Thursday, April 25, 2013

Deck vs Patio

Let's take a break from bar updates.  Don't worry, I have new pictures I'll share with you soon.  :-)

One of our goals this summer is to get the backyard caught up with the rest of the house.  We have done absolutely nothing with the yard.  Okay, we did get my raised gardens built, but other then that, we've done nothing.  But this summer that will change.  We will be working on the outside of the house.  I promise you that.

We've been going back and forth with what we want to do out there.  Do we want to build a wrap around deck?  Do we want to build a stone patio with a built in fire pit?  Do we want to somehow do both?  So we decided to look at the pros and cons of each.


  • cheaper
  • easier to build
  • could build over the "flower box" and tree stump
  • wouldn't require as much planning
  • would need a building permit and inspections
  • not as visually beautiful as a stone patio
  • would have to put the fire pit farther out in the lab or not have one at all
  • would require staining/sealing every other year or so


  • would last a long time
  • would be beautiful
  • could build the fire pit and benches right in
  • no building permit needed

  • very expensive
  • very time consuming
  • would have to rip out the "flower box" behind the house
  • would have to find a place for all the rocks under the current deck
  • would have to rip out the tree stump
  • would require a bit of planning since we would like a pattern (herringbone please) 
  • Did I mention how expensive this would be!!!!!

We have gone back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.  We would love a nice big stone patio in a beautiful herringbone pattern with a built in fire pit.  Just think of how many summer parties we could throw? But when I say big, it would be big.  It would wrap around the back of the house, which means it would be EXPENSIVE!!!!  It also would be a lot of work.  We would need to remove everything that's already back there and then level everything, add sand, well you get the point.  But it would be absolutely beautiful.  

But we also discussed that this is not the house we will be growing old in.  We never planned on it being.  Once J is done with grad school, we might have to move far away from WI (we hope it's the west coast or maybe Europe).  And even if we don't move away from WI when he's done, we sort of planned on looking for a new house anyway.  So would all the time and  money that would go into a stone patio be worth it just to enjoy is for two years?  And then we would have to do it all over again where ever we move to.  Would it be worth it?

So after talking about it, we're going with a wood deck.  We discussed composite material (my boss keeps telling me it's so much better), but will just be going with a good ol' wood deck.  It's only going to be a few inches off the ground (so no stairs or railing will be needed).  And we will be able to build over all the crap that is already under the current deck.  We will need a building permit, but if the deck is only a few inches tall, we don't need all the inspections a tall deck would need.  Which will speed up the process.  

So soon, this old, poorly placed deck will be gone and our new deck furniture will have a shiny (well hopefully not shiny) new deck to sit on.  And then we can get a grill and I will be a happy girl.

And for the fire pit, we decided just to get one of those nice free standing fire bowls.  So we will still be able to have awesome summer parties.  Bring it on summer.

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