101+ Patios Designs and Ideas

Patios mean barbecues, brews, and a good ol’ blast. Patios are where summer nights are meant to be spent with a drink in hand or after enjoying an evening dip in the pool and airing out to dry. So the question is- how do you pave your perfect patio?

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FAQs About How To Design A Patios

What material should I use for my patio?

Flagstone provides an earthy, timeless appearance, but can be difficult to work with. The flagstones are irregular shaped, which can make piecing your patio together more difficult. This sort of patio prioritizes proper drainage as it can be subject to splitting and erosion.

Clay brick is a popular patio type that can be used in both traditional and contemporary styles. These bricks typically retain their color and are easy to install for the average homeowner. There are a lot of options of patterns these bricks can create, too.

Pavers come in a variety of forms ranging from natural stone to concrete to clay to recycled plastics. Materials with higher density such as stone or concrete are typically recommended by experts. They under less color fading and tend to last longer.

Concrete potions are the least expensive option to build with. They are also one of the most durable ones, but can be subject to freeze-thaws cycles if you live in an area with harsher winters. Design options with concrete are extensive since poured concrete follows any form.

Gravel is an option to pursue if you are working under a time constraint. Installation is quick and easy. When gravel is installed over a land-landscaping fabric, weed growth is deterred and drainage occurs much more easily.

At its worst, gravel can be a difficult patio option as it is hard to keep level and secured in place.

What is the difference between a patio and a terrace?

Pretty much none. A patio may be built directly on the ground whereas a terrace may be slightly elevated to allow for drainage or breathability underneath. They are usually thought of as the same thing.

Where should I build my patio?

If you are choosing convenience, place your patios location right next to the house in a private area. You can create additional privacy with fences, bushes, or even placing a screen.

You should also consider which area of your lot is the flattest area with the best view. If you have to make a hard choice between convenience and flat area, try to incorporate a path or some sort of easy accessibility to your patio.

Does a patio need a guard-railing?

Most building codes state that a patio or terrace can have up to a 30 inch change of elevation without needing to incorporate a guardrail. If your patio is taller than 30 inches; however, it is typically required of most residences to install a guardrail. Otherwise, you are creating a hazard where people are at risk of tripping or falling off. 

What is the average cost of a patio?

By square foot, concrete can range from $10 to $15, decomposed granite can range from $7 to $10, and sand-set brick can range from $20 to $25 as well as sand-set pavers. Applying an intricate pattern to your design will push the price higher.

What is the maintenance necessary for patios?

In general, much less maintenance is required for patios. Depending on your material, you may need to remove weeds and moss from the patio area. You can sweep it and hose it down from debris and any built up chemicals.

An option to prevent weed growth in between stones as well as bugs living there is using polymeric sand to fill the gaps. Remove any weed or moss growth prior to applying the sand. Don’t let the sand linger on top of your stones because it might cause corrosion or stain them. Allow 24 hours before using the patio.

Creating a white vinegar spray mixed with water is another way to kill weeds.

What furniture should I buy for my patio?

When choosing patio furniture, take a seat and do a little test run before you purchase it. Patio furniture is meant to inspire lounging and relaxation and the seating options should be comfortable enough to provide that environment.

Choose furniture that is easy to care for. These furniture selections are going to face the outdoor elements and should be unfazed by a dumping of snow, rain, or wind. It is also useful to select options that are easy to clean for any dirt or stain build up.

In addition to choosing comfort, also create options for shade. If there is natural shade to the area, that is great, but if someone wants to sit by the pool and read in the sun, having an umbrella available for them is a thoughtful idea. 

Tips

Built-in features- If you are intending on building a fire pit or fountain into your patio, it might be a good idea to trial a purchased version first. This way you can learn how much maintenance is required without making the commitment. Fountains require much more maintenance than you may realize and you might not use the fire pit as much as you originally thought.

If you are considering installing built-in seating, add a seating wall to the edge of your patio. This will create an option for year round seating. If possible, have the seating wall face an enjoyable view. The dimensions should be roughly 24 inches wide and 20 inches high.

A seating wall doesn’t have to be used just for sitting. It can be used as a bench for a dining table, it can be used a shelf for plants and pots, or it can be used as a ledge to place drinks and/or food.

Plants- Placing plants into pots and planters is a nice way to add landscaping to your patio. Planters can serve a multipurpose function in addition to just looks. Planters can separate different areas of your patio and guide people to entrances or where to walk on the patio.

Tall plants can also be used to enclose the space, making it feel more cozy and private.

Repairs- If your patio becomes broken or cracked, you can simply pry out the old stone and replace with a new stone, then fill any space in with sand.

If you need to repair a crack in a concrete patio, remove any loose debris and hose down the area to free it of dirt and debris. Saturate the concrete for several hours prior to applying a mix of cement and liquid bonding additive to site of repair.

Shade for your patio- Depending on the climate of the area you live in should determine if you need a covered option to your patio or not. If you do, consider installing options with a choice of shade rather than a permanent structure.

Umbrellas are an inexpensive option that provide shade on those hot summer days. If you are installing your umbrella over a table, make sure you measure the table first to avoid getting a size that is too big or too small.

A slightly more expensive option is installing a removable canopy. This can allow you to block out the run during sunny days, but retract the canopy during rainstorms to prevent water from pooling and potentially breaking the canopy.

For a permanent structure, a freestanding gazebo is an option. This will keep both sun and rain off your patio if your yard is bare of other shade and protective structures.

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