In today’s landscaping, patios have become a main feature. Backyards are the most popular place for this feature, but the front entrance or garden area is also a popular spot for small seating areas. Homeowners now desire a place where they can relax and entertain outdoors. Decks are still popular and essential with a second story walkout door. However, many homes today have a ground level walkout door. This lends itself to ground level entertaining areas. Many people are also choosing to have a deck and a ground level area to entertain. This increases there outdoor living area and provides areas to entertain larger groups.
Patios can be made of any material that provides a hard, level surface. In essence, you are creating an outdoor floor for walking, standing and seating. Crushed stone, poured concrete, pavers and flagstone are all good options.
Crushed stone is the least expensive alternative. A seating area can be made by excavating several inches of dirt and installing compacted crushed stone as the hard surface. The compacted crushed stone provides a level solid surface for seating and walking. You can even have some color options by using selecting different types of crushed stone. Limestone, Red Rock and Granite all make good surfaces. A crushed stone surface may be a good low cost alternative if you want an informal area such as around a fire pit in the backyard. The downside of this type of surface is that it is still just packed rock and the surface will require more maintenance, tack dirt and be almost unusable if it is wet.
Poured concrete surfaces have long been a favorite for patios. The cost is reasonable and they provide a good surface. With the advent of stamped and colored concrete, you can even have a patterned or stone look for your surface. The downside to concrete is that in our northern climates, large concrete surfaces are very likely to crack due to the freeze thaw cycles of the ground under the concrete.
Pavers have become a very popular material for this application. Pavers although more expensive initially provide some real advantages over other surfaces. A paver patio will last for a lifetime with only limited maintenance. The colors and patterns available with pavers allows you to create unique options for any surface.
Flagstone is also a very popular look. Depending on the type of flagstone, the cost is higher than other surfaces you may choose. However, it provides a unique look and is truly an ecologically green product as it comes from the earth itself.
If your yard is not level, a level surface can be created by installing a retaining wall to level the area. You can extend the wall above the surface to provide walls for creating an outdoor room or provide seating around the perimeter of the patio.
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Commercial Grounds Care and Landscaping Services Minnesota
GroundsCare Inc. and GroundsCare Landscapes
7275 County Road 116
P.O. Box 124
Hamel, MN 55340