Read This Before you Buy Anything or Start your Outdoor Living Project

Category: Article     Tags: Design, How-To

Planning Your Outdoor Patio Space: A Comprehensive Guide for DIY Enthusiasts

You’ve decided it’s time to invest in your outdoor living space. Perhaps you’re craving that personal retreat, a sanctuary where you can escape the daily grind. Or maybe you envision an open-air entertainment hub where friends and family gather for memorable evenings. Or you simply recognize the smart investment in home improvement that brings a high ROI. Welcome to the club! These dreams are within reach, but hold on just a moment. Before you dive headfirst into this exciting project, a well-structured plan is essential. A plan ensures a smooth and affordable process, culminating in a stunning outdoor area that you’ll be proud of, all while fitting within your budget. Ready to jump in? Let’s start laying the groundwork for your dream patio, seamlessly blending function, style, and your unique vision.

Landscape design image.
I have a plan for everything. I usually start with a CAD model, but sometimes I start on paper.

Step One: Define Your Purpose (Create a Mission Statement)

Before diving into the fun details, take a moment to reflect on what you truly want from your outdoor space. It’s more than a random collection of features; it’s a haven where dreams meet reality.

Craft a mission statement

This isn’t just a fleeting thought. Pen down your specific goals and intended use for your outdoor living space. Want a cozy space for reading? A place to entertain friends or play cornhole? Your mission statement is your roadmap. It’s the North Star guiding your project from start to finish.

Step Two: Curate Your Wishlist (Dream Big, But Stay Grounded)

Now, let the creative juices flow! But be cautious; it’s easy to go overboard here.

Create your list of wants:

Think of this as your dream board. From horseshoe pits to killer grill stations, anything goes. Weigh each feature against your mission statement, ensuring it aligns with your goals. Your mission statement helps you stay focused, guiding you away from trendy distractions that won’t fulfill your needs.

Avoid Project Creep: Stay True to Your Vision

Planning an outdoor living space can be an exciting endeavor. But be wary of what we in the industry like to call “project creep.” You’ve spent the time crafting a clear vision, but friends and family start weighing in. Their ideas are great, but they might not align with what you originally wanted.

This well-meaning input can turn your dream into something else entirely. It’s essential to stay grounded and remember that it’s your home, your money, and it should be your dream patio. Always refer back to your mission statement and initial plan to keep your vision intact and avoid building a “Frankenstein’s monster” that pleases others but leaves you unsatisfied.

Step Three: Address Your Yard’s Needs (The Practical Side)

This part might be less exciting, but it’s crucial to the success of your project.

Identify any issues or needs for your yard

Perhaps it’s drainage solutions or space for an RV. These needs vary from big to small, and they lay the foundation for your design. Address them now, and you’ll avoid headaches later.

Step Four: Define Your Budget (Make it Realistic)

This is where dreams meet reality. Your budget doesn’t define your worth; it defines your project’s scope.

Set aside a realistic budget

Knowing your budget upfront guides your decisions, whether it’s $500 for a grill or $5,000. It helps you balance your wants and needs without breaking the bank. Remember, transparency is key here. If you call in a professional, be sure to CLEARLY articulate your budget. Let them know if you hope to achieve your vision in 30k but are willing to bump it to 40K for the right design. If your limit is 20K tops, You must let it be known and stick to it. Do not be ashamed of your budget. There will always be others who spend more- and less. Be realistic, but also be firm. There is no need to waste time and energy on things you can’t afford or things that won’t fit your taste.

Step Five: Match Your Plan to Your Budget

Fit your plan to your budget

Address the needs first. Fix any problems before proceeding to your wants. Prioritize your wishlist, keeping what aligns with your mission statement. Pruning is not only healthy but necessary. Your outdoor space should feel natural and inviting.

Ready to Build Your Dream Backyard?

As you embark on this exciting journey to create a personal oasis, remember the concept of “pods.” People in gatherings naturally break into smaller, fluid groups. Design your patio with this in mind. Your outdoor space should encourage the formation and movement between these social settings, adding to its organic appeal. We dive into the “Pods” and “Big Three” concepts of designing and remodeling outdoor spaces in our patio design and layout posts series:

Our pre-designed patios offer a blend of efficiency and beauty, accommodating how people interact and balancing the indoors with the outdoors. Embrace the adventure, and let your backyard be the canvas where your creativity blossoms.

Explore our patio design/layout ideas to take the next step toward your dream backyard

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