Patios are outdoor rooms that extend your home into the backyard for warm weather enjoyment. Patios are for outdoor dining, entertaining and relaxing, but they can get uncomfortable if exposed to direct sunlight without any shade. A plain cement slab patio can seem boring and unattractive without some other design treatment. You can make your patio more comfortable and attractive with an inexpensive enclosure.
Easy Side Enclosure
Create some privacy and shading for your patio with some inexpensive slat sides. Affix four square four-by-four-inch posts in cement footings, with one each flush with the house on the left and right sides of the patio. Connect them with thinner slats of half-inch-by-two-inch rails, adding two vertical rails in the middle if desired. Stain or paint them or use cedar and leave it to age naturally. If you want overhead shade, stretch shade cloth overhead.
Creative Use of Trellises
Frame an open patio with large trellises anchored well with sturdy posts in cement footings at each corner. Use six foot trellises painted white and planted with purple clematis for a dramatic, cooling effect for your patio. Use dark cedar trellises and orange and yellow climbing plants, such as trumpet vines, for a rich, warm tone.
Surround small patios with inexpensive evergreens, such as dwarf arborvitae or juniper. Dig a two foot deep trench around the patio, line the bottom with a half-inch of gravel to promote good drainage, plant the evergreens, add good rich compost to the soil and top with two inches of landscaping mulch.
Make simple wooden planter boxes to surround your patio on three sides and plant them with flowers and vegetables to bring the garden to your back door. Tomatoes, onions, peppers and herbs are nice kitchen garden plants in between roses, daisies, bee balm and zinnias for a colorful and bountiful patio enclosure.
If you have room in your budget, pre-manufactured screened-room kits are a good patio enclosure idea for an easy weekend project. Additionally, inexpensive backyard netted gazebos will enclose a small space, such as 10-by-10 feet or 10-by-12 feet quickly with few tools and little effort. If you have pet birds, such as parrots or cockatiels, and would like to get them outside in the summer, consider investing in an outdoor aviary that covers the entire patio area.
- Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Patios & Walkways; Editors of CPi
- Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Porches & Patio Rooms; Phillip Schmidt
- Building Screened Rooms; Editors of Sunset Books
Heidi Cardenas specializes in human resources, business and personal finance, small-business advice, home and garden and home improvement. Her professional background includes human resources and business administration, technical writing and corporate communications. She has studied horticulture and business administration, and enjoys guest blogging for publications including Herb Companion Magazine, Natural Home Living Magazine, and Mother Earth Living.