A patio is an investment in the value of a house by making it more attractive and appealing to potential buyers, as well as increasing its potential use. It allows the outside to be 'brought inside' without any of the discomforts of exposure to the weather. If the patio is well-designed and well-built, outdoor furniture can be kept there permanently, making it a space that is easy to use at any time.
Having a patio increases the sociability of family life and of entertaining. It allows for the opportunity to cook in a different place from the kitchen, and with everyone around. If some music is added to the space, then what may have been just a meal becomes an occasion.
A patio does not stand alone, but is an extension of the house. It is ideal if the patio is relatively close to the kitchen, so that food can be carried out easily. It is important that the size and design of the patio fits in with the architecture of the house. It is usually best for a patio to be on the side of the house that is most private.
There are a number of materials and designs that can be used for the floor of a patio. A timber floor is attractive, but is expensive. Brick paving or floor tiles may be an alternative. The choice of materials will depend on the look and feel that is desired. An open patio can give family and guests the feeling of being part of the outdoors, while sitting in comfort. A patio roof will offer protection from the weather and can increase the usability of the space.
A simple, flat roof on a patio is functional and can be attractive. A curve in the roof makes the patio appear to be more graceful. It is possible to have a patio roof that uses a type of louvre that can be opened to allow the sun to shine in, but then closed if the sun is too hot, or when it rains. If a solid roof is insulated, the patio will remain cool on the hottest days. To ensure maximum protection from the weather, awnings can be added to the open sides of the patio. These will be lowered in extreme weather conditions.
Whatever the design of the patio, it is important that it complements the look of the existing house, as it is an extension of the home.