Stone or deck (4'x10') for patio steps?
I have a dilemma and could use some opinions from the pros on the forum who may have been in my shoes. :)
My wife and I are planning to have a paver patio put in at our back yard, the size being approximately 20' x 20' or about 400 sq. ft. The grading of our back yard is fairly flat and the exit from the kitchen French doors is about 33 inches high, as you can see from these two photos:
The dilemma is whether to go with a stone based steps with a landing or a deck-based steps with landing and railing and this is where we can't decide! The size of the steps/landing would be approximately 4' x 10' which isn't very large. If I'm going the deck route, I'd likely go with a composite based deck material such as something from TimberTech or Evergrain. I've seen what the TimberTech XLM looked like and liked it, but the price is coming in at about $1K more than the TimberTech Earthwood or Evergrain.
If I go with a stone based, it would be from Hanover (or Belgard, depending on the contractor). While browsing online, I found a an online deck designer applet from one of the deck manufacturers so I did up a quick drawing of what it would look like.
The reason why I had both designs listed was because one of the contractors asked me how wide I wanted the steps/risers to be and I didn't know that was a choice/option!
And finally, here's what the overall plan/patio would look like:
Cost wise, we're planning to break this down into stages, by doing the patio steps only this year, and then do the rest of the patio and/or walkway next year. Right now the price of a stone based vs. a deck based (for composite; not PVC like TimberTech's XLM) steps only is about the same (~$2200 to $2400). Warranties wise, deck would have a 1 year structural while a stone would have a 5 year structural warranty.
Anyway, appreciate the thoughts and suggestions from the pros here. Stone or deck for the steps? Pros and cons? Issues with settlement with stone? (one contractor said it would sink due to the weight and he recommended Trex!)