Do you enjoy spending time outside with your friends and family?
If you own a home here in the Lexington / Central Kentucky area chances are that you have some type of patio or deck in your back yard. Unless you’ve had your backyard living area (patio or deck) renovated in the past 5 years chances are also pretty good that it may be time to consider how your outdoor living space fits your lifestyle.
How much does that cost?
The number one question / hesitation we receive from new customers here in the Lexington Ky area is related to cost in one way or another. In general a lot of people think that a patio or deck renovation is simply out of their budget. While this is sometimes the case, if you are serious about wanting a new outdoor living area planning is the first step to the process. After all how do you know you can’t afford something when you don’t know the cost?
1) – Planning Your Renovation
Planning your patio or deck renovation is much more than having a design / drawing created. The first step to planning your renovation should start with a brainstorming conversation with you and your family. This is the fun part so be sure to consider all ideas regardless of how far fetched they may be. Utilize online resources such as Houzz and Pinterest for ideas.
Questions to consider:
- How many people do we typically entertain? Answering this question will help you determine the size of your new patio or deck or even if enlarging your existing space is even necessary.
- How do we / will we use our new outdoor living area? This question will help you determine what amenities you want to consider. For example, do you usually cook for your guests (Outdoor Kitchen/BBQ Island)? Do your guests hang around well into the evening hours (Fire Pit or Outdoor Fireplace)
- What is our budget? You do not need to know how much things cost at this point to know your budget. The question I always ask m customers is “What are you willing and able to invest into your project at this time?” Keep in mind that many patio or deck renovations can be designed in phases so your initial budget should not determine your overall design (wish list).
- Are we willing to finance some or all of the project? Financing can be a very useful tool if utilized properly. Most companies nowadays offer low interest or even 0% interest financing options. This can be useful when your overall wish list exceeds your initial budget. I always recommend to finance responsibly. For example if you are confident you will have the money for phase 2 saved in a year and a company offers “18 months Same as Cash”, it may be a good opportunity to include phase 2 in the initial project phase.
2) Timing of your project.
Spring is by far our busiest time of the year for customer phone calls. It seems that everyone has cabin fever and is excited about getting their new patio or deck renovated in the Spring / Early Summer. The harsh truth is that most quality companies are already scheduled through mid Summer / Early Fall by the time April showers arrive. Imagine the frustration that many customers experience when they find out they have to wait another 6 weeks to have the patio/deck that they have planned and dreamed about all Winter..
Fall & Winter is the best time to begin planning and contacting / interviewing potential contractors for your deck / patio renovation project! Please pause and read the previous statement again! By beginning your project planning in the Fall and Winter you can accomplish many things.
- You will be higher up on the installation list come Spring.
- More attention to your project design.
- Possible Incentives / Discounts.
- In some cases your project can even be installed in the January/February timeline so you have your new deck or patio ready to use when the weather breaks.
3) Hire a professional or D.I.Y.?
This is usually a fairly straight forward decision. Simply ask yourself this question. Do I have the time, skills and am I physically fit to complete this deck or patio renovation. Time is the most important of these 3 factors. You may be physically fit and have the skills to renovate your patio or deck. However, does your job/lifestyle allow you the time to take on this project?
4) Choosing a professional?
There are numerous resources on the internet about how to hire a professional. My advice is to do your own research. Make sure that you research every company you will be inviting to your home before calling them. Research their online reviews, website, etc. For your convenience we have provided a list of questions you should ask potential contractors, Click here to review these questions.
Also, keep in mind that listing companies such as Home Advisor, Angies List, etc make money off of the contractors they refer. Just because a company is listed on a referral site does not mean that they are the right company for you and your project.
Whether you just need a couple of amenities such as a new deck bench, outdoor kitchen or patio fire pit or you will be considering a complete renovation of your Central Ky patio or deck start planning now and do your research. By beginning your planning in the Fall and Winter you will ensure a timely and wonderful backyard renovation you can enjoy all year long beginning in the Spring.