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6 Dreamy Patio Alternatives

Posted on 08 January, 2018 by Christine D. Brown
89 out of 100 based on 573 user ratings

6 Dreamy Patio Alternatives

You don't have to create a patio if you don't want to but you can still transform your outdoor space into your idea of paradise by creating any of these dreamy patio alternatives instead.

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Decked terrace under a pergola with glass railing, fire pit, and outdoor furniture during sunset.

Patios are popular options for an outdoor living space. You can create one that’s suitable for your budget, it’s low-maintenance, and can be long-lasting. It also flows best into the pool area or with landscaped yards for a cohesive look.

However, you need to assess your yard and consider several factors before turning it into a patio. In order to build one, several conditions should be met such as the land surface, weather, and location. The ground surface needs to be level otherwise you’ll be spending an arm and a leg just to level your hilly or uneven yard. Patios tend to crack or be slippery under extreme temperatures.

Don’t worry if the patio doesn’t seem like feasible for your outdoor space. You can still have the outdoor living room you’ve always dreamed of with any of the patio alternatives below.

1. Deck


Deck with infinity pool surrounded by trees.

A deck is simply a flat structure that is built near your home and is capable of supporting the weight. They come in a variety of different materials but are generally made out of wood. They can be built on posts that have been anchored to piers that are located in the ground or on floor joists that extend from the home. Because they can be built in a variety of styles and sizes, you can easily create a deck that fits the dimensions that you need.

Pros

The wood used in decks doesn’t hold in the heat the way that other materials do, which means that you don’t have to worry about burning your feet.

There are many different types of wood that you can choose from, making it easy to find the materials that you need in your budget.

Decks can be any size that you want, and they can be extended later, which makes it easy to customize the way that your home and deck look.

Because they are typically raised off of the ground, they have railings to help ensure that people on the deck are safe.

Cons

They are generally roofless, which means that you and your belongings will be exposed to the elements.

Decks that are made from natural wood require regular maintenance and upkeep to prevent the wood from rotting, splintering, or fading in the sun.

Due to the design, it’s normal to have to rely on a professional building to design and build your deck for you.

When not constructed properly, decks can be a hazard.

2. Porch

Porch of a Southern home with black window shutters and rocking chairs.

Porches are covered shelters that are attached to a home or other building. They are generally in front of the building. While it is an external structure, there is always the option of enclosing the porch with screens or walls.

Pros

Because they have a roof, you don’t have to worry about your belongings being damaged in the rain or you getting wet sitting on the porch.

The floor of your porch will not need as much upkeep since it is protected from the elements.

Enclosing the porch allows you to enjoy it for longer times during the year and can protect against bugs.

A porch will add value to your home, especially when constructed by a professional.

Cons

Because your porch will have a roof extended over it, it’s important to hire a professional to complete the construction.

Porches are generally more expensive than other options.

They are usually built when the home is constructed, as adding a porch at a later time is more difficult and expensive.

The size of your porch is often dictated by how much room there is in front of the home, as well as how far out you can easily extend the roof.

3. Balcony

Concrete balcony with a cozy seating area.

Balconies are platforms that are generally located on floors above the first floor, and they are supported by console brackets or columns. They are often enclosed by walls or even balustrades to ensure that the people spending time on the balcony will be safe and aren’t in danger of falling over.

Pros

This provides a safe space for people to spend time outside without having to worry about being bothered by animals or other people.

They provide a great view for anyone sitting on them, as you can easily see far away without having to get up.

Balconies are very private and are a great place for air-drying clothing without the neighbors being able to see them.

Cons

Due to their smaller size, they are not generally used for entertaining.

Some children and pets may not be safe on balconies if they do not understand the danger that comes with being so high up in the air.

The size of your balcony is determined by how much space you have near the home, as well as how far out it can be safely built.

Balconies can be very expensive to build if you do not have one built along with the construction of your home or building.

Because of the way that they are built, it is important to be careful with what items you store on your balcony, as heavy items such as a grill can cause problems and even reduce the safety of the balcony.

4. Veranda

Veranda with a dining table set and panoramic windows.

Verandas are open to the air. They may be partially enclosed by a railing, and they will often wrap around the side of the home. While many people erroneously call verandas “porches,” they are very different. Porches are external, as verandas are, but verandas may or may not have a roof and are often level with the ground, not the home.

Pros

The open-air feel of a veranda will allow you to enjoy the weather, while still being protected from rain.

They can be enclosed if you are interested in maintaining a space that is all-seasons.

If they have a roof, then you don’t need to worry about bad weather affecting your time outside or limiting the items that you can store on your veranda.

Maintenance is fairly easy and will keep your veranda looking great without a lot of work.

A large veranda can add to the value of your home.

Cons

Because they are level with the ground, it is very easy for a veranda to get dirty.

It is difficult to install a veranda correctly and by yourself, and hiring a professional to do the work for you will increase your budget.

5. Gazebo

Idyllic gazebo in a park.

Gazebos are roofed structures that are detached from the home and generally located in the woods or yard of the property. They can be designed to fit the space, which means that you can have a gazebo that is very small and intimate or one that is large enough to host a party. They generally have sides that are partly open, which allows for airflow.

Pros

Gazebos will instantly add value to your home.

Because they have roofs and floors, you won’t have to worry about the inside of your gazebo being dirty or water staying on the floor.

It’s possible to run electricity to a gazebo, which means that you can spend time outside even in the dark.

Optional roll-up screens allow you to enjoy a lot of privacy in your gazebo.

They tend to be very sturdy, especially when constructed with quality materials, which means that they can withstand bad weather easily.

Cons

The wrong size gazebo will look out of place in your yard.

Because they are a permanent structure, you have to make sure that you are happy with where it will be located before completing construction.

The walls on the gazebo can stop a breeze from passing through, which can make these spaces hot.

6. Pergola

An outdoor living space in the garden under a pergola.

These garden features are generally used to provide a little bit of shade or cover or to allow plants to grow up them for visual interest in your yard. They can be made out of many different materials and sized to fit in your yard, which ensures that you do not end up with a structure that is too large or too small.

Pros

They are easy and inexpensive to build and offer a shady and protected spot in your yard.

When built correctly and with high-quality materials, they will add value to your property.

Your pergola will allow the breeze to flow through and won’t stop it.

They are ideal to help define space in your yard, add a protected location to spend time, or simply provide a walkway between a garage and the home.

Cons

Because there isn’t a raised floor, underneath a pergola can get very muddy.

Wood pergolas require regular maintenance in order to look their best and to last for a long time.

Bad weather will make spending time under the pergola very unpleasant, as there isn’t any way to block the rain or hail.

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