Patios are a great way to spruce up your outdoor living space and add value to your home. You may be looking to fix up a tired patio or install a brand new one. The secret to a great and functional patio is planning ahead. With the right amount of planning, you can have a beautiful patio without stress.
Patio Planning Basics
- Purpose: You need to first consider what the patio will be used for. Is it for parties, a family space, or a quiet and small place to unwind? This helps you to allocate appropriate space for the patio and also narrows down your design options. An intimate patio for two will not have the same features as a patio that will be hosting parties every weekend.
- Location: Next, you need to consider the location. You will want it accessible to the kitchen as this is where most people exit the house from. This is especially true for entertaining patios. Getaway or private patios can be further away and closer to the back of the property. You also want to consider the closeness to neighboring homes as well as the current landscaping of the yard.
- Size matters: A common error made with patios is to underestimate the size needed. Make sure you account for any structures like fire pits as well as furniture and the number of people to accommodate. You also want to design the size to be proportionate to the house. If allowed, the patio should match the width of the house, be the same length as the house’s height, and match the size of an indoor room.
- Shape: Curved lines and non-geometric patios are the new trends because they create a unique look that is eye-catching. If you stick with more traditional geometric shapes, you can still opt for a symmetrical or asymmetrical (askew to the house) design. Think carefully about the look you want to create.
- Building materials: The materials you choose need to match or compliment the house. Natural materials like stone are more costly where pavers are a lower-cost option. If you use a lot of pavers, be sure to break up space with furniture and plants.
- Landscaping: When it comes to landscaping, be honest about whether you are a plant person or not. Do you want to maintain a large number of plants or not? You can always start with hardscaping and add plants in later if you like. That is better than having a lot of wilted and uncared for plants on your patio.
- Extras: If plants are not your thing, there are other additions you can put on the patio to give it a unique look. Consider lighting, a fire pit, and even a trellis or pergola for shade. Depending on what the patio’s purpose is, you can select the right additions and extras.