Floor and Roof Options to Consider for Your Patio

A patio can range from an open-air paved area to a sheltered space, depending on how you set it up. When designing the site, you need to decide what kind of flooring and roofing you want. Here are several options.


The floor will help define the character of the patio. You could lay brick pavers and place pot plants around the space for a homey, rustic feel. Alternatively, slate pavers will cover the area in earthy blues, greys, and tans for an elegant appearance. If you wanted to design a grand classic patio, what about large square ivory and pink travertine tiles?

One of the biggest decisions regards the patio size. You could pave a compact area or cover a sweeping expanse of your yard with pavers and designate one spot for the outdoor living space.

Your patio builder could alternatively lay decorative concrete instead of pavers. Because concrete is poured, it creates smooth curves and contours, so you can design a patio with an organic winding edge. Contractors can colour and texture cement to mimic stone. However, the advantage of concrete is that it's often more affordable.


After coating the ground, you need to decide whether to roof the patio to block the sun and rain. You could build a fixed flat roof attached to the house and supported by poles. Another shape to consider is a gable roof that forms an upturned V-shape. Transparent polycarbonate sheets let the light flow through, so they don't give the patio a heavy feel. Alternatively, you could use opaque Colorbond roofing with colour on both sides.

Of course, these coverings will take away some of the lightness of an open-air patio. But in return, you can enjoy the space more often. You could sit outside and listen to the pattering rain on the patio roof, without which, you'd be inside. In summer, you won't have to bother putting on sunscreen and can wander out to the patio and enjoy the breeze under shelter.

If you want flexibility, you could install a retractable awning. Alternatively, some adjustable canopy roof designs move along a roof frame and poles. The patio is open when the roof is retracted, and the poles are relatively unobtrusive.

A fixed form of roof shelter to consider is a shade sail. These can be cut to any shape and size and attached to the house and poles. You can opt for waterproof or sunscreen fabric. They maintain the open feel of outdoor space.

Another possibility is to create a structure that is half-built and half-natural. For example, a patio builder can construct an attractive timber frame skeleton for you to grow deciduous vines across it. In summer, the greenery will spread over the top to create a welcoming shady spot. In winter, though, you can catch some warming sunshine while relaxing outside.

Talk to a patio builder to start designing your patio.