Houston patios play an aesthetically supportive role in Houston landscaping and a very important functional role in Houston outdoor living. The surface of a patio must look good enough to support the home and surrounding landscape elements. It must also be strong enough to support the weight of many people.
Sometimes it must also support other decorative elements, such as sculpture, a fountain, or an outdoor fireplace. Many patios are also built with walls to form partly open outdoor rooms or completely secluded private courtyards.
Patios can be constructed out of stone, brick, wood, or concrete.
Stone is one of the more popular elements to use in patio design because it is both strong and attractive. As the first building material used in history, it has a lasting appeal that can compliment any home architecture. Everything from classical homes to contemporary homes can be aesthetically supported by some kind of stone. Stones can be cut to symmetrical blocks and finely polished to a high degree of sophistications. They can also be asymmetrically sized and laid down to form a rough-cut surface that imitates the natural stone outcroppings found in wild places.
Houston patios can also be built out of concrete. Some of these structures are deliberately plain in appearance. This is often the case in contemporary landscapes, where a white concrete patio can be centered in a bed of darkly colored gravel. This type of contrast helps establish the tension necessary for the aesthetic challenges intended by contemporary abstract forms. It also fulfills the requirements of minimalism which call for a less-is-more approach to decoration. Plainness is reality and beauty, simplicity is the preferred aesthetic. Paradox and challenge are the essence of the forms.
Most concrete patios, however, are typically more decorative. Traditional, historical, and cultural landscaping designs are better supported by softer forms, such as circular surfaces, and colored surfaces with decorative finish. Concrete can be stained prior to pouring and etched with any number of designs while it is still partly wet. Some of the most beautiful Houston patios that we have built look like ornate stonework from a distance. Closer inspection, though, will reveal that they are actually made of very carefully decorated concrete.
Wooden patios are not that common, but they can work equally well as stone or concrete patios in certain Houston landscape designs. A country style home with a deck can be further enhanced with a wood patio located further back in the yard under the comfort of large shade trees. Wood patios require the most expensive types of wood and wood treatments to be rendered strong enough to weather the elements and constant human traffic.
Because any wooden surface will eventually wear down much more quickly than patios built out of harder, inorganic materials, residents of traditional style homes are more apt to invest in brick as a construction material. Houston patios make of brick about throughout the many neighborhoods of the city. They compliment the innate simplicity of a well-constructed brick home. At the same time, they provide an attractive surface material that may be inorganic by nature, but looks perfectly at home in the middle of gardens, trees, and ornamental grasses.
The diversity of forms that can be developed through Houston patio design allows us to create makes this a universal form of hardscape that is present to some degree in almost every Houston landscaping design. The sheer nature of material, geometric, and size possibilities also makes this the most readily customizable form of hardscape that can be tailor-made to the tastes and intentions of the homeowner.