Having an outdoor living space extends the usable square footage of your home. Build a patio or deck area off of your home and create a usable outdoor space. You can use this space to relax, entertain, cook, or even take a nap.
Start by taking the first steps of deciding where, how big, and what style of patio or deck you want. It’s also smart to determine a budget that you can afford. Your deck should look like it belongs to your home and be a functional space for your lifestyle. These patio deck ideas will get you inspired to build or upgrade your outdoor living area.
1. Outdoor Patio Deck Ideas
An outdoor space can sometimes feel like it’s too exposed. You’re outside and feel like all of your neighbors are checking out what’s happening in your backyard. This can feel invasive and put a damper on you and your guests enjoying themselves. You could have a fire pit that you won’t want someone monitoring the use of. Or a hot tub that you don’t need an audience for.
Build a privacy fence around your patio deck. It could go completely around your property. Or strategically build it to block the view of your neighbors. This is a great way to increase privacy while also keeping a view for you to enjoy.
Plant tall plants that will grow lush and full. This is a natural growing wall that you’ll need to foster and prune to maintain. A tall privacy fence built out of bamboo or tropical wood will give your patio and deck a resort feel. If you’re worried about your deck getting hot from a lack of airflow, then use a privacy fence that has spaced out slats. This lets the airflow while blocking spying eyes.
2. DIY Patio Deck Ideas
You can DIY a deck construction. You can save money on labor and build a custom deck to suit your dream patio ideas. Before you start buying wood, check that you don’t need a permit from your local government or municipality. You should also learn about proper support for your deck to prevent it from sinking into the ground from its own weight.
Deck kits make it easy to construct the actual deck. They come in real wood and composite decking options. Choose the material and kit that appeals to you, works with your home, and that you can afford.
Building your deck lets you get creative in the design. Use different colored beams for the floor to create a design. Lay them at angles for a unique subtle pattern. Skip the wood railing and use metal or glass for an unobstructed view. Plan for steps or stairs in one small section or have the entire deck step down to your yard level.
3. Wood Patio Deck Ideas
The traditional and most popular construction material is wood. However, many modern homeowners also consider building a composite deck. There are advantages to both.
If you decide to build a wood deck, choose a wood meant to last. Hardwoods last longer and are impervious to water. An ipe deck has the longest useful life and looks beautiful. It’s also one of the most expensive woods you can use.
You can save money when building your wooden deck. Choose a more affordable wood, such as a treated softwood. It will look just as nice but won’t last as long and will require more maintenance.
Composite decking can give you the look of wood with more durability and less maintenance. The beams and posts are shaped like wood, and everything builds together similarly. However, it’s made of a composite material. It won’t crack, warp, or splinter like real wood. However, it can get sweltering hot with high sun exposure, and it’s more expensive to install.
4. Patio Deck Design Ideas
Design your deck plan to have an attractive aesthetic. Style this outdoor space like you would the indoor areas of your home. Place a few large potted plants of varying sizes. Flowering plants will bring color to the space.
Style the deck to suit your lifestyle and how you plan to use your deck. If you want to have an outdoor kitchen, place your grill and a countertop cart that you can use for food prep.
Outdoor furniture is durable enough to last and can turn your deck into an outdoor living room. A cushioned bench built onto the side of your home can add tons of seating. A sofa or loveseat with accent chairs creates a circular shape, making it easy for people to sit and interact. An outdoor rug gives your deck an indoor feeling and ties the furniture together into a cohesive design.
5. Under Deck Patio Deck Ideas
Homeowners with a two-story home or who live in a mountain region benefit from enjoying an under deck. You have a raised deck that you can access from the second floor or upper part of your home. Then underneath is an open space that you can use as a ground-level second patio.
Design your two spaces to have two different uses. This gives you double the usable living space and makes them both functional in your life. A smart idea is to make the one closest to your kitchen for outdoor cooking or eating area. You can easily prepare meals and enjoy them outside.
