Patios are perhaps the most popular addition to houses nowadays, letting you extend the comfort of your living room to an outdoor living space. Modern patios are ideal places to host gatherings with friends, relax with family, or just sit down and enjoy the great outdoors after a hectic day at work. That said, the design choices you make as well as taking the right steps in the construction process can make a world of difference in making your patio a comfortable and durable extension of your home.
The foremost step in patio construction is the choice of materials. There is a wide variety of patio materials on the market, each offering individual pros and cons. Natural stone is always a popular choice due its timeless appearance, with flagstone and sandstone being popular and cost-effective options. Sandstone is especially ideal for beachside or coastal properties as its sand-like grain and coloring perfectly accent the natural surrounding elements of surf and sand. Softer stones such as limestone and travertine may require occasional maintenance after installation, but their luxurious look and feel make them well worth it for homeowners looking to create an unbeatable Tuscan setting.
Having made up your mind about the choice of material, the important task of overseeing construction arises. For natural stone and patio pavers, a solid, dependable base is vitally important. Depending on the soil quality in your area, a contractor will recommend the appropriate base materials and dimensions. These can have a marked effect on the durability of your patio. For ground level patios, a gravel aggregate is frequently used as a base. The gravel base layer can be complemented with polymer geo-grids which are a cost effective way to reduce the depth of the base layer, significantly cutting down on installation time and helping with durability in the long term. If a platform is to be constructed, your contractor will undertake the appropriate excavation before laying the concrete foundations.
Often, patio designs include integrated walls, either as retaining walls to create or stabilize the space, low walls for enclosing the patio for privacy, or seating walls. Seating walls are a far more long lasting alternative to traditional patio furniture and can be made homely by adding a back and cushions. Stacked walls of natural stone are perhaps the most attractive but may not offer the solidity of a wet wall which is better suited to areas requiring load bearing strength. Such walls, however, can be veneered with natural stone for an attractive aesthetic. Having a solid base and effective drainage is vital, as is correctly laying the interlocking stones and applying the mortar. For this, a contractor skilled in masonry work is essential.
Focal Points and Essentials
With the basics covered, you can move to adding focal points like fire pits, fireplaces and hot tubs to your design. You can also experiment with the idea of adding structures such as gazebos and pergolas if space allows. Not only can these increase the desirability of your home but also add practicality by offering shade, shelter and privacy.