Summer is here and it’s time to enjoy some time outside. If you are anything like us though you might not have a comfortable space to be able to sit out in your yard to enjoy all the fun things summer has to offer. We have been debating on DIY patio ideas for our own backyard for a while. After months of weighting out pros and cons to different options we finally decided on one that worked best for us in our current house.

Since it took several months and looking into all the options to decide exactly what we were doing I figured I’d share the main options we debated on with you. The 3 DIY patio ideas we debated between were: a wood deck, pavers, or gravel. Below are some ideas and pros/cons for each option. Don’t worry there will be a whole post with all the details on exactly how we are transforming our outdoor space once it’s completed.

DIY Patio Ideas – Outdoor Wood Deck

The first option, which I think is fairly common, is doing a wood deck. Since this option is commonly done to create an outdoor space this was our original plan. When we bought the house we said we planned to eventually put in a large wooden deck. Once we started preparing to actually start this project we dove into the details. First we compared wood to composite decking. There’s definitely a cost difference, but also a difference in the amount of maintenance and lifetime of the deck. We also started looking into other materials needed to build a wood deck, tools required, shipping for materials, etc.

A wood deck is definitely a costly project, but could be the best option for you. It all depends on what you are looking for. If you love the wood look then a wood deck could be great. Wood decks also have the option of being built up, which is great if you live in a 2 story home. One down side to the wood deck is if you plan to build in a fire pit you would need to have that on pavers or another material besides wood. The biggest downside is that lumbar is very costly, so a wood deck is a big investment.

Outdoor Patio with Pavers

The next option we considered was doing an outdoor patio space out of pavers. This is very common especially for those putting in a pool. We don’t have any plans to put in a pool at our current house, so that wasn’t a factor for us. The nice advantage to pavers is we would be able to have one continuous patio space for a seating area along with a fire pit. We liked the idea of having a cohesive look without having to switch materials for the fire pit area. In terms of cost doing pavers seemed to be pretty comparable to doing a wood deck with real wood.

The biggest downside we saw with the pavers was it seemed to be the most labor intensive option. None of the options are a small project by any means, but laying pavers and carrying each paver for a large patio space would definitely be quite laborious. Also, with the weight of all the pavers that would be needed considering shipping timelines and a delivery service for all the pavers was another factor to consider.

DIY Gravel Patio

The last option we considered was doing a gravel outdoor patio space. This option is probably a little less common then the other two. The idea was to lay out a border of bricks then fill the space with 2 inches of gravel. The advantages to this option were it was the lowest in cost and it could also have the fire pit space on top of the gravel to be able to utilize similar materials throughout the entire patio space.

The disadvantages to this option were also considering the delivery of all the gravel needed along with the amount of work to complete the project. The biggest challenge would be it would use several tons of gravel that would have to be gradually poured to fill up the space.

Deciding on Our Ideal DIY Patio Space

Ultimately we decided to do a gravel outdoor patio space. The main reasons we went with this choice were it was budget-friendly, provided us with exactly what we were wanting to include in an outdoor space, and seemed less common. I liked the idea of doing a DIY project that was a little different, but still has the same end goal we desired in an outdoor patio space. After we priced everything out it also was a fraction of the cost of the other options. I’ll share more on the cost and details after we’ve finished the project in case any unexpected costs arise.

We are currently working on completing this gravel outdoor patio space, which will include a sitting area, fire pit, herb wall, and high top bar area. To follow along with the project as we go check out realwholesomelife on Instagram. I’ll also be sharing all the details on the blog. I hope this gave you some helpful pros and cons to 3 DIY patio ideas for your outdoor space.

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