Don't Miss These Innovative and Affordable Patio Ideas on a Budget

Patio idea
Patios are a great way of creating an inviting outdoor space. Nowadays, there are variety of options under your budget, which will make your patio look beautiful and soothing without costing you fortune.
A patio is a lovely retreat; an extension of your house; the perfect option for utilizing your outdoor space for entertainment and recreation.

The basic idea of a patio is to make it look beautiful and inviting - a place that looks like it is worth spending time there, after a hard day at work, where the cool breeze will caress your skin and the clear night sky will glitter with stars.
A look through home designing magazines will give you abundant ideas to design your patio. However, if you have a tight budget, your options may seem limited.

Should you go for a mini-garden, or an elaborate bar and BBQ arrangement, or just an extension of the house with a couple of armchairs and a small coffee table? Fitting everything together on a budget may seem difficult, but fret not, a little innovation and effort on your part can help you create the patio of your dreams, within the budget you have stipulated for yourself.

Mix-n-match the ideas below according to your budget and aesthetics, to get yourself the prettiest patio in the neighborhood.
FLOORING
A wide array of materials are available for surfacing a patio. The material you should choose needs to blend with the surrounding, and of course, fit in your budget. Concrete is, by far, the best option when it comes to patio surfacing. Concrete tiles are available for about a dollar each. In fact, a ride through a scrap market may help you get your hands on scrap concrete which comes even cheaper.
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Simple Concrete Tiles
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Polished Concrete Tiles
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Chipped Concrete Tiles
You can use concrete pavers as a surfacing option. Although pavers are slightly more expensive than tiles and usually come in only rusty brown color or shades of gray, unlike tiles, concrete pavers give you many layer-patterning options.
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Gravel Pavers
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Concrete Pavers
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Red Brick Pavers
A few cost-cutting ideas ... the path to your lawn can be done in innovative ways too!
Place 5x5 inch tiles at a slight distance from each other, such that they are bordered by the natural grass on all sides.
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Leave the grass in your yard untouched. Lay out large concrete tiles only on the pathway that would be walked on the most.
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One more surfacing option is the use of timber! Using grass or stone is fine if you have an outdoor patio in your backyard. But if your patio is an extension of your house, it needs good wood decking. You can either opt for hardwood decking or softwood decking. There's no difference in the wood's durability (there's another reason why they are classified as hard or soft; hardwood comes from slow growing trees, whereas softwood comes from faster growing trees!), softwood is just cheaper than hardwood.
Commonly used hardwoods include IpĂȘ, Birch, Cherry, Oak, Maple and Yellow Poplar, whereas commonly used softwoods include Pine Wood, Fir, Cedar and Spruce. Most commercially available wood is treated these days - hence you can rest assured it will last a decade or so. Among the inexpensive timbers are Pine Wood and Cedar, while Maple, Mahogany, and Birch are slightly more expensive. Artificial wooden flooring is available, and is a better option in case your patio is exposed. Outdoor decking is difficult to maintain, especially if you live in cold areas where it snows a lot. Artificial wood offers protection against this problem.
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Birch Wood Deck
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Pine Wood Deck
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Cedar Wood Deck
FURNITURE
Furniture is an essential element in any patio. You wouldn't want to sit on cold concrete tiles for a night of fine wining and dining, would you? When the summer sets in, you want to be out there grilling your favorite meats, and enjoying them with family and friends. To enjoy the perfect barbecue session with your family or your golf buddies, try creating a mini-dining room in your patio, where you all can settle down, chat, gossip, eat, drink and frolic!
Fitting patio furniture within your budget isn't a long shot by any means. Raid your local flea markets, or try staying updated about garage sales around town. These places are your best sources for decent patio furniture at dirt-cheap prices. Cape Cod furniture is one of the cheapest patio furniture around. Other inexpensive, but good-looking, options include Adirondack furniture and mesh metal furniture. You can also opt for wicker furniture or decorative iron furniture, which are slightly more expensive than Cape Cods or Adirondacks.
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Cape Cod Chairs
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Adirondack Furniture
Use lounge chairs for that ultimate feeling of comfort! Wooden lounge chairs are inexpensive and lightweight to move around too. Try not to splurge too much on cushions as they make only about a percent of difference.
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Patio Lounge Chair
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Beach Lounge Chair
While planning the furniture for the patio, preempt how large a seating area do you want to design? How many people at most, at any given point of time, shall be visiting your patio for a round of food and drinks? Don't cramp too many chairs around a small table. Keep the table large if necessary. Keep children's furniture separate. Let them have their fun by themselves. Use benches or kiddie chairs for the same purpose. Avoid using metal furniture for the children's section lest they end up hurting themselves. Use something that can keep the kids occupied, maybe a tiny blackboard or a swing in a corner.

