A patio can add both beauty and function to your home. It gives you a place to gather outdoors with loved ones or simply enjoy a quiet moment among the beauty of your lawn and gardens.
And today’s patios are a far cry from a simple slab of concrete in the backyard! With beautiful construction and added features, a well-designed patio can turn your yard into an oasis.
Whether you’ve been dreaming of building a brand new patio or renovating an existing one, planning ahead is key. Read on to learn why it’s so important to plan for your project as well as the steps you’ll need to take now to plan your spring patio renovation or build.
Why It’s Important To Plan Ahead for Your Patio Project
Building or renovating a patio or other hardscape is a project that takes a good amount of planning and preparation. It’s not the kind of project that can be completed quickly — especially in the spring or summer, which are busy seasons for contractors.
In addition, patio projects can be logistically complex. While a patio may look like a simple job on the surface, there are a host of issues you need to prepare for to prevent problems in the future (drainage issues, for example). Plus, the more you envision your ideal patio design ahead of time, the more likely you’ll be to get the results you’re looking for.
Plus, planning ahead helps ensure you’ll get a spot on your contractor’s schedule this spring or summer. Our schedules fill up fast, so if you wait until spring you might find it harder to schedule your project than you would if you contact us now.
So if you’re considering a patio project this year, now is the time to start planning!
Should You Hire a Landscape Professional or DIY?
It may come as no surprise that we recommend having a landscaping professional handle your patio renovation or build for you (and no, it isn’t just because we make a living at this). Landscaping pros do these kinds of projects multiple times per year, so they know how to ensure that your patio will not only look great, but also function properly for the long term.
Drainage issues and other problems that result from improper patio design and installation have the potential to be serious and costly. Save yourself the headache and cost of these issues by hiring a pro to build or renovate your patio for you.
That said, hiring a pro doesn’t mean you don’t have a hand in planning for your new patio. Let’s look at a few things you can do now to get ready for a patio build this spring.
6 Steps To Planning Your Spring Patio Renovation or Build
1. Determine the Purpose of Your New Space: How Will You Use It?
Think about how you’re most likely to use your patio. Are you looking for a gathering space for outdoor parties? A place for al fresco family meals? A quiet escape from the world?
Knowing the way you plan to use your patio will help you prioritize what features you’ll need and how much space you’ll need for furnishings and other elements. It can be helpful to make a list of “must have” and “nice to have” features.
The more you know about what you’re looking for, the better our team can help you choose from available materials and design options to bring your dream patio to life.
2. Decide Your Patio’s Location, Size, and Shape
While most homeowners choose to place their patio right next to their home, it doesn’t necessarily have to be.
If you have a spot in your yard further from the house where you’d like to place your patio, that can work as well. Having your patio closer to your home works best for BBQs and outdoor meals, but if you’re looking for a more secluded getaway, a remote area with lots of surrounding greenery might work better.
Walk around your property to determine the best place for your patio. Think about potential views, as well as what kind of landscaping you already have, how close the spot is to neighboring homes, and so on.
While you’re at it, think about how big you want your patio to be and if you’d prefer a traditional square or rectangular shape or something more irregular with curved lines. While there’s no set rule of thumb for the size and shape of a patio, think about it in terms of proportion to your home. Your patio’s design should complement your home’s style and size.
Consider how many people will gather in the space, place your patio furniture in the general layout you’re looking for, and take some measurements. This will help you determine how much space your patio should take up.
3. Choose the Materials You’d Like To Use
There are several types of materials to choose from. At McDonough Landscaping, we’re partial to paver patios, as well as natural stone and landscape tiles. Pavers are highly durable and customizable, and are available in a variety of cuts and colors to complement your home and achieve your preferred look.
In addition to aesthetics, consider cost when choosing materials for your patio project. For example, natural stone is beautiful, but is often more costly than concrete pavers. Once you start looking at the different materials available, you’ll get a better picture of what will fit into your budget.
4. Determine Your Budget
Once you’ve considered location, size, shape, and materials, you’ll have a clearer idea of how much it will cost to build your patio. As you might imagine, different materials have different price points, with concrete at the lower end and options like flagstone or bluestone on the higher end.
As with most home and yard improvement projects, you’ll also need to include some margin in your budget for the cost of permits and fees. If you need help determining the cost of materials, labor, or fees, reach out to our team — we’re happy to help!
5. Plan Surrounding Landscaping
With a patio build, the structure of the patio itself is only part of the equation. The landscaping surrounding the patio factors into the design and overall look of your patio as well.
Planting greenery or gardens around your patio will help it blend into the rest of your yard and create a cohesive appearance.
When thinking about what kind of plants to use around your patio, consider aesthetics as well as maintenance. If you’re someone who likes the challenge of gardening, plants that need more attention might be a great fit for you. But if you’re more of a low-maintenance gardener, you’ll want to choose plants that won’t need as much of your time to thrive.
6. Consider Extra Features
Once you’ve decided on the basic structural elements of your patio, it’s time for the fun stuff: extra features!
For example, a fire pit or outdoor fireplace can make a great focal point, while a water feature will add ambience and help block out traffic noise. Adding landscape lighting around your patio will add a warm glow after sunset, and a trellis or pergola can provide shade and privacy.
Whatever features you choose, make sure to include them in your design and budget for your patio project.
Trust the Team at McDonough Landscaping for Your Next Patio Project
Once you have a good idea of what kind of design and features you’d like for your patio, as well as the budget you’re working with, it’s time to give your friendly neighborhood landscaping pros at McDonough a call to get your spring patio renovation or build on our schedule!
And if you’re having a hard time deciding on a design, don’t worry — we’d love to help with that too! Our landscape designers and installation team are ready to create a unique outdoor living space that reflects your taste and style and enhances your home.