You’ve decided you’re ready to improve your outdoor space with the addition of a paved courtyard, timber deck, or both. How do you decide? This article shares several important considerations when choosing what type of surfaces and structures to add to your backyard to create an outdoor living or entertaining space
Paved courtyards are a cost effective option if you have a level area to lay paving and the ground has good drainage. If the ground slopes or has poor drainage it may need retaining and stormwater disposal which adds to the cost of building your courtyard. On an ideal site you may be able to build a paved courtyard for as little as $50/m2 where as decking is likely to be double this cost.
On sites that are sloped or have poor drainage the costs of a deck or courtyard may be similar as a deck can be built without retaining the ground or adding drainage.
The type of wood used on a deck or pavers in a courtyard also affect the construction costs but choosing a more expensive paver or type of timber may add to the value of your home and create a more attractive space.
Both decks and paved courtyards have some maintenance costs but generally decks are more maintenance intensive as they will need to be sealed or painted regularly. A paved courtyard may need to be weeded depending on the construction but this is generally a much smaller job to sealing or painting a deck. If a paved courtyard is left with weeds for too long these may begin to move the pavers which could result in the courtyard needing to be re leveled and paved.
Optional Coverings & Add-ons
For both courtyards and decks there are several options than can be added to make the space more practical. Adding a covering provides shelter from the heat or rain, and gives shade to protect from the sun. Some covers could be added later, if your budget is somewhat restricted now. the main options for adding a covering to your courtyard or deck are a patio roof, pergola or shade sail. any of these options will work well with either a courtyard or deck.
Built-in features can also be included in the design of your outdoor structures. For paved courtyards, brick and stone elements like walls, outdoor chimneys, and pools are common, while for decks built-in benches, railings, multi-level seating areas, and grill spaces work well. Plant boxes or gardening spaces can be added to both.
Don’t Forget the Landscaping!
Once you’ve settled on choosing a paved courtyard, deck, or both, be sure to include a line in your budget for landscaping. Adding on a surface or structure to your backyard will be a beautiful addition, no doubt, but don’t leave it at just that. Landscaping with a variety of plants, wall or path features, and gardening decorations will contribute greatly to the overall look of your new outdoor space.