Concreters know a thing or two about patios. They help to create and maintain landscaped, paved, and decked areas outside of homes and businesses; the materials they use include concrete, natural stone, and brick. Their work requires them to spend a lot of time outdoors, so it’s no surprise that many concreters have strong opinions on patio ideas. Below we contacted several concreters for their thoughts on three different patio ideas: fire pits, outdoor kitchens, and pergolas.
Patio Idea #1: Fire Pits
Fire pits are popular additions to homes because they’re great sources of heat during the colder months as well as beautiful pieces of furniture that can be enjoyed year-round. Concrete is the perfect material for fire pits because the radiant heat it emits is distributed evenly, which eliminates hot spots. The cool thing about concrete is that it’s so versatile, so you have tons of design options when creating a fire pit. Concreters say that one of his favorite fire pits to work on was made using pavers for the base and retaining walls built from stacked blocks.
Patio Idea #2: Outdoor Kitchens
Outdoor kitchens are becoming more popular as tools like instant grills and smoker boxes make outdoor cooking easier than ever before. When building an outdoor kitchen with an existing patio, concreters often use forms to create custom-sized countertops, combine different surfaces (like gravel or grass) with paving stones or use poured concrete for the entire counter. When it comes to outdoor kitchens with fireplaces or barbecues built into them, Jason says that he likes to incorporate lights and speakers so his clients can enjoy their space at night as well as during the day.
Patio Idea #3: Pergolas
A pergola is often used in landscaping projects to create shaded walkways or sitting areas. Concrete provides many benefits over other materials, including being budget-friendly because it’s one of the most affordable DIY patio ideas you can go with. Also, since concreters are skilled tradesmen who work with forms on a daily basis, they have plenty of experience creating complex designs that would be difficult for a novice to build. Pergolas are usually made from pressure-treated wood with slanted beams, so the 3D shape of the forms is often cut into both horizontal and vertical sections that can then be attached together after they’re poured. In this case, it’s important to pour the pergola in sections because each one must dry completely before being attached to another section. “We’re using pre-cast concrete columns at the ends,” says Jason about a project he’s working on right now. “The rest of it will be all custom-poured.”
About Hiring a Concreter
Concrete is an ideal material for patios because it comes in a wide range of colors and styles, making nearly any patio idea possible with a little creativity and effort. Plus, many concreters are skilled in installing other types of outdoor structures like fireplaces and stone walls, creating endless possibilities when it comes to designing your dream patio.