You could just build the deck and patio any old way and not worry about whether they go well together or make a smooth transition from one to the other, but since it generally costs no more to do the job in an aesthetically pleasing way, it makes more sense to plan them together. A deck-and-patio combination will not only give you years of outdoor enjoyment, but professional-quality design will add curb appeal and value to your house.
Use paint chips from a DIY or paint store to match the colors of wood in your deck to thick ceramic or stone pavers. New, sealed redwood or cedar, for example, might perfectly match natural terra cotta or red granite tiles, while the silver-gray tones of weathered wood would blend nicely with slate, gray marble, or black or gray granite.
Alternate Riser and Tread Material
If you have a humdrum deck and patio but do not want the expense of replacing them, focus your attention instead on the stairs between the two. Make the vertical faces of the stairs from the same material as the patio, and then make the horizontal treads from the deck material. For example, if the patio is made of cement pavers, you could use cement to make the stairs, but top those treads with wood to match the deck. You could go a step further to spice things up by adding decorative ceramic tiles to the risers and continuing those as a border around the perimeter of the patio.
Literally, blend wood and pavers to make the transition from deck to patio by using "sawdust crete" to build the steps between the two. Use concrete forms to pour the stairs as you would if using ordinary cement, but substitute sawdust in place of gravel in the standard concrete mix proportions. That is one part cement, two parts sand and three parts sawdust instead of the usual gravel. Finely trowel the surface to bring out the sawdust, then polish.
Build in wooden planter boxes on the deck near stairs, and on either side of each tread going down. Place identical boxes around the patio where appropriate, and plant them with the same or similar-colored plants to carry the theme from deck to patio. If you prefer not to build, try using large terra cotta, stone or concrete pots for a similar effect.
Remove every other paver from the patio in the area nearest the deck, and replace each with a wood paver that matches the deck wood. Make the wood pavers by cutting thick slices from pressure-treated lumber and setting them in place end-grain up, or for a more environmental and waterproof idea, use recycled plastic "lumber" which simulates wood. By alternating wood with the patio pavers, you create a checkerboard pattern combining the materials of both deck and patio.
- Photo Credit deck image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com
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