Brick paver patios are becoming the most commonly requested structure in a patio design. To an untrained eye the creation is pretty straight forward – put down the required materials and that’s that. Professionals tell a different story. A simple-looking patio design can be tricky. There’s more to the proper installation of brick paver patios than a homeowner may think. You have to consider the obvious elements – size, shape and basic materials. But a lot goes into creating a great space.
Proportion – A Key Element Of Patio Design
Does the patio plan fit well with the overall design of the home? A huge creation can detract from the overall landscape and may result in unused space that could have remained turf or ornamentals. Too small and you find yourself wishing it was bigger when you find “just the right furniture, grill and accessories.”
There are additional choices based on appropriate proportion. Do you go with large pavers vs. small stones? What shapes do you consider? Do the contours of the backyard dictate what you can or cannot do – or may not be able to afford to do?
Rules and Regulations
As you create a plan for your new patio, consider its relationship to existing structures. You don’t want to be blocking basement windows or building on top of utilities that may need attention sometime in the future. Every neighborhood in Madison WI is subject to local building codes and each municipality in Dane County has its own. For example, in most cases you cannot construct a permanent fire pit less than 17 feet from a house. Could that change your patio design thought?
For a professional installation there will be at least some excavation. There may be regulations on what type of equipment can be used in your neighborhood, and on how the dirt that’s moved must be disposed of. And before anything is done, the area must be marked for any underground wiring.
Installing brick paver patios is a major project. Your landscape professional will contact the local building department to obtain all the required permits and insure that building codes, zoning regulations and setbacks from the property lines are understood and followed.
Brick Pavers Create Versatile Space
Brick pavers provide a long list of patio design options. They’re available in a variety of colors, sizes, shapes and textures. They are relatively inexpensive. When installed correctly, brick paver patios last for years.
There are two critical questions to be addressed before any plan is drawn. First, what do you intend to do on this new patio? And, where should it be built? The lay of the land, building codes and setbacks may limit the location, but only your imagination and budget limit the patio design.
In most cases, a new patio will be a multipurpose area where friends and family gather. That usually means dining as well as just relaxing. If you’re going to have a large table, using larger, flatter pavers will make it easier to keep the furniture level. If you’re considering a hot tub, something with a non-slip surface is sensible. The choice of surface for brick paver patios is mostly related to the intended use and aesthetics. But there’s more to it – your contractor will determine the correct slope to insure proper drainage away from the house and the material required to support the finished hardscape.
Collect ideas from magazines, books, websites TV programs and anywhere you gain inspiration so you’re armed with ideas to share with a patio design professional.
Once the theoretical groundwork is done, the real work begins. Where will the new patio go? Before you bring in a contractor you can get out with a tape measure and do your own basic design. Mark off the area with landscape paint, landscape flags or by laying a garden hose in the appropriate shape (a good way to envision anything that isn’t square). Once you’ve got an idea in mind, share it with a professional designer who will take it, enhance it and make it real.
Selecting Material for Brick Paver Patios
Once the size and shape is determined you’ll select the brick pavers.
Your choices can include:
- Non-tumbled (or smooth)
- Tumbled (weathered)
- Tumbled and embossed/dimpled slate
Once the size and shape are known, there are color choices. Again, there’s a wide range. Earth tones are popular, but look at the tones already in your house, particularly the roof color and trim. You can stay in the same color family or go with a contrasting color palette or a bold, vibrant statement color like red.
Depending upon the brick pavers you’ve chosen, you’ll have layout options. These options may include:
- Straight forward staggered rectangular patterns
- Geometric shapes (Random I, Random Ashlar, Runner and Herringbone)
One of the most popular trends for brick paver patios installations is to emphasize visual diversity. Using a curvy, flowing patio design adds eye-catching contrast to the square lines of a house.
Consider an array of planters and installing shrubs or arranging potted flowers or plants directly adjacent to the patio, so the natural landscape feels like it’s always within reach.
Contact Marvin’s Brick Pavers, 608-630-8855 or email us for patio design ideas and professional installation of brick paver patios in Madison WI.