Your Best Patio - Choosing the Optimal Materials
By Gordon Kaye
Are you thinking of adding outdoor living space to your home? You will need to take a few things into consideration, including location, usage and materials. Planning ahead now means fewer headaches later.
Think about where you would like your patio to be in relation to your home. What makes the most sense? Where will you get the most use out of it? Most people choose the area behind their home, perhaps off a family room, but patios in other spaces are gaining popularity. We’re seeing more patios off of first-floor bedrooms, as well as in the front of homes.
What will you use it for? A family dinner area? Entertaining large groups? Will a hot tub occupy part of the area? All of these answers will help you decide how to lay out your patio.
What should you use for construction materials? Your budget may just dictate this, but even if you think you ca not afford a particular look, you may be surprised to learn your options. For example, natural stone is hot right now, as flooring and as seat walls. Its natural beauty makes an elegant addition to any outdoor area. One thing to be aware of is that it is sometimes difficult to achieve a perfectly smooth floor surface when stone pieces are used. This material is also among the most expensive for patios. If you are on a budget, you might contemplate using a few choice stone pieces as accents. It will bring richness and depth to your area without the cost.
Another very popular choice is paver bricks. They come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes to suit any application. A newer addition to the marketplace is bricks that have been "tumbled" to provide softer, less angular edges. This choice is less expensive than natural stone, but more expensive than concrete.
One way to bring the beauty of paver bricks to your patio without the expense is to use stamped concrete. This is a single slab of concrete that has been colored and stamped to look like brick. This choice brings you the stunning look of brick with the low maintenance and durability of concrete.
Before you add a patio, be sure to consider your options. You may have more than you think.