Installing a new patio is an affordable way to begin transforming a yard from a boring lawn into a comfortable hangout space. Backyard patios are just as good for entertaining as they are for spending quiet time alone or with the family on a summer night, but only if homeowners take the time to prepare. Read on to find out how to get started.
Step One: Choose a Contractor
Homeowners often underestimate the challenges associated with patio construction, which is why anyone looking for a new patio should seriously consider hiring a professional. Look for contractors that specialize in hardscaping or landscape construction and make sure the company chosen for the job has a good reputation. It can also help to check different companies’ online portfolios to see if any of them have completed similar projects in the past.
Step Two: Determine the Scale
Every family’s needs are a little different, so it should come as no surprise that their backyard patios are, as well. Homeowners planning for new patios should consider not just the size constraints created by their yards but also the intended use of the space.
Small families that want to enjoy meals outdoors might only need to accommodate a table and chairs, plus enough room to walk behind people who are already seated. People who want to host backyard barbecues, on the other hand, will need to leave room for grills, prep stations, serving areas, and perimeter seating.
Step Three: Visualize the Layout
It’s always a good idea to determine exactly how much space a patio will take up before scheduling the date for breaking ground. The easiest way to visualize a patio layout is to use stakes and string to outline its potential footprint. Try walking around the space and make adjustments as needed, and don’t forget to consider factors such as how much sun the patio will get at different times of the day.
Step Four: Choose the Best Materials
Homeowners have plenty of options when it comes to patio materials. Some people prefer the manicured look of patio pavers, while others prefer more unique patterns. Common materials used in constructing patios include not just pavers but also bricks, concrete blocks, cobblestones, flagstones, and travertine.
Step Five: Tackle Potential Legal Issues
Some cities, counties, and states require homeowners to take out permits for constructing patios, while others consider hardscaping installations outside of the purview of residential permitting offices. Even if no permit is required, there may still be building code requirements that must be followed or forms that need to be filled out, and homeowners’ associations often have established rules governing patio installations. One of the great things about working with local contractors is that they know the ins and outs of all the codes, permits, and rules governing hardscaping.
Step Six: Schedule the Project’s Start Date
Once homeowners have decided what materials to use, how large to make the patio, and who to work with, there’s only one step left. Get in touch with the contractor to convey all the details and schedule the project’s start date, then let the experts take care of all the rest.
Start the Search Now
Want to have a new patio installed in time to host some summer barbecues? It’s best to start looking for a contractor now. Hardscaping contractors often book out for weeks, if not months, during the busy season.