Tuesday, July 19

Back yard updates: new patio and deck

I'm excited to share with you some updates we've made to the back of our house.  Here's how it looks today:

Last year we had to have our deck replaced. 10 years of Southern sun exposure had taken a toll on both the flooring and the railing. Luckily, the posts and support beams were still sound, but everything else had to go.

We were very happy with how the new deck and railing turned out.  Here's an up-close photo of the railing. I chose simple square rails and copper finials for the posts.

Unfortunately, that photo features the way things have looked most days in the past few months. I know that some of y'all live with drought conditions, so I try not to complain about the rain.

After the deck was completed, we decided to make a major improvement to the ground level of our home. We're very fortunate to have a large back yard that backs up to land owned by the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers. A major creek runs through that land, so it will never be developed. Hence our back yard is extremely private. Our house is built on a hillside, so it's two stories tall in the front and three stories tall in the back. All we'd ever had on the ground level in back was a concrete patio under the deck and a muddy mess under the screened porch.  Here's how we solved that.

First, our splurge: a Belgard paver patio. (No affiliation; I'm just a fan of their products.) I'm so glad we didn't try to DIY this project. A wonderful crew spent two full days getting to this point:

Things progressed quickly after that:

VoilĂ !

We couldn't be happier with the way the patio turned out. 

As for the muddy mess under the screened porch, we certainly could have used the same pavers, but that was cost-prohibitive for us. Our patio contractor suggested a river rock and flagstone approach to make that area attractive and maintenance-free. When you use the term "maintenance-free," you're speaking my love language.

And now:

I added a decorative pot and some hostas for a little visual interest:

Snickers the beagle adds visual interest, too.

Looking back from the rocky area toward the patio:

The window and door there lead into our home gym. The view from the treadmill is much nicer now.

Here's the whole area from one direction:

And from the other direction:

Here's a view looking down from the steps onto the new patio. One of the main reasons my husband wanted a ground-floor patio is to have a safe place to use his Big Green Egg. The new patio is 270 square feet, so there's plenty of room. I can't wait to host a party here--my husband is locally famous for baby back ribs cooked on the Big Green Egg!

The gas grill we left on the deck, so it's just a few steps from the kitchen.

Here's the view now from our screened porch dining table:

Next I'll share some fun updates to the screened porch decor!

I'm joining these wonderful parties:


  1. Beautiful Richella...you have some wonderful outdoor spaces!!

  2. Richella, your new patio looks great! I would want to entertain all the time! Love your porches!

  3. Oh wow, what a fabulous patio and deck, I love it.

  4. It's beautiful, Richella! You are going to enjoy your new outdoor spaces so much.

  5. Your outdoor area is amazing, Richella. There's nothing better than beautiful spots outdoors especially when it comes to entertaining.

  6. Oh, Richella, I love your new back decking and patio, even the area under the screened porch! You're gonna love that space, and have a whole new area to style and decorate for the seasons. Beautiful.
    Rita C at Panoply

  7. Your backyard looks amazing! You'll enjoy it for years to come.

  8. What a beautiful new patio! I love those Belgard pavers! You were very wise to go with a professional installation for this one! We need to have our brick patio replaced due to water freezing in the cracks during the winter but I'm putting it off as long as possible!

  9. So pretty Richella! We love our paver patio, too. We briefly thought of doing it ourselves, but like you, are so happy we had it done by the pros. Far more work involved than we ever envisioned! I love the river rock too - very charming. Jane

  10. Wow, Richella! This looks absolutely beautiful. Sure wish I could sip some sweet tea with you out there--but which outside space would we pick? You have so many! Great job!

  11. It just looks beautiful, Richella! You have a wonderful backyard setting.

    Hugs, Carol

  12. It looks amazing, I love the paving! You have done a brilliant job :)

  13. So pretty Richella-
    Thank you for being at Thoughts of Home.

  14. Richella,
    Oh, dear friend, what a beautiful patio!
    I adore the river rock and pavers beneath the stairs and deck, also!
    The deck turned out lovely!
    I could have sat for hour upon hour on your front porch, and now you've shown me this lovely area! Decisions, decisions!

  15. Richella, I'm sure you are enjoying this for the summer, even if you are having rain. What a wonderful addition to your home. I'm eager to see the updates on the screened in porch. It looks like a great place.


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