900 times
Reputation: 547
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamingo13 View Post
I hate starting new threads so thought this was the closest (I searched deck or patio). We currently have a deck that's old, we got estimates for a new deck, paid $$$ and the company we chose went through bankruptcy and we lost our money - Anyway: they (all the companies for estimates) said the footers are wonderful, solid, etc. - to be honest, deck wasn't maintained (husband had it put in, but that was before my time).

Anyway: I'm wondering if it might just be better to rip the deck off, have a little porch area off the back of the house and have a stone patio on ground level? (Cape Cod so I guess it's call 1 1/2 stories?) - we have a below ground basement, deck is currently off the kitchen (back of the house) and steps down to the ground.

To be honest if a new deck is built, it wouldn't be maintained either - the idea of a simple patio is appealing: I'd love a little firepit, wouldn't have to worry about the wood, etc. - This area gets some sun but would have a good deal of shade.

Which is more affordable (given that we already basically threw away a good deal of money and aren't rich by any means).
Our house walk out is only about 2 ft from grade, so when we had to remove an improperly built deck (no flashing...woohoo, it was rotting our rim joists!) I paid $10k for nice large flagstone patio and tied it into the house by running the stone up the foundation to our siding. We added a knee wall around the outer perimater (all stack stone mortared together) and the patio has been the best money I've spent on our house so far. It gives a really historic character to the house, and there is minimal upkeep (only power washing ever couple years to get mildew off). We have a sweet firepit and never have to worry about flames or embers dropping out on wood.
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