Placing a patio or hardscape feature is a critical first step in determining the style, fit, and function of your space. As you navigate the decision process with a design professional, use the following questions to help you and the designer work together to determine the best location for your patio.
What is your intended use for the patio?
- Will you be cooking and dining? Entertaining? Lounging? Are you including a hot tub? Fire feature? Pool? Carefully considering how you want the space to function is a critical process before discussing form.
- Patios located next to the house become an extension of your home and seemingly increase your square footage. These types of patios are great for high-use activities or particularly ones that would involve food such as an outdoor kitchen or dining area. You will receive the most benefit from your patio if it is convenient to bring food from the kitchen or take dishes to the house, rather than across the yard.
- If you are planning to primarily use the space for relaxation, it may make sense to place the patio off the living room or bedroom, becoming an extension of that living space.
- That being said, there is something attractive about a patio that is further in the yard. It can become an inviting destination, that may be more secluded or scenic.
Does your property have any natural features to highlight?
- After thinking through each of the factors listed above that would establish how your patio would be used, you and your design professional should discuss your unique property. Whether your home offers great views of pond, has mature trees to provide shade, or the property has a large flat area that would be a great spot to build on, utilizing that natural advantages that are already provided will enhance your new outdoor living space.
What will your patio look like from the inside?
- Most patios will have some sort of focal point, whether it be a fire or water feature, or even the beautiful landscaping surrounding it. By creating a design that will showcase the feature both from the inside and the outside, it can be enjoyed each day. Highlighting an existing feature of the home such as a picture window or French doors to the backyard allows for a cohesive feel as you move in, out and around your home.
What other considerations should you keep in mind?
- Privacy—choose a location on your property that is already private or ask the designer to use plantings to create a more secluded atmosphere.
- Sunlight— A patio surrounding a pool should allow for lots of sunlight, but other uses for the patio may call for a side of the home that is out of the direct sun. If sun is unavoidable, the addition of a shade structure and shade tree plantings can always be an option.
- Materials—what look are you going for? Rustic, natural stone, or a more modern geometric paver? The options are endless; seek out an expert to get you on the right track.