Patio Design
bathroom2012
June 23, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I am in the process of doing a backyard makeover and I would like suggestions on which way I should go with my Patio area? I initially wanted to do a composite deck with rounded cascading landings to the ground, but now I am thinking more on the side of a flagstone patio. Because I like contemporary designs, I am looking for something that is not too far off the charts as far as budget but I want something that has a WOW factor. I have just finished (with the exception of the contemporary back door to be installed soon) my remodeled kitchen and I would like the outside to be an extension of that living space.
So, these are my thoughts please let me know what you think.

Since I think I am going to do a patio instead of a deck, I will need some way to get down to the ground level from the door of the kitchen, so I was thinking cascading landings (2 or 3) to get me level to the ground. What type of brick should these landings be to work with the flagstone patio? Once on the ground I would install Flagstone as the patio floor (I want it to be level and permanent so I was thinking a wet install vs. a dry install of the flagstone). I also want to extend out to the right of the current deck roof line for seating, so I was thinking to install a modern/contemporary Pergola to align with the current deck roof line (but I cannot really envision how that will look). On that end of the patio I wanted to have the flagstone curve and possibly put a stationary concrete curved bench with pillows or just have curved Patio furniture that would follow the curved line of the stone? (I am still on the fence about this part, not sure I want anything stationary). On the otherside of the deck I want the Patio to extend under the first window so I can put a grille there. In addition to the Patio, I will be putting up a privacy fence.
Let me know your thoughts on the Patio design.
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Dar Eckert
Patio
Here's a contemporary patio with flagstone. You may also want to consider using large square stones as they impart a more contemporary feel. Like the floor in this patio.

Rooftop Haven
It will be kind of tricky to get the transition from the hous to patio and here are a couple of examples of how that was done.

Rubin - Screened Porch and Sun Deck
Barton Creek Residence
June 23, 2012 at 7:02PM     
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bathroom2012
Thanks Dar, those large tiles actually match the size of the tiles on my kitchen floor that are 24 x 24, so that might work as a continuation. I just want a patio flooring where I don't have to worry about the chairs getting stuck in the cracks.
June 23, 2012 at 7:44PM   
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pcmom1
I like the stacked stone wall on the extreme rt. side of your picture. Think that would be nice to incorporate into your design. I think a patio will look much nicer with your house than the deck.
June 23, 2012 at 10:28PM   
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bathroom2012
Thanks PCMOM, that is actually a rail road tie wall of the neighbors that I am going to hide by putting up a retaining wall with bricks on my property and a privacy fence, because it is falling down and is really ugly. I tried to post the pictures that shows the nice looking part of that wall. :-)
June 24, 2012 at 6:56AM   
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pcmom1
Oh well!
June 24, 2012 at 10:07AM   
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myrns
The first thing you should resolve is the retaining wall/fence issue with your neighbour. You could both share in the cost of a structure that suits both properties. You are on the low side. If you erect a brick wall & privacy fence and the neighbour's railroad ties give way, the weight from the ties, soil & water could take out your newly built wall & fence. Drainage is very important.
As for wood deck vs stone patio, I find a wood deck much warmer under foot. Your present deck looks a bit like a play pen. Does your local building code require such high railings for such a low drop in grade? If you can do away with the railings, I would build a lower level from your existing deck and do away with the stairs & hand rail. Maybe knee high benches could replace the railing?
June 24, 2012 at 4:52PM     
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bathroom2012
Thanks for your reply

I have talked to them and it does not seem like they are eager to do anything, and I want to have something done this summer. So, I have already had a land survey and it is on their side but falling over the line. So, I was thinking of building a retaining wall (concrete) on my line in front of their wall towards the back of the house and have a decorative brick wall on the front portion that you can see from the front view, and then in front of that I was going to install the fence. So, I invision there being a small gap between their wall and where my retaining wall sits. So, if their wall falls then it will fall in the gap, I hope that will work. I have had a couple of companies come out to take a look at the land and give me ideas, but I have not received any quotes yet. The entire makeover will also involve removing a few pine trees, so all of that will have to be completed before I start on the patio, I need to see the land cleared out so I know what I have to work with.

I just seen the rest of your reply. I initially wanted a rounded deck with cascading steps made out of the composite without any handrails.
This house was built in 1988, and most of the houses have this type of deck unless the homeowners remodeled theirs. I have been in this house for 21 yrs, but I have never really utilized the backyard, and now I want to use that space, so I do want it to be nice. I have thought about the drainage problem because my house sits lower than the houses behind me also, I have in my plans to put a french drain to move the water from the back to the front. I had the county come out a few years after I moved in to see the drainage issue and they told me it was built by code so the drainage was my problem. So, I had the land worked with a bobcat to redirect the water to the front drain (which goes under my driveway to the county drain on the other neighbor's property), and it has held up all this time but since I am going to redo the back yard I might as well correct the problem.
June 24, 2012 at 6:00PM   
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PRO
Durpetti Interiors
Flagstone will look great! For the stairs, large stone steps in a rounded shape would make a nice transition and follow the shape of your house. I think keeping the perimeter open, and saving your money on a seat wall for now would leave you more options to add to your hard scape and lanscaping as time goes on. Pergolas add great architecture and opportunity to add climbing vines for color.
June 24, 2012 at 6:11PM   
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pcmom1
How about if you hide their railroad ties and achieve privacy thru planting some foliage? Photinias (sp?) grow very fast and are very drought hardy, so you don't need to install any watering system. Plants are also good at absorbing that excess water coming down towards your home. They are also removable should future plans change and much less expensive than stone work!

