Patio Possibilities

Before you effectively plan your patio, you need to know about all of the possibilities to achieve the outdoor living space of your dreams.
Planning
1930's Spanish door and Italian tile floor

Before you effectively plan your patio, you need to know about all of the possibilities to achieve the outdoor living space of your dreams.

At their simplest, patios are areas of your yard that you pave and make into durable, weatherproof spaces for walking or using furniture. With a little imagination and careful planning, however, the simple backyard patio can become a cloistered retreat resplendent with lush plantings and quiet nooks, an extravagant entertainment center with dining areas and extensive seating for guests, or a luxurious spa complete with a hot tub, swimming pool, and shady cabana.

Today's patios are much more than just back- yard stations for grilling hot dogs. They are a part of our lifestyle -- extending our family rooms into the outdoors to take advantage of nature, sun, and fresh air. They are transitional spaces that blend the best of indoor and outdoor life. More than ever, patios are where we entertain guests, spend time with families, or just get away from it all.

Make the most of your project -- and your budget -- with careful planning. Good planning includes becoming familiar with the various materials and knowing how patios are built so you can communicate effectively with designers, builders, and other professionals. The result will be a patio that increases the value of your property and is a pleasure for years to come.

Continued on page 2:  Patio Styles