Creating an outdoor living space often begins with patio design. No matter how large or small, a patio acts as the foundation for your entire outdoor living area, tying multiple areas of the property together and establishing an area for you to relax and gather with loved ones.
This means that you need to put a lot of careful thought and consideration into your patio design plans. How can you make sure that you come up with design plans that will suit your needs and wants both now and in the future? The following guide will help you throughout the patio design process.
Begin with Patio Function
Before anything else, you need to make some decisions about how you would like your patio to function within the scope of your property. Will the space be used primarily as the flooring for your outdoor living room?
Are you looking to establish a floor for your outdoor kitchen or fire pit? Or perhaps you’re planning on installing a gorgeous yet practical deck around your swimming pool or hot tub.
Depending on how you intend to utilize your new patio, you’ll need to keep certain things in mind for patio design. An outdoor living room, for example, will be exposed to high volumes of foot traffic and will also be subject to the movement of patio tables, chairs and other furnishings.
This means that you’ll need to select a paving material that not only looks beautiful and reflects your personal sense of style, but that is also durable and tough. When choosing a material for a patio that will be located in close proximity to a fire pit, outdoor fireplace, pizza oven or other heat-producing appliances, you’ll need to make sure that you select a product that doesn’t retain heat, isn’t harmed by high temperatures and is non-combustible.
You’ll also want to find a material that’s easy to clean and is resistant to stains if you plan on preparing or serving food on your patio. And, of course, if you’re building a patio around your swimming areas, you’ll want to find materials that are slip-resistant and that won’t be negatively impacted by pool chemicals.
Consider Your Options
Now that you know how you intend to use your new patio, it’s time to consider the options that you have in terms of paving materials. Some of the most popular materials used for surfacing home patios include:
Natural stone has long been a popular option for establishing a beautiful, durable and highly functional patio space. Natural stone is perceived as classically elegant, sophisticated and valuable.
There are many different types of natural stone that you could choose for surfacing your patio, depending on your desires.
Flagstone with an irregular cut can help you create a romantic and charming space that is one with nature, whereas thermal cut Bluestone or materials with a dimensional cut can help you create a more modern chic style. Be sure to visit the showroom of a natural stone manufacturer and supplier to get a better idea about your options.
Concrete and Porcelain Pavers
For those who don’t want to spend as much money on their patio design, but who also don’t want to sacrifice beauty and quality, concrete and porcelain pavers are an excellent alternative.
These manufactured, faux “stone” pavers offer the same coloring, texturing, cut and feel of natural stone, but are much more affordable and consistent in their quality.
Local stone and hardscaping manufacturers will have partnerships with concrete and porcelain paver manufacturers and will help you choose the best materials for your design.
You don’t have to use solid stone or faux stone pavers in order to create a beautiful patio. In fact, many homeowners enjoy surfacing their patio areas with loose fill materials like pea gravel. This is an affordable solution that offers a great deal of patio design flexibility and beauty.
Consider Edging Materials
Numerous homeowners make the decision to mark the perimeters of their patios with attractive edging materials. This can help to draw even more attention to the area and allow the materials you’ve used to surface your patio to really “pop”.
You might consider working with flagstone, smaller stone pavers, concrete pavers, beautiful brick edging pieces, etc. Consult a professional for advice.
Plan Your Patio’s Layout
Now it’s time to start thinking about how the patio should be installed and laid out throughout your property. Ultimately, the design layout of your patio will depend on several different factors.
First, you’ll need to consider any limitations that your property might have. This means having a professional (such as a utility provider) visit your property and determine where any underground power lines, pipes and other utilities might be located.
This will help you work around any areas that might cause problems during the installation. Next, you’ll need to consider the overall size and layout of your property.
If you’ve got a massive back yard, a small patio might look strange, whereas a small yard can quickly become dominated by an oversized patio. Properties that feature curves, sharp angles or irregular shaping might look weird with the straight edges of a square patio, and could benefit from a rounded patio area instead.
Finally, it’s important to consider your own personal tastes and style interests. Have fun with your patio design plans! After all, you’re going to enjoy your finished project for a long time.
Utilize Patio Design Software
Thinking about your patio design plans in your head is one thing, but actually bringing your vision to life is a completely different story. Sometimes what you imagine will work beautifully will come up short of your expectations and leave you disappointed.
In other cases, plans that you wouldn’t have thought would work for your property make for a spectacular design. Making use of a good patio design software tool will help you determine what works (and what doesn’t) for your property before you execute the job.
This means that you have the ability to play around with all of your options before locking in your final plans. You’ll be able to see how your patio would look in different areas of your backyard, test different types of stone and even get a 3D look at how the patio would work within the scope of other landscaping and architectural features.
You’ll have a lot of fun while establishing the peace of mind that your completed patio installation will meet your every need.
Designing and Installing Patios in NJ
NJ homeowners choose to come to Braen Supply with all of their patio design and installation needs. As industry experts, our team is more than happy to work with people like you to discuss your needs, wants and plans for installing your dream patio.
We offer a massive inventory of patio construction materials, including natural stone, manufactured “stone” and loose fill gravel. All of our materials are of the highest quality and are available at fair and competitive prices.