Living space is scarce in Southern California, and the sun always shines: This is a prime opportunity to build an intriguing patio! Not only will it add value to your house, a patio will serve as outdoor living room, giving you more room to live your best life, relax, dine, or host parties. Of course, building this addition to your property comes with unique requirements and challenges, so here is our quick guide to successful patio construction!
First, be aware of what you have. How big is your yard? What architectural style is your house? Is your garden design based on curves or straight lines? The answers to these questions will provide you with a general of what is possible. Then, ask yourself what you want in your new patio. What is the primary use going to be? How many people are going to be on it? What kind of built-in features do you desire (e.g. fireplace, jacuzzi, grill)? At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of the shape, dimensions, and basic layout. For example, if you have a mid-sized garden with a curvilinear design, want to primarily relax on the patio, and regularly host small groups of guests for dinner, you may think of a rounded, individually shaped patio of about 130 sq ft, with an integrated fire place and room for a mid-to-large table.
Now, think of more specific features. Are you set on any furniture? Make sure it will fit. What is your price range, and which material do you prefer? Concrete is the cheapest, but many prefer the more noble look of flagstone. Mid-range options include pavers, brick and tile. Also consider the material your house is built of. You can also use concrete as a base and incorporate stone as accents to stretch the budget. For our example, let’s assume a contemporary house and an average budget. Concrete would likely cost between $800 and $1200, the high-end stone north of $3000, and our middle options would come in at around $2000. Pavers may be the ideal option here to create a consistent, good-looking and budget-friendly patio.
With most major decisions made, you can now focus on the details. A low wall can provide enclosure and intimacy, as well as provide additional seating, planters add a touch of nature, and lights can highlight focal points, accent architecture and special plants, and overall create mood and romance. Our example homeowners like to relax and host guests at night, so strategic lighting would make sense for them. Also, a low enclosure on the fireplace side can really create that second living room feel, and presents an opportunity for cozy nights around the fire!
All in all, how you build your patio depends largely on your individual wants and needs, as well as existing conditions of your house and garden. If you go about building it methodically, and are well aware of your choices, this can be a great way to add 5-10% value to your home, and priceless comfort to your life!