Picking the perfect placement for patios

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Updated Aug 10, 2021
Photo: BelgardPhoto: Belgard

When designing or redesigning your customer’s landscape, patio placement can prove to be a pivotal decision, as it will determine how you’re able to work with the remaining space in the yard and how the finished product will look and flow.

Before you add such a structure in, talk to customers about how it will be used, as well as what aspects and areas of the landscape need to be highlighted or avoided.

Take a look at a few questions to keep in mind when choosing a place for a patio.

How will it be used?

The first thing to keep in mind is how will your customers be using their patio? Will it be for lounging and relaxing or for cooking, dining and entertaining? The answer will determine the best placement for the patio.

If it will be used for more high-use activities like cooking and entertaining, keeping the patio close to the house is more beneficial and convenient. With proximity to the indoor kitchen, taking food and plates to and from the house will be much easier than having to carry them across the length of the yard.

If the area will be used for relaxation purposes, it could make sense to place the patio next to the house but closer to the living room or bedrooms, as it could act as an extension of the living spaces.

On the other hand, if your customers are wanting to create a space that’s specifically designated for escaping from the everyday world, setting the patio out into the yard and away from the home can create a space that serves as an oasis.

Privacy and spacing

If your customers want their patio parties to be more private, it might be beneficial to have it set further into the backyard. However, if your customers are wanting to try and reach out and connect with members of their community, a front yard patio might be a better option.

If your customer has a smaller yard, it’s also possible that the entirety of the outdoor space could be taken up with a patio, or the patio could double as a walkway from one area to another.

Don’t forget to take a look at the side yards as well, as these are often overlooked for patio placement in favor of the traditional front and backyards. Since they aren’t used so frequently in patio design, the side yards could offer an element of privacy for customers who desire such as trait.

Permitting, utility lines and shading  

It’s true that not all patios will require permits to build but many will, and building departments often will require permits on patios that require grading in the installation process.

Permits are also required for patios that border a slope, as well as those made of impermeable materials like poured concrete. If the patio is bordering the slightest of a slope, it will require railings as well.

If the patio will have an outdoor kitchen, gas-powered fire pit, outdoor lighting, hot tubs, etc., there will more than likely be a utility line hookup that’s needed. Keep in mind that if these features will be included in the patio, the distance it is from the house can impact the cost of having these lines extended.

Do your customers want their patio area to be shaded? If so, consider the natural shading elements (if any are present) in the landscape, and also talk to them about the possibility of adding on shading elements, whether these are attached to the house or freestanding.

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