When it comes to installing a patio, there is more to it than just blocking off a chunk of your yard and pouring down cement. These days there are many different styles, paving materials, uses, and sizes of patios. Before you start on your patio, you need to consider the shape and size of your property, how you intend to use your patio, and the style of your home and garden. From there you can determine Placement, Shape, Size, and Paving Materials for your patio.
When deciding where to place your patio, it is very important to consider multiple aspects and ask yourself a few questions. What is the purpose for your patio? Do you intend to entertain large groups of people, or host intimate gatherings?
Depending on the purpose of your patio, you then need to consider the proximity to your home. If you are installing a fireplace or fire pit, you need to make sure there is a good distance between your home and where the fire will be contained. You need to look at the available space in your yard. An over-sized patio will overtake a smaller yard. Another consideration is the amount of sun or shade you desire. If you plan to use your patio for sunbathing, you need to make sure it is in a sunny spot.
Shapes of patios are: Square, Circular, or Free-form. Square patios are the most common and can blend well with formal or contemporary gardens. If you like to entertain a lot of people, a large square or rectangular patio is a great way to go. Circular patios can either be a full circle or a half circle. The full circle patio is generally independent of other hardscapes and usually feature a focal point. Half circle patios abut either a building, such as your home, or another hardscape form, like a garden wall. Circular patios blend well into landscapes since there are no hard edges that stand out. Free-form patios are asymmetrical, less predictable, and great for more informal gardens.
Determining the size of your patio is very important. As stated above, a large patio can overwhelm a smaller yard, and vice versa. You can figure out how large your patio needs to be by deciding on how you intend to use it and how many people it should fit. Measure the size of your yard to see how much area you are working with, how much space you are willing to allot to your patio, etc.
One good tip I’ve come across, is to buy your patio furniture before you install your patio, arrange it where you expect your patio to be, and observe how the space is used, where people walk, etc. This will help you see just how much room is needed for walk space around the furniture, accessories, and more.
Once you have the shape, size, and purpose of your patio planned out, you can then move on to selecting appropriate paving materials. Before you jump right in and order slate tiles to go next to your pool, you need to ask yourself the following ten questions:
- What is my budget?
- What is the area that I need to cover?
- How safe is this material for my type of patio?
- How durable is it?
- What are my drainage needs? What types of materials support those needs?
- How long does it take to install this material?
- Is this something I could install myself? (good if you are doing a DIY project)
- What type of texture do I want? Will people be sitting or standing on this surface?
- How easily maintained is the material?
- What is the appearance I am going for?
Patios may seem like a simple task anyone can take on, but for a great patio that you are proud of and excited to show off, a little bit of time and thought needs to be put into the planning process.
Written in conjunction with Carroll Landscaping, Inc. – your best resource for Landscaping MD!
Courtesy of Carroll Landscaping