Nothing says "welcome" quite like a well turned out patio. Whether you're entertaining guests or enjoying a lazy summer evening outside with your family, your patio can be one of the most welcoming parts of your home. If your patio has seen better days, don't worry. You can make your patio sparkle on even the smallest budget. Here are five top tips to remodel your patio without breaking the bank.
Don't pay a pro If your patio flooring is good and you're mostly going to jazz it up with colour and fabrics, you'll know that's a DIY job; but, what about if your patio needs replacing? Save yourself some cash by replacing it yourself. It's doable, and with a bit of planning you'll be amazed how great your patio will look. Rope in a few friends, put some cold beverages in the fridge, and make a day out of digging up the old patio. Make sure it's well edged (two by fours work well) and fairly level before you start laying your new flooring. If you're on a really tight budget, you can simply pour concrete for your flooring. Once it's dry, get creative with some paints that are suitable for outdoor use and use that concrete like a blank canvas. If your budget runs to it, concrete pavers are still much cheaper than most patio paving, and can be stained or painted any way you like for a fabulous new look.
Choose a theme If you pick a theme for your patio and create everything else around it, the finished look will be just gorgeous - and your patio will express your unique style. Go for something as simple as colors, like opting for splashes of pink or a chic combination of mint and cream. Or go a little more adventurous and picking a theme such as nautical or Mediterranean.
A little refinishing If your patio has a rail or fence, or even a storage box, don't forget to give them a little makeover too! A hand-stitched or thrift bought cushion or two can turn a cleaned up storage box into a new outdoor seat. Scrub down your rails or fencing and paint or stain them in colors that match the theme of your patio. How about the door? A coat of bright fresh paint that matches the colors on your patio will make a huge difference. Your patio will look like an extension of your home - what could be more welcoming than that?
Thrift It Don't hit the stores when it comes to finding pots, furniture or fabrics for your patio remodel. Instead, hit yard sales. You'll be amazed what you can pick up second hand if you have a look around. Thrift stores and Craigslist can also be treasure troves when it comes to patio remodeling. If you keep your theme in mind, you'll soon spot anything that fits your theme and can be added to your updated patio. The trick is to be resourceful. Don't look for a perfect set of patio furniture - look for a set of patio furniture that you know you can make perfect. Refinishing the things you find is a lot of fun, and it's so satisfying to see what you've made out of your thrift store finds. Don't forget to take plenty of before and after pictures so you can look back and enjoy your project.
Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize Choosing the right accessories is a great way to give your patio that something extra. A splash of greenery always looks chic, and if you can paint or decorate the pots to match your theme, that's even better. How about re-covering cushions to go with the overall look, or even creating some accessories just for your new patio? A felt garland or flower wreath in matching colors can easily be done on a budget.
With a lick of paint and some co-coordinated fabric, your patio will soon be looking brand new. Now it's time to break out that cold beverage, relax, and enjoy your stylish new surroundings.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as health, marketing and SEO.