Did you move into a house with an empty back yard? What you need is a nice deck or patio to enjoy the out-of-doors. Of the many choices is a wooden deck, a concrete slab, a fieldstone floor with planters or a multi-level redwood deck with benches. Let's take them one by one. The common-place wooden deck is fairly inexpensive unless built with redwood, and has an average life of ten years.
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Patios are becoming essential elements for todays backyards. Here are some design tips for creating the perfect outdoor space to use for summer dining and entertaining.
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Are there any websites or ideas you can think of? I am thinking of just an area big enough for a grill, table and chairs, to enjoy watching my child play in the yard. I so appreciate your input.
Amy from NJ
I also like this link from Sunset Home. It contains many pictures for and ideas suitable for a variety of backyard spaces.
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This is going to be a project that will give you pleasure for many years, so draw yourself some plans and give yourself time to decide where you want things to go. Do you really have to remove so many trees? You might wish you had them during the hot weather, and birds will be more plentiful if you have trees for them to nest in and fly to. Your child might have some creative ideas for playing among the trees, also. And the shade they create is perfect for many kinds of shade-loving plants (which are easier to work on in the shade!) What will you use for the surface of your patio? There are lots of materials; be sure it is an easily-cleanable area that water (and snow) will drain off, large enough to move your furniture and grill around for a little change, and maybe even expandable, in case you want a bigger area. There is a lot of how-to information on the internet and in the library; your local home-projects store might even have some classes on how to do it yourself. Good luck, and please let us know how your project progresses -- take pictures as you go along.
Nancy in NC
We just did exactly that! We spent about 400 dollars on some natural flagging and made a rock patio. We put some Irish moss in between the rocks to keep down weeds and prevent erosion.Home depots website actually had a lot of DIY ideas for features. A simple pergola and some nice vines are good ways to make the area seem more like an outdoor "room". Have fun!
I agree with Nancy, please reconsider taking down all those trees! you can build decks around them, hostas are wonderful plants for shaded areas and there are a million varieties. also the shade will help cool your home and provide wonderful habitat for wildlife. try to go green with your decking material there are a lot of choices out there. have fun!
In view of recent events, one thing I would definitely go overboard on is edibles. Dwarf fruit trees every 5 feet, berry canes, cooking herbs, medicinal herbs, room for a nice deep raised bed vegetable garden. Possibly room for a small chicken coop. I am not kidding. All of these things are lovely and charming. An outdoor baking oven, cooking area would be wise as well. Be the first in your neighborhood to show common sense.
We planned our patio around an old linden tree and it is the centerpiece of the yard with a nice shade garden around it, so do look for ways to plan around the trees. I'd look for a landscaper who will draw a plan -- you need a plan so you can work it on paper first. Here's a good link I found for patios: