First Consider Some Basics
If this is your first major home improvement project, congratulate yourself on picking one that will give you a real sense of satisfaction when all is said and done. As you prepare to tackle this multi-part project, make sure you’ve checked these items off your pre-patio checklist:
- Location, location, location: While many patios transition from the house to the rest of the yard, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Consider your favorite flat spot on your lot and try to imagine what it would be like having dinner there, even if it is out away from your actual home.
- Materials: While many patios are poured concrete slabs, there are also some fantastic stones and pavers out there that would make excellent patio surfaces, and of course, don’t forget about brick. Patios will really stand the test of time when built with the right materials. Consider the weather in your area when you’re choosing and planning yours.
- Size and shape: There is not a standard size or shape for a patio. You can make it whatever you want. Maybe you want a 10×16 rectangle, or how about a 15 foot long kidney shaped patio? Design the patio of your dreams, use the right materials, and you will enjoy it for many years to come!
Plan it, Design it, Build it
Once you feel you have a basic understanding of what your patio will be made from and where you’re going to put it, you are ready to take the next step and draw your entire lot on grid paper. Add buildings, plants and other desired features in their correct spots on the paper. Carefully measure all of this to ensure that your new patio turns out just right. This handy drawing of your planned patio will become a map to something wonderful in your backyard.
Consider adding in some of these enjoyable additions:
- Pergolas. There’s nothing quite like a pergola to create a semi-shaded area in your yard. If your patio is attached to the house, adding a pergola is a very natural step, but if not, you can still anchor a freestanding one in cement so it won’t blow away. Create some summertime shade by growing your favorite vines on that pergola.
- Built-in Seating. In addition to your patio set, it is also nice to have some extra benches in case you’re wanting to sit somewhere besides the table. Consider putting benches around the outside of your patio or nearby deck. Coordinate your benches by making them from the same materials as your patio.
- Water Fountains and Ponds. How about installing a fountain or pond near your patio? Small fountains add interest, and ponds will give you a place to keep some fancy koi. This can also become a favorite spot for birds and other wildlife looking for water.
- Outdoor Kitchen. Adding an outdoor kitchen is the ultimate patio upgrade, even if it’s just a built-in grill and a small sink. These are becoming very popular and can add value if you decide to sell in the future.
Like these ideas but not inclined to do them yourself? Need some recommendations for contractors who could create this great outdoor space for you to enjoy? Contact me and I will put you in touch with a great contractor or two.