HOG common patio design mistakes to avoid

As a homeowner, there are few things more satisfying than sitting outside in a beautifully-designed backyard. With the right design and outdoor furniture, you can transform your outdoor space into your very oasis. However, the opposite is also true. A poor deck design and the wrong patio layout that fails to properly utilize the space can be a waste of a good outdoor space and money. To help you attain the backyard of your dreams, here are a few common and costly patio design mistakes you should try to avoid.  

Poor Or Rushed Deck Design

If a gorgeous deck is part of the backyard you envisioned for your home, it’s important to take the time to get its design right–especially if you’re opting to DIY your deck. While designing your deck yourself can give you a huge sense of accomplishment, there are a lot of possible missteps to consider. It’s important to take your time when designing your deck, research other designs for inspiration, and consult a professional for advice if possible.  

“Hiring a highly-recommended professional is typically the smoothest route to achieving a great deck in your backyard,” advised John Walsh, a writer at Research Papers UK. “Nonetheless, you should know enough about possible design mistakes to have the maximum amount of input in the process.” 

Creating Your Patio Design Solely Based On Trends

Though modern trends and other backyard designs are great sources of inspiration, your final design should showcase your own personal style and preferences. Designing your outdoor space based solely on the latest trends might result in a chic patio, but it’ll lack the functionality and personal touches of a space that reflects your personality.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a trendy backyard, but remember that trends come and go all the time. It’s a good idea to design the space you truly want and feels most comfortable to you in order to get the most out of your patio. 

Not Measuring Your Backyard  

One of the biggest outdoor space design mistakes is forgetting to measure the space before you start the design process. Measuring your outdoor space allows you to accurately plan for furniture size and placement as well as the size of your deck.

While deck size is ultimately a matter of preference, an inappropriately-sized deck can ruin the appearance of an outdoor space. If your deck is too large for your backyard, you risk losing the natural aesthetic of the space. On the other hand, a deck too small might not be able to accommodate the outdoor furniture you want. Most builders recommend a deck that is no larger than 20% of your home’s square footage. 

Similarly, measurements of your backyard enables you to shop for outdoor furniture that fits well in your outdoor space. This allows you to visualize your finished backyard before purchasing any furniture pieces. 

Ignoring Outdoor Safety Considerations 

While a stunning outdoor space is the end goal of your design, your first and foremost priority should be safety. Your backyard should be a safe space for your family to gather and enjoy. Some important safety tips to consider in your patio design are: 

  • Place sufficient lighting around your backyard to prevent nasty falls and tripping hazards. 
  • Include railings in your deck design to help elderly family members safely walk up and down the steps and to prevent children from falling off the deck. 
  • Don’t put outdoor torches, portable fireplaces, barbecues or other fire hazards close to other decorations and furniture. 

Absence Of Flora 

Even if you prefer a more modern patio design, it should still look like an outdoor space. The absence of plant life in your design can make your backyard feel like just another room in your home. Not including plants, flowers, trees, and other foliage in your outdoor space is a missed opportunity to create a beautiful backyard that allows you to bask in nature. 

Choosing The Wrong Materials 

Since your patio is exposed to various outdoor elements, it’s important to select durable deck materials, outdoor furniture, and décor. 

Most experts recommend staying away from softwood for your decking and subframe because it only lasts a few years before it rots. Instead, choose materials like hardwood or composite for durable decking and a strong subframe. It might seem like an unnecessary investment, but choosing robust materials now can save you from an expensive deck replacement in a few years. 

“Since your outdoor furniture and décor are subject to weather conditions in your area, it’s a good idea to select pieces composed of weather resistant materials,” suggests Carol Alcantara, a blogger at Writinity and Draftbeyond. “Regardless of how many seasons your home experiences, durable materials increases the longevity of your furniture and décor.”  

No Symmetry Or Balance

While the arrangement of your furniture and décor will depend on factors such as functionality and preference, consider the balance and symmetry of the space as well. No matter how large or small your backyard is, thoughtful placement allows you to fully utilize and enjoy your space.

Lack of Décor And Accessories 

Stylish and weather resistant patio furniture is typically far from cheap. The cost of outdoor furniture on top of the price for your deck usually leaves little room in the budget to accessorize. However, overlooking décor and accessories for your backyard is a big design mistake. 

These smaller pieces can elevate your outdoor space from something basic to extraordinary. Outdoor accessories such as pottery, light fixtures, cushions, and garden statues have the power to add much-needed personal touches and flair to your patio. 

Overdecorating Your Patio 

While an outdoor space that lacks accessories and décor can be underwhelming, the opposite could be overwhelming. A common mistake among homeowners is decorating every inch of their backyard. 

While you may not be a fan of minimalism, too much furniture and décor in an outdoor space can make it feel congested and appear smaller than it actually is. To avoid overdecorating your patio, layer furniture pieces and accessories gradually and resist the urge to keep going after achieving a perfectly functional and pleasant space. 


Designing your dream outdoor space is one of the best perks of being a homeowner. Don’t forget to bring your personal style into your design and to have fun in the process. 

Authors Bio: Jenny Williams


Jenny Williams is a lifestyle writer and editor at Assignment Writing Service and Luckyassignments.com. She writes about more home design tips for Gumessays.com service blog.

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