Like they say if you plan to fail you fail to plan and a good plan from the start makes the end result that much more beautiful and the time getting there less stress free so here's a great excerpt that I found that I really love to make your life a little less stressful and easier.
Here is the excerpt by Meredith Books: Stanley’s “Complete Patios & Masonry” on Page 6
" Planning patios with a Purpose
Patio design begins with a look at the way you live. You want your patio to accommodate the kind of activities you enjoy. The best way to achieve that goal is to make several list. Get the family together and start with a wish list: Put down everything that occurs to anyone without regard to practicality or cost. Then pair back the list to what you can afford, what you have room for, and what you have time to build.
Getting away from it all. If you need a pleasant place to sip your morning coffee or relax with a good book, design and area that afford some privacy. Simple Furnishings a hammock or outdoor recliner, and some plants to screen out the rest of the neighborhood or all you need to quickly arranged an outdoor Retreat if you'd like space for both private times and parties, you can use a narrow side yard for your private patio, then build a large patio in the backyard ( ideally off the kitchen or dining room) for entertaining. Unify the spaces with a wrapped design. If you don't have enough room for funds for both, you can make a single patio more flexible with benches or portable seating. Move them to Define different areas as needed.
Entertaining If entertaining is a priority, consider your usual number of guests. Small groups may not require more space or Furnishings than your family needs. Large Gatherings call for seating dining and perhaps even cooking areas. Decide where you would put a table for sit-down dinners or a buffet table. And if you enjoy barbecue sauce and cookouts, consider building an outdoor kitchen with a grill, small sink, and counter space for food preparation.
Child's Play Consider building a patio for a children's play area. You can't put a jungle gym there, but you can make sure there's plenty of open area for playing. Locate the patio so you can keep an eye on children playing there and in the yard too.Design for flexibility so your patio can grow with the kids. I space used for a Sandbox easily transformed into a small platform with the addition of a few joist and decking, for instance. Plan your patio so you can phase in improvements as time goes by.
GardeningPlants and patios are perfect Partners. Planters, window boxes, and containers beautifully the space and also provide the perfect hobby Garden for anyone whose Greenthumb appears only on the weekends. Planters can be built into the walls around the patio and Avid Horticultural hobbyist can incorpoincorporate e cold--or even a greenhouse--into the design. Build your own Planters from the same materials as your Paving or walls, or purchase commercial units that fit your patio design. "
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