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The summer months are almost upon us, and many homeowners are looking for ways to increase the usability of their outdoor space. There are many additions that can be made to your backyard so that you can enjoy drinks, food, or simply conversation with friends and family.These additions can also have good resale value; Remodeling Magazine estimates that up to 85% of the cost of building a deck, for example, can be recouped when you sell your home. How can you modify your outdoor space in order to get more out of it? Here are three suggestions and basic information about each option. Wooden Deck Designs Properly installed, a wooden deck can last for 20 years or more with good maintenance. Maintenance of your deck will usually include routinely cleaning it and re-applying finishes, if necessary, in order to keep away rot and insects. According to HGTV Remodels, the cost of a pressure-treated wood deck is typically about $15 per square foot. With other materials, like composites, the cost could go up to $35 per square foot. When looking at wooden decks for your home, consider how you plan on using the space. Will it be an intimate gathering, or do you want enough room for a table, grill and minibar? Keep this in mind as you look at various designs. Outdoor Gazebos Gazebos can be a great addition to your outdoor space. An advantage of having a gazebo is that the space can be closed off with screens or glass, which is useful in regions that experience a lot of insect activity. Since gazebos are roofed, they can also be enjoyed on rainy or extra sunny days. Like decks, wooden gazebos can easily last for 20 years with proper care. Cleaning out debris helps to extend the lifetime of this structure -- when leaves and dirt sit in corners, mold and insects tend to proliferate. Outdoor Patio A patio is a fairly well-known staple of many homes, and it's also a project you can tackle yourself if you have the time and know-how. Installation usually costs about $8 per square foot. The two main ways of laying out a patio are using pavers, or a slab, which will need to be properly staked. It can be a good idea to leave space for plants in your patio, which can add a unique dimension to the space.
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