Experts: Consider patio possibilities before making concrete backyard decisions

INDIANAPOLIS - Summer officially begins Friday, and that has many homeowners thinking about warm evenings on a deck or patio, but experts say there's plenty to consider before deciding on anything concrete.

Robert Hadden wanted a new patio at his home in Castleton, but he quickly learned pouring concrete is not as easy as the breezy backyard nights he dreamed of.

"As I quickly learned, just carving an area in the earth and putting down stones, I wasn't going to achieve much doing that," Hadden said.

Experts say patios and pavers work better in a flat backyard.

"You can get pieces that are large as 24-by-36 for an individual stone, so people seem to be trending more toward having larger formatted pieces in general," said Kevin Schluchter, with Cutting Edge Hardscapes.

Decks are more versatile because they can be installed over a variety of landscapes.

"We can put benches, privacy screens and railing, so it really can flesh out the space nicely," said Tom Booker, with The Deck Store.

Angie Hicks, with Angie's list, said budget must be a part of the conversation.

"Keep in mind the price range can vary on installation, but you also need to consider what the lifelong maintenance is as well," Hicks said. "For instance, a wood deck is less expensive than a composite deck to install initially, but it requires more maintenance."

Before building a deck or patio, Angie's List recommends checking out how the weather affects the backyard. For instance, if the roof drains onto a wood deck, the homeowner could have a slippery hazard on their hands.

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