How To Design And Build A Backyard Patio

Design tips and how to build and decorate an award winning patio in your backyard

Most backyard landscapes are intimate and private areas created to be getaway havens and entertainment areas.

Along with creating privacy, small courtyard gardens are most always incorporated into the landscape as a main floored gathering area. Creating the perfect backyard patio isn't about being fancy and high dollar although it's always nice if it fits your budget.

Either way and regardless of your budget, we have some great patio plans and ideas scattered all over the site that will help you get inspired. We've just put them all together in this directory so that you can find all of the patio information in one place.

Ideas, Plans, and Pictures

A lot of the designing and building of your garden will be determined by the purpose and atmosphere you want to create. If you're going to be set up for entertaining friends and guests, your patio designs will have different elements and space requirements than if you were simply creating a small intimate courtyard for personal meditation. So we'll get into elements and purpose right after we try to decide on a useful and functional shape.

patio plansPatio Plans
Several cool floor plans and layouts that will help inspire and give you considerations for design shapes. Maybe you'll find an entire plan you can use. Of course, sometimes square, round, or rectangular is just the perfect shape for your garden. Still, it's not a bad idea to see what your options might be.

pictures of patiosPictures Of Patios
Beyond a design shape that will work with your area, you'll want to consider planting ideas, types of patio materials like pavers, retaining walls, water features, canopies, and more. While we'll look at these elements in a bit, seeing how they fit into other patio design ideas will give you a lot to go on. There are quite a few pictures to look at in this directory.

A courtyard is basically a garden enclosed by high walls. and while creating both directories, it was difficult to decide which pictures went into the courtyards directory and which went into the patios directory. So, with that in mind, we'll show them here and let you decide.

Decorating Ideas For Patios

Patio designs or most any complete landscaping or garden plan is functional and appealing as a whole. However, there are a lot of different elements and projects that fit together to create entire plan. And while some may be necessary such as floor paving, others such as water features are optional patio design considerations. Along with these, there are more that may fit individual patios based on personality and preference.

  • Pavers And Flooring Design
  • Garden Decor and Decorations
  • Planting Ideas and Container Gardening
  • Irrigation and Drip System
  • Outdoor Fire Place or Fire Pit
  • Water Features
  • Patio Retaining Walls

Paving and Flooring

How to install pavers and flooring. For the design process, this is one of the most important steps in creating your patio. As it is generally a designated gathering place in your backyard landscaping or garden, your patio is most often out of necessity, a floored patio area. These videos should give you all the instructions you need for installing and design flooring. Patio designs and construction elements such as paving floors, as you'll see in these videos, is very do-able for the home owner and do it yourselfer.

Stamped And Stained Concrete - Because decorative concrete can be made to look like almost any flooring and paving element including brick, tile, quarried stone, and even wood, it is becoming very popular as a flooring material in patios, gardens, and landscape design.

Garden Decor and Decorating Ideas

garden decor and decoratingGarden Decor and Decorating
While a lot of the decor ideas in this directory are not specific to patio designs, they will still work well or inspire you to come up with your own designs and ideas. Decor is very important especially if you have long empty expanses of walls and floor space.

Planting Ideas In Patio Designs

  • Planting ideas - for small gardens and courtyards are most always influenced by space limitations and often influenced by other elements as well. Limited garden space in your patio designs will not only dictate the size of plants your design will be able to use but will also influence placement and spacing. The principles of small gardens will also give you some things to consider especially if you're working with a small enclosed patio or courtyard.
  • Container Gardening - Container Gardening is another form of decor that is often also a necessary element also becuase of space limitations and considerations. Existing patio flooring, walls, and other hardscapes may also make it difficult to create planting beds. Also, keep in mind when choosing containers, that clay pots "breathe" and have to be watered more than plastic or glazed pots.

Drip Systems and Watering

Don't let your watering system be an after thought. This is a very important consideration if your patio or courtyard will allow it. Even with containers a drip system will save you a lot of work and care. A drip system is especially important if you are away from home a lot or if you live in a very dry hot area. See do it yourself sprinkler systems for more help in designing and building a drip system.

Outdoor Fire Place Or Fire Pit

outdoor patio fireplaces and firepitsOutdoor Patio Fireplaces and Firepits
In my opinion and if possible, every landscape or courtyard should have a fireplace or fire pit. If you have one it will surely become one of the most used social gathering places in your entire garden or landscaping. Take a look at some of these designs and ideas and you'll probably end up adding one to your plan.

A Few Things To Consider Before Designing A Fireplace or Fire Pit In Your Patio Plan

  • City code and ordinances
  • Smoke exhaust - enclosed patios and courtyards will need some type of ventilation or exhaust considerations if there is no air flow.

Water Features

Water feature design can be a great addition to any small garden or courtyard as long as proportion is taken into consideration. Besides a space aspect, the noise level needs to be considered.

While motion and sound are some of the main reasons we place a water feature or pond in our garden, you don't want to have to yell over the sound of a gushing waterfall in a tiny courtyard patio. So keep in mind, the size of your garden design and whether it's enclosed or not will make a big difference in the size of water feature you should use.

Wall fountains are often the choice of smaller enclosed Patio Designs and gardens with limited space.

water features
Water Features
Pond and Waterfall LinksPond Pictures

Retaining Walls In Patio Designs

Retaining walls in courtyards, and small gardens are generally used to create raised planters and sitting areas. Creating raised areas in small patio designs can add usefulness to otherwise wasted space. And along with that, they can help make small gardens seem larger than they are.

While a lot of the retaining wall ideas in our gallery are for larger gardens and landscapes, the ideas can simply be scaled to fit your patio or landscape design. And then, you'll also find some good examples of smaller raised gardens and planters. See retaining walls for some good tips, pictures, and information on how to build your own retaining walls in your backyard patio or landscape design.

Videos & Plan Photos
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