How to Create a Fantastic Patio

February 26th, 2016 | By Amanda Thomas

How to Create a Fantastic Patio

It’s Patio Time! The love of a balmy, breezy spring day is universal. A fabulous, welcoming patio can be created with a little thought, a little elbow grease and any budget! You don’t have to be a millionaire to have a beautiful outdoor space. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Planning

What are your go-to activities? Are you the Martha Stewart of entertaining? Are you a homebody who would rather read alone on a windowseat? Are you the Monopoly Queen, always challenging your kids to a game? Maybe you are the barbecue guru and adore eating outdoors. Whatever your daily adventures entail, this is what you want to translate to your patio space. If you’re all about friends, you’ll need to consider seating for many, yet open space for guests to mix and mingle. If you are a ‘foodie’, then the Bar-B-Que area might be THEE most important part of the patio to you. I love to make a simple “project folder” to hold ideas for my projects. I tear pictures from magazines, note stores I want to shop at, add fabric samples and paint samples….(I also love Pinterest, where you can make a file for your project digitally and peruse a ZILLION amazing ideas to set your head spinning!.) A folder keeps me organized, discourages those littly sticky notes everywhere, and is a great place for receipts so I keep track of expenditures.

First, determine the area available. Measure it in square feet. Unless you are planning a costly, landscaping remodel, you’ll be making do with your current space. Next, are you just looking for an amazing outdoor rug and begonias in Italian flower pots? Or maybe that Pottery Barn to-die-for patio set? Are you thinking, “Honey! Let’s BULLDOZE the grass and put in paving stones!”? Write down what needs to happen to make the area usable, and determine the funds available. Can you purchase pavers, a barbeque, all new patio furniture, etc? If so, great! List your dream patio items, the price range or exact dollar amount next to them, and crunch some numbers. That rattan chaise with the 5 inch thick duck cloth cushions might have to wait til the fall when it goes on clearance, so that you can have the flagstone pavers you adore right now. Hot Tip: Don’t break the budget or your patio will be a constant negative reminder of overspending, rather than the relaxing oasis you intend it to be!

Prep Work

Plan the actual project by mapping out every step in order.

Are you just throwing out old furniture, painting a wall, or replacing a few cracked paving stones? Will you remove some bushes? Will you be digging up grass, moving gravel or leveling ground? Make a numerical list of the things that need to be done in the proper order. It may look like this:

  • Price Bobcat rental, Paving stones, Barbeque island, Patio Furniture, Pots for flowers, accessories
  • Rent Bobcat from Joe’s Equipment Rental
  • Dig up bushes next to patio door
  • Level side yard dirt
  • Stake patio area
  • Dig up gravel from patio area and move to leveled side yard
  • Purchase sand, pavers and border pieces
  • Put in border pieces, sand and water sand
  • Place pavers….and so forth

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Your list will keep you focused and having you do the main, expensive and time-consuming portions of the project before you buy the flowers and the new rug! If your patio requires only to hang a wicker sun blind and purchase side tables and lanterns, it requires much less planning than ripping out part of your yard! Schedule in the days you’ll be working, when your hired help will arrive, when you’ll shop for your supplies, and when you’ll throw a party to celebrate your new space!

Whatever patio you choose to create, by planning, counting the cost, and taking a systematic approach to getting the work done, you will have great success! Time to plan the party! Margaritas anyone?