Published at Friday, October 05th, 2018 - 17:56:28 PM. Patio. By Alek.
Tips For Keeping Your Patio Area Clean And New Looking This Summer It looks like summer may have finally arrived for many of us now the temperatures are beginning to rise and the days are getting longer and the nights shorter, barring any global warming anomalies we hopefully will be in for a lovely bright sunny few summer months this year. After being cooped up in the house for what seems like an eternity over the winter months it is like breaking free to finally be able to go out and enjoy some sun on your skin and warmth on your bones. This is the time of year where we start working outside in our gardens, doing the maintaining of the garden, hedges and the patio area in readiness for the forth coming summer. A nicely kept large patio area is becoming one of the most wanted things that people look for when looking to buy a new property as more and more people are spending larger amounts of time outside in the garden, entertaining and socialising so it is vitally important to ensure that your patio or decking area is always kept well maintained. So what should you do to ensure that your patio is kept looking at its best? The winter months can take their toll on even the nicest and most well looked after patio area so making sure that you get to work on tidying it up as soon as the winter months have passed is very important, the longer you leave the job the harder it will be to get back to its original state and a well maintained, fresh looking patio area can complement the whole garden area and make it look fantastic. Depending on what type of patio area you have is going to depend how you have to look after it, the two main variations are wooden decking and any type of stone patio flooring. Both forms of patio are as popular as each other but either one can look better in certain gardens. If you have a raised patio area a wooden decked patio area with guard rails looks better than a stone floored patio area and likewise a level garden area looks better with a stone floored patio. Both wooden and stone patios have different maintenance needs but both need a similar amount of work to keep them in tip top condition. Wooden decking has a habit of getting very slippery if not maintained properly due to the build up of algae and moss, to eradicate this problem you need to make sure that you have a high pressure power washer with a suitable chemical additive to remove the build up and make the decking area less of a hazard. Because the decking is made of wood it will need an application of preservative every year to ensure that the wood is properly nourished, this can be a very laborious if you have a large area to cover but the rewards are appreciable when the task is completed. Even if you have a pressure treated decking area that has been impregnated with wood preservative it is always advisable to add an extra coat to keep it looking wonderful. As wooden decking is raised off the ground it is very rare to have problems with weeds coming through. Stone patio areas are available in many different types of stone, such as slate, Indian stone, York stone and concrete flags, all of which need similar maintenance. The first problem that most people encounter with their stone patio area is a build of moss and weeds between the flags, this is generally caused by the pointing of sand and cement that joints the flags together has developed cracks to enable weeds and moss to get a foot hold. There are three ways to clear this problem, firstly you can manually get down on your hands and knees and clean all of the joints and then re-apply the sand and cement, secondly you can apply a weed and moss killer and the re-apply the sand and cement when the weed killer has eradicated the moss and weeds of finally you can clear the patio area using a high pressure jet washer, this is the easiest method but can lead to removing more of the sand and cement from the joints. It is recommended to wash down your stone patio area at least once a month to ensure that not weeds, grass or moss can get roots set in and start to create a problem for you. It may be advisable to apply a coating to your patio flooring to protect the flags from the elements and keep it looking fresh; this usually needs to be applied once a year although there are products on the market which claim to do the job for up to 5 years. So there you have it, a few handy tips on keeping your patio flooring and patio area nice and clean that will hopefully help you to enjoy your patio area as much as is possible this summer.
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.
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