During the chilly winter months, many homeowners start dreaming about what exterior home improvement projects they want to do once the weather warms back up.
Mild spring temperatures are an ideal time to make any needed exterior repairs. Spring is when many homeowners decided to replace inefficient windows or upgrade their gutters. Some also decide to add features such as fountains or patios to their yard.
Patios help to extend living space into the outdoors and can be added adjacent to several rooms. Patios near garages add outdoor workspaces, while patios near kitchens or living rooms serve as dining spaces or entertainment areas.
If you’re thinking about adding a dream patio to your outdoor space, keep the following tips in mind.
Patio vs deck
A patio is not the same as a deck. A deck is a raised platform (typically made of wood) that extends directly from the house. Patios are paved areas that sit directly on the ground—typically, they’re attached to the house in some way, but they can also be unattached.
Patios tend to be less expensive, don’t require building permits, are easier to maintain, and work well with a variety of landscape designs. Decks require more maintenance, but they do increase the value of a house in ways that a patio cannot.
There are pros and cons to both patios and decks. Homeowners should choose whichever one meets their needs and is within their budget.
Plan the space in advance
If you’re interested in a pair, you need to start thinking about the primary function of the patio and where it will go.
As mentioned earlier, patios can have many functions. Some families opt for small patios that can be used for private retreats, while other families want large patios for hosting guests. Choosing an appropriately-sized patio is necessary to make a patio as functional as possible.
Having a size in mind also helps determine the location of your dream patio. Consider the existing landscape and whether or not the patio will work well. Some homeowners want remote patio locations, while others don’t mind putting patios where neighbors can see them.
Choose paving that matches house exterior
There are many types of patio paving that homeowners can choose from, which makes it easy to match the patio to the house’s exterior. This helps to create a cohesive outdoor space.
Natural stone slabs are a popular choice because they look nice and they’re easy to maintain. They also add interesting textures to a yard. Slate, limestone, sandstone, and terracotta paving slabs are all common choices. Some types of natural stone may need to be sealed so that the slabs do not stain or grow mold.
Concrete or brick pavers are also popular. Some concrete pavers come with intricate designs that can help make an outdoor space look more elegant.
DIY or professional
At some point, you’ll have to decide whether you want to install your own patio or hire a professional.
Most homeowners can build their dream patio in about a weekend. This process includes clearing the area from grass, using gravel to slope the patio properly, adding a layer of paver sand, laying the pavers, and running a plate compactor over the area.
Professionals can help when a homeowner doesn’t have enough time to do the project themselves or when a homeowner doesn’t have the proper equipment. Professionals will also make sure the patio slab is constructed in a way that allows water to drain away from the house.
Have fun decorating
After your dream patio is constructed, the fun can begin! Decorating a patio helps turn it into an ideal space, whether it is being used for entertaining or as a private reading retreat.
Choose large furniture first, such as lounge chairs or an outdoor dining table. Add other large accessories, such as fire pits, grills, or shade structures. Once the largest pieces are in place, homeowners can start thinking about smaller decor, such as outdoor throw pillows and planters.
Since patios are exposed to all sorts of weather conditions, choose pieces that are weather-resistance. Bringing in patio furniture during the winter months can help extend the furniture’s lifespan.
Patios are a good alternative for when homeowners want to better utilize their outdoor living space but don’t want the investment of a deck. They create a distinct area of the yard which can be used for seating and outdoor cooking purposes.
Homeowners can customize their dream patios by choosing paving slabs that match the exterior of their house, as well as choosing from a variety of outdoor furniture.