You’ve been dreaming of adding a deck to add an outside sitting area to your yard. As you survey the area, you begin to wonder if your yard is too small for such a feature. But we at Fletcher Construction, located in Stafford, Virginia, offer a wide variety of services, including exterior construction services for both big and small homes in the greater Fredericksburg area. We can help you plan your deck to take advantage of even the smallest yard.
Advantages of Having an Outdoor Seating Area
Of course, the main advantage of a deck, even in a small yard, is that it becomes a dedicated seating area. No need to drag lawn furniture in and out of a garage or shed. You can set it up just like a room, the difference being that it has no walls or ceiling. But it will remain there, ready for you and your family to take advantage of it at a moment’s notice, anytime you like.
Another advantage of an outdoor seating area is that the grass won’t get ruined by the presence of the chairs, tables and barbecue grill. The spots on which these furnishings sit will end up with dead grass beneath them. Then, if you move these items, you’ll be left with bare spots that need to be reseeded or even planted with new sod. All of this only makes more work for you.
Of course without a dedicated seating area you’ll need to move your yard furnishings and grill every week when you mow the lawn. And if you drag these items across the lawn, they quite possibly will leave drag marks on the grass. This will create another area in your lawn that needs attention in the form of grass seed or new sod. Then, after you finish mowing, you’ll need to move all of these items back into position. The quick job of mowing your small lawn just got bigger and longer.
You will also experience fewer flying insects on an elevated surface as opposed to the lawn. These bugs live in nature, including your lawn. Sitting on chairs or at tables in the middle of the grass invades their territory and they can become quite a nuisance when disturbed. If you are sitting on a deck made of wood or composite, they will still be there, but there will most likely be fewer of them flying around your head and face, and biting your ankles.
Things to Think About When Planning or Designing in a Small Yard
When planning or designing any feature in a small yard, you must first think about how you use your yard. Do you need a grassy space for children to play? Remember that children tend to run around and need space enough to do these things without running into structures. Can they still play safely with a deck taking up part of the space?
Do you need a dedicated area for your dogs? Unless you want to constantly police the area, having a dedicated space for the dog makes sense; children and adults won’t be stepping into surprises and tracking them all over the rest of the yard or the interior of the house.
Next, consider how you want to use your yard and seating area. Are you planning large gatherings or small, intimate ones? Obviously you’ll need a larger space if you plan to have more people. Even then, chances are that guests will gather on the lawn as well as the deck. This tends to happen even when the host has a deck large enough to accommodate all of the guests.
Will you play yard games when using your outside space? If that is the case, you’ll need to leave an area of the lawn as a lawn and install a deck that doesn’t take up all the space in your yard.
Finally, decide where the best location for the deck is. Perhaps you want it physically attached to the house with a sliding glass door to access the interior of your home. This is the most popular choice when installing a deck. It provides easy access from the inside, plus it’s easy to bring out the fixings for outdoor dinners, parties and barbecues.
On the other hand, a deck situated away from the house cuts down on traffic in and out. It can also give the feeling of an entirely separate space.
Replacing Yard Space with a Seating Area
As mentioned previously, you should think long and hard before replacing your yard space with a deck. If you have a very small yard, kids and a dog, you may be removing valuable lawn area that the kids and dog use regularly. Even more importantly, will the kids playing take over the deck when the adults want to relax? If there is nowhere else in the yard for them to play, everyone will need to learn to coexist in one area.
On the other hand, if it is difficult or impossible to keep grass growing because of poor soil or the shade of nearby trees, replacing that lawn area with an outdoor seating area may be a viable option for you. Even if you don’t use every inch of the yard for the seating area, you can still put down paving stones, gravel or another ground cover in the areas that remain. That way, the kids can still run around in the yard without disturbing the adults enjoying the outdoor space.
Hopefully, this article has given you some things to think about when deciding whether to build an outdoor space in your small yard and where to locate it. If you live in Stafford or Fredericksburg, Virginia, Fletcher Construction can help you with all phases of creating your outdoor space. We will help you decide where to put it, what materials to use, and install it quickly and efficiently. We also offer other exterior construction services, such as roofing, siding, window replacement and installing screened enclosures. Contact us today for a no-obligation estimate.