Good Morning Folks, I'm a fairly new homeowner (3 years) and the house I bought hadn't been updated in quite some time (if ever), so I've spent the past few years updating a bunch on the inside & clearing out most of the backyard. Along with fixing any & everything that breaks on a 30-year old home, which seems to be everything! The time has come to shift the focus to the deck before we fall through it! The deck may be original to the home, if not original at least 15-20 years old and it has a weird design to it. We'd like to replace part of the deck with a new bigger deck and then have that lead to a nice stone/paver patio. Although I like DIY jobs, my fiance wants this project done this summer so we will be hiring the work out. I appreciate all of the contractors/homeowners using this forum and posting their guidance & pictures. It has helped give us ideas for sure! We are looking to have a 20x14 deck that leads down to a ~14x25 stone patio (including a firepit) that would be up against the back of the house. Our budget is $10-$12K range...lesser the better! I will post pictures of the current situation this evening along with our ideas for the new layout. I was wondering if you all could help shed some light on our layout and any recommendations. More importantly, what should I be asking the contractors I am receiving estimates from? For example, 1 talked about gravel, rock dust, paver/stone, polymer sand...while another said they would install a concrete slab underneath the patio area first. Any recommendations on contractors? Thanks for your help!