If you’ve been blessed with a nice backyard, you probably want to spend as much time in it as possible. This is especially true when the weather is nice and you can get some fresh air right outside your house. Still, for that to happen, you need to design your backyard in such a way that you can really enjoy being there. One of the most important features is definitely a patio. You may already have one, which doesn’t serve its purpose, or you might be planning on installing one. Whatever the situation you’re in is, you should definitely read the following tips if you want to avoid making mistakes that will ruin your experience.
Words: Diana Smith
What do you need a patio for?
The first thing you should consider is the purpose of your patio. You may wish to entertain many people and throw outdoor parties, or keep it small and simple, for only two or three people. Basically, you have to ask yourself if your patio will be a gathering or getaway space. Depending on the answer to that question, your other decisions may vary greatly.
Just like you consider location when buying a house, you should take the same approach when it comes to your patio. Generally speaking, people like their patios to be accessible to the kitchen. Some, on the other hand, prefer having them somewhere more remote, toward the back of the property. Take a good look at your backyard and think about the type of landscaping the house already has and the proximity to neighbouring homes. Finding the best spot is key.
It’s important to choose building materials that complement the style and colour of your house. Concrete is a popular choice, but make sure you hire experts with the right concreting tools to install it. Stone is another option, though more expensive. You can use pavers, as well, to break up the space with plants and furniture. Pavers have a tendency to absorb light, and can, therefore, look industrial in a wide-open space.Size
The size of your patio will depend on three things: its purpose (how many people will normally gather there?), available location and your budget. While there are no specific rules, people like their patios to be as wide as the house and as long as the house’s height. The site will definitely determine the shape of your patio, but don’t forget to check if you can afford to turn your design into reality.Landscaping
When choosing the plants for your backyard, you have to be realistic about how diligent you are when it comes to maintenance. If you are not sure you can commit to keeping all the plants well looked after, do the hardscape first and add plants later, when you’ll be able to visualise the space. You can use stones or pavers around plants, break the patio up with greenery, or have a lot of containers in groupings of different heights.Extra touches
Depending on your budget, ideas and space available, you might want to add some details to your patio. Fireplaces and fire pits are among the most popular extras and they provide fantastic evening appeal. On the other hand, a water feature will block the noise from a busy street up to a point and add ambiance. You should also consider lighting, since you’re bound to spend some time outdoors after the sun goes down. Finally, if you get a lot of sunshine in the summer, think about installing a trellis to protect you from the sun and provide some much-needed privacy.As you can see, there are quite a few considerations you need to make before creating or renovating your patio. It’s important to make the right decisions when it comes to the things that really matter and that are difficult and expensive to correct if you don’t make the right call. Details can always be added or removed as you start spending time outside and realising the advantages and disadvantages of your project.