Choose Your Favorite Patio Design

Patios & Patio Design cont… Patios are much like decks in the planning stages. You must ask yourself many questions, such as what purpose will my patio serve? You must also take into consideration the summer and winter suns, airflow, and existing views. Once you’ve answered all of your questions, you can begin the design process of your patio. Patio design is easier than ever with landscaping software now available. You can create something simple to extremely complex from the comfort of your home before putting your shovel in the dirt. This will also help you foresee any obstacles and work out all details to make your patio the envy of the neighborhood

. You should consider landscaping, lighting and any other fixture that will be a permanent part of your completed patio. Also, you no longer have to hire an expensive contractor to construct your new patio. There are many do-it-yourself designs available that are both easy and inexpensive. One of the easiest types of patios for the “Do It Yourselfer” is one created from patio or paving stones. There are so many different styles and patterns to choose from. You can use small bricks as pictured above, or large slabs molded into shapes just to name a couple. Once you decide on a style, you can create unique and stylish patterns. For example, even though the stones in the above picture are generally the same size, the use of pavers in a horizontal pattern for the border creates a different effect than the vertical stones used to line the walkway.

The stones are all strategically placed to allow traffic to flow to the center. The patterns in the middle invite company to stay before leaving on another patch of vertical bricks. In general, patios are a little more formal than decks, but can easily be combined with decks and not seem out of place. For example, if you build an L shaped deck that steps down onto a paved patio, the areas are well defined. The deck portion could be used for cooking and entrance and exit to the home, whereas the patio portion could be used for comfortable seating. This ties the deck and patio together while clearly defining each areas space. It also blends the textures of the wood and stone to create a natural look that is both comfortable and beautiful. Once you’ve surveyed your yard and decided where the best place for your new patio will be, it’s time to design your patio. As previously mentioned, there are many software products on the market today that will help you design the patio of your dreams. Most of these programs are easy to use and inexpensive. They’re no longer just for professionals in the industry. When designing your patio, take everything both present and future into consideration.

For example, if your dream is to eventually add a hot tub to the center of a patio, consider leaving that area as an open space until you are ready to use it. Always remember to include benches, lighting , permanent planters, fountains and any other item that will be a permanent fixture to your completed patio design. Once you’ve designed your patio on paper or on the computer, then determine what shape you would like to fill in the patio portion of your design. Look at your surrounding landscape. What shapes already exist there? Is your home and landscape full of hard lines such as squares and rectangles, or are there softer shapes such as ovals and circles. You’ll want to choose a shape to fill in your patio based on the existing landscape. You don’t want to use circles if squares are the dominant shape in the existing landscape. If you’ll be using paver stones there are many different shapes available. You can use squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, or even odd shapes that are preformed. Whatever you choose, use that shape to fill in the portion of the patio that will hold that design on paper before you decide on that shape. You will be surprised how many shapes look different when added to the landscape in the form of a patio. Trial and error on your computer or on paper will save you a lot of headaches and hassles down the road. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the use of shapes in different directions to form designs within the patio.

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to stick with one shape throughout and use that shape in different directions instead of using different shapes within the same patio. You should be able to gain the desired effect with directional use of paver shapes. Patio Design Materials Today there are so many materials to choose from for the surface of your patio. Some of the more popular are available at home improvement and landscaping centers. They can be used for the simple and complex projects alike and are not confined just to the patio. They can also be used for walkways, retaining walls and driveways along with permanent fixtures such as benches and flowerpots. Patio Paver Stones These versatile stones are made out of concrete and come in many sizes and shapes.

They’re also available in many different colors. No mortar is needed to install concrete pavers, they are held in place with course granular sand. If using pavers around a pool, they won’t be as cool as a deck, but will be cooler than other alternatives such as terra cotta and tile. Because they aren’t connected as a solid surface, they do not build up as much heat as if mortared together. However, if you’re using them for a pool area, you may want to choose lighter colors over darker ones so they don’t build up as much heat. Pavers are also a suitable product for driveways. Many people use them to cover old concrete driveways. As long as your driveway doesn’t have a lot of cracks and breaks, you can use the pavers

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