(NEWS CENTER) - The summer season is so short in Maine a lot of people like to make the absolute most of the warm weather and that can mean spending a lot of time out on your deck or patio. If you're thinking about adding one or the other to your home, we have some things to consider in this week's "Angie's list" report.
When built and maintained well a deck or patio can give you and your family years of enjoyment. Which you choose depends on a variety of factors.
Patios are best on flat terrain, they lend themselves well to built-in features like fireplaces or grills, and they can easily hold a lot of weight... Like a hot tub, for example. They're also fairly easy to maintain.
Patio Contractor Kevin Schluchter says, "Basically I tell people that the leaf blower is your best friend. Blowing off um your pavers after moving, especially if you have a side-discharge mower that would blow grass clippings across or whatever or just the common seeds or leaves that end up falling throughout the week, just blowing those off your pavers just to keep them fresh looking, not allowing that debris to start to accumulate in the joints, but that's primarily it. They're very low maintenance."
Decks can be installed out over variety of terrain, they provide storage space underneath, and they offer seemingly endless options when it comes to design.
Deck Contractor Tom Booker says, "We can create a couple of different spaces with the deck, higher spaces, lower spaces. So it can feel like separate areas. Also, we can put benches, privacy screens, and railing, so it really can flesh out the space nicely
The amount of maintenance your deck will need, depends on what it's made out of. Wooden decks need to be re-stained and sealed periodically. If you build your deck out of composite material... It'll cost you a little more initially... But require a lot less TLC.
Booker says, "In fact, about 80 percent of our decks are made with composite materials and within the composite materials there are actually three different types. There is a wood-plastic composite, there is a PVC material, and then there's a capstock or coated composite material. The coded composite is the highest performance material. That actually has a 25 year fade and stain warranty so it's really popular."
As with any home improvement project... You'll want to get quotes from at least three contractors before you choose one to work with... And make sure he or she is licensed and insured.
And before you sign that contract... Make sure you understand all the details.