Make your perfect patio plans today

Make your perfect patio plans today

Most homeowners think of upgrading their outdoor space in the spring or summertime. It makes some sense: It’s the time of year you're going to be enjoying outdoor amenities and it’s the right conditions for construction. It may look good on paper, but in reality, now is the perfect time to start the preparations for the patio you've always dreamed of. Quality patios have an average return of about 80 percent of the original investment.

Make tomorrow's patio plans today

With that in mind here are three reasons to stop putting it off, and start making your patio plans today. 

Logistics: Finding a contractor that builds outdoor patios is the first order of business. There are over 129,000 people currently working in the deck and patio industry in the U.S. However, they book well in advance. This means if you want to start work on your project as soon as the snow melts, you're going to have to get on the list now. If you wait, chances are they're going to be booked solid for the dates you want. 

Ready for the Season: The most important reason to start work on your patio plans now is the long-term results. Instead of rushing to get everything done at the last minute, you'll have everything taken care of and be able to enjoy your deck when the weather is right for it. 

Design: Since you're going to be spending a significant amount of time and money on this project, you're going to want it done exactly to your preferences. You should take care of these details now. That way when the expert comes in, all you have to do is tell him exactly what you want done. 

Making patio plans requires design planning, picking out materials, and even figuring out things like where the sun hits at certain points of the day. All of these things can be planned out and decided on before work begins. The list of things you’ll need to know about what you want is a long one, but here’s a few things you should definitely consider:

Use and Location

Patios lend themselves to outdoor eating, garden parties and casual family gatherings. Some homeowners have a fire pit or a grilling station for warmth and food preparation. Other patios frame a pool or hot tub. Your intended use of your patio will affect its design. If you are planning to use it for dining outdoors, it should feature easy kitchen access. If it's a place you want to go to quietly read a book, you might place it farther away from the main house. Patio use may govern what type of furniture, lighting, shelter or other fixtures you install.

Accessibility

Related to use is the idea of accessibility. Accessibility encompasses not only the physical aspect of getting to your patio, but also plumbing, electrical and other potential power issues. Most patio plans have lighting of some kind, and might include a water feature or a built-in gas grill. Whatever the case, carefully consider how to channel electricity, water and/or natural gas to the patio.

Aesthetics

A patio should be an attractive extension of your home. A patio should not feel out of place within the overall context of your home, lawn and garden. Aesthetic concerns govern size, too. If built too small or too large, a patio may seem awkward. Intended use will determine size to a certain extent, but ask yourself if the design is right for your lot. The style of the home matters as well. While there is some leeway between indoor and outdoor style, you should maintain some design continuity.

Climate

Exposed or sheltered, open or secluded, a patio can take many forms. A major consideration for any outdoor addition is the level of exposure. Consider snow, ice, wind, rain, sunlight, sound, and privacy. Among other things, fences, shrubs, walkways, trees, or pergolas will change the layout of a patio.

Considering these design features now will go a long way in achieving the best end result for you when you finally start work in the spring.

About the Author

Brett Crouse