Nothing lets you take advantage of your outdoor living space quite like a patio does. A patio is synonymous with calm summer evenings around a fire and bright fall afternoons in the yard.

Fresh air and fun times await…but where do you begin drawing up a patio design? You start right here! In today’s blog, we’ll go over the six essential considerations for a well-designed patio.

#1: Set a Budget

First things first. Before you begin perusing product catalogs, visiting department stores, or selecting paint colors, we recommend setting a budget. Be honest about your finances. Ask yourself how much you can realistically invest in the project.

If you’re having difficulty deciding how much money you can allot to your patio fund, consider your motivation behind building it in the first place. Do you anticipate hosting the whole family for years to come? That probably means your patio will see heavy foot traffic and regular wear and tear. In that case, you might want to consider purchasing more hardwearing and long-lasting materials (which are usually also more expensive).

Is its purpose mainly to increase the resale value of your home? If you’re planning on moving in the distant future, or you simply want it for some added curb appeal, you might be able to scale back on your fees. In either situation, having a firm price point is the ideal diving board into patio planning. Knowing how much —or how little— you’re willing to shell out will help you immensely in the rest of your decision making.

#2: Positioning

Location, location, location. The real estate saying holds true even within the confines of your backyard. The second thing to consider in your patio design is where you’re going to put it.

Probably the most important factor to take into account is where the sun hits your property when you’re most likely to be on your patio. That’s throughout the day, as well as during which seasons of the year. Make sure you’re familiar with the shade that your home will cast, and how that will affect your enjoyment of your patio. Not to mention, this information will also come in handy if you’re going to purchase awnings or umbrellas later on.

Finally, you’ll likely want to capitalize on any views that you may have on your property. Do you want to overlook the garden? Would you rather not be able to see your neighbors over the hedge? A perfect patio is always well-placed.

#3: Building Materials

The building materials you choose will determine the aesthetic appeal of your patio. Brick, concrete, slate, wood paneling—the possibilities are endless, and they all have their unique advantages and disadvantages. Of course, taste is subjective, so this decision depends on what you like. However, since the building materials will make up the majority of your overall expenditure, note down these few pointers for some extra guidance.

You may love the look of a patio that you see in a magazine, but that doesn’t mean it’ll look as nice next to your house. Consider your home’s existing aesthetic and match accordingly.

You’ll also want to factor in potential maintenance costs. While concrete is inexpensive from the outset, it can be costly to repair if it cracks or bulges. Stone, on the other hand, will likely cost you a hefty sum in the beginning, but isn’t prone to crack or erode easily.

The bottom line is, when you’re choosing the building blocks for your new patio, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of their style, cost, durability.

#4: Sizing

Of course, if you want a patio to enjoy summer BBQs, the size of your patio will need to be large enough to accommodate a barbeque, and not to mention all your dinner guests, too! While the right size will be different for every homeowner, it’s a good idea to choose your preferred patio furniture ahead of time to make sure everything fits just right.

Instead of having one large flat area, you can also consider adding split levels to create separate zones within the patio. For example, you might place the barbeque right outside your patio doors for easy access, and have steps leading down to the pool for a distinct poolside area. You can also get creative and create faux walls from shrubs and greenery.

#5: Groundwork and Drainage

Depending on where you live, you may need to obtain a building permit before you can start any work. You’ll also want to be absolutely sure of the location of your sewer, water, and gas lines before you start digging. Last but not least, investigate the drainage solutions available to you on your property. It may take some research to figure out, but in the case of heavy rainfall and storms, you’ll be glad you did your due diligence.

If you’re unsure about how to lay groundwork or develop an effective drainage solution, we recommend enlisting the help of a professional. Certified landscapers are guaranteed to be well-versed in local building regulations and design work. At least, we at Cherry Oak Landscaping sure are! We’re always happy to answer your questions.

#6: Have Fun with the Final Touches

You’re almost there! But don’t forget the finishing touches. Do you dream about roasting marshmallows from the comfort of your backyard? Add a fire pit to your patio! Do you live in a noisy neighborhood? Create your own peacefulness with running water features, such as a small fountain. Do you plan on enjoying your patio late into the evening? Illuminate the night with LED accent lighting.

The sky is the limit, and it’s often the small details that make all the difference. Have fun and let your personality shine through the choice of your patio’s bells and whistles. And voila! Following these six steps, your patio design will be ready to go.  

Do you need professional assistance in designing and installing your patio? Cherry Oak Landscaping performs hardscaping projects of all types and sizes. Give us a call to speak with one of our seasoned professionals today! Reach us at (517) 339-2881.