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How to Plan a Patio

How to Plan a Patio - Proline Range Hoods

Adding a deck or patio is a bucket list project for many homeowners. It gives you more space to enjoy your house and make memories with friends and loved ones.

If you’re ready to turn your daydream into a new reality, use this guide to learn how to plan a patio and get the outdoor kitchen space you’ve always wanted.

1. Pick the final location.

Patios traditionally attach to the back of a house, but they don’t always have to. You can set up a patio area on the side of your home or as a stand-alone feature in your yard. Think about where you have space on your property to determine the best location.

Go set up some chairs and sit in the space. Make sure it will suit all your needs. Add patio furniture to other spaces in your yard as well to see what you like better.

2. Think carefully about how you’ll use your patio.

Poolside Patio - How to Plan a Patio

Planning and designing any space is much easier when you know how you’ll use it. So, daydream about your future patio and think about what you’ll do with the space.

You might create a play area for your young kids or host cookoffs at your grill. You could also plan an outdoor kitchen area for your patio. It’s the perfect space to relax during a summer sunset with fresh salads, corn on the cob, and a few burgers with friends.

You’ll have to decide your patio’s purpose early in your planning so you can get a good handle on your budget. You might need chairs, tables, an outdoor oven, countertops, roofing to cover your appliances, and much more.

3. Determine the Size

Your property may also limit the size of your patio. If you have a small yard, you won’t have much space to work with.

You also may be limited by the Homeowner’s Association (HOA). For example, they might not allow you to remove trees along your property line, which will limit how you can design your outdoor patio.

The good news is that patios come in all sizes, so if you only have room for a few chairs, it’s still going to be a lovely place to relax.

4. Decide on a Roof

Will you have a roof? Some patios include a roof that branches off from your home. Others remain uncovered spaces.

What you build depends on your budget. A roof or awning gives you extra shade in the summer and protects your outdoor furniture from snow or rain. So, it’s worth considering as you plan your patio project.

5. Browse Potential Materials

PLJW 104 Outdoor Range Hood - Outdoor Patio

You’ll need specific materials to finish your patio. Think about what type of flooring you’d like and whether you’ll need things like shingles for the roof. You could also build a sitting wall to separate your patio from the rest of your yard

List everything you’ll need so you don’t forget to add them to your budget.

6. Uproot Your Grass

Before your project begins, you may need to uproot your grass. The soft, spongy ground poses multiple patio dangers like moisture retention and mold growth. It might also not be stable enough for the patio you’ve envisioned.

Talk with a team of experts to determine the necessary landscaping precautions you should take to build a long-lasting, high-quality patio.

7. Select Patio Amenities

Luxury Backyard Patio and Pool

No patio looks complete without functional or decorative amenities. If you’re not sure what to put in your new backyard space, check out some popular amenities like:

Your family may also enjoy a cornhole board set just off your patio so there’s something to do while you host parties.

The best amenities for your patio depend on how you plan to use the space.

8. Meet With Contractors

You could try to build your patio by yourself. But, as you build, there are many extra steps you might not consider. Contractors who’ve built decks and terraces before will know what to expect and how to plan the project.

Meet with different local contractors to discover who has experience with building the patio you have in mind. They’ll save you time and money by giving you the best finished product possible and taking care of any permits required.

9. Remember Your Landscaping

Pretty Backyard Patio

Where will you place plants around your patio? You could opt for potted plants or design a garden that works with your patio’s shape. Greenery warms your backyard after construction churns up the soil and removes existing shrubs.

It eventually grows into an eye-catching landscape that makes your property an even better place to spend time outdoors.

10. Consider Hardscaping Elements

Landscaping is soft and green, but hardscaping is when homeowners use solid, unchanging features to decorate their property. You might add a concrete block sitting wall, a brick fire pit, or a stone pathway to your patio.

These elements last through each season. They’ll give your property a facelift without requiring a green thumb. Hardscaping is appealing to many people who want to change the look of their property without needing to do heavy maintenance.

11. Plan Your Cleaning Schedule

Your patio will require extra cleaning after the project ends. You’ll need to sweep the area after storms, clear the gutters, and spray the area for pests.

Add the new cleaning routines to your monthly or yearly calendars so you never forget the upkeep that makes patios last for decades.


Many people don’t know how to plan a patio until they find a helpful guide. Use these tips to get your dream project started today!

Think about what you’d use your patio for and what you want it to look like. You’ll narrow down options like building materials, landscaping options, and amenities before deciding if you’ll build it yourself or trust a team of contractors to handle the job for you.

Thanks to Rose Morrison from Renovated for this guest post.

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