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Hate Your Patio? Here are 5 DIY Ways to Make It Better

Sometimes it can be hard to enjoy your time out on the patio. Perhaps the patio itself needs some maintenance or it gets too hot and just isn't comfortable. No matter what the issue, here are five DIY ways to make your patio better.

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Add Shade

When you want to relax and unwind outside, sometimes it’s just too hot. If your patio faces east, west or south, and you don’t have sufficient shade, there’s a good chance that the sun’s hot rays make it uncomfortable to sit out there during the daytime hours. So, if that lack of shade is keeping you off the patio, here’s what you can do.

Build a pergola and place your patio furniture underneath it to get a break from the sun. These pergola plans will help you get plenty of shade over your patio. (Add a fabric cover over your pergola for extra protection.) If you want to go a less expensive route, seek shade under an umbrella, patio awning or a shade sail. And, as a future solution, plant a shade tree so that when it’s grown it will provide natural shade. There are plenty of options, no matter what your budget or your space.

Buy a patio awning now on Amazon. or buy a shade sail now on Amazon.

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Family Handyman

Stain It

If it’s just the look of your patio you’re tired of, try staining it. Concrete stains are a quick and inexpensive way to change the look of your patio with a touch of vibrant color. And the best news? You can do it yourself in just one weekend! Follow these expert tips for staining your concrete.

All you have to do is wet the concrete and spray on the stain which then becomes a permanent part of the surface. While it can fade over time, a sealer will help protect your patio from the elements. Most home centers sell concrete stains and the color is added just like it is with paint. A gallon will cover up to about 400 square feet.

Tired of concrete? Here’s how to build a deck over your patio!

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FenceJoanne Dale/Shutterstock

Build a Privacy Fence

If you feel a bit exposed while relaxing and entertaining on your patio, perhaps it’s time for a privacy fence. There’s no one-size-fits all approach when it comes to fences. Be sure to do plenty of research to make sure your fence is compliant with local building codes and that it will actually block your view of whatever it is you’re seeking privacy from. These tips will help you plan, design and construct a wooden privacy fence.

Once the fence is in place, you can add hanging baskets, planters or decorative outdoor lights to make the space your own. Don’t want a wood fence? Depending on your space and landscaping, alternatives such as fast growing and dense trees or shrubs may work. (These are the best privacy plants for your backyard.) A privacy screen can also give you a sense of seclusion you’re after.

Build a privacy fence in just one weekend.

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Make it More Comfy

Nobody wants to relax on a boring and uncomfortable slab of concrete. Bring your patio space to life with lighting, flowers and comfortable furniture. Try adding lanterns or string lights so you can enjoy the space in the evening, after the sun goes down. Flowers, herbs and plants will help make the patio space feel more homey, smell delightful and even attract butterflies. (These are the best herbs to grow on a patio.) And, some plants, such as catnip, marigolds and rosemary, are known to keep mosquitoes away. (These 11 natural bug repellents are worth trying.) Finally, make your patio a space where people will want to relax on your comfortable furniture. Make sure there’s a place for everyone to sit and add outdoor pillows, an outdoor rug and a portable fire pit to round out your outdoor living room. Check out these 15 awesome plans for DIY patio furniture.

You need these 11 pest-control plants in your yard.

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Cover It

If your current concrete patio is cracked and looking worn and weathered, there’s no need to tear it out and start over. Instead, just cover that old concrete.

Wooden deck tiles just snap together and come in several sizes and styles. One benefit is that the tiles can be removed and relocated if needed. They also stay cooler than concrete, so you won’t burn your toes when walking barefoot.

You can also try covering the patio with pavers, which come in countless styles and colors. (Learn how this patio paver base will save your back.) You’ll need to scrub the edges of the patio, figure out the layout for the pavers and spread a flat bed of sand before laying the pavers, but you can cover an average-sized patio space with pavers in one weekend. This is the best way to cover a concrete patio with pavers.

Yes, you can use big pavers for a small patio. We’ll show you how.

Buy wooden deck tiles now on Amazon.

Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.