When designing outdoor living spaces, you want to encourage and allow people to move from one area to another easily. If your space includes multiple levels, such as a deck and a patio, your deck to patio transition is an important aspect.
Steep, narrow stairs between these areas are not conducive to people mingling and could even be dangerous for those whose mobility is limited. Instead, you’ll want to incorporate wide, gently sloping levels that create seamless transitions from one area to the next. This design allows you and your guests to enjoy the various outdoor spaces around your home more fully.
Read on to discover some deck to patio transition ideas and learn why they are so important for you to consider.
Use Your Space to the Max
While you may be reluctant to use precious space for stairs, the gentler you can make your deck to patio transition, the more inviting the area will seem. Use all the real estate available for your outdoor living space to allow for more gradual transitions.
If you can’t spread your areas any further apart, try running wide stairs or ramps along the edges, curving into the different levels at the top and the bottom. Make sure you incorporate a railing in the steeper area, so no one will try to take a shortcut – intentionally or otherwise.
Create Multiple Levels
Instead of two separate levels joined by a run of stairs, create multiple levels in between. For example, you step off the deck onto the grilling area, then down to a dining area, and then to a lounge area. Maybe you even incorporate a patio to pool deck transition. When each level has a purpose, they feel less like stairs between separate areas and more like simply walking from one part of a room to another.
A Better Alternative to Standard Stairs
The standard residential stairs are only four feet wide. While this is adequate, it only permits single-file use and doesn’t encourage people to use them. The wider and deeper the stairs are, the easier they will be to use, and the more your outdoor spaces will flow into each other. While the depth and width will require more space than standard stairs, they will have a more gentle slope, creating an illusion of luxury and relaxation.
If the space is available, plan for your stairs to run the entire length of your deck or even wrap around it. Make sure to include side railings and have one or more railings in the center, too, if it seems necessary.
Ramps aren’t only for people with limited mobility. They also create seamless transitions between areas. If you have a short vertical distance between the deck and patio, you can potentially eliminate steps completely. Just have the entire transitional area slope from one to the next.
Ramps often get overlooked in designs because they require more space and can be more expensive, but if an open and inviting transition is what you’re looking for, a ramp fits the bill perfectly.
Continuing Elements Between Areas
To create a continuous visual between areas, incorporate similar elements throughout your deck and patio. A few items that you can incorporate on both your deck and patio to create a seamless visual transition include:
Additionally, if you will have privacy fencing, build the same fencing along the entirety of your outdoor living space rather than having it end at the edge of one area. An amazing water feature could tie your spaces together as well. Have a small waterfall falling from the deck onto the patio, or include a multi-level feature flowing from level to level along the edge of your space.
Don’t underestimate color, either. A concrete patio transition to wood deck can be less abrupt if, instead of brown and gray, you can paint the deck or stain the concrete so they more closely match one another. This matching color creates a continuous line for your eye without the abrupt change. Continuing your patio under your deck makes the transition seem more seamless also. Having the concrete end at the stairs creates a line of separation between the areas, but having the patio extend beneath the deck eliminates this line.
Make the Most of Your Outdoor Space
While you’re dreaming about and designing your outdoor space, keep in mind that continuity between your deck and patio will create the most seamless transition between the spaces. And that seamless transition will create an inviting, open space that you, your family, and your guests will enjoy.
Work with the space you have, but remember that a smaller open space will feel more expansive than a space that’s larger in square footage but is more enclosed or broken up. Dedicating a bit of space to create the perfect deck to patio transition can pay off.
Contact the deck and patio experts at ALD today to get started on your project!