By Alek. Patio. Published at Wednesday, October 03rd, 2018 - 14:18:28 PM.
How to Design a Patio Area? Plants and flowers have an astounding effect in converting your patio into a more attractive and appealing retreat for a relaxed evening. A beautifully designed and comfortable patio reflects the tastes and aesthetic sense of a homeowner. Patio gardens do not require much space, and can thrive without ample maintenance needs. Patios with some natural light can easily sustain decorative flower plants as well as edible items as vegetables. There are several ways to design your patio with a thriving garden paradise. Advance planning A proper measurement of the perimeter of your patio, amount of sunlight available for the plants, moving space required, and maintenance needs play a vital role in designing a garden patio. • Decide on the purpose of the patio garden, do you plan a decorative showpiece with ornamental plants or as a kitchen garden with herbs, fruits and vegetables. • Measure the exact space available at the patio. • Visit the patio at different times of the day to find the amount of sunlight available to it. • Decide on the graph and placement of plants, considering the moving space requirement. Choice of plants You can make a subtle difference between your lawn and patio, by creating a border of plants with containers or adding raised planters around the edge of the patio. Choose plants that either spill over the patio or grow in a graduated manner along its borders. When purchasing plants, check for sunlight requirement, soil preferences and hardiness specifications. Design of the patio garden The landscaping of a patio mainly depends on the floor type, space available and design of the patio. A vertical garden can be an excellent idea for a totally cramped space. You can create beautiful borders or fences using the concept of vertical gardening. The first step to patio designing starts by creating a focal point for the garden. Wooden wagons can act as a centerpiece of your patio garden. They provide a tinge of depth and height to your patio, apart from adding a striking backdrop for your plants or for elevating plants of your preference. Wagons look best when decorated with bedding plants, tiny potted plants, large bushy plants and hanging greens. You can avail this core to create unique gardening conditions like preparing the soil for acid-loving shrubs and so on. If the patio has some steps nearby, plan a terraced garden. This will help you choose plants of varying height and colors. Use garden boxes to design a patio with railings. Garden boxes aid the growth of plants in an attractive form without much maintenance requirements. Choice of containers Container gardens are the perfect place to exhibit the designer in you. Not limited to stationary plants, you can mix and match plants, colors, flowers as well as textures and move them around till you get the perfect look. Containers placed on pedestals can also set the framework for vertical gardening. There is a plethora of container choices available in the market, and you can choose the perfect color and design to aid your landscape. Select containers with large drainage holes to allow water to seep out and prevent rotting of the roots. The size of the containers also plays an important role in the design of the patio. While larger containers require less water than smaller ones, they can restrict the moving space. Varying the type of containers used in a patio produces a countless range of possibilities for a patio. • Choose containers of different bright colors to add a dash of liveliness in the garden space. • Rustic pots planted with ornamental plants or grass can create a personal design for your home. • A topiary in a Versailles tub can also add to the beauty of the place. • Metal containers are a popular choice for plants as they are versatile. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and range from contemporary styles to rustic cottage designs. However, choose galvanized containers to prevent rusting. • Water-filled containers are the best place for aquatic plants like an arrow-head, ferns, brass lilies and water hyacinths. However, remember to take proper care of the water plants as they tend to entice insects to the patio. You can also get more creative by using cracked pots, bathtubs, rusted wheel barrows, kitchen sinks and wooden planters. You can stagger the pots to add depth to your patio. You can vary the size, shape and color of plants to enhance the beauty of the place.
Patio Design & Decor The patio used to be a place, where you would set up a couple of chairs, a table, and maybe a couple of plants. These days, a patio can be an outdoor living room, a greenhouse, a garden, or even an outdoor kitchen. The function of a patio has definitely changed. From just a paved space for a weekend barbecue, the patio has become a space where family and friends gather to chat, or to relax. You can find a wide range of patio furniture and patio decor to fit your needs. The furniture you place on your patio will be determined by the function of the patio. If you want a space to gather and chat, you can find a wide variety of chairs and benches for seating, as well as small tables where drinks can be placed. If your patio is mostly a dining area, you can buy a table or two where dinner is served. A hammock, or even a bed would be appropriate if the patio will be a place to simply relax or take a nap in the afternoons. Obviously, you can use the patio for more than one function, and furnish it accordingly. Place a table and a few chairs at one end for entertaining, and a hammock at the other end for relaxing. Additional furnishings and appliances can be used to enhance your patio. If you love cooking, youll probably want more than just the typical backyard grill. Youll probably want something a bit more substantial, with more cooking space. If you have enough space on your patio, you can even install an entire kitchen, with cupboards, sink, and refrigerator. Most of us dont have the space for something that elaborate, but it can be done. For the most part, a good sized grill, either charcoal or gas, will make outdoor cooking a pleasant experience. If it gets cold in the evenings, you can add a patio heater or chimney to heat things up on cold evenings, and extend the use of your patio into the fall when the weather cools down. You can add a campfire atmosphere to your patio with a nice fire pit. You can find fire pits of many different materials and designs for your patio. Some of them burn wood, while others are gas powered. The decor of the patio should reflect your tastes, and be unique. Browse online, or look through your local flea markets and garage sales, and you can find wall art, to hang on the walls or a post, to add a touch of decor to the patio. If you like gardening, you can add some containers or hanging baskets filled with flowers, to add a touch of color to your deck. If you like the sound of falling water, there are many fountains available to either mount on the wall, or set on the deck. The possibilities are endless when it comes to decorating your patio. Use your imagination, and make your patio unique. I could go on and on about decorating patios, but that could fill several pages. Browse through some home and garden magazines, visit your friends and relatives, and see what theyve done with their patios. Make notes of what you like, and what you dont like. Then take a look at your patio. Decide what you want to use the patio for, how you want to decorate it, and go for it. Make your patio a place where you can relax, and enjoy life.
