Planning and building beautiful and functional patios, like most areas of landscaping and garden design, does not have to be expensive. Of course, the source and type of materials you use for your patio will determine the biggest part of the cost. And of course, the term “budget” generally assumes that you will do the labor yourself so that is not an issue here.
Before you can get any ideas of cost of creating your patio, you’ll need ideas, plans, and a direction to go in. And if you’re familiar with this site, you know I’ve provided you with lots of pictures to look at for ideas. Oh ya. So spend a little time at the gallery of Patio design and decorating ideas to get an idea of all your options and possibilities.
For now, don’t get too hung up on the furnishings and decor but pay more attention to the design styles and elements used. While they don’t have to be, the furnishings may be the most costly of all the elements you add so it’s best to see where you’re at with expenses before you plan any of that in. And remember, “budget” means that you’ll be doing the labor yourself so there won’t be much expense there. Or at most, a barbeque and a few beers for your friends…at the end of the day.
While style, shape, and design ideas can be gathered through the pictures in the directories, knowing a few principles in the area of small gardens will go a long way. Because generally, most patios will tend to be smaller and in line with courtyards and small gardens.
Assuming an area for the patio has been chosen, I would normally start from the ground up. So deciding on flooring materials is the first step. Your choices range from inexpensive gravel or crusher fines to pavers and flagstone to decorative concrete ideas. Get an idea of the sources, availability, and cost of your flooring choice and see if it fits into your budget plan.
Generally, pavers and natural flagstone make up the majority of flooring materials used with natural flagstone being the least expensive and easiest to install. Often, these materials can be found as discarded from refurbished projects. And depending on where you live, the flagstone may be gathered in the field with a permit from your county or state. And old used pavers are one of my favorite materials for patio floors as the worn look makes them look so established and rustic.
If plants are an inclusion into your patio plans, there are a lot of ways to save money in choosing landscaping and garden plants. Starting with smaller plants and even using native plants will help stay within the budget.
Now, beyond everything we’ve discussed here, there is the consideration of various placements of garden decor, wall hangings, colors, and furnishings. And with a little creativity, many of these can be free. See garden decor for some cheap and free decor ideas for gardens, landscaping, patios, and courtyards.
If you’ve planned ahead and taken your time in finding the right materials to this point, you may just have enough left in your budget to finish your patio or small garden courtyard just the way you envision it.