Need Help with Backyard Design. Ideas?
Hi Gardenweb. I'm having trouble designing my backyard. Initially there was a deck back there, but when I moved in it was rotting away. It was torn out. Now I'm hearing that if I want to build a deck I have to build up for ventilation, or dig down.
Elevating the deck is going to add stairs, eat up space, and generally suck. Digging down I'm not fond of, because even if I do I don't believe I can get 12-14" of ventilation without potentially having adverse effects on the foundation which only goes down 16" from the present dirt level. Not to mention it's expensive. A contractor has suggested putting down metal joists and putting decking on top of that, but we're only looking at less than 6" of ground clearance. I'd wanted to use ipe or mangaris, but being so close is going to shorten it's life, and low maintenance is what I'm all about.
So now I'm thinking about concrete squares or rectangles, spaced out a few inches with gravel in between. It should look modern. A big concrete slab will make it look like an alley because I have a big concrete retaining wall. I'm open to that or any other ideas, but I want it to go with the modern design of the house, and retain as much useable space as possible. Grass is out because of the way the light is back there, plus maintenance. I'm no longer married to the idea of a deck, that's for sure.
Anybody got any ideas for me? Picture attached!