Tips for Planning a Paver Patio

Location, size, shape and color are all things to consider when planning a paver patio.
Outdoor living has become such a natural part of our lives that the term “outdoor living” now seems commonplace. If you’ve been dreaming of a backyard where you can welcome guests or simply relax with the family for a summer meal, a paver patio may be the answer. As with any home improvement project, preparation is the key to completing the job successfully.

Select a Site
Of course your paver patio will be located directly off the back of the house – or will it? Where you build the patio is largely governed by how you intend to use it. If you envision an outdoor kitchen and a place for all your friends and family to gather, then direct access to the house, especially the kitchen, is a priority. But if what you want is a cozy little space to enjoy the natural beauty surrounding your home, a patio tucked into a private corner of the yard may be more fitting.

Size and Shape
Think about all the ways you want to use your patio; will it include a fire pit or dining space or will it be a party spot for dozens of people? Make certain you’re allowing ample room for all the ways you want your patio to function. One helpful trick is to arrange patio furniture, planters and other equipment on the lawn as a facsimile of your future patio and see how much actual space is needed to walk freely around furniture and create a functional flow. Remember that the larger the patio, the higher the slope of the space will need to be. For proper drainage a minimum of 1% slope per foot is recommended.

One of the advantages of a paver patio is that you can create interesting shapes without running up the cost as when building a deck. Pavers lend themselves well to curved edges and circular pads, allowing you to really take advantage of your site’s best features and views. When planning your patio don’t be afraid to experiment with the expected rectangular shape. Use a garden hose or rope to lay out a design on the ground that provides the style you really want. Live with the shape for a couple of days, arrange furniture inside of it and see how well it functions.

Pavers lend themselves well to curved edges and circular pads, allowing you to really take advantage of your site’s best features.

Choosing Pavers
Deciding on the color of the pavers really is a big deal; the wrong choice will affect the overall appeal of your landscaping for years to come. Don’t limit yourself to the few options your local hardware store has in stock. Ask to see a catalog, shop online or be willing to travel if there’s a paver supply center in your area. Generally speaking, you should match the paver color to your roof color for a harmonious design. For example, if the predominant color of the roof is gray, pavers with gray tones are the best option.

Don’t underestimate the importance of plants and flowers to make your patio look great. The hard edges of a paver patio benefit from the softening affect living plants can give. You can create direct planting spaces in your design or use potted plants of different heights to create more visual interest. Cushioned patio furniture will also help make the patio look cozy, quaint, and like a true outdoor room.

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