Tips for Planning a Patio

March 03, 2016   //  Posted in: Backyard, Deck, HGTV + DIY Network Projects   //  By: Emily   //  12 responses

This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in March 2013.

Some of my favorite home improvement experiences have tied closely to the design and construction of our deck and flagstone patios, and now that we’re encroaching on springtime and the snow has mostly melted from the backyard, I curiously wonder what great patio projects other homeowners are preparing for. Even though our heavy flagstone patio construction is complete, I’m now challenged with adding savvy gardening accents to that section of our yard, a huge task in itself.

Custom round flagstone design.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your own, this gallery on DIY Network is loaded with great ideas. Check it out to get a taste for what you can do yourself, or for what hiring a professional may be worthwhile.

Our deck was our first big project, a design that I crafted myself with the help of an online deck building program and a vivid imagination. It’s still hard for me to imagine that in just a few short months, I tore down the old red deck that was attached to the back of my house, and replaced it with a deck almost double in size.

Before and after modern deck transformation.

The flagstone patio that I showed you above was another labor of love, a project that challenged us to organize thousands of pounds of flagstone into a round puzzle. I’m so happy it turned out as well as it did, because it’ll be something we enjoy for a long time. Just check out that attention to detail in the stonework:

Pebbles in the mortar of this custom patio make for a special detail.

If you’re looking for something different, see the patio that Rebecca and her husband had built. It’s stamped concrete finish is deceiving and modern, because it was designed to simulate the lines in natural wood boards, and then tinted to enhance the effect.

The stamped concrete patio from Rebecca at The Lil House That Could.

Rebecca’s patio, being stamped cement, is durable, long-lasting, and looks really great. The surface and shape of their patio is something I’ve kept in the back of my mind for years now because I think it plays off the back of their house in a really nice way. Should I ever have the right space or sidewalk for a treatment like theirs, I’ll be all over making my own. You can read about the design and installation of their deck on Rebecca’s blog The Lil’ House That Could.

What are you taking into consideration as you design your future (or dream) patio?

  • Jack Palmer
    2 years ago - Reply

    I really like the look of what Rebecca and her husband did with their patio. I would have never guessed by simply looking at it that it’s not wood. I think this would be fun to do for our patio because it will have the durability of cement but the looks of wood, which I really like. I’m excited that spring is here so we can start working on our yard! Thanks for the fun ideas.

  • Nathan Johnson
    2 years ago - Reply

    My wife and I are looking to add some value to our house and want to get a back patio installed. I need to look into the different options available but I love the look of the stamped concrete that you posted. Do you know if there is a significant time difference between installing concrete as compared to flagstone (or similar)? Thanks for the info!

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      I don’t know with certainty, Nathan, sorry!

  • Tobias Armstrong
    2 years ago - Reply

    I always like to hear stories of people finding ways to design their own deck or patio. Those type of projects are things I’ve been helping my dad with since I was basically old enough to walk. I love the idea of getting out there and getting my hands dirty to build things. Thanks for the awesome tips on how to do just that!

  • Laurie
    2 years ago - Reply

    I love the look of stamped concrete. Great ideas, thanks for sharing!

  • Kyler Brown
    2 years ago - Reply

    My wife and I are planning to build a new patio in our backyard this summer. I loved your picture of the flagstone patio. I can agree that the attention to detail in the stonework is amazing. Thanks for sharing this post!

  • Charles Kemp
    2 years ago - Reply

    I like that you mention getting inspiration from different patio projects. I totally agree with that because you should get something that you actually will like. I know a lot of people that would love to make a patio completely custom made.

  • Kendall Everett
    2 years ago - Reply

    I had no idea that concrete could be stamped and tinted to resemble natural wood boards. Concrete is so versatile it makes sense. Does having it tinted mean extra maintenance for the patio?

  • Brooke McAvoy
    1 year ago - Reply

    Thank your for all of the applicable information and the helpful pictures! I have been wanting to redo my patio area for a while, and I think that this is the year that I will finally get around to it. One thing that I think might be cool is to combine the use of wood and concrete. This way the kids would have a place to play, but I would still get a lovely wooden deck. What do you think?

  • Kendall Ryder
    1 year ago - Reply

    The stamped concrete looks amazing! I love that it looks like wood. That can give the patio such a rustic and traditional style to it. Plus, it adds character rather than normal concrete.

  • Jack Titchener
    6 months ago - Reply

    Great ideas for the patio! My wife and I are looking to have a patio built into our backyard and are looking for ways to make it look good when it’s installed. Thank you so much for the helpful tips, I’m sure with the right accessories our patio will look amazing.

  • Derek Dewitt
    5 months ago - Reply

    My wife and I have been thinking about building a patio in our backyard too but we aren’t sure where to start. I really like the look of the stamped concrete that Rebecca and her husband used. I think it would match the wooden exterior of our house so we might have to try that. Thanks for sharing!

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