by Rochelle Komlosi, Home Depot
Outdoor living spaces continue becoming more popular, and now is the time for remodelers to tackle easy projects to upgrade patios and decks before summer. Not only can an outdoor living space provide great return on investment, but it can also serve as a valuable room for entertaining.
Here are a few easy projects to upgrade patios and decks this spring:
- Give outdoor spaces a good clean
Before updating a deck, check for damaged deck boards that need to be replaced or repaired. The color of the wood may not match perfectly after replacing, so you’ll need to apply a stain or resurfacing liquid. Before doing that, use a deck cleaner and pressure washer to give the outdoor space a good wash. Use a lower power setting to protect the wood, and allow the deck to dry for at least 24 hours before applying a new finish.
A thorough wash can also expose signs of insects, wood decay and premature aging. It also helps the deck last longer to ensure a higher return on investment.
- Restoring a deck
Retain the natural beauty of wood with stain, which comes in various options, including clear, semi-transparent or solid. The Home Depot’s Project Color App can help your client find the perfect stain color from a smartphone – simply upload a photo of the deck and try out different colors to determine what’s best for the space.
Clear stains offer the least UV protection but show the natural wood grain the best. Semi-transparent stains are durable and still allow the wood to show through. Solid color stains are the most durable and the best option to cover up wood blemishes. Decks with even the best stains need to be refinished every two to three years.
Another way to bring the deck or patio back to life is to resurface with a product like BEHR DeckOver, which typically require less maintenance than stains and lasts longer, but they hide the wood’s natural color and texture.
When starting the project, work in small sections to ensure proper coverage and the ability to start and stop in case it rains. Inclement weather can leave spots on the wood, so be sure to check the forecast before starting the project. If it does rain, cover the deck with a tarp to minimize damage.
- Brighten outdoor spaces with exterior lighting
Illuminating outdoor spaces continues to trend as more exterior lighting options become available.
Safety lighting is most important, helping protect clients whenever they bring the party outside. Post lamps, pathway and low-voltage lighting in rails and steps are great options.
There is a wide variety of low-voltage outdoor fixtures available in addition to those in rails and steps – from pathways and stone walls, to flower beds and doorways. Low-voltage lighting is versatile, safer to install, more energy-efficient, and can last longer than conventional light bulbs.
Ambient lighting, such as outdoor ceiling fixtures, provide general illumination to make the space more inviting. Add solar powered post cap lights for a long-lasting option without the hassle of wiring.
- Install new railing systems
An attractive, well-built railing system adds a finishing touch to decks. Clients can choose from a wide range of styles and materials – from vinyl to wood to aluminum. Cable railing is trending due to benefits like improved sightlines, minimal maintenance and durability that can last for decades.
Install pre-assembled railing panels to help save time. With these panels, a new railing system can be installed in a few hours instead of an entire afternoon.
- Lay pavers on patios
In addition to or instead of decks, there are also easy projects to upgrade paver patios and walkways. While pavers come in various materials, concrete pavers are the most popular and economical. The low material costs, minimum maintenance and long lifespan makes concrete pavers a great option for clients who want to improve their outdoor space without breaking the bank.
For more information on installing a paver patio, visit homedepot.com.
- Add the finishing touches
A little personalization can go a long way, and your clients will appreciate the finishing touches that finalize their outdoor space. Add a focal point such as a statue, large plant or water feature to make the patio or deck more visually appealing. A deck bench is another customizable project that offers additional seating. A few live goods, such as planter boxes or hanging plants, add color and accent to the deck.
These easy projects can give clients an invaluable space to enjoy during the warmer months.
About the Author: Rochelle Komlosi, National Pro Manager, serves as the liaison between national and government customers and The Home Depot, working to develop ways in which the customer can purchase compliantly and with ease. In 10 years with The Home Depot, Rochelle has served in a variety of roles for the Pro business at The Home Depot, from Pro Account Sales Associate to her current role as the National Pro Manager.