A patio is at the heart of many Greater Chicago area backyards.

It’s where everyone gathers. If you have a pool, you take snack breaks at your patio. If you have an outdoor kitchen, you dine on your patio. If you have a garden to stroll in, you come back to sit, reflect, and relax on your patio.

This is why proper patio planning is key. After all, you want a patio that can accommodate all of your activities, as well as the regular size of your party.

But as you think about this, you might be confused as to where to start. How big should your patio be anyway? What’s the ideal location in your yard?

It can seem like any patio would be a delight to have, but the wrong size patio or the improper location can ruin a lot of your fun. If you have a micro-sized patio, but a large family, for instance, it won’t be functional enough for your needs. It might end up being wasted space or space you don’t use.

You need to think through all of the details. You want to be happy with your final patio design. Who wouldn’t. You deserve that. No one wants to spend money and time creating something that doesn’t fit.

Let’s look at patio size and location factors you should think over to help you with your planning.

4 Important Patio Planning Tips

Before you can begin construction on a patio, you have to make some important design and layout decisions.

A reputable and experienced landscape design professional will talk to you about how you’re going to use your patio, how many people you regularly have in your patio, and what your outdoor hobbies are. If they don’t and just offer you a cookie cutter design, you’re likely not going to be happy.

You don’t want the installation to be complete and then realize this patio that you just spent thousands of dollars one won’t suit your needs.

patio with outdoor kitchen and pergola

Proper sizing, placement, and location are all important as part of a preliminary discussion.

Proper placement, sizing, and other factors mean you have to ask yourself a lot of questions on how you’re going to use your patio so it’s the best fit for you and your family’s needs.

Here are patio planning considerations that can help you get the patio of your dreams.

1. Patio Planning: How Will You Use the Space?

How you plan to use your patio is absolutely essential to having a final space that works for you. You may want to use your patio for more than just one purpose, and that’s completely OK. Anything is possible. Knowing what you want to do up front can help ensure your patio serves its purpose.

family sits on patio around fire table

Ask yourself some important questions when it comes to planning your patio size:

  • Are you eating outside? How many people will you serve outdoors often – just immediate family or family, friends, and neighbors?
  • Will you also have an outdoor kitchen or will you need placement near your kitchen?
  • Do you want one large area or separate areas for dining, entertaining, outdoor living, or sitting in front of a fireplace or around a fire feature?
  • Will you have a pool as part of your extended patio design?
  • Do you regularly have larger parties where you need an option for additional entertainment areas?
  • What type of patio furniture or sections do you envision having?
  • Does your property have special considerations to factor into designing a patio layout, such as drainage issues or slope challenges?

2. What Patio Size Will Suit Your Landscape?

Planning a patio layout must include looking at your existing space. Your patio size and shape should go with your property or at least take advantage of its layout.

aerial photo of patio with water feature and pavilion

If your yard is narrow and long, your patio can’t be wide, but you can use that length to create smaller nooks that are connected in one cohesive larger patio design.

3. What Patio Material Do You Want to Use?

Designing a patio layout also includes the material you’d like to use and how that might impact your budget.

You have endless options that can match your home and style – from brick to pavers to bluestone. The size of your patio and your budget may dictate which material would work best for your needs. For instance, if you’re not planning to live in this house for a long time, choosing something long-lasting, durable, and timeless like bluestone may be overkill.

bluestone patio with plantings and seating areas

Your patio size can also enable you to use certain materials more than others. A large patio space can take advantage of the latest trend of using large patio slabs in your design, for example.

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4. Which Amenities Do You Want to Include in Your Patio?

Planning a patio layout also involves considering the amenities you’d like to have.

An outdoor kitchen takes up quite a bit of space, for instance. A fire pit or fireplace needs room for seating near or around it, and consideration needs to be taken when it comes to wind. A water feature will need proper placement to ensure sensory enjoyment of the sights and sounds it provides.

water feature near patio surrounded by plantings

Knowing which amenities are deal-breakers if you don’t include them – even if you plan to install them at a later date – can ensure your patio suits your needs today and in the future. After all, a patio is certainly more enjoyable when you have the special features you want as part of it.

Get Ready to Enjoy the Patio of Your Dreams

When you want a patio, it’s important to plan ahead so you get exactly what you need from your space.

We hope asking yourself these important questions and following these tips helps guide you toward patio planning success.

With all of the options available out there, we know figuring out how you’re going to best use your patio can be challenging. Let KD Landscape help. We have experience talking to Greater Chicago area homeowners and learning about their needs and plans to help them make the best patio decisions for them. We also take into account your style, home design, and your existing space challenges, leaving nothing to chance. All you have left to do is enjoy your new patio.

Ready to see how KD Landscape can transform your Naperville, Elmhurst, or Hinsdale, IL landscape into something you can really use? We’d love to share our patio layout and sizing insight with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare a patio that best fits your lifestyle and needs.

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