Top 7 Patio Design Guides

Find Planbooks for Patios and Walkways

Planning a new patio or walkway? Before you begin laying brick or stone, check out these idea and how-to books. With color photos and step-by-step instructions, they'll pave your way to success. Rather work in wood? Check out our Top 7 Books on Deck Design.

Author: Lee Anne White
Published: 2012, Taunton Press, print and e-book

From Taunton's Ideas That Work series comes a book to plan your outdoor spaces. The "idea that works" is what Frank Lloyd Wright has been telling us for years—design interior space to blur with exterior spaces, creating a more organic and expanded living area. Walkways from the patio continue the theme of extending living space into nature. Old ideas are new ideas.

Author: Sunset
Published: 2008, Oxmoor House

This 144-page guide from Sunset has outdoor living spaces covered with lots of detail about masonry materials and techniques. Subtitled Build with Brick, Stone, Pavers, Concrete, Tile and More. What more?

Author: Edited by Andrea Boekel
Published: 2007, Images Publishing

Boekel has put together an international array of outdoor spaces—photgraphs, diagrams, and details—reminding us about the historic function of large, open areas. From the Vulgar Latin word for "open area," patium, hard-floored patios have a history distinct from the wooden "deck," traditionally found on boats. Architectural design is about history, and this book shows our modern patios as the courtyards found throughout the world.

Published: 2004, Creative Homeowner

Whether you're building with concrete, stone, or brick, you'll find detailed instructions here. From Creative Homeowner Press, the book includes 320 drawings and 50 full-color photographs. A great first book.

This 2009 Sunset Design Guide was put together by Tom Wilhite of Green Man Garden Design & Consultation in Sausalito, California. The patio perspective here is as a space within the landscape architecture. The stone is not all about the patio; it's part of the landscape. Some editions of this book come with a DVD bound in the book. Also check out Wilhite's 2011 book for Sunset, Landscaping with Stone: Fresh Ideas for Outdoor Living.

Published: 2015, Creative Homeowner Home Improvement Series

Maybe it's not a patio that you should be building. The 21st century movement is the outdoor kitchen, and writers Steve Cory and Diane Slavik are on top of the trend.

Author: Rachel Mathews
Published: 2013, Successful Garden Design, Kindle Edition

Seek out electronic books like this one, subtitled "A Guide to Garden Patio Planning and Landscape Design." E-books are inexpensive and highly recyclable. From the series How to Plan Your Garden, Mathews book is an extension of her online presence at Successful Garden Design website, so her focus tends to be more about landscape architecture.