Published at Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 - 01:19:28 AM. Patio. By Alek.
Garden Patio Design - How to Design a Patio A patio is just one element of a garden design, but it is one of the most expensive parts of any garden build. Because the patio fulfills several different functions it needs be given careful consideration. Here are a few pointers on how to design a patio. Location of the patio Most patios are sited immediately adjacent to the rear exit from the house because it is convenient - this may not be the best location for your patio. The back of the house may be shaded all day and therefore not ideal if you wish to like to sit in the sun. Consider a small terrace to the rear of the house with another seating area somewhere else in the garden which gets more sun. When designing a garden its a good idea to include more than one patio.. One patio can be sited so that it catches the last of the evening sun to provide a warm spot for an evening drink or meal. This makes the garden much more interesting and ensures that you are using more of the garden. Intended use of the patio Decide how you want to use the patio. Is the patio mainly for alfresco dining or sunbathing or relaxing with a book or all three? The intended use will dictate the size and location of the patio. A patio mainly for dining is best placed where there is some shade so that diners can keep cool on warmer days and seek the sun when the weather is cooler. A patio intended mainly for sunbathing needs to be in a spot where its sunny all day. If you want young children to safely use the patio, it needs to be somewhere you can see them from the house. Capacity of the patio The patio needs to be large enough to accommodate the correct size of table with room for chairs to be pulled out and for people to move around easily when others are seated. A guide is to allow 1m width for the table, 500mm width on either side of the table for each chair when not pushed under the table, 300mm between chairs down the side of the table, and 700mm width to pull each chair out and sit down comfortably. Including built-in seating Patio designs incorporating built-in seating with pergolas and outdoor fireplaces look very chic and transform the patio into an outdoor room. It is also a great way to make use of all available space in a very small garden. This solution is convenient if you dont want to shuffle around with garden furniture. However, the position of the seating is fixed and restricts how you can use the patio. The space is less flexible as seating cannot be varied to turn a dining area into a lounging area. Creating privacy If the patio is overlooked the patio design will need to include screening. Walls, hedges, pergolas, and fences can be included in the patio design to provide a sense of enclosure and privacy. When building a wall around a patio it is a great idea to include a window through to other garden areas so that the patio doesnt end up feeling to claustrophobic. Windows in dividing walls create an interesting glimpse of the rest of the garden without compromising privacy. The choice of screening will depend on available budget. Walls are expensive to build, wooden screens with posts and trellis panels are much cheaper. Planting a hedge is usually the cheapest option, but may take a while to grow in unless you can afford large plants or an instant hedge. Decide on the budget Installing a patio is expensive but it is worth spending as much as you can afford as the patio is such an important part of the garden. The garden should be viewed as an outdoor room and if you are prepared to spend a little extra on getting it right it will be useable for most of the year. Allow around £120 per square metre as an all-in cost to get a contractor to lay your patio. Choosing the surface material The most common surface for a patio are paving slabs. There are many different types of paving slab with a wide range of price tags. Steer clear of concrete slabs - they are often more expensive than natural stone, will fade over time and always end up looking fake. Indian Sandstone has dominated the paving slab market for years as it is cheap, natural, widely available and looks good. Cheaper Indian Sandstone is not always the bargain it appears as it is thinner, or poorer quality and more porous causing leaching of the minerals in the mortar onto the top surface of the stone. There are some inexpensive granite slabs currently available that make a wonderful surface only slightly more expensive than Indian Sandstone. The more expensive options are Travertine, York stone, Basalt, and Marble. Polished concrete makes a wonderful contemporary surface for the patio. Resin bound gravel is not only great for driveways, but makes an excellent contribution to the patio paving when combined with other materials for textural contrast. Get the best quality stone you can afford then the patio will last longer and stay looking good for many years. A patio should never be designed in isolation without considering the rest of the garden. A well designed garden where all the elements are in scale with each other and the house will connect the house and garden. A balanced design that includes a patio or multiple patios will give the garden coherence and ensure that it is a pleasant, comfortable space in which to spend time.
Garden and Patio Furniture - What to Look For Garden and patio furniture can really add a lot of appeal to your patio but it is important to choose your outdoor furniture carefully to ensure you get the best looking and longest lasting furniture. This applies to furnishing a new patio or redecorating an established one. When choosing your patio furniture you should consider several important points. These are: • 1. Durability • 2. What the furniture is made of • 3. Color • 4. Size • 5. Does it complement your patio and home? Outdoor furniture can be made from many different materials such as plastic, wood, wicker and metal and comes in many different styles. Before you choose your patio furniture decide what sort of look you want your patio to have and how much room there is for furniture. This last point, how much room, is very important as you do not want all of the room on your patio to be taken up by furniture nor do you want a tiny setting in a huge space. The most economical way of buying furniture for your deck is to buy outdoor patio furniture sets. That way the pieces of furniture match each other and, because you are buying the furniture as a set then quite often the price is cheaper than if the components were bought separately. Durability is very important. The furniture is most likely going to stay outdoors. That means it will be subject to a variety of weather conditions like rain, dust, wind, sun etc. Even if your patio is covered the furniture will still be subject to weather conditions. If you buy cheap plastic or PVC patio furniture you will most likely have to replace it within a short space of time, maybe in 2 - 3 years. This type of furniture can deteriorate rapidly if left out in the weather. Metal patio furniture is very durable but may need some periodic attention such as painting and rust removal but can look great in the right setting. Wooden patio furniture is the most popular. Many varieties of wood are used for making outdoor furniture and some are more durable than others. This means that outdoor furniture made from the less durable varieties will need regular attention like painting, staining or oiling. With some woods, e.g. pine, this maintenance may be as regular as every year. The more durable timbers are jarrah and teak and usually a quick oil or stain every 2 to 3 years is ample. Sometimes, wicker furniture is painted. However, it does not need a great deal of attention. The color of your patio furniture is very important as it needs to harmonize with your patio. Most wooden patio furniture is stained or oiled and so retains the natural grains of the timber and, because of its natural look, often blends in to most patio styles. Metal or iron furniture will only come painted for durability reasons. However, the right metal furniture can look good in many styles of patio. For that tropical feel, wicker garden furniture can look great. Wicker furniture is usually left in its natural state and can add an earthy relaxed feel to you patio. The size you choose is very important. When deciding on size, you need to leave room on the patio for people to move around. This is most important if you entertain regularly. Your guests should be able to freely mingle. A good idea is to make a diagram of your deck to scale and then cut out some pieces of paper to represent your furniture. By placing these cut-outs in various positions on the patio drawing you will be able to see if you have sufficient room. Choose furniture that will not clutter the area. If room is limited then choices like extendable tables and fold up chairs can be the answer. Excess chairs can be folded and stored until needed. Tables can be extended when necessary. Your final choice in patio furniture should look good in its final place and complement your patio. For example, wood outdoor furniture looks great in natural settings with lots of plants. Wicker garden furniture looks great in those lush tropical areas. It is a good idea to note the style of your house and then find patio furniture that will suit that style. There are so many styles and varieties in garden and patio furniture now available, that anyones taste can be satisfied.
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