How to Design a More Accessible Backyard Patio

June 18, 2019

Your backyard patio should be a place for you, your family, and your guests to relax and enjoy each other’s company. If accessibility is something that will be important to the design of your backyard patio, there are a few things you can consider to create a space that is safe and inviting for people with mobility issues, visual impairments, etc. Here’s how to design a more accessible backyard patio:

1. Stick With a Smoother Material and Design

Concrete is a versatile material and can be used to create intricate designs. For a more accessible backyard patio, choose a smoother design for the foundation of your patio. This will help prevent accidental trips and falls from unexpected ridges or gaps and will make it easier for someone using a wheelchair or walking assist devices to navigate.

2. Go for a Standard Shape

Most backyard patios tend to follow a standard shape and end up being a square, rectangle, or circle anyway. But, some patio designs can end up making some unique and unexpected contours.

Although they can make for an interesting look in your backyard, a patio with unexpected curves, edges, and joints can make it more difficult to navigate and less accessible. By sticking with a more standard shape, your guests will have an easier time moving around the patio and staying on solid ground.

3. Include a Gentle Slope Instead of Stairs

Many backyard patios tend to connect to the house and extend out into the backyard from there. Instead of going with stairs for entry to and from the patio, consider going with a gentle slope instead. This ensures an easier and safer entry onto the patio and exit into the yard or onto a walkway.

4. Increase the Height of Your Outdoor Tables

You will likely include plenty of outdoor furniture on your backyard patio. Including plenty of outdoor seating and table space is one of the best outdoor patio design ideas. If tables will be included in that, go with higher outdoor tables without fixed seating and make sure there is plenty of space. Tables and countertops that are at least 27 to 34 inches in height will accommodate someone using a wheelchair. And, as long as you don’t have fixed seating, you’ll be able to move chairs out of the way as needed, so everyone can have a comfortable place at the table.

5. Consider Putting in Railings

Depending on the overall placement, shape, size, and style of your backyard patio, consider putting in railings around the edges of the patio that aren’t entry or exit points. Not only does this leave the patio accessible for those using a wheelchair or walking assist devices, but it also creates a safer environment for someone with visual impairments or who is using a walking aid. This is especially important if your backyard patio will be raised and have some steep edges or slopes.

When you design and build a custom home, you get the opportunity to have a say in every detail of it. Not only does this allow you to get the home of your dreams, but it also allows you to improve the accessibility of your home during the process for yourself, a family member, or guests.

If your current home just isn’t cutting it anymore or if you’re already looking for a new home and you can’t find the right fit on the market, consider investing in a custom home to get exactly what you want and need. If you’re ready to start designing and building your dream home, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090!