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How Big Should My Patio Be

Additional Pool Features Require More Deck Space

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Sometimes there’s more to a swimming pool than just the swimming pool. Additional features like , waterfalls, slides, diving boards, swimouts, spillover spas, and standalone spas are all ways people accent or expand their swimming pool. And all of these will require additional space.

Some add-ons, like deck jets, don’t require anything more than a designated area of the deck for them to be installed, as they live “within” your deck. Others like slides, swimouts, and spas, however, act as extensions of your pool and need to be factored in when determining the overall deck space in your design.

Remember, additional accessories also include items like pool covers. If you plan to have a solar cover on a roll, for example, you’ll want to think about the space this will occupy on your deck.

Look At Different Patio Types

Different types of patios are going to have different guidelines and you want to make sure you have space.

Outdoor Living RoomThis style is just like an indoor living room and often has the same furniture . Some considerations are listed below.

  • Write down and measure the furniture you want so you know everything will fit
  • Keep at least 3 feet of clear space around the furniture
  • Put in something like a retractable awning, large umbrella, or gazebo to help shield the sun

SundeckThese are great for those that just want to enjoy the sun. Make sure the area can fit 3-4 sun chairs.

BistroThese are great for side yards or smaller backyards. A few things you want to be sure of are:

  • Make sure the patio can fit at least 1 table and 2 chairs
  • Use smaller stone patterns

Outdoor DiningThis is great for people who love hosting parties at their homes.

You want to make sure that your patio can fit a table and enough chairs for several guests. These patios end up being the biggest, so youll need a decently large space to accommodate this type of patio.

Now that you have a better idea of how to decide your patio size, you can start committing to a design and style you like.

If you arent really sure where to go from here, contact Ambrosio Landscape Solutions for our special design services so you can finally get the patio of your dreams!

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What Will You Be Using The Patio For

First, you want to think about how you will be using the patio. Will it be the anchor of your outdoor living area? Do you need a place to put an outdoor fire pit? How big is your patio furniture? How much seating do you want to have for your guests? How many guests will you be regularly entertaining? What do you want to include in your outdoor living area? Read more about landscape planning here. Use the following guide to give you an idea of how many square feet of patio you should be planning.

  • Two chairs 35 square feet

  • Four chairs 65 square feet

  • An outdoor couch plus two chairs 130 square feet

  • Two lounge chairs 65 square feet

  • Small table with two chairs 35 square feet

  • Table with four chairs 65 square feet

  • Table with seating for six 120 square feet

  • Room in front of sitting wall 6 square feet per foot of sitting wall length

  • Medium sized grill 30 square feet

  • Fire pit with room for seating 200 square feet

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Patio Roof Maximum Beam & Rafter Spans

An essential part of planning a patio roof or gazebo project is determining the number, size, and spacing of rafters, beams, and posts, according to the loads they will carry.

In areas with mild climates, patio roofs are generally designed for loads of 30 psf . For heavy roofs or in areas with substantial snowfall or winds, call your local building department for code requirements.

The tables below give maximum spans for rafters and beams. The figures are based on quality materials. For lesser grades, spans should be shorter. Keep in mind that these are maximumsin other words, shortening spans slightly will result in a more solid structure.

Find out the loads your overhead must bear, and then determine the rafter sizes. Next, calculate beam placements and how best to coordinate them with the rafters.

Keep in mind that these are minimums for the spacing indicatedyou can select larger sizes to handle excessive loads or for appearance. Of course, beefier sizes also increase your lumber bill.

Choose The Type Of Material

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Gazebos are made using different materials. Majority of them are either made from wood, steel or vinyl. Depending on your preference and needs you can opt for either. Wooden gazebos offer you the chance to spice them up by painting them with your preferred colors and design prints. Moreover, they offer you that rustic feel. If you are looking for durability and strength then you can opt for steel and aluminum gazebo. In case you just need something simple and easy to deal with, then vinyl made gazebos are the perfect option.

However, you need to bear in mind that all types have their own advantages and disadvantages. Nonetheless, the perfect gazebo you decide to put your money on is that which meets your needs and allows you the opportunity to accessorize and give it a personal touch. Remember that your garden isnt just for watching, you need the space to sit down and enjoy your garden and the gazebo is the perfect spot for that.

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What Materials Should I Choose For My Fire Pit

Fire pits commonly consist of an inner wall, an outer wall, a cap , and decorative stones or rocks in the center of the pit. And all these materials must stand high temperatures.

