4 Things To Consider if You're Looking to Have a Patio Installed

A Patio Primer From The Patio Pros at Brennan Landscaping

Brick patio construction When the weather turns warm in Wisconsin, everyone's ready to flee the house at the soonest opportunity. A warm, sunny day...we're outta here! And what better destination than the backyard patio--just a few steps away from all the goodies in the kitchen.

Whether it's a grill out or a chill out, spending time on the patio is almost a Wisconsin pastime. If you don't have a patio, now's the time to have one installed. And if you have an existing patio that needs some work, we can make any necessary repairs. Buckling bricks, sinking paving stones, maybe just weeds coming up through the small spaces between bricks--Brennan Landscaping can fix it.

Brennan Landscaping designs and builds beautiful patios that add appeal and value to both homes and businesses. The patios we build range from simple to grandiose. Whatever your budget, we'll find a way to make it work.

Without further ado, here are some things worth considering as you plan your patio:

1. Give Yourself Some Space

Not once in all the years we’ve been doing this have we heard a homeowner tell us they want a smaller patio.  But we’re always getting calls and emails from homeowners who want a bigger patio.

Point is: When you’re planning a patio, don’t underestimate your needs. Make sure there’s enough room to add a few more chairs if you have friends over. And enough room for the grill, too. Keep in mind, you may also want to add a fire pit or fireplace at some point in the future.

You’ll find that a patio fills up faster than you may think, especially when you have company over. Think of it this way—you can always add some potted plants if the extra space bothers you, but it’s impossible to make a too-small patio seem larger. Besides, the trend over the past 5 years has been larger outdoor living spaces.

Best tip we can offer is to stake out the area where you’re planning to put the patio. Take some chairs out into the space with you and take a good look at how much room there is. Walk around the staked in area, look at it from all sides, and—most importantly—live with it a few days before you come to any final decision.

2. Privacy Issues

Patio privacyYou probably don’t want to step out on your patio in your pajamas on a Saturday morning and feel like you’re on a stage where all your neighbors and passersby can watch you. So, wherever possible, we recommend putting a patio in an area that offers some privacy from neighbors and nearby roads or sidewalks.

Of course, it’s not always possible to situate a patio in a private area. This is especially true if, like most homeowners, you want your patio right outside the kitchen or living room—not tucked away near some big trees 20 feet away. In cases like this, it’s easy to create privacy screens. Using plants, lattice work, pergolas and custom built landscape structures, our landscape designers can create the perfect private oasis in any yard.

If you're going to have some plants put in to create a privacy screen, this is as good a time as any to have an irrigation system installed, too. With an in-ground irrigation system, you'll never have to deal with a tangled mess of garden hose again. Learn more about the benefits of an irrigation system.


3. Concrete vs. Stone or Brick

Brick and paver stone patios and walkwaysIf you’re thinking about having a patio installed in your yard, you’ve probably debated whether it should be concrete, stone, brick or something else altogether. There are pros and cons to each, but after having installed hundreds of patios of all types, here are our thoughts:

Concrete is the most cost-effective material, but it has zero aesthetic appeal and is prone to cracking—particularly with the freeze-thaw-freeze cycles we often get in Wisconsin. There’s an old saying: There are two kinds of concrete—the kind that’s cracked and the kind that’s going to crack.

Although stamped concrete is a step up in appearance, it is still concrete and will likely crack at some point. Consider, too, if the concrete is stained or chipped by something you drop on it, you’re stuck with it. With a stone or brick patio, removing and replacing the damaged area is fairly easy. Similarly, a brick or stone patio can be reconfigured, while concrete is a more or less permanent installation.  

As to which option will have the most positive impact on your home’s value: Without a doubt, a patio made with bricks or paving stones will add more to your home’s value than a concrete slab patio. Don’t count on it being a huge moneymaker, though. The average return on investment for a patio addition ranges between 30% and 60%. That said, a great looking patio can be the thing that makes your home more attractive than another home when you’re selling it. The real reason to choose a brick or stone patio, though, is for your own enjoyment and pride of ownership while you’re in the home.

4. Leave Room In The Budget For Landscape Lighting.

Nothing spoils the mood of a relaxing evening on the patio faster than the harsh blaze of a wall-mounted light right above the patio being flicked on. To create a more pleasing atmosphere, we recommend low voltage outdoor lighting strategically placed around the patio. Mounted one to two feet above the ground in a landscaped area, these lights give off a warm glow that is just right.

Sure, you could go the cheap route and pick up a box of those solar powered landscape lights at your local box store, but we think you’ll find their blueish tint is a bit cold and, in most cases, underpowered. Also, if your patio area gets a lot of sun exposure those plastic lights probably won’t last more than one or two seasons. It is well worth making the investment in lighting fixtures that will last and provide a far better quality of light.

Considering having a patio installed, or have one in need of repair? Let the patio pros at Brennan Landscaping give you a free, no-obligation estimate.

Contact our Milwaukee patio builders today for more information and pricing on patio construction.

Return to the News list


"The owner truly cared about creating an authentic plan for my yard. I utilize the patio more than I ever expected to. The job took an extra week to finish, but the quality of the work and materials were worth it. Meticulous work."

– Cindy, Green Bay

You did a great job, Tim, we could not be happier. We also enjoyed working with such a nice and professional person.

– Michael, Fox Point

Thank you for the beautiful landscaping job! So many people have commented on how nice it looks.”

– Marie, Wauwatosa

Thank you for all your hard work on our project. We are thrilled with our patio and are very excited to complete the backyard landscaping this spring.”

– Jay, Fox Point