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What you need to know before building a patio

Building a new patio isn’t the easiest thing in the world. In fact, the thought can be somewhat intimidating. However, it doesn’t have to be. There are patio-building tips that set you on the right path before you ever get started, and in this article, that’s what we aim to provide.

To begin with, you should think about whether you want to build the patio yourself or if you should hire a contractor to craft it for you. You’ll also need to decide on a budget, determine the patio’s size, and then select the materials you’ll use.

With the above in mind, here’s what you need to know before building a patio.

Patio With Comfy Wicker Furniture
Photo by Skylar Kang/Pexels

Determine where you want it

Big question here: Where exactly do you want to put this planned patio of yours anyway? Most people who decide to build a patio choose either the front or the back of their homes as the patio’s soon-to-be location. However, don’t just pick one or the other willy nilly. Instead, think about privacy.

In most areas, the backside of a house will afford you a lot more privacy than the front. Of course, putting the patio in the back won’t do anything to help the appeal of your house when someone drives up. Still, no rule states you can’t build another patio in the front if you’ve got the budget.

Determine your patio’s size

Before you ever begin gathering materials, you need to think about how big you want your patio to be. Remember that smaller patios will obviously cost less because they don’t require as many resources and materials. On the other hand, maybe the price isn’t an issue and you prefer a lot of space.

Just remember that size will determine how much stuff you will have to buy to build it. In turn, that’s going to show you how much you’re going to need to shell out to get it built.

Should it be raised or ground level?

If you want a raised patio, then it’s going to require supporting structures. That means you’ll need extra materials and a solid foundation. If you don’t make sure you have a good foundation, you might as well build your patio on shifting sand. It could end up sinking into the soil, and you definitely don’t want that.

Another thing to consider is how high you want your patio to be raised. Some people put stairs on their patios, which will also cost more if you go that route. Depending on your property’s layout, you may have a much easier time building a patio at ground level.

You can avoid headaches in the future by thinking through these issues well in advance.

Choose your materials

When it comes to the building materials for your patio, there are a few options. Some patios are made of wood, others are made of concrete, and still others use both materials. There are also ground-level patios that use brick and stone in their construction. Wood is an excellent choice if you are going for a raised patio because it’s structurally sound and lightweight. On the other hand, concrete is often used for ground-level patios due to its ease of use, strength, and longevity.

Think about building a roof

You might want to consider building a roof over your patio. Although it’s an additional cost, it can help protect your patio while adding to the aesthetic. Actually, it does more than simply make your patio more visually appealing. There’s functionality to think about here. For example, it will help keep the sun off during the summer months. In turn, it will help protect any outdoor furniture from both rain and sun damage.

Are you going to add lighting?

There are many kinds of outdoor lights with which you could equip your patio. Think about it; nobody wants to sit out during a barbecue with just the lightning bugs and stars. Therefore, you should think about lighting when you’re putting together the list of things you need to build your patio. We know they’re accessories, but they’re pretty important. A single garden or post light can do the trick nicely as long as it has a high enough output. Still, if you’re the creative type, you might want to consider putting up a string of lights, lantern fixtures, or something similar.

Woman Sitting on Chair Near House
Photo by Redrecords/Pexels

Check your building codes

Before you set about constructing your patio, check the building codes in your county or city. There may be strict regulations you’ll need to comply with; otherwise, you might have to pay fines, remove your patio altogether, or both.

Remember that a patio can be an excellent upgrade to your property. Once built, it’s the perfect spot to host parties, throw a barbecue, or even sunbathe. As you think about building your patio, it might be wise to keep the design and materials as simple as possible. You’ll particularly want to do this if you’ve never built a patio before and are attempting to do it yourself.

Of course, if you choose to use a contractor or you’re an experienced DIYer, you may want to also consider adding accessories such as fencing and other decorative structures that can add to your patio’s overall appeal.

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Will Blesch
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Will Blesch is a copywriter, content writer, and someone passionate about anything that lets him discover more about this…
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