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Create Your Dream Patio: Tips for Perfect Planning

Oct 6, 2023Decks & Patios


This article provides helpful tips on how to design a patio for your home. It covers topics such as choosing the right location, selecting the right materials, and creating a comfortable seating area.

With these tips, you can create a patio that will be the envy of your friends and family.

Why should you spend time planning a dream patio? Because a well-planned patio will greatly increase:

  • Your enjoyment of your home
  • The dollar value of your home

Planning your dream patio makes good dollars and sense!

How to Determine the Perfect Patio Size

Three major factors go into determining the perfect patio size. They are:

  • Your available space
  • The patio’s placement
  • The patio’s function

Available Space and Your Patio

It’s important to calculate the size of your patio carefully. The amount of landscape space may limit your decisions.

But even if you have more than enough outdoor space, you want to have a patio that complements your landscape.

Plan carefully to make sure the patio doesn’t appear too big, too bare, and overwhelming. And you certainly don’t want it to be too cramped.

Make sure you have room for all the patio furniture and other items you want, such as grills or decorative planters.

To start, measure your yard to determine how much space you have available. Some people like to match the patio size to the width of their house.

Best Patio Placement

Think about where the patio should be on your property.

Where will it take best advantage of favorite views? Where will it best work with existing shade/sun at different times of the day?

The patio’s function will also affect the best placement decision.

If you are using the patio primarily to enjoy meals you prepare indoors, you’ll want to keep it close to the house.

But if your patio will serve as a private retreat, you may enjoy it as an oasis away from the house.

What Is the Patio’s Function—How Will You Use Your New Space?

When it comes to patio design, the sky’s the limit. Imagine how your new patio can enhance your life!

Today, homeowners use their patios for:

  • Informal and/or formal dining areas
  • Extended entertaining space and extra seating
  • Outdoor kitchens and bars
  • Places for quiet relaxation
  • To accommodate a firepit
  • Safe areas for children to play

You Should Also Read: How to Choose The Right Material For Your Patio

Some Average Patio Measurements

The following are some average patio measurements.

  • A small patio for comfortable dining for two can measure as little as 7’ x 7’ (49 square feet).
  • A medium patio with dining for 6-8 people should measure at least 12’ x 14’ (168 square feet)
  • A patio for entertaining larger groups of people, or incorporating a lot of furniture, can often function well at 16’ x 18’ (288 square feet) or 18’ x 20’ (360 square feet)

Some designers recommend having space measuring 25 square feet for each person you are entertaining.

An Easy Way to Envision Your Furnished Patio

Are you wondering if your dream patio can hold all of your patio furniture? Should you purchase an outdoor couch?

Here’s an easy way to answer these and other questions.

Create a template of your dream patio and patio furniture to scale. Look online for dimensions and footprints of patio furniture that you want to include.

Cut out the furniture and place cut-outs on the template to see how things will fit.

Be sure to leave 2’-3’ around furniture so people can easily move on the patio and pull chairs away from tables.

If the desired items can’t be arranged to fit, you either need to scale back on your furniture or increase the size of your patio.

Benefit From Custom Patio Design

Your patio should complement your home’s existing architecture. It also needs to withstand the harshest outdoor elements.

An experienced landscape designer will:

  • Recommend different patio designs
  • Recommend the best hardscaping materials
  • Help you select the best size, shape, and location of your patio
  • Help you get the most out of your limited patio space by presenting multi functional options for patio furniture and design
  • Be able to advise you on the best outdoor lighting options and techniques

Some Practical Next Steps in Patio Design

Once you have an initial patio design plan, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I need to make water, electric or other utilities accessible as part of my patio design?

The proximity of new lines to already existing lines will affect cost.

  • Do I have a realistic budget?

If you need a bank or home equity loan, check it out now to avoid unwanted costs or disappointment later.

  • Will I need a building permit for my patio?

Your local municipality usually regulates building permits. Failure to follow guidelines or obtain permits will only bring unwelcome fines and penalties.

In Northern Virginia, you usually need permits for changes to or the installation of:

  1. Gas lines
  2. Plumbing
  3. Water service
  4. Electric service
  5. Sewage lines
  6. Additional hardscaping

Now that you’re ready to get started, it’s time to contact us at Stoneman Landscaping.

We offer professional landscaping patio design services and flawless installation.

We can cover all aspects of your patio design from initial plans through the completed installation.


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