Also like above poster's idea for keeping existing deck, taking down railings, changing color and going from there. Save so much money you and family can take a trip to Italy!
June 24, 2012 at 6:15PM   
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bathroom2012
Thanks for your reply, I like the rounded step look also. It would also be nice if I could have a partly rounded Pergola on the right side to extend out the seating area. You are right about the seat wall, I really don't think I want anything permanent since my space is so small.
June 24, 2012 at 6:25PM   
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bathroom2012
pcmom1, I may have to look into the trees, it does sound more cost effective. Yes, I do not like the railings at all, I just really want to extend it for seating and to have a space to grille. To my knowledge there is not any code saying I have to have railings that high, and I do not have any little ones so I should be good if I remove them. The reason I wanted to replace the wood is because for 21 years every summer I have paid someone to stain it, and I don't want to do that anymore. I need something that is low maintanence.
June 24, 2012 at 6:35PM   
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pcmom1
I can understand that! A low maintenance deck material, if you want to keep costs down, is Trek Deck. In a soft gray would look nice. You can add your major bling with great high end outdoor furnishings.

Or, maybe this could just be used to transition down on to the patio area.

After 21 years in a property, I can relate to wanting things the way you want them (I am finally replacing two windows I have always hated after 21 years in my own home!)

A stone patio would be wonderful. Maybe you can incorporate some outdoor counter area around your grilling area.

PS: The plants, photinias, are a hedge naturally, but they grow up to 15 ft. high. They are an evergreen: glossy green leaves but new growth is red. They can be trained into small trees, if desired.
June 24, 2012 at 7:21PM   
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bathroom2012
I searched the photinias and that might work, I will have to find out how many I will need to line the wall, and also find out how tall I can purchase them to get a jump start on the height. We are on the same page when you mentioned combining the composite with the stone. I am trying to draw out my design, and I have the cascading steps (landing) transitioning from the door to the ground level and I think having the Trex as the rounded steps close to the color of the house may work. I have also thought about having a built in Grill area, nothing too big but something nice. I just found out through searching that you can purchase it already built into the stone. So, I will have to compare the cost of purchasing it already built in with the stone vs having it custom built, but I definately would like that look on a contemporary design.
June 24, 2012 at 8:15PM   
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pcmom1
I was just on some websites looking for handling water run off. One was: www.wikihow.com/Reduce-Stormwater-Runoff-at -Your-Home. Many things listed!
Item #7 talked about the importance of trees. Trees act as giant sponges and their canopies slow the speed of the rain fall.

Perhaps you could approach your neighbor with an offer to plant a few trees (native best) on his hillside. Good for him: he looks out on tree tops rather than your roof, and good for your water issue.

#9 was about creating a rain garden. This could work in conjunction with the trees and photinias. You create basically sunken gardens (along the side of house shown) which act as holding areas for the water.

One other thing I came across. Might want to do pavers rather than a solid concrete patio as this will allow water to seem thru.
June 25, 2012 at 7:36AM     
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PRO
Outdoor Living Today
Love the patio suggestions.....I think your deck is a blank canvas. If you have not yet had a chance to do any more with it...check our our Cedar Pergola Kits....with or without retractable canopies - louvered wall panels on the side for privacy... http://www.outdoorlivingtoday.com/oltss/storefront/products.php?category=pergolas
December 18, 2012 at 2:02PM   
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bathroom2012
Thanks for your suggestions, I have not done anything as of yet but hoping to get everyone’s' schedules (landscape professional and contractor) together in the New Year. I do have a design now. I have looked at your Pergola's, but I am looking for a more contemporary look, so it will be a custom pergola. Thanks Again.
December 18, 2012 at 4:30PM   
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rchase10
Thanks for the comment. When completed the pergola will have 2 additional solar panels, 2 fans and 4 pendant lights all " off the grid".
September 3, 2014 at 1:48PM      Thanked by bathroom2012
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bathroom2012
I just posted my backyard makeover, take a look and let me know what you think.
September 4, 2014 at 7:48AM     
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rchase10
HUGE improvement. I am interested in what the roof material is. I know you will spend many enjoyable hours as I have.
September 4, 2014 at 8:24AM      Thanked by bathroom2012
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bathroom2012
It is made out of heavy aluminum/steel this is the website (http://adjustablepatiocovers.com) it also opens and closes with a remote, there are two zones. It is a gutter at the top and the water flows into my gutters on my house. I also have lights around the top which gives the space a nice ambience.
September 4, 2014 at 8:34AM   
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rchase10
Thanks for info.
September 4, 2014 at 9:11AM      Thanked by bathroom2012
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