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Determining the size of your home’s outdoor patio can often be tricky. Many homeowners often end up with a patio that is either too large or too small. Sizing and proper placement of an outdoor patio are the most challenging aspects of landscape design.
To determine the size patio you should build, you must first know how much space you have to work with and how the patio will be used. The rule of thumb is that for every person on the patio, you should plan 25 sq. ft. (2.32 sq. m). You may also consider the furniture you will place on it.
The rest of this article will discuss how you can determine the right patio space based on the patio’s purpose, the furniture you intend to place, the size of your yard, and the patio type.
Decide on How You Intend to Use It
When determining the ideal size for your patio, you should make the patio large enough to accommodate all the activities in your planning list. Start by determining how you will use your patio. Will you be cooking and dining on the patio? Do you intend to have a fireplace on the patio? In some instances, you might only be interested in a patio where you can relax, read, and enjoy the outdoor weather.
It’s impossible to determine the ideal patio size if you do not know what will happen on the patio. You should begin by organizing the different uses on the patio space. Sketch the patio area and mark the gathering zone, the dining spot, the fire pit, and the grilling area. You should consider the relationships between these areas carefully to determine how spaces will connect on the patio.
You should think about how many people you would want the patio to accommodate. Will only several individuals use the outdoor patio, or do you intend to host parties on the patio now and then? You can’t plan for space that you do not have. Therefore, you should measure your yard to know how much space is available. Ensure that you design the patio size that your yard can accommodate.
For comfortable entertaining, you need a minimum patio size of 550 square feet (51 square meters). For every person, you should set a space of 25 square feet (2.32 square meters). Therefore, if you want to have 50 people on your patio, the ideal space would be 1250 square feet (116.13 square meters).
Here is a video on how to build a patio:
Consider the Furniture You Intend to Place
You can determine the patio size based on the furniture you intend to place on the patio. If you have already acquired your outdoor furniture, you can lay out the furniture or the grill on the space where you intend to build the patio. Ensure that there is ample space to pull chairs back when getting up from a table. You should leave out enough space to walk around when guests are seated at the table.
Mark the patio area you feel will be adequate to accommodate your outdoor furniture. If you doubt the ideal patio size, it is advisable to plan for a larger patio. You might need to accommodate additional furniture or planted containers in the future. Below are some guidelines on the space requirements for different patio furniture and accessories:
- Two chairs require 35 square feet (3.25 square meters)
- Four chairs need 65 square feet (6 square meters)
- An outdoor couch accompanied by two chairs require 130 square feet (12 square meters)
- A small table with two chairs require 35 square feet (3.25 square meters)
- Two lounge chairs require 65 square feet (6 square meters)
- A table with four chairs require 65 square feet (6 square meters)
- Medium-sized grills occupy 30 square feet (2.79 square meters)
- A room for seating with a fireplace requires 200 square feet (18.58 square meters)
Consider the Size of Your Yard
When determining the patio size, you should consider your yard’s size and ensure that the patio is in proportion to your house. One sizing tip is to match your patio to the size of your ground floor room. You may create a patio that is as wide as your house.
If your patio is sizeable, you should ensure that it looks proportional to your main house. Small patios rarely pose a challenge. However, a large patio may overpower or overshadow your home. Even if some patios have the adequate square footage, they eventually end up feeling cramped. To avoid this, you should plan your patio with traffic and activity in mind.
Determine the Patio Type and Shape
The ideal patio size will vary depending on the patio type you intend to build. Different patio types will have different size requirements. There are four common types of patios:
- The Bistro-style patios are often ideal for side yards or small backyards. Bistro patios are smaller than other patio types. While designing a bistro-type patio, you should make it small enough to fit in the available space but large enough to serve its purpose.
- Living room patios function as outdoor living rooms and are much bigger than the bistro type patios. Often, living room patios have all the furnishings you would find in an indoor living room. They are usually larger than average patios and often include an outdoor fireplace.
- An outdoor dining patio will vary depending on the table’s size and chairs you intend to place in it. For example, if you intend to set a 48-in (121.92 cm) round table, the minimum patio size should be 10 ft 6 in (3.2 m). This will leave enough space to pull out the chairs. However, if you intend to have ample walk around space, consider a patio size of 12-14 in (30.48-35.56 cm) if you intend to place a 48-inch round table.
- In a sundeck patio, you should leave enough room to accommodate the lounge chairs and cocktail tables. You should also leave ample space to avoid accidental dips into the swimming pool.
Tips to Employ When Planning Your Patio Size
Below are some of the proven tips for choosing the right patio size:
- Consider buying your outdoor patio furniture first and arranging it where you plan to build the patio. Take note of the best furniture spacing and consider how people will walk around. You should design a spacious patio to hold outdoor furniture and leave some space for people to move around freely.
- You should walk around to ensure that there is ample space and you do not collide with the furniture.
- Always remember is it better to build a large or oversized patio than to have a small and congested patio
- If you have a steep or sloppy edge patio end with no railing, it is essential to go large to enhance safety.
- You may consider integrating seat walls into your patio. This strategy reduces the need for additional furniture.
- If your patio is close to the swimming pool, you should leave ample room for the pool accessories.
A small patio will feel cramped and congested. On the other hand, if your patio is too big, it will not feel intimate, and it is likely to be expensive to construct. The secret is to know the ideal patio size by considering your patio’s purpose and the outdoor furniture you intend to place therein.
You will need a bigger patio if you intend to hold entertainment events regularly. You can determine the right patio size by determining the type of patio you need. Bistro patios, living room patios, outdoor patios, and sundeck patios have different room requirements.
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- Concrete Network: Average Patio Size, Diagram of Dimensions
- Houzz: Key Measurements for Designing your Perfect Patio
- Landscaping Network: Patio Size Tips
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Giovanni Valle is an architect, designer, internet entrepreneur, and the managing editor of various digital publications including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place. He is the founder of BuilderSpace LLC.