Patio Ideas - How to Create Raised Patios

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Are you having problems figuring out some patio ideas due to the fact that your patio door is quite a bit above the ground? There are some very creative and functional ways to tackle this challenge. I will discuss them in this article.

Raised patios are fine. However, there are two main aspects to consider.

The first one is that you do not want a long staircase leading down to your property. Steep staircases are not comfortable. In addition, unless you have sidewalls, if you have more than two or three steps (check with your own building department), you will most likely need railings.

The second issue is that a patio high off the ground needs some type of protection from falling off the patio. Railings are a solution, but perhaps you don't want railings. An alternative solution is to build wide planters. They should be a minimum of two feet deep.

One more thing to think about is that these types of patios need side walls, which add a considerable amount onto the cost. The higher the walls, the more they cost. The pricing is determined by the square footage of the walls and also the wall material you use. Concrete decorative block is one of the less expensive options, while natural stone will be the most costly.

What I find to be a good solution to many of these problems, is to create a more gradual transition from your room inside the house to the ground level. (It is much more pleasant to step down just a few steps in a couple of different areas than to go down many, many stairs.)

How do you do this?

It depends on how high off the ground you are. If you are extremely high up, you can create patio terraces, or levels. Design your main patio which you will step down to from your house, and them add some steps going down another level. From the second level, you can have additional steps leading to the ground. You can even have a third level.

If the grade difference is not that great, it can be done differently.

Let's say that altogether you need seven steps. Create a landing out your door, where you have one step down to it. The landing should be at least four feet deep; you can make it as wide as you like. Provide three steps from the landing down to the main patio. I like to add built in planters at the landing edges, so that railings are not needed. You'll need to leave at least eighteen inches in width for each planter and one foot for the outside supporting wall. Plants that you add will provide both a physical and visual barrier.

From the main patio, create another three steps leading to the ground. Now you have a nice way to get down to your yard.

Raised patios need compacted fill and/or stone beneath them to fill the space. This is a common construction method.

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Susan Schlenger is a landscape designer and author of the popular - a website born out of her passion. It offers professional landscaping ideas on many topics. Perhaps you have a passion or hobby you'd like to write about. If you would like to see how Susan created her site, visit her page You can also watch a video made up of pictures from one of her patio projects at

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