Char J
Char J
  • Hometalker
  • Virginia Beach, VA
Asked on Jul 31, 2012

I would like to know if a wooden deck or a stone (of some kind) patio is best.

Leah MChar JJeanette S
+8

Answered

My backyard is 75% in shade and there are a lot of pine trees which constantly drop pine cones and pine straw. There would have to be a lot of ground leveling/clearing for either deck or patio. There is currently about an 8' x 10' cement slab patio there which I would like to expand. When there is a hard rainfall, the current patio puddles quite a bit. I am trying to budget to have work done next Spring, but don't know which method to choose...deck or patio.
11 answers
  • Lori J
    on Jul 31, 2012

    I am not going offer any advice, but will share that we have a very similar situation--heavily shaded by three trees, two of which are conifers that drop cones and needles all the time. We did patio using pavers. Ours is in two levels, built into a slope and is three summers old. Really not seeing a problem with stuff growing up through the pavers.Have not had problems with puddling because it was installed with a slope but will say that the pavers are a bit slippery when wet. Still very happy with the choice. Easy to sweep off or use the leaf blower on it. Guess one draw back to a deck might be all the dry needles that could drop through and collect under the deck, creating a fire hazard just because the stuff is such tinder. Another factor might be what kind of materials you would like to use on the deck itself. I imagine that can vary a heck of a lot, depending on the materials.

  • Lori J
    on Jul 31, 2012

    Thought it might help to have a picture. One of the pine trees that we love/hate was in the middle of the space we wanted to use. We solved the issue by creating a tree ring (now underplanted with hostas).

    i would like to know if a wooden deck or a stone of some kind patio is best, decks, outdoor living, patio, This photo shows the cut work but was taken before sweeping in the fine sand to fill between the cracks We did serious tamping before the installation and there is a bed of very fine gravel sand under these
  • Di S
    on Jul 31, 2012

    i would go with stone pavers they would be easier to clean

  • Lori J
    on Jul 31, 2012

    Char, can you post some pictures and help folks see the lay of the land?

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Jul 31, 2012

    Hi Char a couple of things to consider. You already have a concrete pad. If you choose the deck and this is ground level, you will probably need to take the pad out in order to get the deck level with the door coming off the house. If there is a step down now, you could use a thin paver and go directly onto the concrete pad without moving it. You may need to do some rerouting of the water either way if you have some drainage problems to address. Is it possible for you to post a picture of the existing area?

  • Char J
    on Jul 31, 2012

    Thanks, everyone. My backyard is VERY small and totally fenced in. I'm attaching some photos I just took. Another consideration is the utility lines currently embedded under my yard...currently electric and TV cable. And yes, there is a step down from my back door onto my patio.

    i would like to know if a wooden deck or a stone of some kind patio is best, decks, outdoor living, patio, Backyard taken from Back Doori would like to know if a wooden deck or a stone of some kind patio is best, decks, outdoor living, patio, Backyard to Right of Patioi would like to know if a wooden deck or a stone of some kind patio is best, decks, outdoor living, patio, Backyard to left of Patioi would like to know if a wooden deck or a stone of some kind patio is best, decks, outdoor living, patio, Backyard looking towards house
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Jul 31, 2012

    It does look like your fall is going toward your house, maybe built of with years of leaf fall. Do you think it is possible to temporarily take down a section of your fence in order to get a machine to the area? You have plenty of room to work with to go over the landing or it looks small enough to take out either way. If you want to go to the left where the undergrounds are going into the home you probably are better off going with decking. I recommend using some synthetic or composite material.

  • Char J
    on Jul 31, 2012

    Thanks, everyone. I'm sure I could let the landscaper or whoever levels my ground remove the fencing at the far end of the yard (there are townhomes on both sides of me). I have had my yard cleared several times in the past 5-7 years down to the bare ground; it just builds up every year with pine straw and leaves. I would definitely want to use the portion of yard where my electric meter is and probably extend it towards the end at last 10 feet from the house. You can't really see it because of my grill, but my A/C unit is directly on the other side of the grill but it only extends about as far out as the current patio does now. I'm thinking the deck could be built high enough to extend directly from the back door (about 6"-8" above the current patio. So many things to think about.

  • Jeanette S
    on Aug 1, 2012

    With buried utilities, you are going to be very limited in what you do. If those are sandbags next to the fence, you apear to have some drainage problems. This might not be something you want ot tackle yourelf. You do have some leway in that the back door is not right on the ground...that is good! But you re responsible for how you redirect water! Then build a deck!

  • Char J
    on Aug 1, 2012

    Thanks, Jeanette. The bags by the fence are actually yard waste from work I had done in my front yard. Wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it, so just had it left in my back yard. Except for the puddling on my patio, I don't have any problems with drainage.

  • Leah M
    on May 9, 2015

    I think @Lori J has a excellent point about the dry needles becoming a fire hazard under a deck. If you go with pavers you will need to come up with a safer way to enter/exit the house because the drop looks a trifle higher than standard. Either way, deck or pavers, you can address this since you have space out of the door to put a small step or build the deck at just below level with door. I would be far more concerned with the buried utilities, if there is ever any need to have work done on them, either your deck or the pavers will have to be removed. I think in both cases the concrete patio will have to be dealt with in some way. Pavers require a base dug out where the patio isn't. That will need to be filled with several inches of tamped down sand to keep weeds from growing. This is why the patio would have to be dealt with if you go that route. There are non-wood materials that a deck could be built with that would reduce the fire hazard I think.

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