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Beautiful outdoor patio of suburban home with string lights and plants next to outdoor furniture.

Patio Upgrades That Will Make You Spend More Time Outdoors

There is certainly nothing wrong with spending quality time in a cozy home environment like your living room or family room. But good times with family and friends don’t always have to be confined to being indoors. Especially if you live in an area that has milder weather throughout the year. In fact, a patio is a fantastic area to gather, prepare meals, entertain guests, and spend quality time with loved ones. With a few simple upgrades, you can create an area of your home to enjoy throughout the year. In this article, we’ll review some popular patio upgrades. If you’re starting from scratch, we’ll explain how you can create the perfect patio for outdoor activities!  

New Patio Materials for a Fresh Look 

Every great patio needs a solid foundation. And if you are planning to spend more time outdoors, it’s important to pick a patio material that will not only complement your home but also add value to it. Whether you're remodeling or starting fresh, choosing the right material for your patio can completely transform the way you enjoy it. Understanding each patio material can help you make the right choice for you, and your home.  

Brick - Is there anything more traditional than brick? Brick patios are the most commonly used material for outdoor patios, and for good reasons! Traditional brick patios are incredibly sturdy and can withstand extreme weather conditions. Another great benefit of brick is that it lasts long and doesn’t require much maintenance. You can also have fun with the design by using different patterns, colors, or shades of brick. You can design your brick patio in a square, rectangular, circular, or curved pattern. You can even combine different colors or shades of brick to form different design shapes. Designing a patio that fits your style and character is a great way to ensure you spend more quality time outdoors! 

Stone Pavers - If you’re interested in designing a patio with a more stylish look, consider using stone pavers as your foundation material. Both bluestone and flagstone pavers are popular choices for outdoor patios. Stone pavers are very durable and rarely crack, break, or chip. They also have the added benefit of being low maintenance. When your stone-paved patio gets a bit dirty, a good pressure washing can have it look new again. When it comes to style, it’s hard to beat the look of stone pavers. Since they come in an array of different colors, you can create a unique pattern or design that is all your own. When compared to brick, stone pavers will cost you a little more money. So, before you make a final decision, determine the size of your patio area and how much the pavers will cost to see if it fits your budget.  

Concrete - Good ol’ classic concrete. A popular pick for a lot of modern homes; not only is concrete one of the most durable patio materials out there, but it’s also the patio material that requires the least maintenance. If you simply can’t wait to get outdoors, a concrete patio foundation is usually the quickest way to go. It is also very budget-friendly. As far as style, concrete can be stained, stamped, or painted to create a personal touch that matches the rest of your home. 

Free-Form Stone - Freeform stone is one of the more unique options to choose for patio materials. Although it lacks the structured look that concrete, pavers, and brick provide, it does offer a wide variety of design options. Free-form stone is a blank canvas when it comes to patio design. You can make any design idea you dream up a reality. It’s also a wonderful choice for people who desire a more natural look for their patio. Since stone is a more nature-focused material, it goes well with gardens and clusters of foliage. Depending on your backyard design, free-form stones can be a seamless addition to your home.  

Related Topic: Backyard and Patio Material Options & Ideas 

Light Up the Night 

Enjoying the great outdoors doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down. Adding some outdoor lighting to your patio can keep the fun going for as long as you like. Whether you add lighting for ambiance around your new tiki bar, or as functionality around your outdoor kitchen, it’s important to choose the right lighting. Outdoor lighting is more than a beautiful addition to your home, it can also add value and improve curb appeal.  

Installing outdoor lighting can also serve a security purpose and deter unwanted visitors. Functionally, outdoor lighting helps illuminate stairs and uneven surfaces to help prevent trip and fall accidents or injuries. Solar-powered outdoor lighting is a popular choice. They are cost-efficient, durable, and work well under most conditions. Since solar-powered lights have no wires, you don’t have to worry about the kids, pets, or guest tripping.  

Another way to add a little ambiance to your new outdoor retreat is with some well-placed touch lighting. This creates a cozy outdoor setting that is both inviting and functional. Scented torch lighting can help light the night, and it helps deter mosquitos and other insects from crashing the party. 

Related Topic: Patio Ideas for Patio Seating, Flooring & Lighting 

For Those Cool Evenings   

Fire pits have evoked a fascination with people for decades. It’s reminiscent of childhood campfires and provides both warmth and comfort. Whether you live in a cold climate or not, a fire pit is a fantastic addition to your patio for so many reasons. It’s an instant crowd-pleaser and a great place to gather on cool evenings when you still want to be outdoors. A fire pit can be constructed of metal, brick, or stone. It can be a simple design that burns wood or a more elaborate gas-burning structure. A Wood Fire-pit will be more reminiscent of a campfire and provide a great ambiance.  

A Gel Fuel Fire-pit is clean-burning and won’t spill when knocked over. However, it does not produce the same heat as a wood or propane fire pit. A Natural gas fire pit is a great option, but it is location-dependent since it must tap into your home’s natural gas line. A propane fire pit provides the most convenience and is a popular choice. It’s incredibly versatile and since it’s portable, it can be placed anywhere in your backyard. This makes it an all-around great choice for your patio, and the perfect excuse to make s'mores. 

Keep it Cool 

The vitamin D you get from being outside in the sun is important but staying out in the sun too long can damage your skin and cause other problems. If you don’t have an awning or shade over your patio, you may want to consider installing one. This way, you can enjoy the outdoors rain or shine. It can also protect your outdoor furniture, rugs, and appliances from wet weather and direct exposure to the sun (which is not good for appliances either). An awning or covering over your patio not only protects, but it also provides shade which can cool things down by as much as 20 degrees. Making your outdoor time easier and cooler. 

Add a Deck  

“Hit the deck!” can have a whole new meaning if you do decide to install or upgrade your patio. Extending your living space to the outdoors does not just increase your home’s value, it increases the amount of quality time you spend with friends, and family outdoors. Depending on your location, an elevated deck can really enhance your outdoor experience. It can also serve as cover for the patio below. If you’re interested in adding a deck or remodeling an aging one, you have some options. You can choose between treated lumber (that protects against weather damage) or a composite material that is very durable and weather resistant.  

Related Topic: Revive or Replace Your Aging Deck - What's Your Best Option?  

Get Professional Assistance  

The benefits of spending more time outdoors are many. Time spent in the fresh air can help improve your state of mind, reduce stress, and improve your overall mental health. Studies have shown that outdoor time even improves brain function, enhances vision, and lowers blood pressure. So, when you invest in upgrading your outdoor space, you’re also investing in improving your quality of life.  

However, a patio addition or upgrade mistake can be costly and time-consuming. If you’re not sure how to get started, Mr. Handyman can help. We have the experience and expertise to help you create an inviting outdoor living space your family and friends will enjoy for years to come.