Design IdeasLandscape, Decks & Fences

Patios for Living

If you are retired, travel frequently, or simply don’t enjoy doing yard work, a small, low maintenance patio is a good solution for you. Small doesn’t have to mean dull and uninteresting. A well-designed patio, no matter how small, can be a fun escape from indoors.

Using a simple 15′ x 15′ space, you can have an area for sitting, gardening and even a water feature. The choice of materials for your patio is based on personal taste. Many people like the classic look of brick. Brick is durable, easy to install and bricks are available in many colors-browns to reds.

Patio pavers are inexpensive and easy to install. They are available in many shapes and sizes and are long lasting and durable.

Flagstone is available in many shapes and colors. If you choose pre-cut standard sized flagstones, the installation is relatively easy. Flagstone also comes in random sizes. This requires an installer who is experienced at fitting and installing stones of varying sizes and widths.

Once you have selected the materials you will use for your patio project, it is time to think about design features.

Pay attention to where the sun shines in your patio area. If you would like to have box gardens, or a small patch of grass, plan to have them in the areas that receive consistent amounts of sunlight. If you are planning for a fence, remember to plan the fence height and location not to interfere with your garden plans.

A fountain or small waterfall will add a luxurious and exotic feel to your patio. Running water helps obscure outside noises and creates a relaxing atmosphere, especially if you are in an urban area or have noisy neighbors.

There is nothing as pleasant as enjoying a meal on your patio. Design an area large enough for a table and a few chairs. If you are very limited on space, built-in planters with wide borders offer a place to sit for buffets and casual gatherings.

Even a small patio should have a place to store gardening tools, hoses, lawn chairs and other out door items. A storage shed can double as an area to start seeds and to pot plants. A storage area will also allow you to protect bikes and children’s toys when they are not being used.

Once you have decided on a design and have selected a landscaper to do the work, sit back and wait for your low-maintenance patio to become a reality.

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