What to Consider Before Designing Your Backyard Patio
Having a patio as part of your landscaping gives your property a lot to work with when it comes to textures, design, and aesthetics. It also gives you, your family and friends somewhere nice to spend time together on a summer evening.
Before designing a patio, or asking someone else to do it for you, there are some aspects of the project you should consider first. Let’s talk about what you should know about the subject before it’s built, and what is even considered a patio.
What is a Patio?
Simply put, a patio is really just an outdoor living space. Often times, but not always, it connects to your main home as well.
The word patio comes from the Spanish word patio, which means either backyard or back garden.
Patios can be built from stone, pavers, brick, concrete, gravel, etc. Essentially anything except wood, as that would typically make it a deck instead (in addition to some other key aspects). In the next section we will discuss the material options for patios in more detail.
When it comes to material to construct a patio out of, you have a lot of different options.
One of the most popular choices for a patio material is a natural stone. Going with this for your project gives you a lot of options, from limestone to slate, to bluestone to flagstone, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Stone is going to be more expensive if you have someone else install it, however. Using natural stone means that you are dealing with varying sizes, shapes, and thicknesses, which means additional work for the installer.
You may want to consider this material if your house has stone elements – choosing a matching stone would create a more uniform look. It’s also a great choice if you want something that looks more natural and less “man-made.”
Another common and versatile choice for your patio is concrete. This option definitely doesn’t look as natural as using stone, but it will provide you with a smooth, affordable hard surface for your patio.
You can also add a pattern with dye to the concrete if you do want to make it look more natural. However, that coating will have to be reapplied about every 2 years.
This is a great option if you want something incredibly affordable and smooth. If you are going to be covering the patio area with rugs and/or other textures, the blandness of the concrete won’t make a big difference anyway.
Manufactured paving stones are a wonderful way to incorporate the smoothness of something like concrete with the natural look of stone.
Because pavers are modular objects that all consist of the same thickness and shape, they are much easier to install than a natural stone would be. A lot of paver kits make it easy enough for even a beginner to do, and there are many different options, including curved stones, different colors, etc.
Last but not least, we have the option for a brick patio.
This is a great choice if you want a more old-time, vintage look to your patio. Bricks are also more uniform than stone, making them easier to install.
There are a few drawbacks to keep in mind with choosing brick as well, however.
If you live in an area that goes below freezing temperatures in the winter, the bricks will crack and need to be replaced. This is because they are porous, and retain moisture. Moss also commonly grows on this material, especially in shaded areas, and it has to be scrubbed off with bleach.
This might be a good choice for you if you really want that vintage look, and don’t mind a little bit of maintenance when it comes to your new patio.
Types of Patios
In addition to choosing a material, you should familiarize yourself with the different types of patios that are commonly available and popular to build. Here are some of the top choices.
A freestanding patio is one that is detached from your home. This is a great option for those of you with a big backyard with lots of other landscaping elements to compliment the patio.
It can either be completely removed from your home, or you can have a garden path/walkway to lead up to it for easier access.
A wraparound patio is similar to a wraparound porch, but it is larger and can be covered/uncovered depending on personal preference.
Typically this type of patio will hug the back and sides of your home, and offer you an outdoor extension from your living room.
Similar to the wraparound patio option is either a U-shaped or L-shaped one.
These usually also “hug” your home, but may not wrap around the whole back of it like the wraparound option. The L or U shape will give you access from a few rooms of the house, and can still be covered/uncovered.
Multi Level Patio
If you live on sloped property, having several levels to your patio might be a good idea.
Having multiple levels to your patio gives you the opportunity to do a lot more with the space, and depending on where you live, might give you a better view.
You will need some kind of stairs built for your additional levels as well.
What Should Your Patio Consist Of?
Truthfully, you can do whatever you want with your new patio. Whether you want comfy couches and a more “indoor” feel to it, or water features and natural aspects to keep it in line with the outdoors. The possibilities are endless!
What Looks Best With Your Landscaping
Make sure that you consider what type of patio and which materials work best with the landscaping you have. For example, something detached from your home may not be the best option if you don’t have much land to work with.
Taking your own needs and wants into account when designing your ideal patio will make the process much easier and leave you much happier at the end.
If you are unsure of what you should consider for your own property, contact your local landscaping company for further assistance. For those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area, Homescape Now can help you design and build your new patio. Contact us today!