As more homeowners throughout Massachusetts look to expand their outdoor living area to include patios, dining rooms and outdoor kitchens, old world style hardscaping has begun to come back into vogue. A private courtyard area is just one of those classic outdoor spaces that many homeowners are seeking to add, providing a unique area for entertaining friends, stargazing on a warm summer night or a private spot to enjoy a book, some music and a glass of wine. Whatever your ideal setting for a courtyard area might be, chances are you will need to start your project with the flooring. Choose between permeable pavers or concrete pavers, depending on your needs and goals, selecting quality materials that will look great, install easily and last for many years to come.
What is a Courtyard?
There can be some confusion about what the difference is between a courtyard and a common patio. A patio is often a space that comes right off the backdoor of a home, providing space for a barbecue grill, some chairs and perhaps a table. Not usually too large, a patio is often included in the original plans of the home, consisting of a concrete slab or maybe even wood decking, depending on the surrounding terrain. A courtyard is built with a variety of stone materials, including pavers, brick, concrete, flagstone and cobblestone. However, the thing that clearly separates a courtyard from a patio is the enclosure. A courtyard can be enclosed by the shape of your home, walls, fencing, plants and other hardscaping and landscaping options.
Sometimes a combination of materials, such as fencing and plants, are used to add texture, allow light to come through or to make the area more inviting. Fall River homeowners can completely close off a courtyard with four walls, or opt for a semi-enclosure that uses three walls. When you build a private courtyard, the walls can either be short or tall, depending on the level of privacy that you desire. Another option is to add a roof or patio cover. Again, this will depend on your preferences. Sometimes a temporary canvas or waterproof covering, which can be opened and close depending on the weather, might be the best solution.
Typical Features of a Courtyard
In addition to the concrete pavers or permeable pavers, three to four walls as an enclosure and options for roofing, there are other features that are typically used when you build a private courtyard. Here is an overview of some of the more popular features that are used:
- Water Feature – A water feature not only sets the mood of a courtyard by providing a soothing, white noise that blurs away the sounds of lawnmowers and neighborhood kids playing outdoors, but it also creates a focal point for your new courtyard area. Choose from classical fountains, retaining wall water features or disappearing fountains made from natural stone or boulders.
- Lighting – The lighting that you choose when you build a private courtyard should be chosen based on the intended use for your new outdoor living space. Bright, illuminated lighting is great for family game night, dinners and entertaining, while a more subtle choice in mood lighting would be great for cozy, romantic evenings under the stars.
- Furniture – Traditional courtyard furniture is usually wrought iron with comfortable cushions and pillows, however you can make it anything you want. Choose from modern styles to romantic wicker furniture, large dining tables with mismatched chairs or bench seating – it will all depend on how you want to enjoy the space.
- Plants – Make room for plants in your plans to build a private courtyard. Take advantage of built-in planters created with permeable pavers, or set containers on floors, walls, tables or anywhere else they make sense. Select night-blooming varieties or strong summer scents, such as jasmine, to help enhance the mood of your new private courtyard area.
Choosing the Flooring for Your Courtyard
Permeable pavers or concrete pavers? That is the question that we hope to help you decide. When you start out to build a private courtyard, you need to take stock of the area that will be used. Are there natural slopes or drainage issues to consider? Will the area be covered or left open to the elements? There are certain benefits to each type of paver materials that will help you to make an intelligent decision.
- PERMEABLE PAVERS – If you are trying to minimize your impact on the natural surroundings of your home, permeable pavers will likely be the best choice when you build a private courtyard. Permeable pavers can virtually eliminate runoff, negating the need for underground drainage or retention ponds from the average rainstorm by 100 percent. When you choose to use Belgard permeable pavers, there is a 50 year life-cycle for the surface and the quality of these pavers will outperform similar systems, despite the harsh freeze-thaw cycles experienced by most Fall River homeowners in the winter months.
- CONCRETE PAVERS – Affordable, strong and durable – those are just three of the reasons why many Americans choose to use concrete pavers each year. There are many different sizes, colors, shapes, patterns and designs available to choose from, along with slip-resistant texturing and attractive finishes. Belgard concrete pavers are one of the most versatile materials available for Fall River homeowners who are looking to build a private courtyard. An excellent choice for designing a unique entertaining area that is intimate, informal or formal, due to the many varieties and options available.
Where to Get Materials to Build a Private Courtyard in Fall River
If you are looking to expand your outdoor living space and build a private courtyard, patio, dining area or outdoor kitchen, look no further than J&J Materials. With a wide variety of permeable pavers, concrete pavers, patio blocks and other excellent materials that would be well-suited for a DIY courtyard project, J&J Materials can help you get the look and function that you desire right here in Southeastern Massachusetts. Call J&J Materials to find out more about the options available for outdoor living projects or stop by one of our convenient locations in either Bourne or Seekonk to see them for yourself. We also have all of the lighting, mulch, decorative stone, natural stone, water features and other extras that you will need to create the courtyard entertaining area of your dreams!