Word on the street – or, better said, in the great outdoors – is that outdoor living is a major trend and it’s here to stay. You see it in camper van remodels, the revival of camping and hiking—and, of course, in the increased number of patios popping up left and right., in gardens all over the country.
The beauty of a patio is many-splendored, as this relatively low-cost and low-maintenance upgrade to your property can serve a great number of purposes. It can be a decorative addition, with a beautiful structure and hanging plants all over it. It can stand as the new family gathering space for fun-filled board game nights outside or cozy summer lunches. Last, but not least, it allows you to enjoy time outside, either socializing or reading, without being exposed to the scorching sun and its harmful UV rays.
That said, where do you start, when you’ve already decided you want a patio? We’ve put together a quick list of tips and tricks, selected from the experts, and here’s what they have to say about your soon-to-be favorite outdoor hangout.
Pick the Right Patio for You in 3 Easy Steps
The most important thing to remember here is how the patio is going to be used. If you choose a freestanding patio, away from the main building, you’ll get all the privacy you’re vying for. On the other hand, if you think summer family dinners round the patio table are on the menu, you’d be best advised to keep the area as close to the kitchen as you can.
2. Size does matter
This one’s self-explanatory. Do you plan to keep this garden retreat to yourself and possibly a pet and/or significant other? Keep it small. But perhaps you’re a natural born entertainer who dreams of large garden parties in the summer. The best way to figure this out is to place as many tables and chairs as you plan on using in the garden, then calculate the surface they cover. If budgeting and the size of your property are constraints, worry not: Better Homes and Gardens has a great gallery of creative ways to maximize small patios.
3. Laying down the law
As Home&Garden TV explains you’ve got a handful of options at your disposal, when the time comes to choose the materials for your patio: cement, brick, natural stone, or pavers. While cement tends to look boring, it also comes with a lower price tag and can be embellished with dyed stamps. Brick, the go-to choice of yore, has fallen out of favor, as it is porous, retains moisture and tends to have a shorter lifespan. And while natural stone looks beautiful, consider the costs: it’s expensive to carry and even more costly to individually install each stone. Pavers are likely your best cost, as they’re uniform in terms of thickness and easier to put in. Bonus: most modern pavers beautifully emulate the look of natural stone.
All right, so you’ve made all the important decisions, identified a trustworthy professional to help you with the project, and are ready to take this patio show on the road. What else should you be aware of? Please read my next article on safety.
John Stuart works on behalf of patioawnings4less.co.uk in outreach and content creation. He creates engaging content that help businesses connect with their audience and stand out from the crowd.