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Adding a patio to your yard can be an inexpensive way to expand your limited indoor living space. A stone patio built to industry standards lasts on average 10-15 years without much maintenance.

Patios are realitivly uncomplicated structures. You don't have to install wiring or plumbing, there are no windows or doors to hang and no finish work. Stone patios do not have to be stained yearly or refinished. The beauty of stone is that it comes from the earth and you are putting it back into the earth where it is native.

Just because patios are uncomplicated structures does not mean they do not require careful planning and expert installation. Just like any other construction project, what you end up with is a direct result of what you put into it. The steps you take in choosing a contractor and the design to be built will directly reflect the quality of your finished project.

Flagstone stone patioIn Toronto, Etobicoke, Mississauga, and the GTA there are no licensing requirements for landscapers or patio installers. This means that it is the consumers responsibility to ensure that the person installing your stone patio is a qualified, competent installer.

To the right you can see a random flagstone install that was completed with ununiform joints, on a non industry standard base. In Toronto's harsh winter climate a patio not laid on at least 4" of compacted aggregate is bound to shift and move.

Patio Size
There is one cardinal rule to follow when it comes to patios: the bigger it is the more it will cost. This rule is OK if you get the quality you are paying for but nonfunctional designs and lack of planning can quickly break a budget.

To keep the base price from blowing your budget consider things such as the following:
Plan the dimensions of your patio to be an increment of the stone you use to reduce cutting.
Work with the grade of your backyard to avoid building excessive retaining walls.
Use the soil taken from excavation and use it to build berms or raised beds to avoid disposal.

Planning and Placement
Your first thought might be to put your patio right outside the kitchen or dining room. However if you are in perpetual shade you probably won't spend too much time enjoying your new interlock or stone patio. On the other hand a patio with full sun can be just as uncomfortable in hot weather.

Patios are best placed where their site takes advantage of the outdoor conditions surrounding it. A location that gets sun and shade at different times may allow you to spend more time outdoors in more favorable conditions. An interlock or stone patio that wraps around the corner of a house usually provides these options with a sheltering wall for sun and wind.

Marrying House and Patio
Adding a patio immediately alters the look of a home's exterior design. The most successful projects take into consideration the home's size, exterior materials and style of construction.

Outdoor stone and interlocking patios are a relatively modern leisure item, but they don't have to look modern. Older homes might benefit from a cobble stone feel as opposed to brick pavers. Consider reflecting the exterior stylings of your house in the design of your new project.

Work With Your Yard
Don't rule out building your patio where you want because of trees, rocks, hills or other obstacles. Patios are often most attractive when they make use of difficult terrain features. A multilevel patio has the ability to step its way up or down a hill and create different visual levels. Patios including or incorporating existing rocks and boulders create different vertically drawn textures.

Get A Free Estimate On Your Patio Idea

Free estimate and onsite consultation. Get in contact with the Merlin Landscaping team.






Paver and Interlock Guidelines Industry Standard Installation Procedures
Proper installation is just as important as planning, placement or size. View More


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Designed by: Bart Flegg | Merlin 2010 | Etobicoke Toronto Landscape Contractors | Contact

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This landscape article includes:
Landscape Design Introduction and Warning
Building Errors Patio Sizes
The Right Contractor Planning and Placement
Landscape Products Marrying House and Patio
 Working With Your Yard

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