Friday, August 3, 2012

Backyard Ideas

After several different iterations, I think I have finally settled on what I want to do with our backyard deck/patio area.  I'm sure I will change my mind a few more times before we actually build anything next spring/summer, but I figured I'd share my ideas.

I still need to work out the landscaping a little more, but this is the general idea.

Here is my inspiration for the cascading steps:
Sorry about the glare... I took a picture of  it on our ipad because I couldn't figure out how to save it on there.
And this is what I'd like the fire-pit area off the corner of the patio to look like:
This is what I'd like the fire pit area to look like, but with a bench for sitting instead
of the shrubs around it and a portable fire pit in the middle.

I'm still not sure whether we will do pavers or concrete.  We originally thought we would do stamped concrete because it is cheaper, faster to install and we both like the look of it, but I have heard stories of how slippery it is, which worries me (shocker).  I like the look of pavers as well, but the older paver patios I've seen look terrible so I'm worried about how well it would last, especially because it costs more.  The other option, which would probably be the cheapest, would be to just do regular plain old concrete and then perhaps dress it up with brick trim, scoring designs and/or some outdoor area rugs or something.

The deck as I show it is 230 sf so I'm estimating that will cost about $4,000-$6,000 if we build it ourselves (which we plan to).  The patio as I show it is 270 sf, so if we did regular concrete, we are looking at between $2,500 and $3,500.  If we did pavers, it would be more like $5,000 to $7,000.  (These estimates are all from internet research and/or friends' experiences so the accuracy is reasonable at best.  I will be doing much more research in the future).

Here are some pictures of concrete design ideas that I like (both of these are broom finished, not stamped):

And here is an example of what the pavers could look like (puppy not included):

Please share any of your thoughts/ideas/suggestions.  I don't have much experience with decks or patios, so all of your suggestions are welcome and appreciated!


  1. I like your plan! We're not doing anything fancy to start out with, but then we can get a deck through RH so we'll have something workable when we move in.

    Let me preface this part by saying I don't know what I'm talking about, but I would think that even with stamped concrete you could get enough of a texture that it wouldn't be any slippery-er than a wet wooden deck. Wet decks are pretty slippery too, after all. And I don't say that to make you stress about the deck, but rather to say don't stress about slippery concrete as much. :)

  2. I really like your layout especially the cascading steps. You seemed to have put a lot of thought into how you plan to execute this project! Great job! As for me and my house, we opted to get a deck built without stairs. My husband feels it's safer without the steps which is fine with me because I plan to incorporate a lovely patio next year. I strategically placed the deck and patio doors in two different locations. I have to admit I really despise the patio door underneath the deck. So my plan is to waterproof under the deck and carry the extension of the patio to the other side with a waterfall and fire pit. I have been to pin interest, timber tech and the Trex deck site for inspiration. Right now, it's difficult to efficiently plan the layout because I am not sure how our land will be graded. I can't give you much advice because this is new to me however the materials they use with both companies are fantastic and you can order samples to select your colors.

  3. Can I borrow your ideas?!?! I want stairs like that if we get a deck, so I don't feel confined on the deck. I also want a patio! We currently have a stamped concrete patio and love it. We don't coat it with sealer every year like some people, so our patio is not slippery.

    1. Of course! Thanks for the tip about the stamped concrete. My husband is pretty adamant about not having pavers, so we'll probably wind up with the concrete.

  4. i love your idea for your deck and patio. we've been thinking about this alot and so far i haven't found any idea that i like enuff to stick to. the one thing i know for sure is that i don't want a wooden deck. lol that's all i got.

  5. Beautiful plan! Let me say this about pavers -- we had the backyard of our previous home, a townhouse, completely done with patio pavers. The dogs used it as a bathroom, and it took a beating for 5 years. Some mildew did form on the areas that were in the shade most of the time. Every few months we spritzed it with bleach water and rinsed it with the hose, and it was good as new. We had a small trex deck put on our new Ryan home because we needed something immediately but, once the ground settles (Ryan recommends waiting 6 months), we plan to put in a large patio with pavers. You can't beat the beauty. That's just my 2 cents.


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