When you're ready to have a new patio built outside your home, you may be in a hurry to have this done so you can enjoy the outdoors. However, you also want to take your time to decide on all the features you want to include so you know your patio builders will plan around them accordingly. Note some important features you should discuss with a contractor so they can be worked into your design plans.
1. Privacy features
If you don't have a privacy fence around your yard, will you need privacy features on one or two sides of your patio? A privacy feature may include a bamboo screen that extends from a beam on the roof of your patio to the concrete ground. It might also include an actual wood wall built on one side of an otherwise open patio. A glass wall or enclosure can provide a sound barrier if it's simply noise that you need to avoid, or the glass can be frosted for privacy as well. Discuss your privacy options with your contractor so they can be built as part of the patio and not added as an afterthought.
2. Sustainable materials
If you're eco-conscious, you want your contractor to choose sustainable materials for you patio. This would mean materials that are easy to harvest and replant, and those that are recyclable. Bamboo is a good choice since it grows much faster than other wood varieties and is very sustainable. Avoid actual slate for stepping stones as this material is very difficult to harvest, and instead choose painted or stained concrete. This material is much more environmentally friendly and looks exactly like the real thing. Consider other eco-friendly options, such as recycled timber for flooring or a pergola, and river rocks for pathways as these are much more abundant than many other stone materials.
3. Heating and lighting
Your patio will be much more comfortable and you may use it throughout the evening and the cooler seasons if it has adequate lighting and heating. Talk to your contractor about adding some recessed lights to the roof of the patio, which can often be built into wood beams or any ceiling material. These might also be added to stone walls surrounding your patio for a soft glow. A built-in outdoor fire pit can also add warmth and light, or electricity can connect to an outdoor space heater than can also be built into the floor or walls of your patio.