Do you have a house with a patio? Are you considering getting a patio or two installed because your neighbors have them, but you aren't sure what you'll use them for? Here are some tips and ideas on how to turn patios into outdoor living areas:
Build a wall on one side of your patio: Build a wall on the south side of your patio to help block out the harshest of the summer sun. If your home is to the south of the patio, consider putting the wall on the west side in order to block the afternoon rays. To make the area more cozy and functional, add a built-in fireplace to the wall. While you probably won't have need of the fireplace in the hot summer, you will appreciate it in the cool spring and autumn weather. Before building any kind of wall, find out if your city, county, or state require a permit for the type of building that you'll be doing.
Add an overhead roof: Awnings are popular coverings for patios. They are relatively quick and easy to install and can be removed for winter weather. But if you live in an area that routinely gets triple-digit temperatures in the summer, you may want a roof that's a little more solid. Depending on the size of your patio and style of your home, gazebo-style roofing on your patios may be just what you're looking for. For either climate, consider installing a "roof" that consists of a lattice of beams. You will then be able to various climbing vines up the supports and across the roof, to provide a deeper shade. Due to the possible risk of fire, this roof may be best only if you aren't adding a permanent fireplace to your patios. You may also want to avoid barbecues and fire pits for the same reason.
Build an outdoor kitchen: Why heat up your home when preparing meals on hot summer days? Instead of just a fireplace, turn the whole wall that you build into a cooking and prep area. Consider installing not just a charcoal or wood grill for flavor, but also a gas stove and oven. Make sure to have plenty of counter space, as well as a sink for washing up in between prep work. You don't have to install an area for another refrigerator, because you can simply bring the food with you when you come outside. But make sure your patio space is large enough to comfortably fit an outdoor dining table and a few friends. This way, you'll be able to enjoy the outdoor view while eating lunch or dinner. For help with construction, talk to a professional like Ray's Four Seasons Sun Rooms.