Home renovations made simple
This summer is all about the patio! As the weather warms up and outdoor gatherings are becoming more frequent, now is the time to transform your outdoor space to host your in-person reunions.
Get inspired with six great patio ideas for making the most of your outdoor space. We’ll go over the average costs for implementing each design, as well as DIY patio ideas that achieve the same vision with less stress on your budget.
Want to know the cost of a backyard patio idea that hasn’t been discussed below? Use the Smart Reno cost estimator tool to determine the price of patio designs based on features included, square footage, and materials used.
Put up a pergola
Catch up with friends and family while relaxing in the shade of your new pergola. We recommend adding plants, seating, and tables to optimize your patio décor. If you have a pool, a pergola is the perfect place to relax after an afternoon of swimming in the sunshine.
Building a pergola can cost anywhere from $1,300 and $10,000, depending on the size, the features included, and the materials used. Retractable shade fixtures will drive up the cost of your pergola, but if you live in an area that receives a lot of sun, they may be well worth the investment.
Can you DIY it?
Building your own pergola is possible, but the complexity of the project often requires professional skill and expertise. If hiring a contractor is not an option for you, consider investing in a stand alone patio umbrella. You’ll have just as much shade at a fraction of the price.
Cook up memories in an outdoor patio kitchen
Take your kitchen outside this summer – and increase the resale value of your home – by installing cooking appliances on your patio. You can keep things simple with a charcoal barbecue or go wild with a full outdoor chef’s kitchen. Be sure to add an outdoor dining table where friends and family can enjoy your culinary creations.
The price tag on a full outdoor kitchen renovation for a simple setup ranges between $2,000 to $10,000, where as luxury kitchens can go up to $50,000 or more. The cost will vary based on your chosen appliances and patio furniture as well as fees for additional services like water, gas, and electrical installations. Use Smart Reno’s kitchen cost estimate tool to get an idea of your patio kitchen’s price tag.
Can you DIY it?
If you have a barbecue and a patio, you’re already halfway there. Expand your entertaining potential by adding a warm wooden dining set, update your patio décor, and voilà – chef’s paradise.
Covered patio ideas
Enclosing your patio affords you privacy and protection from the elements. At an average price range of $22-75 per square foot, you can add more living area to your home for far less than building an extension.
Enjoy the breeze – without the bugs – by screening off your outdoor space. Screened enclosures are easier to maintain than other covered patio options. Active families will appreciate the screened enclosure’s resilience to impacts from baseballs, hockey pucks, and frisbees.
For a patio design you can enjoy year-round, invest in a glass sunroom. A solarium will retain just enough warmth from the sun on cool summer nights to make stargazing cozy. Come winter, the natural sunlight will warm you up on chilly mornings.
Enclose your patio with glass or screened rolling panels to leave your options open. Close off your outdoor space entirely from wind, rain, and snow, and roll the panels back to let in sunlight and fresh air.
Can you DIY it?
You can evoke the enclosed patio aesthetic with strategic placement of trellises, umbrellas, and potted plants. Working with a small concrete patio? Arrange your furniture in a semicircle facing your backyard. Use plants to sketch out the boundaries of your entryway. Don’t fill in all the gaps – you can establish a visual connection between components of your patio décor without placing them right next to one another. Without building a single wall, you can tastefully separate your patio from the rest of your yard.
Cool down with a backyard pond
Nothing is more relaxing than lounging on the patio and watching koi swim lazily through the placid waters of your personal oasis. While swimming pools can depreciate in value, a low-maintenance pond offers a significant return on your investment. The added boost to your home’s resale value makes your pond even more beautiful.
On average, constructing a backyard pond starts at around $5,000. This includes the cost of digging and lining the pond as well as landscaping it. To take this from a cute backyard patio idea to the height of luxury, you can drop $70,000 on a natural swimming pool.
Can you DIY it?
Digging and lining a pond requires specialized equipment. Choosing the right balance of fish and plants calls for expert knowledge. However, you can reduce costs by installing a purely ornamental pond lined with plastic, with no additional landscaping.
Warm up with a firepit
Sitting around a firepit under the night sky is a quintessential part of any Canadian summer. It’s also one of the cheaper backyard patio ideas, as even professional in-ground jobs can fit tight budgets.
Installing a fire pit will cost between $300 and $1,500. On the higher end of the price range, you’ll be looking at an in-ground fire pit constructed by a mason or bricklayer. While an in-ground firepit is pricier, it adds resale value to your home and will last longer than a pre-built one.
Can you DIY it?
Freestanding fire pits retail for about $300. Assemble the fire pit, stack up some firewood, and break out the folding chairs for the ultimate patio entertaining experience.
Get creative with lighting
Highlight the best features of your garden and keep parties going well into the night with patio lighting. This is easily the most versatile patio décor idea, the extent of your vision limited only by your imagination and your available electrical outlets.
Fairy lights are the most affordable option, retailing at about $10. Place these in jars to give your patio an ethereal glow.
String lights are more expensive at $40 to $80 per roll. They can outline a pathway or simply provide ambience when twined among the branches of a tree – you can even invest in LED light strips that change colour to the beat of your music.
Outdoor lamps can cost between $200 and $300 each. Use these as accents, or to illuminate the primary gathering spots on your patio. They are much more durable than fairy lights, string lights, and LEDs.
Can you DIY it?
If you do your own Christmas lights, you can do your own patio lighting. Remember not to overload your electrical outlets. Stringing more extension cords than actual lights? It may be time to contact an electrician.
Choose the best patio design for your lifestyle
How do you narrow down ideas to incorporate into your patio renovation? Start out by asking what you want to get out of your patio this summer. Planning your patio layout around what’s most important to you – not the other way around.
Family board game night moving outside? Consider investing in a screened patio enclosure. Are budget concerns steering you towards cheaper patio design ideas? Use creative lighting, strategic staging of furniture and accessories, and economically priced materials to make the most of what you have.
Patio renovations that involve constructing enclosures, digging ponds, or building new structures on your property can get messy. Working with a qualified and verified contractor will ensure the successful completion of your project.
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This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.