Unlike many pool contractors in the Richmond area, JDO Pools and Spas offers a full range of construction services that go beyond just your pool. We can also build or install all the elements you need to complete your perfect outdoor space, including decks, patios, pergolas, gazebos, conversation pits, outdoor kitchens, saunas, changing rooms and more.
As a licensed and insured class A contractor, we have the expertise to make your personal paradise a reality. As you read about our capabilities below, let your imagination run wild, and then schedule your 15-minute discovery call to get your project started.
Deck & Patio Construction
If you picture in your mind a family gathering in their backyard for a BBQ on a beautiful summer day, chances are good that somewhere in that mental image there will be a deck or patio. A well-built deck or patio not only adds value to your home, it’s also the perfect place to relax outside and create beautiful memories with your friends and family.
Whether you have an existing deck or patio that you want to upgrade, or are starting from scratch, we can help you perfect your design and advise you on the layout and building materials.
Decks vs patios
Although the terms “deck” and “patio” are sometimes used interchangeably, they actually refer to two different types of outdoor spaces:
- Decks are outdoor platforms that sit off the ground and can be constructed from either wood or composite materials.
- Patios are paved areas situated directly on the ground and can be made from a variety of materials including stone or concrete.
There are pros and cons to both decks and patios.
For decks, the pros include the fact that they can be built on uneven terrain, they can offer better views. The cons include the fact that they require more maintenance depending on the materials used, such as deterioration from the elements.
For patios, the pros are that they can last for decades if they are well maintained, they do not need to be attached to the house and they may provide a greater sense of privacy as they are often lower to the ground and may be enclosed. Most of the cons with patios have to do with the fact that if the terrain or soil is not ideal, construction of a patio can become more complicated, thus increasing the cost.
During the planning process of your project, we will help you decide whether a deck or patio is right for your project.
Building materials for decks and patios
Decks and patios can be constructed with a variety of building materials, some of which have distinct advantages over other materials.
For decks, we highly recommend using composite decking material. This is a combination of wood and recycled plastic that is molded into boards. Unlike wood, it doesn’t require frequent repainting and refinishing, making maintenance much easier. They are also much more durable than wooden boards, so you won’t have to worry about them rotting, cracking, or splitting.
Although the up-front construction costs will be a little higher with composite materials, the money you will save in maintenance over the long run will more than make up for the difference.
For patios and walkways, we recommend that people use paving stones vs stamped concrete. With the soil composition we have in Virginia, it is almost inevitable that concrete will crack as the soil shifts, expands, and contracts with the changing seasons.
Paving stones, on the other hand, can absorb these shifts without any issues. When we install paving stones, we usually excavate about six to 10 inches of soil, then we do a layer of gravel, then we do a layer of sand, and then we put our pavers over that. That way there's not only drainage underneath the patio or walkway, but there's also a control of the expansion and contraction right underneath it.
Gazebos, Pavilions, and Pergolas
Other popular items that JDO Pools & Spas builds for our clients are gazebos, pavilions, and pergolas.
- Gazebos are typically structures in the shape of a hexagon or octagon that are open on the sides. They can be attached to a deck or patio or built as a stand-alone structure. They can be constructed of wood or vinyl/composite material.
- Pavilions are similar to gazebos but are typically larger and either square or rectangular. They can accommodate more people and can sometimes even include outdoor kitchens and/or fireplaces.
- A pergola is an open-air structure that supports a lattice of crossbeams, which is usually used to support woody vines. It is more of a decorative feature compared to gazebos or pavilions, since it provides less protection from the elements.
- Retractable awnings are an option when seeking protection from the sun and elements.
Fire Pits and Conversation Pits
Fire pits and/or conversation pits are popular elements to include in a patio design. A conversation pit is an architectural feature consisting of a sunken area surrounded by seating which encourages people to gather, whereas fire pits are at ground level or even raised.
Frequently, when incorporated into a patio a conversation pit will have either a table or fire pit in the center.
We typically use a variety of different types of rock veneers, natural stone or cultured stone to build conversation pits and fire pits for our customers. Fire pits can either be wood-burning or propane depending on the preference of the customer.
Outdoor Kitchens and Fireplaces
Customized spaces for outdoor cooking are becoming increasingly popular, and JDO Pools and Spas can help you with everything from a simple project like adding a fireplace to a patio to creating a full-blown outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill, sink, ice maker, refrigerator, and storage space.
We can customize the look of your outdoor kitchen to be rustic, contemporary, or traditional, and incorporate everything from wood-burning ovens and pizza ovens to sinks. The only limitations are your imagination, so contact us today to schedule a 15-minute discovery call to start the planning process.