Patio Extension Ideas for Adding onto an Existing Slab

Learn how concrete, pavers or gravel can be used to make your patio larger
By Justine Guidry

This patio extension was textured and stained to look like wood. Custom Concrete Solutions in Schertz, TX.

If you find yourself wishing your existing patio space was larger, you’re not alone. Many homeowners find that they want a backyard patio extension for a variety of reasons. Some want to expand so they can fulfill a desire to add an outdoor kitchen, others need space for a fire pit, and many just want more room for guests to mingle.

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Whatever the reason, a common question homeowners ask is: Can you add on to an existing patio? Fortunately, the answer is yes—and there are several ways to do it.

How Do You Expand an Existing Patio?

If you are looking to do a patio extension, there are a variety of ways to achieve it. The approach you take depends on your budget, the look you want, and what you’ll be using the extension for. Here are three ideas for extending your concrete patio.

Extend the surface by adding concrete.

One way to increase the size of your patio is to have a concrete contractor add concrete to your existing patio. You might choose the option to extend your patio with concrete if: you’re looking for something more permanent and you want the durability and longevity of concrete. This is also a good option for people who need the extended surface to be flat for activities such as playing basketball, children riding bikes, and the like.

From there, you can do one of the following:

  • Resurface the entire patio. Patio resurfacing is a great way to blend the old with the new. If you choose this option, a contractor will add concrete to create your desired patio size. After preparing the surface, they can apply a coating to the entire surface. That coating can then be customized with the specific colors, textures, and patterns so that the whole patio has the same look and feel. You can even get the look of materials like brick, cobblestone, wood, and more. With resurfacing, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the original surface and the new surface.
  • Stain the entire patio. Staining the old and new surface of your patio is a great way to give it a consistent look without having to resurface the entire thing. You can either use acid stain which creates earthy tones such as tans, browns, terra cottas, and soft blue-greens, or you can use water-based stains which come in a broader selection of colors. Learn more about staining concrete patios here.
  • Leave the concrete as-is. If you don’t want to resurface or stain, you can always just opt for pouring the concrete then leaving it as is. While the difference between the old and new surfaces might be noticeable, it will still serve its purpose: expanding the size of your patio.

This patio extension, joined with the pool area, allows for plenty of room to hang out poolside. Stamped concrete was used to create the look of pavers which helps create defined spaces in this outdoor area. Commercial Concrete Solutions in Platte City, MO.

Can you expand a damaged patio?

If your existing patio has minor cracks, spalling, uneven spots, chipping, or other damage, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a lost cause. Oftentimes, insignificant damage can be resolved. The best way to deal with damage is to contact an experienced concrete contractor who specializes in repair. They’ll be able to tell you if your concrete can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced. If you’re able to have it repaired, a good contractor will also help you evaluate your site to determine how to prevent the damage from occurring again. See more about concrete repair.

If you do have damaged spots on your patio, resurfacing is a great option. Not only will resurfacing allow you to blend your old surface with your new surface, but it’ll also hide your repaired spots, giving you a surface that looks brand new.

More Options for Patio Extensions

Concrete isn’t the only choice for making your patio bigger. Here are two other options to consider.

Can you extend a concrete patio with pavers?

Pavers are a popular flooring option and can be used to complete a patio add on. A benefit to extending your patio with pavers is that since pavers don’t have grout between the joints, they are a permeable surface that water can pass through. While this is a great feature, it can potentially create issues down the line. Because water can pass through, that means the pavers can shift over time. If not installed properly, they may shift not long after you have them placed. Additionally, weeds can grow between pavers, creating lots of maintenance in your patio area. (Note that if pavers are installed properly, it will take longer to encounter these issues.)

You might choose the option to extend your patio with pavers if: you’re looking for a permeable surface that isn’t as permanent as concrete and you don’t mind a surface that isn’t continuous and perfectly flat.

At the Gardens of Appeltern in the Netherlands, this model garden shows how gravel can extend a patio space. Julia700702 / Shutterstock.

Extending a patio with gravel

Using a material such as gravel is probably the cheapest way to extend your patio area. Many homeowners love that it’s easy to install, permeable, and creates a crunchy sound when you walk on it.

Though it is a fairly simple DIY project, creating a gravel patio area isn’t as straightforward as just pouring the gravel on the ground. You’ll need to extract soil from the area, compact the dirt, lay landscaping fabric to prevent weed growth, and install edging before you put in the gravel. Inadequately preparing the area may result in sinking or a muddy mess. While you do need to do some prep work, it’s a manageable project for most people willing to get their hands dirty.

A common complaint homeowners have about gravel is that it gets kicked around pretty easily and makes its way to areas it’s not supposed to be. To minimize this, you can create a border around the area to make it harder for gravel to get out of its designated spot. It’s inevitable that you will lose some of the gravel over time, but fortunately you can purchase more gravel to refill the area.

You might choose the option to extend your patio with gravel if: you want a flexible patio space that you can easily create yourself.

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