If you’re planning to expand the outdoor living space of your home with a new deck or patio consider our low tech, really, it’s no tech solution to planning its design and layout. Create a simulation of the size of the new addition so you can visualize the space before actually building it. The first time we did this was at a friends’ house and we found their table and 4 chairs barely fit on the deck they planned, let alone allow space for the planter boxes they wanted.
You can create a make believe layout of the new deck or patio with a string of garden hoses, rope, rakes and shovels, heavy-duty extension cords (or whatever you have that’s long and easy to move around) to outline the dimensions you’re considering. Leave it in place for a few days to see how it looks and feels.
Is the addition in scale with the size of your house? Is it the right dimensions for furniture you plan to use there? To find out, make a template with newspaper and masking tape of the footprint for each piece of furniture you want to use. If you have the furniture put it in place and see how it fits. Remember a chair tucked under a table takes up less space than when it’s pushed away and someone is moving around it.
If a BBQ grill is part of the plan, where will it be located so there’s room for a cook to prepare food comfortably and not be in the way. If you entertain outdoors you’ll need additional seating, maybe a table for more serving space, or extra seating. If you have a toddler a small plastic wading pool is a nice addition.
Create a plan for the addition of a deck or patio that fits your needs and your budget with this simple simulation of its layout and it’s a good bet you’re more likely to build one that’s just right for your home.
To get an idea of how much a deck or patio will cost go to the Outdoor Projects section of www.diyornot.com and learn how much it costs to build one yourself compared with hiring a contractor. There you’ll also find the costs of hundreds of home repair, decorating and remodeling projects.