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February 2019

Designing an Outdoor Patio: Finding your Purpose

By | Uncategorized
Iowa City 3D Landscape Designer

So you’ve been trapped inside dreaming of warm weather and looking at patio plans on pinterest but you’re not sure how to make you’re outdoor patio dreams a reality? Where do I to put the fire pit? Where should the grill should go? Well don’t fret, we’re here with all the tips on how to plan your patio, the right way.

The first thing to consider when starting your space is deciding just what you would like the purpose of your patio to be. Is it for entertaining large groups or small? Is it for your you to have family dinners? Do you love fire pits and roasting marshmallows or would you prefer morning coffee surrounded by beautiful flowers? Take some time to really think about what you want and make a list of importance to solidify your purpose in order. Here are a few things to ask yourself when making decisions

How many people do you typically entertain and how often:

Deciding the amount of people you typically entertain will help you in determining the size of your patio area. You want to be able to accommodate all your guests, but want to consider cost and size with how often you will have large groups. When considering your space, don’t forget to add in flat yard space surrounding your patio as overflow area in cases of large groups. If you only host large groups only a few times a year, that can suffice for saving on patio space.

What time of day do you plan to enjoy your space?

Deciding your ideal times to enjoy your outdoor space are vital in deciding the location of your patio. If you love to be out in the mornings, putting your space to the east may make for beautiful sunrises, but without shade will make them very bright throughout the rest of the morning. The same applies for the early evenings, making sure you have sufficient shade to stay out of the summer sun and heat will be incredibly important in your decision making.

Do you want a dining area? Outdoor Kitchen?

If you’re looking to cook and serve food on your patio you will want to consider your proximity to your home. Keeping your cooking area as close to your house as possible makes for more efficiency in bringing food in and out of the house to be cooked and served. Making it convenient will allow you to spend less time running and prepping and more time surrounded by your guests.

Do you want a fire feature?

You will first need to decide what type of feature so you know your options. Fire pits will need to be kept away from your home. Most code is 25 feet but you may want additional space to avoid smoke in windows and heat getting too close to your house. If you want a gas feature, it can be placed closer to the home and gives you a few more options for your space. You may also want to consider if you want to be able to see it from inside your home so you can enjoy it all year.

How much landscape lighting do you need?

Landscape lighting is a must, but how much will suffice in keeping your space safe. Landscape lighting allows your family and guests to move around your space safely. It also provides extra home security for when you aren’t enjoying your outdoor space.

Do you want it to be an extension of your home or a typical outdoor space?

Deciding the level of outdoors you want is important for picking your features. You can add pergolas and pavilions to enclose a home space. Ceiling fans can be added to cool your space and keep insects out. Making a more conditioned space can make your space more comfortable.

If you can discuss and answer all these questions, making your list your importance will solidify your decision and you will be set and ready to get your plan put together. And once the plan is set, the construction of it becomes the easy part…