Best Deck & Patio Design Books

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The backyard is the life of the party at cookouts and summer pool parties. You can kick it up a notch with a nice patio design and outdoor furniture placement.

These books are the best resources for learning to design your own deck & patio with pizzazz. They range from woodworking guides to outdoor patio furniture designs, outdoor kitchens, and even custom-shaped patios you can build yourself.

Lots of inspiration to go around and plenty of cool ideas for any home.

Ideas For Great Patios & Decks

ideas for great patios decks

This book works as an idea guide and a coffee table book filled to the brim with HD photos. Ideas For Great Patios & Decks comes with 128 pages of beautiful pictures and deck ideas that you can replicate from scratch.

Note this is not a how-to guide and it doesn’t teach you how to construct these decks from scratch. Instead it’s an idea book, and one heck of an idea book at that.

I do notice that many of the photos rely on larger yards with big gardens and terraces. This may be off-putting to smaller suburban or even urban dwellers who don’t have the same space for a larger deck. This just comes with the territory and you can still utilize the space you’ve got based on these ideas.

If you want some patio inspiration then consider grabbing a copy of this book. However if you’re looking for actionable guides then check out the next book in this list.


Deck Ideas You Can Use

deck ideas you can use

Deck Ideas You Can Use follows a number of custom decks that you can actually build from start to finish. You’ll learn which materials to buy, how to get started, and what you need to do to get your deck setup.

Railings, planters, and trellis patterns are all covered in great detail. Each chapter looks into a different type of deck design including gazebos, stairs, seating areas, fireplaces and hanging gardens. This book is not merely for simple decks.

You’ll be able to create your ultimate dream deck just by following the advice in this guide.

It won’t be easy and you’ll need to put in a lot of effort. But after reading through this book you’ll understand what makes a deck stable and how you can improve your design with proper planning & materials.

I absolutely recommend this book as the ultimate DIY deck design resource. Even if you don’t have much experience building decks you can still pick up a lot by skimming through.


Patios & Walkways Idea Book

patios and walkways idea book

For another idea design book you might try the Patios & Walkways Idea Book. It’s a lengthy 185 page guide to designing walkways and patios in abundance.

From backyard patios to kitchen sliding door patios you’ll find a ton of ideas with incredible color photographs. Walkways and terraces are also in many of these photos, the majority of which capture spacious backyards across America.

Unfortunately many of these designs are complex and almost impossible to replicate without some money. This is more like a book of luxurious patios you may have one day when you’re rich.

The difficult part is finding the space rather than finding the money. And since none of these photos have DIY instructions you’ll have to reverse engineer the whole process.

Still an awesome read for patio & walkway designs for remodeling, or just as a simple coffee table book.


Black & Decker Complete Guide to Patios

black and decker complete guide

I’ve seen quite a few Black & Decker guides that all have incredibly valuable content for homeowners. If you have the drive and the time you can build amazing patios on your own with very few materials.

The Black & Decker Complete Guide to Patios is the #1 best book you can get on this topic. It’s a complete DIY guide covering patios, steps, and walkways, each with instructions and photos to help you along the way.

In the updated edition you’ll find new patio designs and slight changes to some of the materials. Early chapters start with the basics from simple walkways and basic wood-borne patio designs.

As you go further you’ll learn to make patio kitchen areas, screened patio rooms, and upper-deck patios that lead up to your home’s 2nd floor with space underneath.

With so much variety you’re bound to find a project you love. If you’ve got the work ethic to create your own patio then this book will prove invaluable during the process.


Deck Ideas That Work

deck ideas that work

Sometimes it helps to look at other decks before you start decorating your own. This is also true for remodeling if you plan to tear down your current deck and build a new one from scratch.

Deck Ideas That Work is such a valuable resource for gathering ideas and helpful decorating tips. You’ll find hundreds of photos with accompanying projects that include hot tubs, outdoor dining, and storage space underneath.

If you can see what you want then it becomes a lot easier to make it happen. This book is the perfect reference guide you can show your contractor to help you build your dream deck.

The same can be said for outdoor decorations & furniture, especially if you hire a home designer to help you find the right look.

Definitely a fun book with a mix of inspiration and practical exercises.


Deck Designs: Great Design Ideas From Top Deck Builders

deck designs book

All the designs in this book tend to push more extreme deck styles. And while they may not be practical for every home, they certainly can offer some ideas to shape your preferred deck.

In Deck Designs: Great Design Ideas From Top Deck Builders you’ll study the work of master designers from all around the country. Each chapter focuses on a different design talking about the build quality, the materials, and the process.

