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Do you need to hire a patio designer?

There are some jobs you can do by yourself. Outdoor projects like basic landscaping work, gravel pathways, or even pergola kits are all tasks you can tackle on your own. But when it comes to more complicated projects, you’ll need a professional. Hiring a designer for your swimming pool sounds obvious, but what about your patio? What is a patio designer, and do you need to hire a patio designer for your next patio project?

What is a patio designer?

Some outdoor assets like pools or landscaping have designated designers. However, it’s unlikely you will find a designer that is specific to creating patios. The closest profession to a career patio designer is a concrete company. These companies specialize in hardscaping work such as driveways, concrete steppers, and pool decking. 

Outside of those who specialize in general hardscaping, your best bet for finding a great patio designer is to find a great landscape designer. Landscape designers are trained to tackle every part of an outdoor living space, including the patio. They can take into account your space as a whole, even if they are just advising on patio or hardscaping. 

Do you need to hire a patio designer, or can you DIY?

We know that not everybody has the time, budget, or desire to work with a designer on their outdoor space. If you’re looking to install a new patio, and are wondering whether or not you need to work with a designer, consider the following.

How complicated is your patio design?

Is the patio you’re dreaming of intricate or multilevel? Does it include a material that is hard to find or work with? If yes, chances are you need a designer. It can be hard to bring the image in your head to life without knowledge of materiality or installation. Even if you’re aiming for a more simplistic concrete patio, knowing whether or not it can be done in your space may take the insight of a patio designer. 

Is your backyard level?

Put lightly, it’s difficult to lay a patio even on level ground. If your yard is sloped or has a significantly uneven grade, then you’ll need to call in an expert. Not only is the installation hard work, but you need to make sure that the design accommodates the conditions. 

Is the first step in a new outdoor living space?

If the only requirement of your patio is that it provide seating, then a designer may not be necessary. However, many homeowners may choose to renovate one segment of their yard at a time. If this is the case, then working with a designer will help you avoid a disjointed final product. 

Because most patio designers are landscape designers by trade, they provide a holistic look at your space. They can create a patio that's linked to other features of your yard, and can be expanded on without difficulty. If your future holds a fully renovated backyard, you should turn to an expert for help. 

How to find a great patio designer.

Finding a great patio designer means finding a great landscape designer. To do that, you need to understand what to watch out for before beginning your hunt. Not all landscape designers or patio designers are created equal, and just because a company has a large web presence, it doesn’t mean they are the best fit for you.

To find a great patio designer for your next hardscaping project, consider the following:

Word of Mouth (Family and Friends)

The oldest form of finding good help is still one of the best. Recommendations from family and friends that you trust is a safe way to find patio designers in your area that will do great work. Not only can you get the unbiased truth from someone you trust, but chances are you can see the finished product for yourself.

If you don’t know close friends or family that have recently hired a patio designer or landscape design firm, then try asking your community. From apps like Nextdoor to lunch break around the office, try to find resources and recommendations from people in your immediate area.

Online Portfolios

Aside from word of mouth, online portfolios give you a great way to evaluate the work of patio designers in your area. Most of the best companies will have a robust portfolio of work available for you to view. Some landscape designers may keep this portfolio on their website, while others may use online options such as Houzz.

When deciding which of these options is best for your backyard, consider style, pricing materials, and overall quality of work. Some designers may specialize in creating one type of patio. An expert with concrete pavers may not be an expert at pouring slab concrete. Taking time to sleuth and find the right fit now will save you time later.

Unbiased Reviews

The final approach to finding the right patio designer for your new patio is to consult online reviews. From Google to Yelp, sites dedicated to providing comprehensive reviews of companies and services are synonymous with the modern day consumer experience. To ensure you are reading reviews you can trust, double check to see that reviews sound thoughtful, and written by real people as opposed to bots.

Always follow up by researching a company's portfolio and viewing examples of their work before making the decision to hire them.

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