Small budget: $40/sq. ft.
Key features: Slate tile surface, wood steps, and privacy panels
When Pamela and Gary Marsh need some peace and quiet, they relax on a 9- by 25-foot deck covered with multicolored slate tiles. Handsome stone pavers ― a product called Stone Deck ― make it feel like a terrace on the ground.
These tiles rest on the same kind of framework a wooden deck does. A fiberglass backing underneath the 16-inch-square slate tiles strengthens the stone. (Stone Deck West’s tiles are also available in quartzite and granite at 877/686-4759.) The broad wooden steps are made of ipe, a rich, red-colored Brazilian hardwood.