10 Design Tips for Your Patio Project


Creating an outdoor room is a great way to extend your living space and encourage your family to spend more time outside. To get the most out of your exterior space, design a patio that's perfect for your landscape and lifestyle. With these design tips in mind a natural, comfortable patio is easy to achieve.

1) Work With What You Have

Although it's entirely possible to re-grade your backyard and use retaining walls to alter the lay of the land, you should try to work with the existing conditions. Look for fairly flat patches of lawn and opt for a size and shape that will require the least amount of invasive (and expensive) landscaping.

2) Give Yourself Enough Space

With that being said, you still need to design a patio that delivers the space you need. The minimum amount of space for a six-seater patio set is 10 foot by 10 foot. A bistro set can fit snugly on a smaller patio, but for entertaining, al fresco dining and a comfortable place to laze the day away, you'll need at least 100 square feet or more.

3) Think Drainage

Always be sure to consider the drainage in your yard. You don't want to create a potentially damaging situation by directing water back to your home. Plan to lay a thick gravel base and calculate for a surface that slopes away from your house.

4) Borrow From Nature

Look at your surroundings for inspiration on what textures, materials and scale to include on the patio. Incorporate existing trees, hills and gardens into the patio design. If you have an ordered lawn and garden then design a linear, contemporary patio. And likewise, a casual, rounded patio shape fits in well with English country landscaping style.

5) Traffic Flow

Think about how the traffic moves through your yard and incorporate that into your patio design. Leave room for paths between entranceways and large backyard features such as the swimming pool, swing set and greenhouse.

6) Dinner Anyone?

Outdoor kitchens are very trendy and offer you the chance to enjoy gourmet grilled meals all season long. Design for a built in stainless steel grill and a sink for handy washing. How about a smoker and a small refrigerator? Warming drawers, stove tops and a collection of other culinary gadgets can be included in your outdoor kitchen. Get creative and build the kitchen of your dreams right out on the patio.

7) Stay Out of the Sun

Shade is an essential part of every patio design. Make sure to include at least a small shaded area for a cool and comfy place to nap or lounge. Use mature trees for natural, dappled shade or build an overhead feature for more solid coverage. Other options include shade sails and awnings.

8) Be Consistent

Whether flagstone, interlocking bricks or stamped concrete, your chosen patio materials need to extend through the backyard. Pathways, garden edging and stairways should be finished in matching or complimentary materials.

9) Keep It Low Maintenance

If your exterior living space requires excessive maintenance and upkeep, you're less likely to enjoy it. Choose materials that will weather well and require very little work.

10) Safety First

Patios with a drop of more than 18” will need to incorporate a railing. Also, make sure that any stairs are wide enough and each step has a safe, comfortable rise (or height).

Take the time to carefully plan your outdoor living space. Patio design combines your tastes, lifestyle and surroundings while keeping safety and maintenance in mind. All of these factors will help you create the perfect patio space.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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