The Why’s and What’s of Concrete Patios
Are you looking for a way to seamlessly extend your living space? As temperatures rise and we begin to recover from cabin fever, spending time outside is a top priority for many of us – especially those of us who battled short winter days that were often made shorter because we spend so much time bundling up to go outside, shoveling and scraping, and then having to take the time to unbundle (and thaw!).
Make this your year to spruce up your backyard by adding a concrete patio. Wood decks are nice, but the maintenance can get out of hand. Concrete patios achieve the same intent, but the perks of having a concrete patio exceed what you could get with a wood deck.
- Easier maintenance. We can never say enough about how low maintenance concrete is, especially as a flooring surface. Forget about annual staining, sanding, and sealing with a wood deck or yearly weeding around paved stones. Concrete will also ease your concern for termites, wood rot, and structural soundness.
- More environmentally friendly. This one is pretty basic – you aren’t sourcing the material from matured trees. Concrete is created locally, so you cut down on gas emissions from transportation, and you don’t have to use potentially harmful chemicals on a regular basis.
- Incredibly customizable. Stamp, paint, dye, and treat to your heart’s desire. If you are worried about the “cold” aesthetic of concrete, you can make it look like wood or stones with strategic stamping and painting, stenciling, and engraving. At first glance, you won’t even recognize your patio is concrete. After you do remember it is concrete, you can revel in the fact that the majority of time you spend on your patio will be purely recreational, instead of performing meticulous labor.
Tips for Planning Your Patio
- Don’t limit your self to a small rectangle outside your door. Your patio is meant to seamlessly extend your indoor living space to your exterior living space. Spend time figuring out what you want to include on your patio and how much of the yard you want it to cover. If you are sick of mowing your lawn or have terrible allergies, you may want a concrete patio that covers most of your lawn area. If your home has multiple access points to get to the back yard, you may want to accommodate all the doors in the back of your house, instead of just one.
- Plan for your patio’s amenities. If you want to have a glamorous outdoor kitchen, pool, or fire pit, make sure you make the arrangements for plumbing, draining, electricity, and/or seating.
- If you want some separation from the house, design a concrete path to access your patio. Again, if you have multiple access points to the backyard from your house, but don’t want concrete to hug the exterior of your home, you can create pathways for people to come together to your patio. This is also a good option if you want to have a fire pit, but don’t want your house to take on the brunt of the smoke.