Gone are the days when patios were nothing more than concrete pads with a few chairs on them. Today, many homeowners are transforming their patios into extensions of the home. They're more like outdoor living rooms! If you have a standard patio and want to transform it into something more special, here are a few ways to get started.
Install Radiant Floor Heating
Installing heating in the floor of your patio will serve several purposes. First off, it will melt the snow so you don't have to worry about shoveling or slipping on ice in the winter. Second, it will keep your patio more comfortable in the winter so you can grill out there and perhaps even relax outdoors comfortably on a warmer winter day. Your patio will instantly feel like more of an oasis when you can use it throughout all four seasons.
Radiant floor heating consists of a boiler and a series of pipes that carry the boiling water beneath the floor of your patio. The heat transfers -- or radiates -- from the pipes and into the floor. You feel this heat as you walk over the floor, and when your feet are warm, you feel much warmer. If you have a patio that's enclosed with glass windows or some other barrier, this will trap much of the heat inside so your entire patio area feels quite comfortable. Contact an HVAC company like H.R. Stewart Inc. to learn more about radiant heating installation.
Include a Natural Spa Tub
Any hot tub is going to make your patio more enjoyable, but if you want it to feel like a true oasis, you'll want to opt for a spa tub with a natural appeal. Choose one that is immersed in the patio rather than one that sits above it. Wooden railings and plenty of green plants placed around the tub will make you feel like you're in the tropics.
There are also spa tubs constructed of natural stones. Some designs are built at an angle so that you can walk down into the tub, in a ramp-style fashion, rather than stepping into it.
Create a Kitchen Corner
You can scale this idea up or down depending on your needs, but at the bare minimum, you need a grill in the corner so you can prepare lunch or dinner to enjoy on your comfortable patio. If you want to go one step up, include a bar and a refrigerator approved for indoor-outdoor use. You can store and serve your favorite drinks! One step above that would be to install a brick oven for making items like pizzas and flatbreads.
There are some beautiful outdoor kitchens with marble counters and copper plumbing. If you're having radiant heating installed, your plumber may be able to run the pipes for your outdoor kitchen during the same appointment.
Decorate With Evergreen Plants
If you're indeed going to use your patio year-round, then it needs to look vibrant and lush year all throughout the year. Unless you live somewhere with warm winters, evergreens are really the best choice. From blue spruce trees to holly, they'll add that much-needed splash of green.
You can plant a few evergreens in pots and arrange them around your patio. This way, you can push them out of the way when you sweep the patio, or re-arrange them if you're ready for a new look. Just make sure the pots are well-drained and remember to water your evergreens often. If your patio is covered, arrange the plants around the edge of the patio only, as this ensures they get the sun exposure they need to thrive.
With a radiant floor heating system, an outdoor kitchen, a spa tub, and greenery, your patio will look more like an oasis than a backyard stoop.