Patio Location - Where to Place a Patio and Keep Lawn Area

by mk

Hi

I have a walkout basement with sloped backyard. I had some filling done so around 18-20 ft of the backyard is relatively flat and then the steep slope (half ft down every one feet) starts. As you can see in the picture there is an enclosed porch on one side of the house and on another side I have around 28 ft of side yard which slopes gradually and is quite usable. Because of no seating area in the backyard and no direct access, we are not using it lot. I am planning to add a paver patio (10x14) and am confused as location of paver patio. Some of the ideas I have considered.
(1) I would like some landing out of basement door as I don't like to get out in the lawn. So, I was considering start a patio from the door towards the porch side so I have a porch, slope and patio to one side and have some usable lawn. Not sure if it will look good.
(2) Start the patio with door in the center.
(3) Start the patio with door and other side of the house.
(4) Build the patio behind porch and behind house.

We might sell house in couple of years so don't want to spend a lot designing or go crazy about backyard and would like to do something which if doesn't increase interest then doesn't decrease buyers' interest also.

Some of the other ideas we might pursue if we decide to stay in the home longer... so we might want to do something which won't hinder these possibilities but it is not very important.
(1) Have a stair go from porch to the backyard.
(2) Or make a door and landing in the backwall from the living room (which is adjacent to porch) to backyard.

ANSWER

From a cost effective standpoint, you would want to create a patio in the flattest part of your yard to avoid major cut and fill situations along with any patio retaining walls.

It's a tough situation when your main living area is up so high because most people are lazy. They don't want to go up and down steps just to sit on a patio. You are almost better creating a deck off your porch. That way the access is simple and user friendly. The area it will take up is on an unusable slope anyway so it makes sense. Then the entire area outside your basement can be used for play area or other types of landscape elements. From the decking you can create a staircase with nice access to the yard.

If you went with inexpensive decking such as pressurized pine, the cost for the decking will still be more than a patio, but not that much. Here are some installed prices including material and labor. An area 10' x 14' is 140 square feet. A paver patio would cost about $2100. Pine decking would be about $3000...but look at the convenience for your family!

If you really want the patio out the basement door, I would create it towards one side to keep the maximum lawn space. If you did the deck, you could still have a landing or very small sitting area out your basement.

Sorry my idea is totally different, but I like to be practical too. Do you think people will walk down into the basement and out the door just to sit on the patio? Or would it be nicer to just walk out of your upper porch onto beautiful decking?!

Here are some pages you might find interesting.
Deck Ideas
Paving Costs

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