Outdoor patio ideas! This is the place to find everything you're looking for. From ideas and photos, to plans to ensure you get the patio of your dreams!

Need some Patio Ideas ? There is nothing better than spending time with friends and family in your own outdoor patio. You've probably been thinking about having get togethers in your back yard for some time now, but are perhaps a little intimidated about the cost and difficulty involved.

Sure, you could always fork out the few thousand dollars it would take to hire a contractor, but, if you're like me, a few thousand dollars might be more than you're willing to spend.

Rest assured, you can build an outdoor patio yourself for a fraction of the cost and you don't have to be a professional to do it either.

If you're like me, you have some technical ability, meaning you're smart enough (most of the time) to get your thumb out of the way before you hammer it,but you're a bit intimidated with the idea of actually starting a project as seemingly challenging as building a outdoor patio. Rest assured, you are not alone. There are plenty of us out there who fall into that category. Luckily, we have the experience of others who have gone through the pain first.

I have spent exhaustive hours researching ideas that you can use for free. No more trial and error and wasted hours, not to mention aching backs. You can take these free ideas and adapt them to your backyard for free!

Fail to plan and plan to fail!

If you have no plan you are sure to go astray, wasting precious time and money that you could be using to enjoy yourself outdoors. The best thing to do is to follow a few steps to ensure you know what you're getting into before you're up to your neck in it.

Step 1 - Where to put the darned thing
This may seem obvious to you, but take a closer look into your own situation and determine the best place to locate your outdoor patio and the ideal size and dimensions for it.

Step 2 - What Materials Will I Need To Get The Job Done

When it comes to outdoor patio design there are many options to choose from as far as materials go. Brick pavers are a very popular, inexpensive and flexible choice and come in many sizes, shapes and colors. Check out these brick patio ideas.

Another popular, albeit bland, option is a poured concrete patio. Poured concrete is very durable and low maintenance. Check out these poured concrete patio ideas.

A variation of the poured concrete patio is the concrete paver. Concrete pavers are nothing more than concrete formed into molds. These molds come in a variety of shapes and you can even add a bit of color to the concrete to jazz it up a bit. Check out these concrete paver patio ideas.

Stone is another popular choice. There's a variety of stone to choose from, flagstone being one of the more popular. Be aware that stone patios can be a bit pricey. Check out these stone patio ideas.

Once you've decided on the material and quantity you're ready for....

Step 3 - What Tools Will I Need?

Having the right tools can save you a lot of time and frustration. The type of tools you'll need will vary depending upon whether your building with brick, poured concrete, concrete paver, or stone.

Step 4 - What else?

This step is really up to you. You can go many different directions with your flooring now in place. You can add a bar to eat at or entertain with, get fancy with lighting and/or sound systems, put in an outdoor grill, brick benches, etc. The choices are really limitless.

Always keep in mind that any outdoor patio idea begins with good planning. If you are constistently following these steps, your project is bound to succeed.