Design Your Dream Patio in 3 Steps
Many of us are excited about the joys of summer months: barbecues, warm weather, and spending time outside with friends and family. Imagine sitting in the privacy of your backyard, kids playing in the lush grass behind you and a beautiful new patio beneath your feet.
Getting your yard from how it is now to the yard of your dreams really comes down to three phases:
1. Dream It: Have a vision and determine how you want to use your space.
2. Plan It: Consult your landscape designer to share your vision and discuss the possibilities.
3. Build It: What to expect while the construction crew is onsite.
In this phase, let your mind run wild. Think big. What would your dream yard look like? It might have a wide variety of plants in many colors, or maybe you like a more simplistic style. You could put a in pergola, or a patio with an outdoor kitchen. Maybe your dream style is to spend hours under the stars on a warm summer night around a permanent firepit.
Ask yourself these questions to narrow down your priorities:
- Who will be using the space? Answers could include immediate or extended family, friends, or neighbors. Make note of their ages and ability levels to consider during the planning phase.
- What do I want to do in the space? Think about dining outside, sitting and chatting with friends, activities for kids, parties, outdoor cooking, quiet time, gardening, or anything else you’ve always wanted to do but never had the right space for.
- Have I seen any pictures or posts of backyards that caught my eye? Start collecting photos to show your landscape designer in the next phase.
The Planning phase is the time to take your ideas and apply them to your space. This is where Garrick-Santo Landscape Co. can be extra useful because we have the expertise & experience to organize the logistics of your project.
Your Landscape Designer will help you understand your options to be able to answer questions like:
- Where will a patio or fire pit go in my backyard? How big do I want or need it to be? Some things we will consider are drainage & grading, proximity to the house, how many people will be using it and what activities will be done on the patio.
- Who will use the patio? Determine if you need special access like a ramp or bench.
- What is my outdoor style? What materials do I want to use? Materials that can be used for a patio or firepit include natural stone, veneer or decorative concrete pavers. We prefer Unilock Pavers. They come in a wide variety of styles & colors for a custom look.
- Where are the access points to my yard for machinery, delivery of materials, and disposal? Some yards have easier access than others. Machinery can be very useful to cut down the number of hours needed to install a patio, but almost all jobs can still be completed without machinery if need be. To access your yard, crews may need to temporarily move a fence or ask your neighbors if they can use their driveway. Every yard is different and the approach will change on a case-by-case basis.
- How much do I want to spend on this project? Your designer will calculate the cost based on the scope you set during our consultation. Type and quantity of material is a major cost factor. Talk to your designer about budget early and often.
Proper planning will make the construction phase of your project go much more smoothly and can save money in the long run. Building a new patio is more than simply laying pavers down on the existing ground in your backyard. Here’s what to expect when Garrick-Santo installs your patio:
- Big trucks and people in your yard. If you have protective dogs or young kids, it’s best to keep them away from the construction site during installation for their safety and the safety of the crew.
- Base layers. If you want a patio that will last a lifetime, a solid base is key. The foundation should be dug down about 8 inches and the ground compacted using proper machinery. Next, a layer of filter fabric or geogrid is installed to prevent the upper layers from sinking into the ground below. On top of the filter fabric, 5 inches of gravel are put down and compacted to provide adequate drainage. Lastly, a layer of sand is compacted on top to provide a “bed” for the pavers so they will lay flat and stay in place.
- Pavers. Pavers can be made of natural stone or manufactured materials that are designed for durability and aesthetic interest. We recommend Unilock concrete pavers. They come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes so you can achieve any style you want. Unilock pavers are cost effective, last a lifetime and if installed properly, will continue looking great well into the future.
- Edging options. Once the pavers are laid in place, it’s necessary to install edging that will physically stop the pavers from spreading out as the ground freezes and thaws. This will keep your patio looking clean and organized for years to come. Some types of edging to consider are plastic edging, metal edging, or borders made of concrete, granite, or cobblestones.
- Jointing material. Jointing materials are sand or small stones that go between the pavers to fill the cracks. There are a few options for jointing materials, but our favorite is polymeric sand. This type of sand can be swept into the cracks between the pavers and, when moistened, bonds together to become solid. This prevents the bedding sand from blowing or washing away.
- Sealant. While concrete pavers are very durable, they still can sometimes fade or get stained over time, especially if they’re in direct sunlight for long periods of time or if leaves lie on them for a long period. You can prevent fading or staining by sealing your patio. Some types of pavers come pre-sealed from the factory, which is a great option if you’re willing to spend a little more money up front. Sealing your pavers isn’t a necessary step but it can help your patio look great even as time marches on.
It’s true that a lot of thought goes into a new patio project. But it doesn’t have to be stressful! Installing a new paver patio in your backyard can be a breeze with the help of Garrick-Santo Landscape Co. We will guide you through the 3 phases of the project to make your dream a reality.
Just remember these three simple steps: Dream It, Plan It, and Build It!
Garrick-Santo Landscape Co.
110 Eames Street Wilmington, MA 01887
160 Eastern Ave, Malden, MA, 02148
Proudly serving North Suburban Boston, North Shore, Merrimack Valley, Metro West since 1981