A patio is a small to medium sized courtyard that is often bordered by the home and a garden. Patios are usually either paved or made from flat stones of some sort, and they are used for dining or entertaining. To choose the best patio plan for your home, you must first decide where you want the patio to be, what kind of aesthetic you would like for your patio, and what kind of budget you can work with. Remember that the point of a patio is to entertain guests, so your patio plan should include features that make the area comfortable and aesthetically pleasing while not interfering with the practical function of the space.
Once you have decided what your budget is, consider a patio plan that uses attractive materials. While a concrete patio can certainly do the job, it may not be the best aesthetic choice. Stone is perhaps one of the best choices and it offers the most variety, as different stones lend a different feel to each patio. Keep in mind that stone will cost more than concrete, however, so if function is your priority, consider pouring a concrete patio.
The best patio plan will focus on drawing attention to the surrounding areas. It will keep guests focused on the beauty of a garden or the architecture of the house. Your patio plan should take into account the size and shape of your garden and your house, and the materials used should accentuate these features rather than draw away from them. If the patio is not directly next to the house, your patio plan should take into account the need for a pathway, and perhaps some lighting to ensure guests can maneuver in the dark.
If weather is a concern, you may want to consider a patio cover as part of the patio plan. While historically the patio has been an open air area, it may suit your needs to have a covering ready in case inclement weather springs up. Tents or canopies are common choices, though there are more permanent structures available. A retractable canopy may work best for a patio that abuts a home.
Good patio plans will also take into account the furniture that will be placed on the patio. Chairs and tables are common, but your patio may also feature a built-in grill or hearth, or even a firepit. Consider your needs and desires for the area before choosing the final patio plans, and be sure to consider who the most common users of the area will be.