A well-landscaped and accessorized patio turns an in-ground pool into an especially inviting and functional outdoor living area. Patios can be used to frame the pool area and provide a flat surface for furniture or grills. Choose a patio style and layout that complements the aesthetics of your home and your personal taste. Consider practicalities such as budget and maintenance costs before choosing a patio design.
Stone and Wood Patios
The most popular in-ground pool patio building materials are stone and wood. Wood patios tend to be more cost-effective. A wood patio surrounding a in-ground pool creates a natural, cohesive aesthetic that creates cohesion between the pool and the surrounding landscape. Though versatile, wood is also extremely susceptible to warping and mold due to the high level of moisture. To extend the lifespan of the patio, select hardwoods that have been carefully pressure-treated.
Stone patios are also popular. Natural stones cut in irregular shapes create texture and warmth around an in-ground pool. For a more symmetrical look, choose stone tiles that have been cut square and can be placed in neat rows. Bluestone, sandstone, river rock and slate are popular stone patio options because they offer a wide range of color variation and are well-suited to the dampness associated with in-ground pool patios.
Detached patios offer a flat surface for lounging or entertaining away from the in-ground pool area so that sunbathers are protected from pool splashing.
Select an area of the surrounding lawn and install a stone or brick patio. Consider creating a patio that is a scale model of the pool by laying tiles in the same shape as the pool area. Another option is to create a cluster of small stone patios instead of a large patio area. Connect the patio to the pool by laying a stone pathway between the patio and the pool area.
Though patios near in-ground pools are frequented by sunbathers, the summer heat and sun can also prove too much for some outdoor parties. Consider including a covered patio near your in-ground pool to provide the option of protection from the sun. For in-ground pools near the side of the home, an awning that extends over the patio from the roof line of the home is an inexpensive way to add shade over the patio. For patios that are further from the home, a standalone cabana or pergola offers a shaded area for guests. Weather-resistant fabric or wood roofs offer more shade, while open-concept pergolas--covered with climbing vines or supported by wide beams--allow some light to pass through.
In-ground pool patio accessories should complement the design theme as well as offer functional services for outdoor living.
Stone fire pits, outdoor kitchens and grills transform a patio into a working outdoor cooking area. Low-growing shrubs and grasses like boxwood and dogwood create a natural fence around a patio's border, while curved flower beds with low-maintenance plants like marigolds or posies add color. Avoid landscaping the patio with large shade trees like oak or pine, which may drop seeds or foliage into the pool and increase maintenance time and costs.
- Photo Credit pool image by tofuwarrior from Fotolia.com
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