T Nation

Landscape Advice

Bought model home (never lived in…duh) in Oct. Had 12’x16’ cedar deck with stairs added on right away. Right below is a walk out. I did not have sod added below the deck as it would die off. Now I’m trying to decide what to do with this space. Ideally stamped concrete is the way to go. But the cost is holding me back right now. I thought about getting pavers and doing the work myself. But a little intimidated and ideally would like to keep the $ under $300. Mulch was a recommendation. I like the idea. But a lot of people say “Dont do it!!” Then others are say “Go with rock”. But rock is probally just as much as pavers (Im guessing anyways…) and hurts to walk on barefoot.

So now I’m leaning towards mulch. The cost will be kept low and should look good. Simple DIY and will save me $$$ and time until I decide to either do pavers or pour concrete. Suggestions? I was thinking mulch with either a brich border or wood border? What did you guys do? Are you happy? Pics? Thanks in advance

Where do you live? Judging by your name I’m going to guess MN… if so, where in. I can come molest you

or help you with your project
whichever

Right, so you have a raised deck with dirt infront of it. you wish this not to be dirt. You have $300 budget. I dont know what the prices are like over in the US but here are my recomendations:
1)$300 is nothing, two workers for a day if your lucky
2)You have to do it yourself.
3)Mulch(bark chippings?) will be the cheapest and easiest.
4)As a flexible surface, you will need to edge the boundries of the area with something like wooden boards to prevent it from spreading everywhere and you will need to put down a porus membrane underneath the bark to stop it from sinking into the soil. This embrame will still allow water to drain.

Here is a rough pic in paint

i will bill you $100 for the consultation :wink:

$100? How 'bout a bag of doritos and a 6 pack?

Is there enough room to walk around under the deck and how much will be actually done?

The mulch idea is pretty much the least expensive. Some utility companies will drop off free mulch, but you have to take a truck load of it. Then you only have to spring for the landscaping fabric and wood border, which I would use pressere treated lumber for.

If you have a masonary supply place, see what they offer for stone. Some are round and easy on the feet. If you need an access path, line it with some stepping stones.

BG

If you can find flag stone

I know in places like Ohio a lot of the foundations to old barns are flag stone, I would get permission first

another thing is broken side walks , heavy, but look like flag stone

i dont know about where you are, but where i am you can get mulch for free at the landfill. Same quality as if you were going to pay for it, but you cant get red or black mulch which is the only drawback if you wanted to go that route.

I was thinking red mulch with either flag stones as walk path or circular or square pavers for walking path. The space under the deck is 12.5’ out from house & 20’ wide. This is all the space under the deck that is not sodded. Like I mentioned there is a wakout in this space and height is I’m guessing 8 + feet? I priced everything out for red mulch with stones and either pavers to edge or treated wood and should easily be under $225.

However after talking with people from work. All are suggesting do nothing this yr if I’m planning to do pavers in future. Ideally if I did go the paver route I would extend them 5-7’ out beyond the 12.5’. Creating 5-7’ of paved patio out from the deck. So there is no deck above. Allowing for a possible fire place/pit. I think I have a sprinkler head or 2 I might have to move though…? There is a guy on craigslist who sells pavers @ less then 50 % off what retailers are selling them. So to do a paved patio that is 17.5’ - 19.5’ out from house 20’ wide would cost around $750 for pavers. Doesn’t sound bad to me. So spend $225 for this yr. for mulch. or just do my homework and save the $225 for next yr and & that to the fond for the patio? FYI: I’m not some poor new homeowner / penny pincher / cheap skate etc… I have plenty of $ in the bank, but just being smart with my $ until I have a clear handle on this home owner thing etc… :slight_smile:

You don’t want any help?

Do you have any experiance with this kinda stuff?

With 12’ x 16’ you can probably get away with some plain pavers and all you need for installation for 350-500 depending on your connections to landscaping companies. Talk to some of the local ones in your area. A lot of times these companies get big jobs, get too much brick, and cant return the rest so they have a lot of extras. I’m sure they would let you tour the nursery and check out what they have especially if you pay them the actual cost of the material. (cheaper than installation) Installing the patio might be a little tricky if you have no experience because you have to make sure you get it level.

[quote]MNguns wrote:
I was thinking red mulch with either flag stones as walk path or circular or square pavers for walking path. The space under the deck is 12.5’ out from house & 20’ wide. This is all the space under the deck that is not sodded. Like I mentioned there is a wakout in this space and height is I’m guessing 8 + feet? I priced everything out for red mulch with stones and either pavers to edge or treated wood and should easily be under $225.

However after talking with people from work. All are suggesting do nothing this yr if I’m planning to do pavers in future. Ideally if I did go the paver route I would extend them 5-7’ out beyond the 12.5’. Creating 5-7’ of paved patio out from the deck. So there is no deck above. Allowing for a possible fire place/pit. I think I have a sprinkler head or 2 I might have to move though…? There is a guy on craigslist who sells pavers @ less then 50 % off what retailers are selling them. So to do a paved patio that is 17.5’ - 19.5’ out from house 20’ wide would cost around $750 for pavers. Doesn’t sound bad to me. So spend $225 for this yr. for mulch. or just do my homework and save the $225 for next yr and & that to the fond for the patio? FYI: I’m not some poor new homeowner / penny pincher / cheap skate etc… I have plenty of $ in the bank, but just being smart with my $ until I have a clear handle on this home owner thing etc… :)[/quote]

I’m not sure what the price per yard of concrete is in your area, but if you have the money, just do the concrete. If you are planning to do a 19.5’ x 20’ at 6’’ deep, you’ll need roughly 7.5 yds of concrete. Around here that’ll cost around $530 for just the concrete. I’d pay the extra money, mainly because it’ll be done and you can move on to other things and not worry about it anymore. Also, doing the mulch and/or pavers first, you’ll be spending more time and money excavating the things later when you do want to pour the patio.

$530 only for the concrete? damn that’s good!!! I’m no math wise and conversions are not my thing. I have a contact I made threw work who is very good with concrete. Used to have his own company. Still has everything. He said he would charge $27 /hr. And I pay for all concrete at cost ( what he gets it @) I might have to have him come out and gimme an est. on how much concrete will be needed and how long he thinks it’ll take. He has several differant stamps too if I wanna do that. He did mention to me that concrete was going up to $150 /yard. So not sure how many yards is in 20x20 or 12x20? You say 7.5 yds?