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Deck, Porch or Gazebo: Which is Right for My Home?

weisekitchen2Spring is here and summer is on its way. It’s time to get outside and enjoy the weather while you can! You don’t have to go far; you can enjoy nature from your very own home with an outdoor installation. A deck, porch or gazebo can enhance the look of your home, give you an extra space to socialize with guests, and increase your home’s market value.

But which one is right for you? The best choice will depend on your needs, budget, and space. A deck installation specialist can help you decide if you’re at a loss—but first, check out this breakdown of decks, porches and gazebos.

Decks

Decks provide a great space to relax and entertain outdoors. If your home overlooks a beautiful area, they can give you a perfect place to take in the view.

There are also a number of features you can add to your deck to enhance it and customize it to your needs. Fire pits, for example, allow you to enjoy the deck even when it’s cooler outside. Comfortable built-in seating can make it easier to entertain guests.

Decks typically don’t have covers. They are open spaces, situated either on the ground level or coming off of a higher floor. Since they are typically uncovered, they’re best for pleasant weather. Decks also don’t need to be attached to a home; you can put a deck around a pool, for example, or even as a standalone structure. The cost of a new deck depends on many factors, but can average between $4,000 and $10,000 when built and guaranteed by a reputable professional.

Porches

There are similarities between porches and decks. Both are outside and both expand your living space.

The biggest difference between the two is that porches are covered. It could be a short covering above the door that keeps you from getting wet when it rains, or it could be an enclosed space with screens or windows. The latter becomes virtually another room of your house. Porches are almost always on the first floor of a home.

If you’re trying to choose between a deck and a porch, consider the weather where you live. Decks will probably get more use in areas with temperate climates. However, enclosing your porch makes it possible for you to enjoy it year-round. You can use the porch as a dining room, a children’s play room, an office, and more. Many homeowners with pets or children also consider porches to be the safest option.

A small, DIY porch can cost between $5,000 and $10,000. A 16’ to 20’ porch with a floor and roof, built by a reputable deck building company, averages about $15,000 to $30,000.

Gazebos

A gazebo, defined as a freestanding structure with a roof and open sides, is a charming and useful addition to a garden or yard. They can be minimal or complex. If you add a low wall as part of your gazebo, you can incorporate doors, screens, windows, and even benches. Gazebos provide shade on hot days, and with garden furniture like chairs or recliners they’re a great place to relax. They also provide a useful space for social gatherings such as barbecues and celebrations.

Wood, pressure-treated lumber, metal, and vinyl are common materials used to construct gazebos. Gazebos can be placed various surfaces. They can also be placed on patios, either sitting on the surface or fixed to the floor.

Compared to decks and porches, gazebos are significantly cheaper. The average gazebo costs between $1,500 to $2,500. Depending on the size, they also tend to take up less space.

The best outdoor feature for you

When it comes to this very important decision, the most important considerations are budget, space, and how you plan to use your outdoor installation. Deck and porches are a much bigger undertaking and may require more space. They’re also significantly more expensive. A gazebo is the most cost-effective option but has limitations in how much you can use it.

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