Its super important to pay attention when choosing the materials that will compose the fire pit because some types of rocks have the potential to explode. The rocks that you should avoid are sandstone, limestone, pumice, and river rocks.

The internal wall must be of a material very resistant to high temperatures because they will be directly in contact with the fire. Fire bricks and a fire-proof mortar or grout are great options. You can go with masonry block for the rest of the pit, poured concrete, stone, bricks, or pavers.

Remember that building a fire pit on your own is not a good idea. The installation, the requirements, and all the details can get confusing, and something can go wrong. The best option here is to hire a professional to do your fire pit project for you.

Final Tip: Sketch It Out

The most helpful tip we can provide for determining what size swimming pool deck you’ll need is to sketch it out. Getting together a list of all the items you’ll have on the deck, what accessories you’ll need, and how many people you want to comfortably seat is a great starting point, but there’s nothing quite as useful as drawing something up to give yourself a general idea of the layout you have in mind.

Don’t worry if you’re not an amazing artist. Even a simple sketch can do wonders to help you visualize your space. Do what you can to try to keep the drawing somewhat to scale , but trust us that once you start to visualize how your deck will look in relation to your pool you’ll have a much better understanding of what you really need.

So go grab a pencil and paper and start sketching. You may need to take several passes to get what you want, but once you do you’ll feel much more comfortable with your design choices. Once you have a design you like, walk it out and try to imagine your space.

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Fire Pit And Paver Patio On The Edge Of The Woods

Look closely and you’ll see this stone fire pit’s design is a bit unusual. The fire pit bowl is perched on pillars of veneered stone and topped with Indiana limestone. The paver patio is surrounded by a veneered-stone seat wall, also topped with Indiana limestone. It creates a captivating setting on the edge of the woods.

Make Room For Everyone

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Once the fire is lit, people will tend to gather around it. In terms of space, you will want to plan for seating that will allow for both group settings or cozy, intimate one-on-one time. A fire pit itself is rarely larger than four or five feet across. The patio space around it should be an additional four to six feet on all sides. Seat walls are a great way to both visually define the space and allow for lots of seating. But dont enclose the space completely with walls. Its nice to leave room for chairs, standing and foot traffic. Also think ahead to how you plan to decorate. For example, if youre choosing low-slung seating such as Adirondack chairs, realize that they will take up extra real estate and plan accordingly.

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Determine The Extra Features

At this point, you should determine the extra features youd like to include. A lot of this will be determined by the budget you would like to invest in this outdoor living space. If your purpose of creating a patio includes reading and relaxing, then considering a subtle water feature might a nice feature adding ambiance and would help block disturbances from a busy street or neighborhood kids.

Why Pergola Sizes And Dimensions Are Important For Planning

Almost any outdoor living space can be enhanced by the addition of a stunning vinyl pergola. Making sure that pergola is a good fit for the space is important, though. If your pergola is undersized for your needs, youll have trouble arranging your furniture in the pergolas shade. On the other hand, if your pergola is too big for your deck or patio, itll end up dwarfing the rest of your outdoor living space.

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Front Door And Entry Area Light Sizing And Positioning

Proper lighting is essential for your front door and entry area. It promotes safety and boosts curb appeal. Heres a simple way to choose front door and outdoor entry lighting thats the right size:

  • Measure the front door from top to bottom. Make note of this measurement.
  • Divide the height of your front door by 1/3 and 1/4.
  • Look for a light fixture that measures 1/3 to 1/4 the height of your front door. This will give you ample size so the light fixture wont look diminutive or too big for your house.


  • For most homes, the ideal exterior light height is just about eye-level for most people.
  • In most front door and entry areas, your outdoor sconces and wall lights should be positioned so that the center point is right around 66 to 72 inches above the floor.
  • For very tall spaces, you can cheat the lights up slightly, but going too far above 72 inches is generally not recommended.

Delightful Backyard With Gas Fire Pit

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The backyard is a delightful space to hang out, linger while the gas fire pit with crystal pieces glows. The sofas from the Oskar Collection helps to define the space while bringing the inside out and the outside in.

Susan Schwab

Ideally, this space should be easily accessible from the main area, but not too close to it, and the path between well-defined. Kalamian has seen his share of bad fire pit locations: “I saw one recently where the fire pit was at ground level directly adjacent to the dining area. It was basically a hole in the ground with chairs around itit was a foot below the surface. Someone’s drinking too much or the kids are out playing and suddenly you have a disaster on your hands.”

