Top Trends in Patios and Outdoor Spaces to Discuss With Your Contractor

Before you have your contractor or patio builder design your outdoor space, you want to take the time to consider every feature that can be included in the design and the build itself. This will ensure you have a patio area that you will love for years to come, and which will work for you and your family no matter your lifestyle. Note a few of today's top trends you might consider.

1. A fire pit

A real fire on your patio can add a striking visual feature but also allow you to stay warm during the colder seasons, which in turn means enjoying your patio more often. A fire pit can be very simple to build and can be done with the same types of stones or materials used to create the flooring of the patio so that everything coordinates.

2. Retractable windshields

Sitting outside in the tropics or anywhere that is known for being very windy can be less than enjoyable, but adding walls around your patio may make you feel like you're still inside. A good compromise is a retractable windshield. These are glass panels that fold or slide toward the house so that you can open them when needed and then close them when you want to keep the space open.

3. Herb gardens

If you love to cook, chances are you enjoy fresh herbs. You can incorporate a small herb garden into your patio space so that you not only have the ingredients you need for cooking but so that your patio smells like a chef's kitchen! Talk to your contractor about having a herb garden built up one wall or installing a retaining wall around one side of your patio where you can grow fresh herbs.

4. Sustainable materials

Home renovations of any sort can often contribute to pollution and environmental damage. Harvesting natural stones means blasting and the use of copious amounts of water. Cutting down trees for decking can lead to deforestation. For your patio, talk to your builder or contractor about sustainable or recycled materials. This can mean recycled wood for a retaining wall or deck, or stamped concrete rather than stone for the flooring. Virtually any part of your patio can be made from recycled or recyclable materials, including a pergola, fire pit, hot tub area, and the like. Even the glass used for your windshield can come from recycled or reusable pieces.