Get creative with your patio design in the other space. Have sofas and chairs with a coffee table for a relaxed entertaining space. Arrange lounge chairs for the perfect sun tanning spot. Just be careful about installing a fire pit. The ceiling needs to be tall enough to accommodate the size of the fire you plan to create. A manufactured fire feature may be a smarter choice in this situation.
6. Ground Level Patio Deck Ideas
Not all decks have to be high up or raised. Although creating levels in your backyard gives it visual interest. If you can’t create levels, then stick with the opposite for a modern and sleek look. Build your deck as close to ground level as possible for a smooth, even ground.
This type of deck doesn’t require a deck railing because the step from the deck to the ground should be small, typically less than the height of a standard step.
A ground-level deck works well for a wrap-around deck or pool deck. Your deck will create a smooth, solid, and dirt-free surface to walk on. Add the necessary supports under your deck to ensure it doesn’t sink over time. This would result in your deck being lower than the ground level, which isn’t an attractive look.
To give your deck a modern and designer finished look, create a border around it. This helps to visually define the space and signal to people that the ground level changes. Use pea gravel, river rocks, small stones, crushed shells, or mulch for your border.
7. Small Patio Deck Ideas
You can still have a pleasant outdoor living space with a small deck. Scale the furniture down to fit and create a small seating area. Position the chairs to face each other with a small table for people to set items down, such as a coffee or side tables.
Building a small deck area is easy. You can upgrade your materials to something nicer because the space you have to cover is smaller. Use pavers to give your small deck an upscale feel. Place them over a poured concrete slab or install them without it. Choose a paver that will keep your patio surface flush with the doorway entrance to your home.
A small deck is a perfect spot for string lights. You don’t have a lot of square footage to cover, and you can quickly hook them on either side. Buy commercial grade or outdoor rates lights to ensure they are safe and last. Use a support cable to take the tension off the light string.
8. Backyard Patio Deck Ideas
Create a backyard patio that works with the shape and style of your home and backyard. If you have a modern or contemporary home, then a contemporary deck will blend well. If your deck doesn’t blend with your home, it will look like a strange appendage slapped onto the back of your home.
Look at the height of your deck compared to the height of the lawn. You may need to add a railing around the perimeter of your deck. This will keep people from accidentally falling or stepping off the edge and injuring themselves. A deck builder can advise you on best building practices and the feature a correctly built deck has.
Add lights to your deck for a beautiful aesthetic and safe deck. Install them in your railings, flush with the deck, and in the stairs. This makes your deck safe to use at night. It can also create a romantic aesthetic and set the mood for entertaining.
9. Covered Patio Deck Ideas
Adding a cover to your patio gives you a shady place to escape when the sun’s rays become too much. Depending on the cover you choose, it can also protect you from the rain and insects.
Decks and patios that are built connected to your home look beautiful with a roof extension. This is the best way to make your covered patio look like it was originally built with your home. The solid roof protects the area from the weather elements.
A deck that’s independent and not connected to your home can benefit from a pergola or gazebo. These are free-standing structures that support themselves and are open on the sides, and have a solid roof.
With either type of deck, you can increase your protection by creating a screened porch. The screen will cover the open sides. Screening in your deck protects you from insects and bugs while not hurting your view or airflow.
10. Pergolas Patio Deck Ideas
Add a pergola to your patio and create a shaded outdoor oasis. Once you build the base for your deck, add a cover to give the space some shade. A pergola is nice because you can continue the look of the wood deck. This blends both structures together to look like a purposeful design.
To limit the cost of a cover, only cover a portion of larger decks. This creates two separate spaces and makes your deck space more versatile. The covered portion is perfect for a table and chairs set. Sit down to outdoor meals under the protection of the pergola. Use the uncovered portion for lounging, sunbathing, a fire pit, hot tub, or outdoor kitchen.
Pergolas made from wood are stable and meant to last. Available kits make it easy to construct one DIY style. A simple pergola has wood boards secured in place on the top. Upgrade your covering by making the top moveable. Then you can angle the beams for the perfect amount of sun shading.