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My house has a nice backyard and I want to put on a deck or patio. Currently I have a covered side porch that is about 2-3 feet off of ground level in the back. My debate is whether to ask for a deck or to level the ground and get a patio.

Whatever I build has to:

  • Big enough for a table that seats 4-6, a grill, and possibly a few chairs
  • Immediate privacy on one side from my neighbors pool. I'm thinking a fence so I don't have to wait for landscape to grow

The land slopes up gently as it follows where the deck/patio would be built.

I'd like to be around $7,000 for the project. I'm OK using cheaper material (cement pad, basic lumber) if I can get functionality. I'm also open to renovating some of the side porch with that money.

I'm looking for any opinions here. I don't know anything about landscape design or cost of materials. Is leveling the ground and using pavers going to be cheaper than building a deck? Would concrete be a lot cheaper than pavers? Can I combine both a patio and a deck into one design?

Any and all opinions are welcome. I'm afraid when I talk to the professionals that each company will try to sell me what they're best at or make the most money on.

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I am thinking remove the wrought iron railing and project a deck out at the same level as the porch, with broad steps down and a cut-out along the wall for AC unit and shrubs/trees. This will relieve you of expensive ground work necessary to make a level patio (whether pavers or slab) due to the slope. It will also look nicer, IMO, but will of course require upkeep. Might need handrails on the left side (or all the way round) depending on final height (and aesthetics).

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