If you're looking for a simple home addition that will improve your home's value and add functional living space, a patio is a terrific choice. You'll have a great location for hosting garden parties or outdoor meetings, or just a place to relax and read a book or have a quiet outdoor lunch. The question is how to design the perfect patio for your home. You don't want to just lay a foundation and drag out some furniture that you're not using indoors – you should take your time and plan a patio that complements your home. Here are some ideas for designing a patio with pizzazz.
The first thing that you have to do is plan how you're going to get to the patio from your house. This usually requires adding a doorway. You could install a traditional door or a sliding glass door, but if you really want the ideal entryway, French patio doors are the way to go.
French doors have the advantage of giving you double the space of either a traditional doorway or a sliding glass door. This extra doorway space will come in handy when you're bringing furniture out to the patio or in from the patio, and the doors themselves have an elegant look that will make a lovely transition from the inside of the home to the outside, as well as providing you with a great view of your patio from indoors.
You may be surprised to learn that French doors are available in fiberglass, aluminum, or steel as well as wood. If you live in an area where frequent harsh weather is a concern, one of these sturdy materials may be preferable to a wooden door. Keep in mind that steel and aluminum doors can be noisy – choose wood if you want quiet. Doors that swing outward are best if you're short on space inside. Click here for more info on patio doors.
The Patio Cover
You'll want a significant amount of overhang to protect outward swinging doors, and you may want coverage for your patio furniture, especially if you want to be able to sit outside in all kinds of weather. If you live in a dry climate, you may want to consider a wooden pergola. While the relatively open cover won't keep everything underneath it perfectly dry, that may not be a concern if storms are rare. You can improve the pergola's rain coverage by lining the top with colorful plants, creating a unique living canopy of sorts.
If you need more protection against inclement weather, you may want to consider an awning instead. A simple striped awning can look both classy and invitingly casual, while a solid colored awning with a decorative fringe adds a more elegant flair to your patio.
It's easy to find tables and chairs that are suitable for outdoor use. Wrought iron tables and chairs are classic and sophisticated, while a sturdy wood like teak can be used to create a warm and inviting outdoor gathering space. You can also use whimsical wicker furniture for a more creative and unique style.
One thing that can really make your patio seem welcoming is the addition of a comfortable sofa. Brightly colored stripes and floral patterns are popular trends in outdoor sofas. Many people are afraid to add a sofa to their outdoor patio for fear of damage from the weather. However, it's definitely possible to find a sturdy yet comfortable outdoor sofa. Look for sofas covered in heavy, washable, easy-to-remove acrylic slipcovers that are designed for outdoor use. With proper maintenance, this type of furniture can hold up well even if it gets wet occasionally. Just remember to wipe down surfaces with a mixture of bleach and water periodically to keep mold and mildew away.
You'll be thrilled at the difference in your home and the increase in usable space once your patio is complete. Plan your patio addition for the spring or early summer so that you can get the most possible use out of it right away.