No matter how you intend to use your outdoor living space, planning ahead will always lead to a better end result. When it comes to designing a patio this is especially true. Begin planning by thinking about how you’ll use the space. Are you barbecuing for friends and family? Or are you lounging in a quiet shady area? At night are you sitting around a fire?
Below are ten tips that we recommend to anyone thinking about installing a new patio for their home:
1. Function: Incorporate outdoor spaces that have specific uses, such as dining, entertaining, relaxing or cooking.
2. Size and shape: How much space you’ll need depends on many things- your budget, the size of your back yard, and intended use. Your shape is also determined by existing features such as trees and landscaping.
3. Location: which direction does your patio face? You’ll want to think about how the sun you’ll get during certain points in the year. Are there existing trees? And since you’ll be spending a lot of time on your patio, what does the view look like? Take these things into consideration early on and you’ll be able to intelligently plan your patio.
4. Style: You might want to bring your decorating style from the inside of your home to your outdoor living space by repeating colors and furniture styles. Try matching your surroundings or go with an entirely new theme that stands out.
5. Shade: Think about where the sun will be. Installing a pergola or a covered porch provides sun protection on those extra hot summer days.
6. Integrated Features: Integrating custom features that enhance your space are the best way to bring it to life and making it yours. Outdoor speakers are an easy feature to install for music lovers. An outdoor television under a covered patio is perfect for movie buffs. An outdoor bar or kitchen turns your patio into the best cookout spot in town. Like we said before, make you think about how you want to use the space beforehand and it makes installing integrated features much easier.
7. Fire or Water Features: Adding a fire pit or a fireplace gives your space coziness and extends your outdoor area’s usability when it gets chilly. A pondless waterfall adds the peaceful sound of falling water for those who want a tranquil space. Not sure which to choose? Read about the differences of a fire pit vs. a fireplace.
8. Lighting: Add visibility and nighttime ambiance to your patio and walkways with outdoor lighting.
9. Material: go with low-maintenance material to make care easy. Natural stone needs less maintenance and generally lasts longer than wood or composite materials for example.
10. Durability: Select materials that both look beautiful and are built to last. High-quality products are pricer but for good reason. They’re made to survive harsh winters, weather, and sun.
To learn more about what the best plan is for your outdoor space, contact one of our design consultants or landscape architects.