If you’re looking for ways to improve your home, a backyard patio is is a great choice. Adding a backyard patio not only create an amazing entertainment area, but also extends your living space. This improvement is one of the most cost effective ways to improve your home because adding a backyard patio doesn’t require a huge investment; but it can add a huge value to your well-being.

One of my favorite places to be is relaxing on our backyard patio with a glass of wine and good book even during cooler months. Let’s talk about some of what you might need when adding a backyard patio to your home.  

A basic foundation

You’ll need to start with some kind of foundation for your patio. There are several options; from a concrete slab, patio pavers, pea gravel, and beyond. Gravel would be the cheapest option. You’d need to set your parameters with metal lawn edging. Roll out landscape weed barrier to keep grass from coming through; this is true no matter if you use gravel or pavers. You can add a design using big square concrete pavers to put your outdoor dining set. This way you don’t have to purchase enough to cover the entire patio, just the area the big furniture will sit. Gravel also is easily maintained as well.

Shade structure

You definitely need to have some sort of covering to protect yourself from the sun. A pop up canopy works great and is relatively inexpensive. Now, a canvas canopy is not the best permanent solution unless you are faithfully setting it up and taking it down so that’s it’s only in use while you’re using your patio. The weather will take its toll. A large cantilever umbrella is a great alternative to a permanent structure as well. These come in large sized and can offer a big area of shade while you’re enjoying your patio. There are lots of other options as well so checking out a patio umbrella buyers guide may help you decide what will work best for your space.

Finally a permanent pergola or pavillion offers the longest lasting shade structure. Now, you don’t have to hire a contractor and spend thousands for either of these choices. You can purchase kits from big box stores for under $2k and do it yourself. We did this a couple of summers ago. It’s not the easiest thing in the world, but it can be done and it’s been an amazing addition to our backyard.

Outdoor furniture

If’ you’re considering your patio as an extended living space, outdoor furniture is a must. Prices for outdoor furniture can be crazy expensive. I’ve seen outdoor furniture sets more expensive than what I spent on the furniture inside my house! We found a great quality set at a big box store. We’ve had this set for going on five years and it still is holding up beautifully. It wasn’t the cheapest set out there, but the $1,600 investment has been more than worth it. This set is just as comfortable as our indoor furniture and I’ve spent many days lounging, watching the outdoor TV, and napping on this furniture. 

You need to choose furniture that fits your patio space so that you’re not too crowded.   Just having a small loveseat and Adirondack chairs is a great start. If you think of the patio space as a long term investment, you can add pieces year after  year. You don’t have to have it all at once. 

Patio lighting

There’s just something magical about sitting outside at night with the pretty glow of patio lighting. We’ve used outdoor solar lamps that look like tradition indoor lamps. This makes great ambience and brings the feel and comfort of indoor living areas outdoors. Adding rope lights around your shade structure gives extra light and a nice glow. Edison lights are all the rage for outdoor lighting and with good reason; they look beautiful whether strung across your yard or going around your pavilion. The yellow glow from these lights offer enough light to see well in the dark without being harsh. There are loads of patio lighting out there, you just need to decide what works best for your space.


An outdoor heater

Finally, if you’re planning on enjoying your backyard patio in the cooler months, you’ll need to invest in some kind of outdoor heating. An outdoor fireplace is an amazing addition but can be cost prohibitive. Think about something like a chiminea or upright style firepit with a chimney. These can be purchased very inexpensively. Small propane heaters are probably your best bet. These offer broad warmth and not every expensive to operate since it just takes a propane tank to run. Think of how restaurants heat their patios in winter and grab the same type of heater. 

Adding a backyard patio will take a little bit of work and money, but the investment will pay off in the long run as you use it for gatherings for friends and family over the years. Having an escape to relax will add value to your life as well.


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