Paver Patio Design Tips – Make the Most of Your Space
Paver patio designs that don’t make maximum use of available space are the biggest complaint professional designs deal with when coming up with a workable hardscape plan. Backyards in the Madison WI area come in every shape and size imaginable. A paver patio can enhance every space. Or, it can be a disappointment when done poorly. Advanced, common sense planning is the key difference.
What size fits your need? What size fits your property? Like the nursery rhyme, too big can be as bad as too small. You’re looking for “just right.” Begin with a quick list of what you want to do on your new patio:
Relax with friends – you’ll need room for furniture
Cook and eat outdoors – space for a grill, table and chairs
Late night fires – local regulation dictate how close a fire pit can be to building
Just kick-back and enjoy peace and quiet – structures for shade?
A professional paver patio design will often center upon one of these elements and the creation will be built around the most valued use for the space. In most cases, there are rules of thumb to determine the minimum space each of these specialties requires.
TIP FROM A PRO – Don’t forget “walking around room” when you develop a hardscape plan. Furniture, grills and appliances take space but you need room to move about and relax, too. Add an extra 2-3 feet of patio around your furnishings. Better to be too big at first (you can add amenities) than too small and cramped.
Paver Patio Designs Using Built-in Elements
When creating living spaces with concrete or brick pavers, you have the option to build permanent structures to provide for several of your daily needs. An overhead shade feature can replace a patio umbrella, for example. Three of the most popular build-ins are:
Permanent seating – especially useful when you have limited space for furnishings, build-in seating can double as a safety structure around the perimeter of the patio. Permanent seating is ideal for Madison’s climate because it’s available on a nice winter day when furniture has been stored. Additional costs are weighed against years of use and convenience.
Outdoor kitchen/grilling area – creating space for an outdoor kitchen and a built-in grill requires attention to detail – appropriate location with clear path to indoor kitchen, safely away from main gathering areas. Built-in cooking areas can take away from the overall space available because of the basic square footage required – a combination of portable grill and permanent prep and serving area is a good compromise.
Popular fire features – the attraction of flames is undeniable and a fire pit or fire feature can be a wonderful focal point of outdoor living space. It adds to the days each year your hardscape plan is viable. There are gas and wood-burning options to consider.
TIP FROM A PRO – Dane County has severe restrictions on how close a fire feature can be to an existing building. Be sure to check on state and local building codes and restrictions before signing off on your paver patio design. And, consider the prevailing winds before installing a fire pit – wood smoke has a special aroma that isn’t always appreciated when blown into a neighbor’s open windows.
Put Your Hardscape Plan On Paper
The days of the square concrete patio are numbered. While squares and rectangles will always be popular choices for paver patio designs, there are more creative options. The shape of your new patio will be determined by several elements:
The overall shape and size of the property
How you plan to use the space most often
The architecture of your home
Other elements in your backyard – pool, garden structures, etc.
Your personal lifestyle options
Review the basics…
Square Paver Patio Designs – still the most common and the easiest to install. The least creative, squares are practical and cost-effective. Right angle corners fit a formal and contemporary decorating style and are excellent for large groups of furniture and people.
Round Patios – When you have a special focal point, a round design can bring attention to it quickly. It may be a table and chairs, a fountain, fire pit or another special piece. Variations of round patios are also offering more creative opportunities – half-circle designs can expand existing square structures to soften a hardscape plan. Rounded patios blend nicely into natural landscape plans.
Free-form Patios – characterized by broad, free-flowing curves or sharp angles, free-form designs offer a perfect canvas for creativity. They are one-of-a-kind. It takes both a creative mind and attention to details to make these artistic elements work in restricted spaces and conventional backyards.
Pick the Right Pavers
There are a host of paver options available for unique and versatile patio designs. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages depending upon location and intended use. As your paver patio design comes together, consider which of these pavers best suits your overall hardscape plan – take into consideration walkways, retaining walls and paths in addition to the basic patio surface.
Concrete Pavers – Rapidly becoming the most popular material for paver patio design. Advantages include:
A variety of patterns, shapes and sizes with more becoming available all the time
Sizes and shapes to accommodate curves and angles
An expanding palette of color options
Permeable so water won’t pond on the surface
Durable – with basic maintenance they will last decades
Proper installation requires excavation of the site
If site isn’t prepared properly pavers can settle and become uneven
May require sealing periodically
Brick Pavers – for a classic looks. Advantages include:
Rustic, historic appeal – ideal for early American, classic architecture
Rich colors – many colors available, especially when using reclaimed bricks
Among the disadvantages of using brick are:
Can be slippery when wet from rain or snow
Can shift with seasonal temperature changes – especially when laid over a sand base
Heaving in winter can cause cracking, chipping
Poured Concrete – once the standard. A versatile choice. Advantages include:
Almost limitless shapes, sizes and colors
Can be stamped and textured
Most are slip-resistant
Durable under extreme weather conditions
Little maintenance required
Can crack and chip
Surface can be damaged by chemical cleaners and deicers
Not permeable so water can build up on the surface
Poured in place, it must cure before it can be used
Call Upon Professionals for Creative Spaces
Call Proscapes LLC today and learn how a creative landscape design comes together specifically for your space and lifestyle. Contact us at (608) 244-6464 or email us for a professional’s approach to hardscape plans and paver patio designs customized for your Madison WI home.