Regardless of the size of your backyard, installing a concrete patio can give it new life. Since concrete can be cast in nearly any shape, size, color, and pattern, your concrete patio can be tailored to have the visual appeal and functionality you desire. In this post, we cover 9 concrete patio ideas on a budget that anyone can do.
Your concrete patio can be a small, passive part of the property or the main entertaining space for friends and family. It all comes down to your preferences and limitations. And because concrete is not very expensive, installing a concrete patio is an excellent way to spruce up your backyard on a budget.
The best part? Concrete patios are low maintenance and only need cleaning and sealing every three years. A well-maintained concrete patio will serve you for 30 years.
In this post, we discuss popular patio ideas you can consider when designing your concrete patio.
9 Concrete Patio Ideas on a Budget to Enliven Your Outdoor Space
#1 Put Together a Dining Area
Having a deck in the backyard is a classy way to dine with guests, but putting one together can feel like a long and complicated task. Making a concrete patio is not very difficult and only requires minimal planning and some hard work.
All you need to do is measure how large you want the dining space, and pour a concrete patio accordingly. This is the easiest way to create a level area to place a table and chairs. If you don’t want a dining area, you could place some lounge chairs on your concrete patio instead.
The nice thing about poured concrete is that the slab you put together can be as complex or simple as you like. The idea of pouring concrete is to designate a level surface in your backyard for furniture without it tearing up the grass or sinking into the mud.
To make your dream seating or dining area in the backyard, you will need some basic carpentry tools, a wheelbarrow, and a garden hose to make the form in which you will pour the concrete. When it sets, you will be on your way to creating a beautiful spot in your yard for some barbeque with loved ones.
#2 Complement the Concrete Patio with Plants
Garden beds and plants beautifully complement concrete patios by giving the space a discernable contrast and making the patio look more relaxed.
There are numerous studies about the mental health benefits of being around plants, which include reduced stress and anxiety, improved memory and productivity, and enhanced creativity.
As mentioned earlier, concrete can take nearly any shape, which means you can also create garden beds or winding pathways to spruce up your yard. You can pour concrete in any shape that adds to the yard’s aesthetic.
While concrete may not look natural, the flexibility in design ideas allows you to adapt it to fit the space, which means the concrete doesn’t need to look distracting either.
Picking the right plants is key to making the patio stand out. For instance, if you want more privacy from peering neighbors, you can place some tall potted shrubs around the sides of the yard.
#3 Construct a Firepit
Spending time around an open fire pit is arguably the best way to spend a summer night with friends. There’s nothing better than standing around a fire pit for a toast and a laugh.
Having a firepit at home is more convenient and will make you feel safer than being in a tent and spending the night in a sleeping bag. More importantly, you won’t need to travel far away in your car to enjoy this simple luxury.
Fire pits can be built in many different ways, and you need to build one that will complement your backyard and concrete patio.
Some options for building a fire pit include bricks and cinderblocks. You can also put together a form and pour concrete to build a fire pit.
Using a paver base as the foundation for your fire pit is the right way to go since it is sturdy and stable but does not hold water. In other words, you don’t have to worry about the pit flooding and requiring clean-up in rainy weather.
You can also consider using gravel as the fire pit base, but the stones are known to have water trapped in them. The gravel may expand and explode when heated, which can hurt you.
#4 Pour a Concrete Patio by the Pool
If you have a pool in the backyard, putting together a patio is a great way to prepare the space for parties.
There’s nothing like a dip in the pool when the sun’s beating down, and coupling the backyard pool with concrete patio space is an excellent way to ensure the party keeps going.
The concrete patio gives you the space needed to place plenty of seating for your guests. Of course, not every guest will swim, and not every guest will want to spend time tanning by the pool. It’s important to have some seats under umbrellas to ensure every guest enjoys their time by the pool.
#5 Build a Tiered Concrete Patio
Having a sloped backyard can be frustrating for some homeowners since many believe it limits their decoration options. But the truth of the matter is that a sloped backyard allows you to make a tiered design, with every level of your yard serving a different purpose.