Keep in mind that while a fire pit has a practical function, it also serves as a focal point, preferably from the interior of the house as well as the exterior. “If you can, locate it where you can see the fire from a distancesay, from your living room,” Kalamian says. “That way you can enjoy it even in inclement weather.”

You may also want to set up an opposing feature, such as a small water fountain, across the yard to complement your new fire pit patio. “Balance in the yard is huge,” Kalamian says. “It’s really important to your design. Don’t put everything on one side of the yard or it will feel lopsided.

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How Big Should A Patio Umbrella Be

umbrella shouldumbrella

. Correspondingly, how heavy should a base be for a 9 foot umbrella?

A good way to determine the minimum weight for your umbrella stand is to multiply the width of your umbrella canopy by 10. For example, for a 7.5′ umbrella we recommend using a 75 lb. umbrella stand a 9umbrella will require at least an 90 lb.

Subsequently, question is, what should I look for in a patio umbrella? As a general rule look for umbrellas that are a couple feet wider than the table you have. Most home patio umbrellas are nine feet in diameter, which fit tables around 36 to inches in diameter extra large tables should have even larger umbrellas around 11 feet.

Keeping this in consideration, what is the diameter of a patio umbrella pole?


How do I keep my patio umbrella from blowing away?

Close your umbrella and place the bungee cord around the fabric to protect your umbrella and keep it from being blown away by the wind. Use stronger aluminum frame and fiberglass ribs rather than a wood market umbrella. Also choose one that has vents on the top to let air blow through.

What Features Do You Want Integrated In And Around Your Deck

Think about any features you want to include to enhance the environment and functionality of your backyard resort.

More than ever before, homeowners are including amenities that promote relaxing, comfortable outdoor living. Among the favorites: fire pits, built-in seating thats part of the hardscape, pathways around the yard or to the side yard, and landscaping and landscape boxes.

Of course, a new pool and deck can provide the perfect setting for outdoor meals with your family and for having friends over for an afternoon cookout.

If patio dining is on your menu, let your pool designer know. Youll want to make sure your deck is spacious to easily accommodate furniture such as chairs and tables.

That means space for using the furniture as well. For example, the deck needs to be large enough to hold not only the table and chairs, but for people to walk around them and to be able to slide the chairs out from under the tablewithout them sliding off the decks edge onto adjacent dirt or grass.

You outdoor dining plans may extend to outdoor grilling or cooking as well. Are you considering installation of built-in features like an island barbecue grill? Grills have are a superb addition for backyard living, but they do take up space on your deck.

With the big role your pool deck plays in your backyard, its important to think through the factors outlined above.

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Garage Area Light Sizing And Positioning

Lighting your garage is a must for safety and convenience. Many home setups also feature a garage that is very close to the front door, so the lighting you choose to add to

your garage will also add ambient light to the whole area.

To choose garage area lighting, follow the same 1/3 to 1/4 rule. Measure the garage door height to get the correct size however.


Depending on the placement and size of your garage, illuminating this area can be a little more difficult than lighting your front door. Here are a few tips to help:

  • Use a single side lantern: Choose this option if you have a one-car garage, and install the lantern on the side closest to your walkway.
  • Choose two single lanterns on either side of your garage: This configuration will work for a large one-car garage or a two-ar garage.
  • Use three lights across your whole garage: Place one on the left side, one in the center and another on the right side of the garage. Space them evenly above your garage door.
  • Place your garage lighting directly above the door: This option works for any size garage. Make sure your lights dont impede the movement of your garage door.

Tip: Use motion sensing lights around your garage for safety and convenience. Theyll come on every time you approach the garage.

Stormwater Runoff And Drainage Considerations

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When it comes to pool deck design, not only is it important to determine how big of a deck you would like, but also where in your yard it will go. An often-overlooked aspect of this is how your deck will interact with the geographic layout of your yard. For example, where will the water runoff from your roof, gutters or yard and generally go?

Some basic design tips include to make sure your deck is slightly higher than the rest of your yard, and that the deck incorporates a gentle slope away from your pool to help control runoff and drainage issues. You want to consider additional options you have to avoid too much runoff onto your deck or pool. A French Drain can help with this, or even better, consider adding HydroBlox when you install your deck.

Put simply, HydroBlox move water from where you do not water, to where you do want water. The water moves from plank to plank by water pressure. As one plank fills up with water, it is pushed to the next plank. This allows you to install HydroBlox in a level area. No need for any downward installation.

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