Even though it’s chilly outside, it’s a perfect time to start planning for your outdoor projects this spring. This is definitely the case if you plan on updating your exterior patio. You may want to do a total patio makeover, in which case, unless you’ve saved for it, will entail getting a home improvement loan.
You’ll want to do your research to find the best home improvement loans. And if the work entails other services like electricity, plumbing, or gas equipment installed, you’ll want to coordinate with inspectors and contractors to make sure the job gets done correctly. So here are some tips to help you make your project patio a paradise.
Draw it Out
Measure all the dimensions of your current patio and draw them out. You can use either a pad and pencil or software like the free software, Sketchup, to give you a 2D or 3D picture of the area you’ll be working with. Don’t forget to measure the furniture, fixtures, and plumbing areas also. These will be crucial to making your patio paradise project easier.
Once you begin demolishing or deconstruction, you’ll want to remember where those important places are. I’ve had the honor of having to dig up concrete I poured because I’d forgotten the electrical access panel was right underneath my planned fireplace. If I’d just taken time to put all that onto a drawing, I’d have saved myself hundreds of dollars and many hours of work.
Cut Corners, Just Not on Materials
If you want to cut some corners to save money, you might consider doing much of the work yourself instead of hiring a contractor, but don’t cut corners on your materials. Having quality materials will ensure your patio paradise lasts for many years, even decades. Your home is where you spend most of your time and you’ll be spending more time once you’ve completed the patio.
Doing some of the work yourself is fine, but don’t skimp on the material. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to pay three times the amount. More money doesn’t always equal higher quality. Sometimes, it means you’re paying for someone’s name to be on your patio. I’d rather have my name, since I built it.
Measure Once, Measure Twice, Measure Thrice, Then Cut
My grandfather taught me this rule when I was young. Measure three times before you cut. This can be used in more than just cutting, however. I’ve used this idea of measuring three times when I was placing electrical outlets on poles throughout my patio area. I didn’t cut anything, but by measuring three times on all the installations, I knew I’d gotten the placing just right.
This little piece of sage advice comes from a Russian Proverb about carpentry and needlework, measure seven times, cut once. With our incredible technology, we don’t have to measure seven times anymore. Three is the perfect number. The bottom line is check it more often before you place it. Sometimes, once you place it, you’re screwed if you were wrong and need to fix it.
Be Creative: Freak Flags Fly Here
Remember, this is your paradise, not anyone else’s. Don’t compromise on your own dream. If you want to have unicorn patterned tile, elephant print cloth, AND an 80” plasma TV hanging from giant chains, you do it. If you would rather have a paradise that would be featured in Better Home and Garden’s top ten for 2018, then go for it. You are the master of your back yard and you want to create something that makes you and your family want to live outside for the summer. Don’t let your Uncle Joe tell you what should be in your patio. This project is for your paradise.
Biophilia: Is There a Pill For That?
The definition of Biophilia, according to Dictionary.com, is “the affinity of human beings for other life forms.” Don’t forget to plan for plants and other living things. Birdhouses, ponds, and wildlife feeders will bring nature right to your paradise.
A patio paradise isn’t complete without these touches of the natural world. Being close to nature or in the outdoors been shown to reduce stress and elevate your mood. Some even say that nature heals us. Whatever the science, bringing a bit of the outdoors into your patio will ensure it’s a paradise.
Remember that the internet is full of ideas on what colors to use. Or even how to add tasteful accents to highlight certain areas of your patio. Patios are personalized places that bring joy and comfort to you, your family, and your friends. It’s also something that you will want to plan for right now, if you want to make the most of it.
But, in order to make it a true paradise, use these tips. Not only will they make it bearable during the project, when you’re done, you’ll know you’ve made something you’ll be proud of for years to come.