"1. Proper lighting
Consider first how you intend to use the patio. If you’re hoping guests might linger over long conversations, provide low lighting around your seating nooks. And if your backyard BBQ plans involve lots of late-night drinking games (because, why not?), illuminate the entire space with string lights.
Nothing is worse than planning your perfect patio layout—complete with a keg cooler, botanical garden-worthy lighting, and a show-stopping Christmas display your neighbors will never top—only to realize you forgot one essential element: electricity.
3. The position of the sun
You can’t bask in the sun if there is no sun. Before constructing the patio of your dreams, pay close attention to the trajectory of that big ball in the sky.
4. Outdoor storage
Once temperatures dip, it’ll be time to store away all the things that made your outdoor space an enviable destination to begin with. But unless you factored in storage space from the jump, you might find yourself shoving patio cushions into your kids’ closets and gardening tools into your pantry.
Prevent damage by installing a gutter around your patio roof—if it has a roof, of course—and by paying attention to drainage. Your patio should slope away from your home’s foundation, and the ground should slope away from your patio base, as well.
6. Privacy and noise
Alternatively, maybe your neighbor is the one throwing the ultra-loud parties. Consider building your outdoor living space on the opposite side of the property, allowing you to enjoy your evenings quietly. Of course, in a tiny backyard, you might not have many options. Get clever about your construction to add privacy and reduce sound.
Adding utilities, like gas lines for BBQs and water lines for your wet bar, can be a pain. But installation is significantly easier if done during construction."
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