When it comes to installing a patio or other outdoor living projects, most people think spring and summer are the best times. There’s a common misconception that patios cannot be installed in the cooler months. But fall, and even early winter if the weather is mild, can actually be a great time to install your new patio.
There are several benefits to installing your new patio or outdoor living project now:
- Installing your new patio or outdoor living space now will be less of an inconvenience than installing it in the spring. No matter when you install it, it will make a mess of your backyard. But at this time of year, you’re less likely to be using your yard as much as you would in the spring or summer. In the spring it also tends to rain more, making it muddier and messier to install.
- There is less chance of damaging your landscape during construction during the fall and winter since much of your vegetation will already be dormant.
- You’ll be able to enjoy your new patio at the first signs of spring rather than waiting for construction to be completed.
- If you plan to include a fire pit or outdoor fireplace as part of your new patio, you could be enjoying your new outdoor space as soon as it’s complete.
- If you’re planning to have your patio installed by a contractor, they get busy in spring and summer. You may be waiting weeks or even months for work to begin. Installing your patio in the fall means you can get it installed quickly and you’re likely to receive better customer service when contractors aren’t overwhelmed with clients. Their prices are also likely to be lower in the slow season.
Installing your patio in the fall and winter is not without its challenges. Temperature drops can affect your installation. If you’re using mortar, the temperatures need to stay about 40 degrees for it to set property. Similarly, concrete needs to be poured before the ground freezes and when temperatures are 40 degrees or higher. Pavers are less susceptible to temperature shifts, although changing temperatures can cause the ground to shift, which could cause your patio to shift. To prevent shifting, be sure to dig down 6 to 8 inches and then lay 2 to 3 inches of aggregate and at least 2 inches of sand.