Naturally this also has tons of photos to gawk at including multiple angles from all over the yard. As I mentioned these are typically huge decks with crazy designs so they are far from usable for the average homeowner.

Still you can get some fun ideas from this book and learn a thing or two about deck building.

The master deck designers featured in this book also share their advice and tips for homeowners looking to design their own custom decks from scratch.


Barbecues & Outdoor Kitchens

barbecues outdoor kitchens

An outdoor kitchen may seem expensive but it’s a lot simpler to create than you might think. These installments are perfect for patios and they really liven up the festivities during summer parties.

Barbecues & Outdoor Kitchens is a true how-to DIY type book featuring 16 unique projects you can build from scratch. Some are much harder than others but they all focus on the barbecue and outdoor kitchen area.

From outdoor stoves to side burners and even your own outdoor pizza oven, this book covers it all in great detail. You can follow along with HD photos every step of the way guiding you towards completion.

I’d say this book can work for everyone regardless of their handyman experience. But many of these designs are fairly technical and can be created faster through contracting.

No matter how much space you have in the backyard there’s a way to fit in your very own outdoor kitchen. And this book has plenty of ideas & guides to help you get started.


Decks Complete

decks complete

If you’re looking to create your own deck from start to finish then this is the only book you need. Decks Complete is a 220+ page guide covering the materials, tools, and processes needed to create a deck or patio in your backyard.

All of these projects focus on practicality so you’ll find a lot of simple designs that’ll fit any space. The majority of homeowners just want simple decks but most inspirational books tend to get wacky.

Each chapter is packed with expert advice from craftsmen who know the trade inside & out. You’ll learn how to design a deck and plan the space before ever laying a board. You’ll also learn how to properly support a deck, build sturdy stairs, and how to finish the deck for a sleek look.

I’d argue this book can work for everyone including the guy(or gal) who has never picked up a hammer in their life.

The projects are very straightforward and the photos make it that much easier to stay on task. You’re given a list of tools, materials, and steps that, if you follow along, should lead you to a finished deck you love.


Patios and Walkways 1-2-3

patios and walkways 123

On the other side of the spectrum we have grounded patios and walkways. These can be made of wood but they differ from decks in that they can use stone, concrete, marble, or other harder materials.

Home Depot’s Patios and Walkways 1-2-3 is an excellent guide for diving into this subject. It’s just under 200 pages long full of clear instructions for buying, laying, and finishing a patio.

Most examples focus on larger yards so this can be a tough book to use if you’re in a tiny urban dwelling. But the advice inside is pure gold.

Many experts contributed to this book with the editorial power of The Home Depot. It’s a trustworthy guide and the tips are still modern enough to work in any space.

The biggest decision here is whether you actually want a patio or not. It feels quite different from a deck and the building process uses different materials.

But if you’re looking for a solid intro guide to get started then this book is a brilliant buy.


Stonescaping Idea Book

stonescaping idea book

The art of laying stones for walkways & barriers is colloquially called “stonescaping”. It’s very much an art form in the style of landscaping where you want to find the right style, color, and size of stones to create a pattern that matches your yard.

The Stonescaping Idea Book by Andrew Wormer talks about bricks, boulders, and stone veneer and the many different structures you can build with them. It is mostly an idea book so you’ll find tons of photographs and sample homes all over the US.

These photos range from waterfalls to garden walls, backyard walkways to custom terraces and even custom koi ponds.

If you’re big on stone designs then this book is full of ideas to get you started. The actual process is not covered so you will need to hire a contractor to help make your ideas reality.

Still I think this is a valuable resource to find ideas that you can store in your noodle for future home renovations.


Patio & Walkway Ideas That Work

patio walkway ideas

Earlier in this post I covered the book Deck Ideas That Work and the incredible information found inside. Well it has a sister called Patio & Walkway Ideas That Work, a 200 page softcover with dozens of unique designs.

If you’d like to work with stones then this book is a must-have resource. With a total of 300+ ideas and even more photos you’ll find examples of pergolas, pool areas, custom patios, and grilling islands for outdoor kitchens.

Any idea you can possibly think of will be in this book. It’s the definitive guide to outdoor walkways and stonescaped areas.

Plus this isn’t just a photo book since it also lists materials alongside most projects. This isn’t exactly a step-by-step guide but it can help you take that first step on a new project.

No matter what you’re trying to build or how you want to decorate your backyard I guarantee there’s a book in this list for you.

From custom decks with trellises to custom patios with outdoor kitchens, the world is your proverbial oyster with the ideas & guides found in these books.

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