The beauty and comfort of your backyard will depend on many factors. Size, shape, features and design all come together to create an outdoor living space that allows you to relax and shed the stresses of the day. Your Virginia deck design should be woven together with beautiful landscaping to create the framework and structure for this space. But there are tricks to weaving these backyard elements together properly.
Take Stock of Your Grade
The design of your backyard will greatly depend on the grade of your property. On a walkout lot a deck needs to be at least 8 feet off of the ground and include stairs to the grade. At the foot of those stairs welcoming and seamless landscaping including stone pathways, gardens and soft turf will encourage traffic on and off the deck. But the landscaping and deck surface on a walkout lot do not come together in the same way that they will with ground level homes.
If your rear entrance comes out at ground level you have a little more flexibility in terms of deck and landscaping design. A wooden deck can be easily combined with stone to create a multi-layered area including a variety of outdoor rooms. Those patios could be surrounded by lush gardens and bordered with wood or stone retaining walls to create stability and visual interest.
Ground level grading certainly provides more options, but walkout decks and landscaping can also be incredibly beautiful and comfortable.
Get a Bird’s Eye View
Think of your backyard from a different perspective. Although you will be living on the ground, it helps to make sketches of your space from above. Use these sketches to plan for the location of specific features like ponds, sheds, fountains and that all important Virginia deck. You can even make this drawing part of the overall plan for your yard, only tackling certain stages as they are possible but keeping the end goal in view.
It’s best to draw out this plan on graph paper, since that will allow you to maintain balance and the proper scale. Try not to build a massive desk or a sprawling patio without having decent sized flower beds and other landscaping features to balance the area. Draw in the trees, turf and flower gardens, as well as all of the structures in the yard and both the wood and stone patio areas. Label everything carefully, but don’t be afraid to play around with the design as well. That’s why you have a plan, to experiment.
Consider the Contractor
It helps to use the same contractor for the construction of your deck, patio and any fencing. Find a reputable and experienced pro who can do all of this for you – that will save you time and streamline the installation process. Many decking contractors will be able to handle the hardscaping projects, but they may need to recommend a landscaping firm for the sod, gardening and soft landscaping elements. Be sure that you are hiring the best contractor for every stage of this project .
Your Virginia deck can combine with strikingly beautiful landscaping to provide an outdoor space that is attractive, comfortable and built to last. You’ll want to spend much more time outside when this atmosphere is waiting for you in the backyard.