If you are in the design stages of you paver patio there are two feature that you absolutely must consider before it is too late and they can no longer be installed. Depending on the company that you have installing your outdoor living area the cost may vary from very affordable to very expensive.
Some people may think, “well I can’t afford these features so why even consider them”. To those people I say please read on. I think after reading the final and most important paragraph you will at least a very strong understanding as to the actual true benefits that these features have to offer.
Low Voltage Lighting
Before you go blowing this one the window because of your all to familiarity with the poor quality Home Depot lighting that you spend $100 and hated, listen to this. I too went that route many years ago. It left such a bad taste in my mouth that it took year to actually reconsider low voltage lighting.
It was all about the quality
Years later I installed a product called Alliance lighting. What it did for my property was breathtaking to say the least. Ya sure doing some brick work to your front entry way or adding a brick paver driveway may add some curb appeal, but lighting just pops out at you.
In order for a paver driveway to attract that much attention it would need neon lights to be flashing saying “check me out”. OK all kidding aside it truly does capture the eye, not to mention look sexy.
Sure it looks good, but it also provides both safety in terms of being able to see your surrounding as well as being able to see people or animals. Chances are you may not have a human intruder, but I wouldn’t put it past a friendly skunk making an appearance. They turn on by themselves and shut off 4, 6 or 8 hours later depending on the setting. Dusk till dawn is also a feature.
Affording low voltage lighting
Once you get your pricing for the low voltage lighting portion of your patio quote you may think that the price is too much. Remember that most hardscaper that provide excellent quality work will not dare install any crappy or cheap lighting. So that price reflects on the final cost. The final price is just a fraction of the cost of the entire patio. Why not be patient and save some additional funds as this is not a possibility for installing at a later date. Not without it costing you an arm and a leg for re-configuring and reconstruction.
Another option is to purchase the low voltage wire yourself and ask the company you hired if they would be willing to help you out. Here at Strictly Stone we have never had a problem helping out a client in achieving their dreams of having a cool outdoor living space.
Finally, you can take the risk and purchase low cost lighting and have them install it or you your self if they allowed it. The plus about this route is that the all important low voltage line will already be strung within the patio and seating walls so you can always easily replace them with higher quality low voltage lighting in the future.
Here are some places you can install your low voltage lighting.
- Underneath seating wall caps
- Underneath outdoor kitchen countertops
- Underneath fire pit caps
- Shinning down steps or staicases
- Shinning up the pegola posts
- Shine them up a tree behind the patio to create depth
- Incorporate them into your water feature
- Underneath pillar caps
- Install path light down dark stretch
I was able to dig up these old photos of one of my very first low voltage lighting projects. This house was located in Gurnee, Illinois. You will have to click on each picture individually to see them enlarged.
Gas Powered Fire Pit
This is another must have feature. The prices of these units fully installed can vary from $2500-5000. The number alone does not sound bad. When you are already considering installing a seating wall to compliment the gas fire pit and of course the entire patio it may be well beyond your budget. Again, understanding that added benefits can make you realize the true value these items hold.
Quick on and off
It feels great when you are able to go outside at moments notice and have a fire by flipping a switch or lighting a match. I mean who has time to go change their clothes, gather wood, get the fire going, stoke it and hope that the smoke doesn’t choke the guests.
No Odors or smells
Wood fires are great but take work to accomplish and not to mention clean. Plus they can sometimes scare away your guests from truly enjoying a moment by the fire.
Fire pits also become a focal point for a patio. People love the way they look and they seem to gravitate to them more frequently. Not sure if its the sense of conform that a fire pit already bring but they have the power to pull you in. America has a love for fire pits.
Here are a few picture of some fire pits that may provide some inspiration.
The most important thing to consider about both features
The one most important thing you must absolutely must consider is this. Both of these feature provide you with one thing that is priceless in this world. And that is time. How do you say? Well, they do that by extending the use of your patio. Now before you dismiss that as sales talk listen to exactly what I mean by “they extend the use of your patio”.
Imagine yourself inside your house. You just happen to walk by your sliding glass door. The curtains are open but you can see a thing outside. You keep walking and nothing happened. How sad is that 🙁
Now imagine yourself walking by that same sliding door and the low voltage lighting has automatically turn on earlier so it has illuminated your patio area and is providing a warm ambient glow that is simply inviting. So what happens next, you ask the loved one to join you for a cocktail by the fire. Assuming you also went with the gas fire pit, just flip that switch and enjoy. And when you are done just flip that switch and call it a night. Now how wonderful is that story. Oh, and they lived happily ever after…THE END 😉