patio ideas  

Patio Ideas


Outdoor Patio Idea Guide

patio ideas - patio furniture, lighting, and landscaping There are many ways to upgrade your home's charm, but few provide as much enjoyment as the addition of a great patio.  When considering this project, the first thing to keep in mind is the financial aspect.  It is always better to overestimate and come out under-budget than the other way around, when all is said and done.

Patio Design

When designing your patio, it is best to keep in mind the look of your home as well as your family's lifestyle.  Does your home project a more formal or casual atmosphere?  Will this best be served by a brick patio, a wood deck / patio combination, or one made of stone or tile?  What will be the main purpose of the patio?  Will it be primarily for special occasions, small get-togethers, or evenings lounging with a glass of iced tea?  Keep this information in mind when deciding on the size of your patio and whether or not to enclose it.

Patio Surfaces

When it comes to patio surfaces, the choices abound.  Patio surfaces can be not only functional, they can be beautiful as well.  The right patio surface can last forever and can give you the appearance you desire.
  • brick patio and wood bench Brick Patios — Brick is a popular patio surface, and it works well with houses of just about any style.  Its strength makes it ideal for outside use, and its shape means that you can use it to build additional structures, like planters and garden walls.  Brick comes in a variety of sizes and colors, is moderately priced, and can be easily found at home improvement centers, masonry suppliers, and landscapers.
  • stone patio - patio landscaping Stone Patios — If you are going for a natural, untamed look, few surfaces will work as well as stone.  Stone works with many different architectural styles, and comes in different shapes, sizes, and colors.  You can get it as rough pieces of flagstone, or you can buy manufactured stone that comes in uniform dimensions and thicknesses.  The geographical location where a stone was quarried will determine how hard it is.  For example, some types of sandstone are as hard as marble, while other types are easily dented or scratched.  Some stones are also more porous than others.  Stones with lower porosity are more durable and last longer than stones that absorb lots of water.  If you are considering stone, be sure to take porosity, durability, and hardness into account.
  • stamped concrete patio surface Poured Concrete Patios — If you are looking for a smooth-surfaced patio and don't want to spend a lot of money, concrete is the way to go.  Concrete is durable, can be formed into just about any size and shape, and blends well with other surfacing materials.  And you don't need to think gray and boring when it comes to concrete.  It can be finished in many colors and textures, and can be decorated by pressing small stones or rounded rocks into it when it's still wet.  Concrete that is poured correctly is very durable and should last a lifetime.  One drawback of concrete is that it can crack, especially in climates that have temperature extremes.  A good contractor will lay the concrete correctly using certain methods designed to prevent cracking.
  • concrete paver patio construction Concrete Paver Patios — If you don't want to pour concrete, concrete pavers work well and are available in a variety of different designs and shapes.  They last indefinitely and generally don't break or stain.  See the concrete paver suppliers below for patio paver specifications and sizes.  Outdoor tile is also a beautiful patio surface choice, although it is labor intensive because it needs to be set into concrete.
patio umbrella - teak patio furniture

Patio Accessories

Your patio accessories can be as simple as a charcoal grill or as beautiful as a tile fountain, and lush foliage.  There are also many different options in the way of patio furniture to choose from.  You may just want a basic table and chair setup or several reclining chairs or another combination of furniture.  Some of the materials used for outdoor patio furniture are redwood, cedar, teak, plastic, steel and aluminum.

Other Patio Ideas

Others factors to be considered with your patio are lighting, heating, shelter, and bug control.  Lighting can be electric or torch, and it can be a combination of practical and mood to create a certain ambiance.  You can enjoy your patio all year round if you have heat from a fireplace or pit, a propane freestanding heater, an electric patio heater, or some form of enclosure.  Shelter can be provided by a solid roof or a retractable awning.  A pergola can provide dappled shade, but it will not protect from rain or snow.  Bug control is best handled with a screened enclosure, but bug lights, citronella torches, and candles can also be effective.

However you choose to design it, your patio can be your "home away from home" and a place where memories are made for years to come!

Patio Design Resources

concrete patio pavers - metal patio furniture

Patio Pavers

  • Pacific Paving Stone
    California-based paving stone supplier and installer features information about driveway and patio design.
  • Belgard Patio Pavers Gallery
    This division of Georgia-based Oldcastle manufactures residential and commercial concrete interlocking pavers and retaining walls for exterior landscaping patio projects.  Website features a patio paver photo gallery.
  • Cultured Stone
    Smooth, durable pavers can add an informal charm to any outdoor space.
  • Decor
    Find a range of precast concrete products for landscape projects including patios, walkways and driveways as well as garden and retaining walls.
  • Quikrete At Home
    Features do-it-yourself tips and instructions for building patios, walks and drives with brick, flagstone and adobe.
bent willow patio furniture - stone patio

Patio Furniture

  • Telescope Casual Furniture
    This manufacturer of outdoor casual furniture features a series of patio furniture collections.
  • Tropitone
    Designer, manufacturer, and supplier of custom outdoor patio furniture for commercial and residential use.
  • Dr. Strap
    Florida-based manufacturer of commercial and residential grade patio furniture and accessories.

Patio Sunrooms

  • Four Seasons Sunrooms
    Designs, builds and services sunrooms, solariums, and conservatories as well as Florida rooms, greenhouses, and patio enclosures.
  • SunPorch
    Offers ready-to-assemble sunrooms and screen rooms for patio or deck installation.

Patio and Porch Solutions

Related Outdoor Living Website

  • Backyard patios and decks often complement each other as outdoor living spaces, and this companion website about planning and designing outdoor decks may be informative and inspiring as well.

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Patio Ideas - Patio Design - Patio Materials - Patio Furniture