Extending the Home Into the Outdoors

Extending the Home Into the Outdoors

Comfort, elegance and living space make a deck one of the best home improvement investments you can make. According to the annual Remodeling magazine “Cost vs. Value Report,” you’ll get back nearly 75 percent of what you pay for a deck if you sell your home within the first year after the deck is built. That investment can vary widely, depending on materials and the intricacy of your design. An array of new decking options can make all that effort and expense last longer and cut down on maintenance during its life. While pressure-treated “green” Southern yellow pine still goes into 80 percent of all decks, there are several alternatives even within the pressure-treated lumber category. Other choices include exotic hardwoods and a variety of non-wood products, such as engineered vinyl systems and plastic-wood composites. And there are the different shapes, widths, grades, colors and treatments within categories. 

PRESSURE-TREATED LUMBER $16-18 per sq. ft. 10-15 years High-maintenance: annual cleaning, sanding & sealing
CEDAR & REDWOOD $20-25 per sq. ft. 15-20 years High-maintenance: annual cleaning, sanding & sealing
COMPOSITE $28-30 per sq. ft. 25 years Low-maintenance: hose down as needed
IPE $43-48 per sq. ft. 30-50 years Low-maintenance: can be oiled annually to keep the rich color (does not influence durability)

* Costs may vary.


Featured Project

Featured Project
Deck featured in Waterfront Living magazine.

One of Life’s Greatest Delights

The Entertainment Element 

This gorgeous deck is used by its Owners and their family for everything from quiet relaxation to exciting family gatherings. Even the yard work and maintenance are enjoyable in this beautiful and relaxing environment. 

We used ipe (E-pay) wood for the deck and the steps leading down to the water. Ipe is one of the hardest woods available and will outlast most all other decking products. Patterned stone slabs surround a gracefully angled swimming pool. 

Careful thought and planning resulted in the perfect iron railings around the deck that will not obscure the irresistible water view. 

Creating Functional Space

Chestertown, Maryland

The new owners of this home were living in another Historic District home a few blocks away prior to the purchase of this property. After buying and before moving in, it was decided that the rear wing which contained a mixture of enclosed porches and small closet like rooms, needed to be completely remodeled. The intent was to convert this area to a breakfast room adjacent to the existing proposed remodeled kitchen. The remodeled space needed to function for a family of two on a daily basis, as well as provide suitable work space for occasional large scale entertaining. 

The additions and renovations needed to comply with the strict guidelines of the Historical District Commission, for materials, design and compatibility with the neighborhood. Exterior materials would be cement base stucco, painted trim and standing seam metal roofs. In developing the plan it was decided to extend the breakfast room with a covered porch with round smooth shaft columns similar in appearance to the existing columns on the enclosed street side porch. The Covered Porch has a brick base and brick floor to match the existing brick stoops and steps. A Screened Porch in the exterior alcove formed by the Kitchen and Dining Room exterior walls was also proposed. This Screened Porch has a shed roof to allow construction without the need to remove and close-in any second floor windows. Roof material is again standing seam metal. Support of this roof is by the same columns as the rear Covered Porch. The Screened Porch also has a brick base and brick floor. Access to the Screened Porch is through a new glass French door from the existing Dining Room, replacing a small twin window. 

Incorporated into the design was the need to remove a bearing Terra cotta block wall which supported the second floor and roof over the existing kitchen wing. The wall was carefully removed and replaced with a steel beam that allowed for an open flowing transition between kitchen and breakfast room, as well as unobstructed views through the covered porch to the landscaped rear yard. 

A radius brick patio and curving brick steps to grade connect the Covered Porch and the Screen Porch and provide access to the rear yard for more outdoor entertaining space.