awwchrist wrote:We're looking at making our backyard functional (finally!). Part of it is getting us some space to set up the barbecue/patio furniture.
I'd love some professional suggestions on the pros and cons of decking vs pavers vs concrete. Pm'ing would be fine.
If anyone knows some good forums for info, that would be great too.
I know someone out there has their general contractors license or is a landscaping consultant.
Did you actually get your wife to agree with you on making something functional? Good job man. That's like one of the hardest things in the world to do. Usually the only thing on a woman's mind is, "Is it going to be pretty?"
O.K. back on subject. Yeah, it's hard to tell the best option without seeing your project, but that's O.K. Concrete's my life, and there are many options you can do if you want different looks. Everyone here's told you most of them. The stamped look of stones, brick, or wood. Or you could buy colored concrete. One that I find very sharp is a wood stamped concrete with brown color. The stamps even leave behind the nails, which when touched up with some black concrete paint, make the whole project look far from a normal slab. Now if you need a raised concrete slab, I would have to disagree, and say it is a project, but plenty easy. A footing, how ever many courses of blocks you need, a little fill, and you're all set for whatever type slab you want.
Now Trex is the ultimate system when considering a wood deck. Too bad you didn't start this project last summer though. I'm not sure about your area, but over here it's doubled in price just since last year!
No joke! And cedar is a pain in the butt, with recoating it every few years, but I would gladly take it over wolmanized lumber. I just don't like the fact of have all that arsenic around my family and me. A chemist buddy of mine was working on a project up at Mich Tech with a company to make copper carbonate to help the lumber industries efforts in making a safe wolmanized lumber, but that was about 2 years ago, and he says it isn't looking good. Mainly due to the fact copper carbonate costs about twice the amount of copper dioxide, which is what they use now.
And pavers are nice, but I'll tell ya right now they shift. Eventually. And there's nothing you can do about it. It's inevidable. And if you're in a cold area that gets frost in the ground, it's just going to speed up the process that much more. But, hey man, I hope things work out great for ya, and good luck.