Your Own Yellow Brick Road!
Patio designs can run the gamut from a simple poured concrete slab to highly ornate interlocking pavers or tile. No matter which way you decide to go though your backyard patio will become a place where you, your family and your friends will gather to spend time talking or just having fun.
Great patios can be inspired by a desire to create a warm friendly place for friends and family to gather or to take advantage of the natural surroundings and become an extension of what already exists. Or maybe you are like a lot of us who are getting older and simply want to have less grass to mow and a patio seems a good way to do that. Anyway you look at it though a patio will be a wonderful addition to your home.
The path before you…
So what actually goes into designing a patio and then actually constructing it? Well let’s run through a few things and see if we can simplify the task you have ahead of you.
- The first thing you’re going to want to decide is the physical size and shape of the new area. The size and shape may have a great bearing on what medium you will use as paving, such as poured concrete vs. pavers. This is especially true if this is a DIY project and the thought of spending hours on your knees laying pavers does not appeal to you.
- Next what is your goal as far as the overall feel of the new patio? If it’s just going to be a spot to set up the barbecue and maybe a few lawn chairs? If so then quick and easy concrete pour might be the way to go. But if you want it to be part of a theme that will be expanded later to include maybe walkways, arbors or even an outdoor kitchen, then the style and warmth of interlocking pavers may be for you.
Let’s delve a little deeper into the actual materials you many want to use in its construction.
Poured Concrete – This material is everywhere; it’s readily accessible and ounce for ounce fairly cheap. You can either have it delivered and pumped to your project location or you can mix it by the bag in a wheelbarrow or mixer.
Concrete Paving Blocks – These are pre made blocks and are made from the same substance as the poured concrete mentioned above. You simply choose how many are going to need and install them over sand or gravel bed.
Brick pavers – Brick pavers are some of the warmer and friendlier looking materials to be used in patio construction and can come as standard brick or in any number of shapes and interlocking designs. These too are also installed over a sand or gravel base.
Flagstone pavers – it’s hard to get more durable than a flagstone paver and flagstone comes in a number of textures and colors, which is dependent on where the flagstone was quarried. Flagstone pavers can be laid directly on dirt if it is thick enough or in a sand or mortar base with concrete grout being used to fill the spaces between stones.
Tile – Frost free tile with its myriad of design options and colors can make for some truly spectacular patio designs. Be aware though that the use of this material can pose a slipping hazard when wet or iced over. Tile can be installed with mortar on a concrete base.
- When coming up with your designs try to think outside the box. This may not be just a patio your building, you may also want to incorporate garden arbors, water gardens or even an outdoor kitchen into your back yard and some point. If this sounds like something you may want to do then incorporate them into your designs early, so you know exactly where these items will be.
- Pavers may not necessarily have to be purchased, you can make your own by creating forms and then filling them with concrete. Once they set up they can be laid on the base material the same as any other paver.