Deciding on an outdoor living space is an important decision requiring thoughtful planning and consideration.

Decks provide a great outdoor living area for higher sections of your yard such as a second story. You don’t want to hike downstairs just to get to your barbecue. Make the deck just big enough for a cooking space and a table. Then, install a patio at ground level providing a place to congregate with family and friends in privacy.

For homes with the living space at ground level, patios are an easy choice.


All decks should have a handrail; this is a must for safety. However, both the handrail and the height of the deck separate you from the rest of the yard causing you to feel disconnected from where the action takes place .

A patio can be integrated into the yard which allows you to be a part of your landscape. Whether it’s enjoying dinner and drinks, a water feature, fire pit or even the kids playing a game of croquet, you will be able to appreciate all that your backyard has to offer.


99% of homes have square corners and, unless you are prepared to spend lots of money, so do decks. A paved patio offers the flexibility to soften the structured square look of your house by making the corners round and flowing which compliment both the home and the design of the landscape.


If you live in a neighborhood remember, even ground level decks are 1.5 to 3 feet above grade. This may not seem like a big deal, but your privacy will dramatically increase with a patio at grade level.


Decks and patios can add beauty and charm to any landscape design. Just be sure to take careful consideration as to the atmosphere you are trying to create and whether or not privacy is an issue.

Kelly Mathison is the owner of Legacy Landscapes, LLC and has been a leader in the landscape / design industry for over 14 years. His passion for outdoor living and design has led his company to become one of the most sought after landscape businesses in the area.

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