As winter nears its end, we all have a little bit of cabin fever. The warmer temperatures get everyone excited about spending time outdoors, and a great way to start is with a project. Constructing a patio is a perfect choice for taking advantage of the better weather. These five tips can help you create an outdoor space that is beautiful and functional.
Keep on the Sunny Side
As excited as you may be about seeing the sun, you’ve probably still got some very cool days ahead of you, especially if you’re headed to the new patio to enjoy your morning coffee. Locate it where the morning sun will quickly warm the area so that the area is not shaded during the times when it can most benefit from that solar boost. You can put some umbrellas or canopies up to protect from the sun when you don’t want it.
Choose Great Spring Plants
You probably think of your patio as a construction project, but there is definitely some landscaping to it as well. Spring just isn’t spring without some bright flowers, and your patio project will fit the season much more naturally if you get some early color. Find plants that will bloom on those first warm days so that you have a complete look when you’re ready to use it. Just make sure to have a good plan to water and take care of whatever you plant.
Connect Using Hardscapes
You can locate your patio anywhere you want, but there may be a need to connect it to your existing sidewalks or driveways. Spring is typically a wet, muddy time. That means you’ll be damaging your grass and tracking dirt onto your brand new patio if you don’t invest in a solid walking surface to link it all the way back to your house.
Speaking of all those spring rains, you’ll want to make sure they are diverted away from your patio. A hard downpour can wash mulch, grass clippings, and mud onto your patio. It’s important to keep its surface elevated and install waterways or drainage lines to carry water away from the patio. Make sure to use sand or another porous base under your patio.
Integrate into the Landscape
The best built features at a home are those that blend into the surrounding natural features. Your house itself is probably lined with shrubs and trees to help it fit in. Your patio should do the same. Tall grasses and flowers can be placed near the patio so that they grow partially over it and buffer its appearance. Pots and planters on the patio itself can further tie things together. A house or feeder for birds nearby will also pull everything together.
When you no longer have to hide out under a blanket on the couch just to be in your home, a new patio sounds great. You’ll want to make the space so you can spend more time outside. With these simple design tips, you can get a beautiful, durable project as winter fades from view.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.
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