Patios to enjoy the summer

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Now you know I love a great porch for sitting and relaxing but I also love a nice patio almost as much. Patios have some advantages over porches as their construction is much easier. One can build a patio in a back yard area with various materials as a DIY project or by hiring a professional. Patios are surely a project that many homeowners can takle and make a beautiful area to relax in this summer.

 A patio such as the above one looks beautiful and with a bit of knowledge and some sweat equity, a patio like this isn’t that hard to construct. The simplified version is to remove the sod and top soil and then use layers of crushed pea stone and sand that is compacted, place the stones on top in the pattern you desire and viola- A patio to enjoy this summer. That’s the very shortened version but with some tools, a rental compactor and a moderate cost of materials, you could have a patio like this or the one below.
If however you are looking for something a bit more complicated then you will probably will need to confer with specialists. In this particular patio there would be the need to have concrete poured as well as having some lay the large pieces of stone after the concrete work is complete. This is not for the average homeowner to even consider doing as it involves excavating, concrete work and tiling experience.
Concrete, in it’s own right, can make a beautiful patio area but it has to be done by professionals as there is much more to pouring a concrete slab down on some sand and smoothing it out. The ground has to be prepared and compacted so that it allows for drainage and provides a solid, stable base. There are also additional factors such as adding wire mesh and/or rebar to help prevent cracking.
Areas of concrete that are larger also need to have joints put into them when the concrete is wet. These are called control joints and help minimize cracking as well. Concrete patios can aslo be stained which gives them a much nicer look than plain boring gray concrete. Now if you want to get even more wow, think about having your concrete patio stamped! It creates a great look and there are so many choices today.
Pretty nice looking for concrete and it makes for a great surface. I had one done that looked like cobblestones and it came out looking quite nice.
 Bricks make a wonderful looking patio but again a project like this is best left to a mason or you might end up with a slight mess as the bricks need to be all level with each other and the naturally need to all be pitched away from the home. In heavy rains the water needs to be directed away from the house so there should be a slight tilt to the patio.
The choices of material will naturally tend towards natural rock or stone looks. The patio has to remain totally outside in all types of weather and so much be able to withstand the forces of nature. A porch tends to be covered and may get some weather here and there but an outdoor patio gets it all.
Now if you combine an outdoor patio and a covered one, well then you have greatly extended your outdoor patio time. Slightly buggy- head in side while still enjoying the great fresh air.
Patios have a great place in a home and in some areas they also offer the advantage of lower tax rates as it isn’t a structure whereas porches and decks are structures and therefore you’ll pay property taxes at a higher rate for those.
No matter how you build your patio to enjoy the summer this year, I’m sure it will be a place that you’ll spend many an hour and for years to come.
Enjoy!
All photos from houzz.com
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About Todd Vendituoli

Todd Vendituoli has been a builder for almost 30 years with companies in Vermont and the Bahamas and HomeCentrl is an extension of those years of building experience highlighting everything about your home. I am presently working within the field of social media and using my years of construction and design knowledge to help others understand and use social media to enhance their businesses in a multitude of different ways. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and a variety of other social networks.
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