Having a relaxing and cozy patio right outside your own house is every potential homeowner’s dream as it gives you a refreshing place to lounge in once you get tired of the indoors.
You want your patio to be the best it can be while keeping it up to standards. If you value sustainability, you should go for an eco-friendly patio.
The good news is that you can build a patio that not only satisfies your fancy but also works in harmony with the environment, there are some things you should consider. Check them out below.
Top 7 Things to Consider When Building a Patio
The Local Climate
The first thing you need to consider is the local climate. After all, this is what you will be working with once you start building your outdoor area and after the process.
The climate can help you develop a solid plan for your patio. If you get lots of rain throughout the year, you might want to build a shaded area that can protect you during light showers. Sunnier places may need shades, while those that often see hurricanes may require furnishings that are attached to the ground.
If you have been living in the place for a long time, chances are you are already familiar with the climate. However, you might want to consult a contractor because they have the experience and know-how regarding this matter.
2. Eco-Friendly Materials
Another environmental factor you should consider when building a patio is the materials. You want to use supplies that have a minimal environmental impact and can reduce your carbon footprint.
Not sure where to start? There are different things you should look into. One is the source of the material. Does obtain or manufacturing it harm the environment?
Next is its chemical contents. Does it produce toxic by-products over time? Can it harm your health and your environment in the process? If yes, then choose a more sustainable product.
Lastly, you should take durability into account. If you need to replace these materials after a short time, then you might want to choose a more sustainable option.
3. Green Ground Covers
The typical ground cover is a grass lawn, which can definitely look good if that is something you prefer. Some city councils and homeowner associations even require a perfectly manicured lawn.
However, this is not the most ideal option, especially if you want something eco-friendly. Maintaining a lawn have lots of negative impacts on the environment.
A grass lawn requires taking over the patch of land where native ecosystems thrive and replacing them with plain grass. It reduces the biodiversity in the area, which can lead to a domino effect in terms of environmental effects.
Moreover, the tremendous amount of water used to keep the grass green takes a huge toll on the planet’s water supply.
Green covers are the best option for your patio. You might want to go with porous concrete or interlocking stone for durability and a longer life span. If you want the refreshing color of lawns, you can go for artificial turf which does not require watering and mowing.
4. Minimal Waste Generation
The building process inevitably generates waste, especially with things cuttings, excess materials, and shavings.
However, you can minimize the amount of waste you generate by creating a sustainable plan, purchasing the right amount of materials with the correct specifications, and monitoring your supplies.
For example, you should measure the space you want to occupy, create a design, and decide how much material you need. Then, make sure to purchase the supplies you need to avoid wasting them.
This can be difficult without proper knowledge and experience. The best way to go is to contact a licensed contractor who will do the job properly and efficiently.
5. Quality of Equipment
Speaking of waste reduction, one thing that you need to consider is the quality of tools and equipment you purchase and use. Many people tend to overlook this aspect because they are easy to replace when broken.
What you should know is that broken tools and equipment that people throw away are still considered waste. If you are serious about creating an eco-friendly patio, you should consider getting more durable ones.
Another thing you should remember is that higher-quality materials perform better. They can help minimize mistakes that could lead to waste or even hazards. Just keep in mind that skills also play a part in this.
6. Energy Source and Efficiency
Your patio will not be complete without lighting and power sockets to plug some things in. The most common and accessible energy source is electricity from the grid. While you are in the process of building your dream patio, you might want to consider getting solar panels.
This is a renewable energy source that lets you get power from sunlight, store it in suitable batteries, and save money. This way, you reduce your electricity consumption, hence, your lower your carbon footprint.
The best part is that generating excess solar energy is rewarded in some places in the form of rebates. You can hook up your lights and power strips to your solar generators or connect your system to the main grid.
7. Sustainable Lighting and Cooking Options
Barbecues and yard parties are never complete without a grill or a conveniently placed oven. The thing is, charcoal grills can be harmful to the environment but the good news is that there are greener options.
You can go with pellet grills which use recycled materials such as sawdust to create wood-based options for cooking. If you are concerned about the smoke barbecues generate, you can get smokeless charcoals which reduces air pollution.
As for lighting, go for solar-powered lights. If this is not an option, you can get LED lights because they use less electricity.
Your patio can be the most comfortable outdoor space without sacrificing the environment. With these environmental considerations, you can relax on your patio in peace and without any trace of guilt.