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Plan Your Outdoor Living Project

Maryland is a great place to enjoy the outdoors for several months during the year. Investing in your outdoor space is one of the best ways to improve the value of your home and enhance the usability of your yard. You may not be quite ready for summer yet, but it’s a great time to be getting ready for warmer weather.

Over our next few blog posts, we’ll be looking at ways you can improve your outdoor space. While we’re proud of all our remodeling work, decks and outdoor living projects are one of our specialties. Whether you want a new deck, patio, porch or some combination, T.W. Ellis can help you design your dream outdoor space.

The most important part of the decision is finding a solution that works for you and your family. An experienced remodeler like T.W. Ellis can walk you through the process and make sure that you get a project that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Choosing Your Deck Designs

Outdoor projects continue to evolve. Many homeowners are no longer opting for a simple deck or patio. Instead, we’re seeing more demand for hybrid projects that bring many features into the undertaking.

One of the first decisions to make when it comes to your outdoor project is how you want to structure it. There are several elements that go into choosing what type of outdoor living project is best for you.

The terrain of your yard is a major factor. A patio is best in a space that is relatively flat or can be excavated to achieve the necessary terrain. A deck can usually be built to deal with sloping or rough terrain. Underlying conditions, depth of the water table and soil composition all can play a role in the long-term health of any project. An improperly installed project can redirect water and result in a flooded basement or other issues. This is why it’s so important to have professional help!

Deck with unique design in Forest Hill, MD

How are you going to use it?

If you and your remodeler have determined that either a deck or a patio will work for your home, then the most important decision is figuring out how you plan on using your outdoor living space.

A deck is going to be higher off the ground, so that’s a benefit if you’re looking to take advantage of a view. Looking to install a fire pit, hot tub or outdoor kitchen? For safety and weight reasons, those features are more easily incorporated into a ground-level patio.


Both decks and patios require some maintenance, depending on the materials chosen for the project.

Wood is the least expensive material for your deck, but will also require the most upkeep, possibly including power washing, staining and sealing. Composites cost more upfront, but will last longer and require less maintenance. (We’ll be taking a deeper dive into wood vs. composite next week.)

Patios built of stone, brick or concrete pavers also should need little maintenance besides cleaning if installed correctly. Some products may require occasional sealing. If the soil underneath the patio isn’t properly prepared, patios can be prone to cracking or settling resulting in uneven surfaces.

The line between the porch and patio is also becoming less defined. Typically, a porch is attached to the house, may be screened or not, and likely has a wood floor. A patio, on the other hand, will be a detached outdoor feature with a paved, stone or brick floor. However, we’re now seeing more homeowners opt to combine the two, with patios featuring roofs and other features that offer protection from the elements but still allow air to flow in.

The perfect outdoor living space for Maryland

Ready to start creating the perfect outdoor living space for your home? T.W. Ellis is here to guide you through your next home project. Contact us today to discuss your remodeling needs!

You may also be interested in:

Why You Should Not Attempt a DIY Deck Addition

Keep Your Outdoor Space Safe

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