Another inexpensive and widely used patio furniture option is a bench. You can get wooden benches made from local carpenters. They add a lovely 'park' feel to the entire setting!
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Children's Dining Set
ACCESSORIES
Patio furniture needs to be well equipped with accessories to accentuate the relaxing atmosphere. If you own a small patio, cover the entire thing with a lovely shade. Use an awning, or get an arbor constructed if your budget permits you a little more flexibility. Awnings are affordable and offer full protection against the harsh sun or against unseasonal rains. Be prepared to shell out a few extra bucks for retractable awnings though. Alternatively, use a patio umbrella to cover the seating area so you can have shade while you bond with your family over Sunday brunch.
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Small Decor adds to the aesthetic value
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Antique shops stock old lamps
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Chinese Lanterns
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Paper Lanterns
To highlight the seating area in your patio even more, use a rug or a small mattress. A rug would work better, since it covers a larger area. Financially, a couple of small rugs would not cost as much as a single large designer rug. If you have a budget for a rug, then try finding one at local antique shops - exotic and affordable! Use a flower basket to add some crisp scent to the fresh air. Scented candles, too, can work wonders with their aroma! Of course, not all of it may be possible under a limited budget, but break down your budget according to your tastes.
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Small Rugs
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Large Patio Rugs
Lighting your patio properly is an important aspect as well. You wouldn't want to be left in the dark while spending a night out on the deck with your loved one. While landscaping agencies charge a bomb for their lighting services (just a few odd-shaped light balls can exceed your entire budget!), there are cheaper options to light up your patio.

Opt for Chinese paper lanterns, which can be found in antique shops or pawn shops. They are very affordable and look vivacious when lit up! While working on a budget, paper lamps and lanterns are your best bet. With a more flexible budget, you can also choose hanging lamps to light up your patio.
GREENSCAPING
GreenScaping is actually a very broad term, which involves planting, gardening, lawnscaping, and many other things. From colorful flower shrubs to exotic trees, there's a lot you can do with your patio, but forget not, you have a limited budget. Yes, a budget will limit your options of sprucing up your garden and lawn, but there's still a lot you can do! Scatter the patio with a few flower shrubs and topiary here and there. If you are a home gardener, going the extra mile is highly recommended as it is going to help you make your patio look good at virtually half the usual price. Flower pots are a great way to perk up the patio - use an assortment of flowers and look after them regularly.
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Plant your favorite herbs
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Accessorize your garden with garden-decor
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Choose an assortment of flowers
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Use tin boxes for planting small plants
SAMPLE DESIGN IDEAS
This setting is very rural - the forest around, abundant maple trees, the log cabin, etc., and the design compliments the natural setting very well. The brown mahogany deck contrasts the black and white of the log cabin fantastically. Everything else has been kept to a bare minimum. With so much natural green around, the need to create a personal garden is nullified. The furniture too consists of just two Adirondack chairs and a table.
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This design turns the patio into almost an extended dining room to the house. The seating area is the center of attention and the rest of the design has been kept simple. Red paver bricks are used for flooring purposes, while a drywall of simple rock-stones line the outer edge of the patio. The furniture too is simple, but spacious enough to accommodate 5-6 people. A smattering of green compliments the minimalistic design.
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A more elaborate design, this patio opts for an inexpensive decking to reserve the remaining budget for furniture and plants. The surfacing is done using artificial Pine hardwood, whereas the wall around the entrance is lined with designer paver bricks. The furniture consists of two metal chairs with drape-covers instead of cushions - some cost cutting masterstroke that! There's enough greenery around to keep a nature-lover occupied. The patio focuses mostly on small flower shrubs planted in baskets or pots.
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You can come up with your own ideas for small backyards, that work in spite of a small budget. Pick from the different ideas above and start working on your patio. With a little innovation and effort, you can make sure no one knows that your patio was built on a tight budget!
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