As Southern Maryland approaches the summer and the outdoors, once again, becomes a big part of the lifestyle enjoyed in these parts, upgrading the home with an expanded deck, a new patio or porch becomes more than just an esoteric exercise. These additions instantly become the focus for a whole season of entertainment and enjoyment for many homeowners.

These relatively inexpensive structures set become the basis for outdoor entertaining, relaxing, play, and much more. Decks, patios and porches are an extension of the home’s confined areas with the benefit of allowing people to enjoy all that nature has to offer. More than just outdoor rooms, they are a lifestyle that, once a homeowner has created them, take on a persona and energy all their own; adding enjoyment and style to any home.
Deck Basics:
There are many materials from which to choose when deciding to build a deck, porch or patio. For decks, the traditional wood construction is probably the least expensive, initially. Maintenance on a wood deck, however, can be expensive over the years.
For this reason, many are choosing composite decking materials that combine wood fiber particles and plastics. Most of these materials can be used just as wood. They can be cut and shaped and painted like wood. There are some structural differences that have to be addressed at the time of construction and the materials are usually more expensive than wood. Once built, a composite deck is very low maintenance.
Patio Basics:
For patios that are coming into contact with the ground as opposed to a deck that is elevated, building materials tend to more durable than that of wood or composite. Some choose pavers, block, stone or brick to construct beautiful patios with perhaps a seating area in the shade of a family tree or a great family barbecue built in to the new construction.
Patio construction is best done when the ground on which it is to be placed is level and firm, but a patio that embraces the natural fall of the ground can be quite appealing and beautiful. Patios also make a great place for planters and water treatments, such as ponds or waterfalls.
Porch Basics:
Most homeowners build porches because they love the outdoors, but not the bugs and rain that accompany outdoor experiences. Porches can be small and cover only a portion of an existing deck or patio. They may also be new construction, requ