Adding a porch, deck, or patio to your home is a sound investment for now and for the future. It will enhance your enjoyment of your outdoor space while you live there and add resale value to your home if you decide to sell in the future.
You have a lot of options to consider when you add a porch to your home. The type of porch, size, and material are the first decisions you’ll have to make. Since cost is often a concern for homeowners adding to their homes, knowing which materials are available is important. The material you choose may have an impact on the type and size of the porch or deck you decide on.
The most affordable material for porches is concrete, and the most expensive is natural stone—other options, like pavers and wood decking, fall in between. But you can’t make your decision based on cost alone. You need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each material to determine which one will be the best for your home in the long run.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Porch and Decking Materials?
Here are the most commonly used materials for porches and decking, along with the pros and cons of each material.
Concrete is a popular option for porches and patios. It’s relatively inexpensive, and it’s fairly neutral in character, making it versatile enough to work for almost any style of home.
Pros: The biggest advantage of concrete is its cost. It’s an affordable material for porches and patios, and when it’s properly installed, it is durable and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.
Cons: Poured concrete tends to crack when it’s exposed to freezing and thawing cycles. In Asheville, concrete may be a problem during colder months, especially in January, when the lowest annual temperatures occur, along with rain and snowfall. While cracked concrete can be repaired, it’s difficult to disguise patches.
Using pavers for a porch, deck, or patio is considered to be a mid-level material. Pavers cost more than concrete, but they do offer more versatility in accomplishing custom looks.
Pros: Pavers come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, so you have a multitude of options in customizing your design. They are also easy to remove or replace should you need to, and they don’t get slippery when they’re wet.
Cons: Pavers can be expensive, they can have weeds come up in the spaces between them, and some types of pavers have issues with color fading over time. However, when you hire an experienced contractor to install them, these issues are less likely to happen.
Wood decking is also a popular choice for porches and decks. It’s fairly versatile, and there are various options to work with. For example, you can use pressure-treated wood decking that stands up to wear and tear and harsh weather. Other options, like redwood or cedar, are also resilient options but can be much pricier.
Pros: You can find wood decking available in most areas, and it’s fairly inexpensive. It’s versatile in appearance as you have the choice of type of wood, and whether you leave it natural, stain it, or paint it, all of which provide a different aesthetic.
Cons: Wood is prone to bending and warping when exposed to the elements – especially precipitation. This can be an issue in Asheville, as it has a higher-than-average amount of rainfall. Wood decking also requires more maintenance than other options, like periodic sealing.
Natural stone has a reputation for being the premium material for outdoor hardscapes. It can be expensive, but the investment will pay for itself over time with the benefits of using it.
Pros: The biggest benefit of natural stone is its appearance. It’s available in various shapes, sizes, colors, and textures, which allows you to create the overall look you want. Whether it’s rustic coziness or upscale elegance, a natural stone porch can help you achieve the look. It’s also very durable, requiring very few, if any, repairs over time. Natural stone is low maintenance, often requiring nothing more than sweeping or spraying off with water to remove dirt and debris.
Cons: The only drawback to natural stone is its cost. It’s a material that won’t fit into every budget. However, if it is something you can afford, it is the way to go. It will pay off in the long run.
Look to Ambrose Landscapes for Your Porch or Deck
At Ambrose Landscapes, we design and install custom porches and decks for homeowners in Asheville and surrounding areas. Let our experts help you decide what the best options are for your family and home. Whether you need inspiration for a stone porch renovation or you want us to build a designer porch from scratch, we have the experience and craftsmanship to create an enhanced outdoor living space that you can enjoy for years to come.