5 Affordable and Practical Outdoor Patio Areas

5 Affordable and Practical Outdoor Patio Areas
  • Opening Intro -

    You want an outdoor living area, but a Florida room is too expensive and a deck requires too much maintenance.

    With these choices nixed, you're left with just one choice: a patio.

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An outdoor living possibility for budget-minded homeowners.

Going with a patio can be an excellent decision for homeowners, especially for people who want to avoid the costs of the first two options, but still would like to have a dedicated area outside for their enjoyment. Read on and we’ll take a look at some important considerations for any patio project.

1. Level the grade — Ensure the success of your patio project by leveling the grade, making it stable enough to hold people, furniture and then some. Connecting or transitional areas should be seamless, most especially along the edges and at the corners. For areas with slopes, terraces may be in order.

2. Keep it simple — If you prefer a simple patio and want to emphasize your outdoor living area, then dispense with the concrete and bricks, by creating a flat natural area for your furniture. Such an area can be beneficial as it will have minimal impact on rainwater run off. Rain and snow melt simply dissolves in place instead of flooding your yard or your neighbor’s yard.

3. Pavement possibilities — When looking for a lasting patio, you’ll want to consider your pavement possibilities. Forget asphalt as this is too hot. Concrete is ideal as it is durable, but it can be costly. Brick is expensive too and may need to fixed from time to time as the ground shifts and sinks. The advantage with brick is that individual bricks can be replaced as needed — no need to replace an entire concrete patio if there is a problem.

4. Consider your home — A patio located adjacent to a home can either complement or detract from the home. Choose a design that matches your home, not one that degrades its look. If your home is brick and your patio is brick, the colors should match or at least offer a welcome contrast. Its overall size should be proportional too — a big patio and a small house can look unbalanced. A large house and a small patio can also be unbalanced, however if you’re in the city, then any outside living area would be considered a bonus.

5. Make it useful — On paper, patios may seem great, but as far as usefulness, there are some limitations particularly when weather conditions are not so favorable. You can make your patio more useful or livable by adding a roof or a retractable cover, to offer some protection from the sun and rain. Place it on the side of the house that gets sunlight, but not full sun exposure where heat can make it uncomfortable to sit for long.

Final Thoughts

With any patio, you’ll want to consider your decoration possibilities including landscaping. Choose small plants and avoid trees that can overwhelm or uproot the patio. Anticipate maintenance costs and keep those expenses in mind when building a patio.

See Also — Please check out our “how to” tips for the interior home page.

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About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".