Monday, February 1, 2016

Spring Is Closer Than You Think... Time to Design That Patio!

Spring is closer than you think. Okay, maybe it's wishful thinking... I know we have some time before going barefoot outside and getting your hands in the soil but why not start planning. Now is the time to start thinking about your outdoor living space. Wether it's a Patio, Pool or Outdoor Room, you don't want to be rushed because you waited until the busy season.

Here are some tips when you start thinking about your new outdoor space.
A patio is a great place to entertain and relax. I have been designing outdoor living spaces for a long time now. I have designed some very unique and functional outdoor spaces in my day. I have also seen other patios that were not well planned. The top three mistakes I have seen other designers make can turn the space into a nonfunctional and sometimes dangerous space that becomes a nuisance other than an addition to your living space.
The first is size. When it comes to patios the saying "size matters" does not really apply. I have had customers tell me they have the space and budget for a large patio. After asking the customer some questions I start to realize they will not be using a quarter the patio they originally wanted. We can then add more features to the patio like walls, lighting, structures or landscaping and still stay on budget. You also want to be careful to not make the patio too small. Think about the future and what kind of outdoor furniture you may want to add to your patio. Also, make sure you leave space for an extra table if you plan on entertaining.
The second, steps. Adding elevations to a patio will create a great looking space and works well when installed on yards with different grades. Be very careful when placing your steps in the design. If your not careful, the step can become a trip hazard and actually make the functional space on the patio smaller and only half your patio will be usable. If you would like a patio with elevations, we will draw your furniture to scale and place it on the patio to insure you have room to maneuver and enjoy the area surrounding the furniture or other items you would like placed on the patio.
Third is a big one, Landscaping and Lighting. Time and time again I see a great looking patio that could look even better if it had some landscaping or lighting to complement it. When planning a budget for your new space don't overlook the landscaping. It can more expensive than you think. The landscaping, when designed properly, will provide shade, a designated lighting point and of course color and texture. We use trees and large shrubs as backdrops for our uplighting to give the patio some ambient light. It will also give off some really neat shadows. The landscaping can be used for drainage and water control as well. A well designed patio at night should have enough ambient light for a person to navigate without the use of spotlights and flood lights. Uplight's and path lights can be added after the patio is built. Step lights and wall lights are a different story. Most wall or step lights are installed when the wall or step is being built. Remember that a patio can be an addition to your home and should be used the same during the day or at night.
These are just a few design obstacles out of many that need to be addressed when designing and investing into a outdoor space.  NRC is here to help you threw the whole process. We will make sure your ideas are considered. The space will be designed around the way you and your family will be using it. Call us today for your no cost design at 703-926-4113 or visit us online. I hope this gives you some things to think about when you start deigning your new outdoor space!