Your Dream Patio: How Much Should You Budget?October 30, 2013 Patio Contractor
When you work in the outdoor living space industry, people immediately perk up when you mention what you do. I think it’s because most people dream of having an enjoyable outdoor living area. One of the most common things people ask is, “Just how much does something like this cost?”
An outdoor living space is a major renovation of your backyard. It will take a keen eye to custom design an area to look original to your home – an area that will enhance your living and be a space for entertaining and just relaxing after a long day at the office or a great weekend get away at home.
Let’s start with the basics. We’ll look at space, the existing structure and optional finishes. An average covered area – whether it is an open patio cover, a pergola or a screened porch – is about 300 square feet. Imagine 10′ x 30′ or 15′ x 20′, which will give you room to have a table and chairs for dining and a small seating area for relaxing. What do you budget for that size? You can figure about $20,000, plus or minus, depending on the configuration of your home. Sunrooms will be closer to $35,000 to account for windows and complete wall finishes. Larger spaces will cost more. Do you have a one-story or a two-story home? One-story homes usually cost more because of the way we tie in the roofline to make it look original to the home. Do you have a concrete patio already? An existing concrete or other flat-surface patio will lower your cost. If you want something other than a brushed concrete surface, you will need to add to the basic cost. Other beautiful surfaces to consider would be stamped concrete, tile or slate, pavers or flagstone, or even travertine. Feature columns make the new structure look original to the home. Do you have brick or other stone on your home that you want to incorporate into the new patio cover? A basic design would include columns wrapped in Hardie Plank and painted to match your home. Including brick or stone will add to the cost. The ceiling finish is another item that can be a decorative finish that increases the cost. Basic design will be Hardie Plank, painted to match your home, like your current soffits. If you want something more decorative, such as cedar or stained tongue and groove wood, you will need to adjust your budget to include that upgrade. Our basic project cost includes running electricity to the area. The electricity generally includes recessed lighting, installing your ceiling fans, and wiring for TV and a sound system, if desired. Upgrading to the highest of all these finishes could move the project closer to the $25,000-$30,000 range for this 300 square foot patio cover.
Now, let’s kick it up a notch. What else do you want to incorporate into your backyard living room? An outdoor kitchen? A fireplace or fire pit? If a kitchen is on your wish list, you’ll need to adjust the overall size of your patio cover. This will make sure you have adequate space to have a food preparation area and a dining/relaxing area. Your cover may have to become closer to the 400 square foot range. A typical outdoor kitchen project includes a custom-built counter area with granite; stacked stone, brick or stucco sides; and appliances (grill/refrigerator/storage drawers/cabinets). Most kitchens are “L” shaped and about 14 linear feet. This basic kitchen will add anywhere from $20,000-$40,000 to your project. Yes, that is a big range, but it accounts for many variables, such as size and brand of appliances, whether you choose natural gas or propane tank, your choice of granite, adding a raised bar top, and type of side finishes. A fireplace, whether it is natural gas or wood burning, will generally
add about $12,000-$15,000 to a project. Your choice of stone and whether there is a mantle and hearth play a big part of the variable cost for a fireplace. If you want a fire feature, but don’t want to pay for the cost of a fireplace, consider a fire pit. Typically, a fire pit will add anywhere from $2,000-$5,000. Adding the convenience of running natural gas to your fire pit will put it in the upper range.
If you are considering a backyard living room, start with the basics. Take a few measurements to determine how big your dream space would be. Make a wish list of all of your desired upgrades, considering optional finishes, the look you are going for and added features, like a kitchen, fireplace or fire pit. We recommend the Photo Gallery on our website or visiting Houzz.com to get ideas from different projects from around the world. Our team can bring the ideas and projects that you have found from magazines or web sites to life in your backyard. Texas Custom Patios can design the outdoor living space of your dreams. We’ll have you relaxing and entertaining in your own backyard haven, made just for you.