How to Get Your Patio Summer Ready

Getting the patio ready to enjoy the spring and summer months is crucial to making the most out of your backyard. Whether you haven’t used the patio since last fall or it’s become a paved area to park the bikes and store the toddler’s yard toys, it’s underutilized real estate. Outdoor living spaces that everyone can enjoy boosts quality time spent with family and friends.

Clean Sweep

To reclaim your patio from the winter and damp spring, start with a clean sweep. Remove items off of the patio before sweeping, vacuuming, or power washing. When the floor is clear of debris, put the outdoor furniture back. Even if it’s been stored in the garage or shed, wipe down chairs and tables. Give patio furniture cushions a good cleaning or replace them with new ones in more vibrant shades.

Dealing with Downspouts

When downspouts are at the end of a patio, visibility can detract from the enjoyment of friends and family using the outdoor living space. Throughout the spring and summer check periodically for clogs inside the downspouts to prevent overflowing from the gutters onto the patio. Keep the outside of the downpipes polished and shiny.

Downspouts can become problematic when they drain directly onto the patio. Water constantly coming into contact with a concrete patio or one made of pavers can wear the surface down. Downspout extenders will deposit the runoff into a garden bed or the lawn, but might pose a foot traffic issue. Other solutions for downspouts that are part of the patio include:

  • Create a gravel path flush with the pavers or incorporate a pathway made of stones that directs the water off of the patio
  • Install a decorative rain barrel to capture the runoff
  • Install a hinged downspout extender long enough to clear the patio
  • Redirect the downspout
  • Bury the downspout
  • Replace the downspout with a rain chain that drains into a pool or rock garden

Here Comes the Sun!

If you consciously avoid using the patio after 2 o’clock in the afternoon because it gets too hot, make the patio user-friendly by installing a retractable awning, sun sail, pergola, or beach umbrella. They will provide shade to the outdoor living space. For a pop of colour and to create a focal point, select an awning, sun sail, or beach/standalone umbrella in a bold pattern.

New Outdoor Furniture

Part of the appeal of a patio is spending time sitting – whether it’s sharing a meal, catching up, or watching the garden grow. Comfortable patio furniture is a must. While it might be able to hang on for one more summer, outdoor furniture will eventually wear out. Consider replacing your patio furniture if one or more condition is applicable:

  • Outdated or you want to change the theme or aesthetic
  • Wobbly or unstable
  • Not worth fixing
  • Damaged beyond repair
  • No longer comfortable
  • No longer meeting your functionality requirements

If you have children or grandchildren using the patio, when purchasing new outdoor furniture, select pieces with rounded corners instead of straight to eliminate sharp edges.

Decorate with Plants

Especially in our temperate lower mainland climate where the patio can be enjoyed at least three seasons of the year, select perennials – shrubs, plants, or a combination – either in beds nearby or in containers on the patio, that will bloom at different times of the year. Flowering plants brighten an outdoor living space, adding colour, providing a focal point, and creating privacy.

Give Your Wi-Fi a Little Help

You might like to watch TV or listen to music while out on the patio or ensure that the youngsters can play games or share videos on their devices. For most applications your existing Wi-Fi network will be sufficient. But if your Wi-Fi connection indoors doesn’t translate to the outdoors, give it a little help with a booster or extender, designed to improve the existing coverage of your Wi-Fi network.

After the Sun Sets

Your patio isn’t just for the daytime. Make your outdoor living space welcoming and enjoyable after the sun sets.

Rug: A patio rug will retain the day’s heat, helping to keep the area a little warmer as the evenings become cooler.

Lighting: You’re not shooting a movie! Save the bright lights for security motion sensors. Softer lighting such as fairy lights, strings of small bulbs, or solar globes provide enough light without overpowering. Use vintage table lanterns for a cozier atmosphere.

Fire pit: Whether your patio is small or stretches the length of the house, a fire pit is the perfect way to add ambience. It’s also a great place to toast marshmallows or tell scary stories. Fire pits are available in a variety of sizes from large above-ground installations to tabletop models.