In the spring, summer, and fall, you imagine yourself entertaining friends outdoors, laughing on the patio as the sun goes down. If your patio needs to be replaced, or if it only exists in your mind right now, you have the opportunity to create the perfect entertaining space for your family. What style of patio would best suit your home?
Types of Patio Materials
One key to finding the right patio is finding the right material, one that complements your home and works with your local climate to last.
- Flagstone is beautiful, textured, and colorful, though it’s hard for the do-it-yourself handyperson to install. According to Bob Vila, “since flagstone is subject to erosion and splitting, a successful flagstone patio design prioritizes adequate drainage.” Some flagstone patios also need to be sealed regularly.
- Gravel is easy to install, though it’s hard on the feet. It can require a lot of weeding. However, when it’s well-maintained, it can provide a complement to a casual garden style.
- Clay bricks are small and easy to install yourself. You can install them in different patterns. They tend to break over time, but it is easy to replace individual bricks.
- Concrete is inexpensive and versatile. It’s easy to slope it so that water runs off the patio during a rain storm. If your area freezes during the winter, concrete can be vulnerable if water gets into cracks and freezes.
- Patio pavers are inexpensive and made out of many different materials. If you like the look of rock, you can find some that imitate flagstone. Remember that these pavers will spread out over time. They need a barrier around them to keep them in.
Working With the Shape of Your Home
As you plan your patio, you’ll also need to think about where you’ll put it and how large it will be. These decisions can be less intuitive than you might expect. According to the Landscaping Network, your property’s shape and size, your garden style, and the intended use of the patio should all play a role in deciding where you put your patio and what it looks like.
- A square patio is contemporary and fits into most gardens. It’s easier to break up this patio into different spaces for entertaining.
- A round patio often has a central point of interest such as a table or a fountain. These patios blend into the surrounding landscape.
- Asymmetrical patios are informal and can nestle into smaller, unusual spaces. It can be more difficult to plan for entertaining on a patio that’s more spread out or an unusual shape.
Protecting Your Patio
No matter what kind of patio you install, you need to make sure that it will last for a long time, and that it will last safely.
- Make sure that you keep barbeques or torches away from surrounding plants and that you take fire safety precautions just as you would around a stove or fireplace.
- Add patio awnings to protect yourself and your visitors from the sun.
- Add railings to stairs, even if they are short stairs.
- Place non-slip coatings or additions to your patio and stairs to make sure that when it rains, you and your guests won’t fall.
- Remove leaves from the patio in the fall, and make sure that you have gutters that are in good repair. Add gutter guards to stop your gutters from leaking onto the patio and making it slippery.
- Check your patio structure, railings, and stairs at least once a year to make sure that the wood is not going soft.
At Harry Helmet, we’re here to make outdoor living pleasant for your family. Enjoy entertaining on your patio knowing that you’re protected by our awnings and gutter cover products. Schedule a free estimate today.