You can do a lot with a tiered concrete patio to make it look beautiful. You could consider creating a tier for an outdoor kitchen, another for dining, and the third one for lounging. This way, your yard will be divided into three different spaces instead of one large patio that feels more like a parking lot than a spot for R&R.
While you could connect the tiers using narrow stairs, it’s better to use full-width steps. Large steps spread across the entire patio width will give the yard a waterfall-like look and break up the areas without separating them.
#6 Covered Patio Ideas
If you’d rather have your patio fully protected from the sun than use flimsy umbrellas for the job, constructing a covered patio is the right way to go. The covering will protect the patio from heat and other elements, allowing you to enjoy using the patio throughout the year.
A gazebo will protect the patio space from the elements the most, but the trade-off is that they’re expensive to build. But if you want your backyard space to have an indoor living room type feel, gazebos are the best option.
You can also consider building a pergola, but it will only shade you from the sun for a few hours a day. Some homeowners don’t want to block out the sun completely, and they design and orient the pergola to let the sun inside during specific hours of the day in the summer.
Pergolas are cheaper to build than gazebos, potentially leaving you a bigger chunk of your budget for furniture and decor. If you want more protection from the sun than the pergola offers, you can fit it with a sunshade.
#7 Pair the Concrete Patio with Wood
Concrete is affordable, durable, and requires minimal maintenance, making it an excellent material for creating walkways and patio spaces. That said, the cold color and rough texture give it an incomplete look.
Introducing some warmth into a concrete patio is as simple as integrating wood into your patio design.
You could use various wood materials to create built-in benches, build wooden furniture, or put together fences or other accents that make the patio area look more casual and relaxing.
Staining the wood will make the bench or chair pop while toning down the frigid look of concrete.
#8 Use Concrete Pavers
Concrete patios aren’t necessarily poured as one slab — you have other options that will make the project more manageable and economical. One idea you can try is using concrete pavers, which are small pads with a unique look. Concrete pavers look more balanced than a massive slab across your yard.
You can either buy concrete pavers or pour them yourself, placing them from a few inches to a few feet apart, depending on their size and your preference. The pavers will give you a flat surface to place tables and chairs without rocking.
You can either use grass or gravel to fill the gaps between the pavers and frame them. The grass or gravel will create some visual interest, making your patio that much more attractive.
The nice thing about pavers is that they come in a variety of sizes and shapes. This gives you a lot of options when it comes to design. But the downside of using pavers is that they are heavy, so you may need help putting them in your yard.
#9 Consider a Stamped Concrete Patio
Some homeowners find the idea of having a concrete patio quite practical but don’t like the look of plain slabs. If you share this opinion, you should look into getting a stamped patio.
Stamped patios are also concrete slabs, but they have patterns stamped into them while the concrete is wet. This gives the slabs a more attractive look. The patterns can make the slab look like it’s made from natural stone, bricks, pavers, or other patterns that create the desired look.
If you have a large yard and are concerned that your patio area will resemble a parking lot rather than a party space, we recommend looking into stamped concrete patios.
Small Concrete Patio Ideas
If you don’t want an all-out new patio and want to give your existing patio new life, here are some things you can try:
- Add a bistro table and chairs to turn the patio into a dining area
- Add a small fountain
- Add concrete pavers to the patio
- Increase the size of your concrete patio by pouring more concrete
- Install patio walls or fences to grow plants
- Purchase a portable fire pit that you can put away when it’s not in use
- Put up string lights or other lighting to make the patio look better at night
- Resurface the patio to rid it of cracks and discoloration
- Stain your concrete slab
Regardless of which ideas you end up using, your patio will not be as vibrant as you like so long as there are pests around it. Getting rid of pests is a must to create a party-friendly environment.
Pine cones are a cost-effective solution that deter pests and decay slowly, saving you money in the long run.
Also, be sure to properly grade the area and your patio to carry water away from your home’s foundation. This is one of the things that fail a home inspection.
You’ll also want to be sure you put gravel and rebar in place to support your concrete patio and prevent it from cracking.