How to Turn Your Patio into Paradise
Just because your patio is outside doesn’t mean it can’t be as comfortable, stylish, and fun as the inside of your home. Indeed, the days of bare-bones, grill-and-table patios are over. As more Americans take the festivities outdoors, they’re looking to add the full range of creature comforts to their sundecks and terraces. From patio enclosures to pergolas, from ceiling fans to outdoor heaters, from bronze chandeliers to HD TVs, here are some incredible patio ideas that can help you make the most of your backyard.
Lay the Foundation
Before you do anything with your patio, it’s important to lay a proper foundation. The foundation not only supports the entire structure and creates an even surface; it also insulates the patio from cold and moisture that rises up from the ground.
You can choose from a variety of foundational materials, but concrete patios are still your best option. They’re tough. They’re durable. They’re versatile. They’ll last for decades and withstand nearly any abuse.
These days, you’re no longer limited to a single slab of gray concrete. From simple slabs to geometric shapes, to curvilinear patterns, we now offer a range of colors and designs to fit nearly any architectural style. You can also mix concrete with other materials, such as wood and stone, for a more interesting, layered arrangement.
Cover Your Patio
In some parts of the country, you can get away with an uncovered patio. Here, in the Houston area, where the sun beats down hard and rain showers strike in the middle of summer, you’ll need something more if you want to enjoy the outdoors without getting burned or soaked.
At the very least, you’ll need a patio cover that protects both people and furniture from the elements. As for style, you can choose a structure that matches the architecture of your home or go for a completely different look to add a little contrast.
What Kind of Patio Should You Build?
Before settling on a foundation and covering, ask yourself what look you want. Popular styles include:
- The modern patio: Combines concrete with industrial materials
- The traditional patio: Pairs concrete with stone and brick
- The old-world patio: Relies on stone finishes and warm colors
- The rustic patio: Emphasizes earth tones and distressed woods
- The tropical patio: Incorporates a beach aesthetic, from turquoise colors and sandy hues to plenty of greenery
Enclose Your Patio
For even more protection and privacy, you can always upgrade to an enclosed patio. If bugs and wind are only minor concerns, install a single screen that acts as a basic shield. If you need full side-to-side protection, consider a screen that wraps around all three sides of the patio.
For maximum protection and comfort, go ahead and build a sunroom, which turns your outdoor gathering area into a separate living area of sorts. Finally, retractable shades let you choose when to open up your patio and when to button it down.
Put in a Sliding Glass Door
Looking for elegant yet practical patio designs? If you opt for an enclosed patio, consider installing a sliding door between the patio/sunroom and the rest of the backyard.
A sliding door not only provides the most robust protection against Mother Nature; it not only offers easy access; it also creates a nice transition space by blurring the divide between the patio and the house.
Depending on the strength of the enclosure and the design of your patio, you can either install a screen door, a glass door, or a folding door.
Beautify Your Patio
Some people prefer the look of a lattice patio covering to a solid roof. It may not block the rain or even the sun, but it is a beautiful way to separate the patio from the rest of the yard. Let greenery grow over the beams to throw a little shade over your gathering area and beautify the structure. Just remember, it’s harder to reseal the wood or add a layer of paint if the patio cover is concealed beneath plants.
Erect a Pergola
Unlike patio covers, which are attached to the home, pergolas are freestanding structures. Like lattice patio covers, they feature an open design that won’t protect you from the elements, but you can add a retractable canopy for greater protection. Either way, a pergola is an elegant way to enhance the beauty and functionality of your patio.
Patio vs. Pergola: How to Make the Right Choice
Can’t decide between a patio that’s attached to the house and a freestanding pergola? First, look at the layout of your backyard. Do you have room for a comfortably sized patio adjacent to the house or would it fit better elsewhere?
Next, how do you use the backyard? If you plan to eat a lot of meals outside, then you might want to place your patio enclosure as close to the kitchen as possible. If you’re not big into backyard eating or if you have a barbecue/outdoor kitchen, then a detached pergola or patio might be perfect.
At CCS Concrete Driveways, we can help you choose the best location for your patio based on your needs, your lifestyle, and the design of your backyard. As one of the leading concrete companies in Houston, we know how to construct the perfect patio for any outdoor space.
- Install a Ceiling Fan
If you have a solid patio enclosure, you can easily install a ceiling fan to take the edge of the sweltering Texas heat. If you prefer, you could also install an air and heating unit by extending the HVAC ductwork from the house to the patio.
That being said, a well-crafted ceiling fan will not only keep you cool, it will also add a touch of classic beauty to your outdoor gathering area. Either way, when summer rolls around, you’ll be glad you prepared in advance.
- Buy Ceiling Heaters
Now you’re prepared for summer, but what about winter? If you want to enjoy your patio throughout the year, you might want to invest in some ceiling-mounted patio heaters. They work particularly well in smaller patios since they take up no floor space.
You’ll have to run electrical wires to the patio, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you plan ahead of time and get the right people to install them.
Hang Lights or Chandeliers
Are you in the habit of hosting formal dinners and family get-togethers out on the patio? You’ll probably need something brighter and more stylish than your average porch light. You could string bulbs across the patio or install more permanent lighting.
For a more elegant look, hang an outdoor light or chandelier from your patio roof. Not only are chandeliers stylish pieces of décor on their own, but the extra illumination creates an unforgettable ambiance. You have plenty of choices when it comes to style, from classic hanging lights to industrial style chandeliers.
- Make Room for Entertainment
Who says you have to abandon your indoor entertainment when you move outside? Some homeowners want to be able to watch their favorite shows or even home movies on their patios, as well as in the comfort of their living rooms.
As long as you have the protection of a patio covering, you should have no problem installing electronics such as TVs, sounds systems, and projectors without risking damage or creating an electrocution hazard.
Houston Patio Services
Designing the perfect outdoor gathering space may not be easy, but it doesn’t have to be impossible, either. As one of the leading Houston concrete contractors, CCS Concrete Driveways can help you design a patio that’s as livable as it is beautiful. From durable concrete foundations to elegant pergolas, we specialize in full patio construction in Houston.