Landscape patio design is important because it has the potential to utterly transform the entire aesthetic of your property in an amazing fashion. It creates interest and appeal that draw people to special space. Near the home, it creates transition from indoor living to outdoor living, and in remote parts of the yard, it creates transition between divergent elements and unique vantage points from which to take in the surrounding Houston landscape.
One of the most important considerations in Houston landscape patio design is grade elevation. Our part of the world is very flat, and the soil is often shifting silently under our feet. To make sure that patios remain stable, we have to even out the surface of the earth and build concealed drainage systems to siphon off rain water so it will not collect on the patio surface. We may also have to build retaining walls to hold a part of the earth back from the hardscape. We can make these highly decorative as well, so that something purely functional masquerades as something uniquely decorative.
Foundation work is also very important to landscape patio design. The surface of the patio itself cannot be laid directly on the ground. Some type of solid surface concealed underneath the part you walk or stand on needs to be firmly secured in order to prevent soil erosion or ground shifting to affect the expensive hardscape design that is so vital to the success of the landscape.
Concrete makes an excellent foundation material that can easily be concealed underneath more attractive materials like stepping stones, cut stone, tile, and brick.
The determination of construction materials in landscape patio design is based on a number of aesthetic factors that all tie together. Home architecture should be reflected geometrically and thematically in the patio’s overall form and constitution. Surrounding outdoor architecture, to a lesser degree, should be somewhat supported as well.
The patio’s appearance should blend with the overall style of landscaping design that characterizes the master plan in general—particularly if a specific culture or historical theme is being emphasized. Finally, the practicalities of client budget should also be seriously considered.
Many times a very attractive surface area can be built from any number of materials that all look more or less equivalent in quality. Why not go with something cost effective in that case, and still achieve the same outcome?
The fine level of detail that landscape patio design requires really necessitates the involvement of professional landscapers with experience in developing landscape master plans. It is not a good idea to directly hire a masonry contractor to build a patio as a standalone element because the contractor will probably not be able to address all of the many subtle nuances we have discussed in this piece. What will result instead may look impeccable in its own right, but it will lack continuity with other elements in the yard.
The size of the yard will often determine the diversity and extent of landscape patio design. In large yards, we want to create livable space out of properties whose size can overwhelm the eye—particularly at night. We may need to build several patios in different areas of the yard in order to divide it into more navigable and comfortable zones of special interest.
In smaller yards, we want to generate the sense of more space. This may require patios out of smaller building materials and adding custom forms such as fountains or small masonry walls to make the patio appear more self-contained and the surrounding yard simultaneously more expansive.
Plants are essential to landscape patio design regardless of landscaping style. Even in modern outdoor design, where a minimum of vegetation is called for, there is still great need for some type of organic presence to contribute living emergence to the scene.