Lawns, Decks and Alternative Surfaces

The surfaces you use in your yard — both hard and soft — will depend on the amount of time that you have available for maintaining them as well as the individual needs of your family.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Grass

A lawn is attractive and durable and perfect for young families, but it needs a lot of maintenance. In summer it needs cutting every week — not a great option for those short on time or less physically able.

Tiles

Well-laid tiles can be a good choice for the elderly, as it is level and easy to navigate, but be sure to choose something that is not slippery after rain. Families with toddlers may find tiles a problem.

Gravel

Gravel is cheap and instant, but is not a good surface for areas where you want to place tables and chairs. It is most useful for surrounding a small level patio or a series of stepping stones.

Decking

Wood decking is warm and inviting for small bare feet, and smooth and level for the elderly. Building a deck is one of the easiest ways to create a sophisticated living and dining area close to the house.

Next Up

Alternative HVAC Systems

Pellet stoves and furnaces are hot, but there are other keen ideas for getting the most out of your heating and cooling systems.

How to Make a Wall-Mounted Christmas Tree Alternative

Designer Casey Noble shows how to bring the look and feel of a Christmas tree to a small space by creating a wall-mounted version using MDF trim and fabric.

How to Winterize Your Lawn

Learn what to do to prepare your lawn for winter. Taking the right steps in fall prepares your grass for quick spring greening.

How to Create a Level Lawn

Create a level lawn and prevent future problems with this step-by-step landscaping guide to remove bumps and hollows.

Fire Pits for Decks

Fire pits and decks are not always ideal partners. Learn what you need to do in order to use a fire pit safely on your deck.

Fungi Fix: What to Do About Lawn Mushrooms

Gardening and lawn expert Felder Rushing advises leaving them alone.

Sow Cool: Give Your Lawn a Head Start With Dormant Seeding

Dormant seeding is the practice of sowing grass in the winter months when grass seeds are inactive.