Sealing Your Patio Pavers - 11 Keys to Successfully Sealing Your Patio When my neighbor first decided to install a paver-block patio behind his home, he chose paver stones for several good reasons. He thought they would last longer than other materials like wood, or poured concrete, he thought they had a really "rich" elegant look to them and most of all, he thought that they would be maintenance free. Well, he almost had it right. They do look great and theyre incredibly durable, but it wasnt long before he learned that they arent completely maintenance free. After several seasons of rain, snow and sun, the patio just didnt look as good as it first did when he had it installed. The sun was beginning to fade the color in some areas, the sand between the stones had been washed away by the rains and weeds had started growing in the gaps between the pavers. He even began to see ant colonies beginning to form using his precious paver sand as their new home. Well, the solution to his problem was fairly simple. It was time to clean the patio up and seal it for protection. And though he was somewhat reluctant at first to attempt this project on his own, once I began to walk him through the various steps, he decided it didnt sound that tough and he ought to be able to seal his patio himself. I concurred. "Just observe these simple 11 keys", I told him, "and when youre done your patio will look like it was done by the Pros!" 1. First, take your time With every project that I undertake, I cant stress this point enough. From the beginning to the end, with every step in between, take your time. When you rush a project through you make mistakes, and mistakes are what the pros are able to avoid. Sometimes its just a matter of cleaning the surface a little better, or rinsing things off a little more. Maybe its allowing a little more time between coats for your sealer to dry or waiting a few more hours before re-installing your patio furniture. With every step of the process, take your time. The chances are much better that when the work is all done and the tools have been stored, youll look at the finished result and be satisfied that it turned out just as you had hoped it would. 2. Acids can be great cleaners Often times when you inspect the patio, prior to washing youll notice stains. Leaves that have remained on the patio can leave tannin stains. Iron furniture that sits on the patio will most likely leave rust stains. Whatever stains you find need to be removed prior to sealing or they will be sealed in and become permanent, so now is the time to work on them. The simplest way to get the stains out is by using an acid cleaner. Conventional muriatic acid works well and its cheap, but I hate it. If you get it on your skin it burns and the vapors from it are just terrible. Instead, I use a "safer" cleaner, such as Defy Safer Masonry Cleaner. For severe stains, I simply pour a little cleaner at full strength on the stain and give it a few minutes to work before rinsing. If the whole patio is fairly dirty, dilute the cleaner 4:1 (four parts water to one part cleaner) and using a garden-type pump up sprayer, spray the entire surface with cleaner. Allow the cleaner to remain wet on the surface for 5 minutes or so, and then begin the rinsing process using a power washer. 3. Clean, clean and then clean some more In regard to the prep work, sealing you patio isnt much different than staining your deck or painting your house. Much of the quality of the job comes down to how well you prepare the surface. Patios that have weathered will often times have mildew, moss and algae growing on the stones and in the sand between the joints. Weeds that have begun to grow as well as any other foreign debris need to be removed, and for a patio that means a good cleaning. The easiest way to clean things off is with a power washer. Make certain that you select a washer with enough power to do the job. I try to never use anything rated less than 2400 p.s.i. Select a tip that will fan the water out slightly, 15° or so. Also, always work in sections. Patios should be constructed so that water runs away from the home. So begin working near the house or the high side of the slope of the patio. Rinse debris down the patios natural flow, away from the house. Youll loose some of the sand between the joints during the cleaning process and thats ok. Well replace the sand once the patio is cleaned up. Just be careful not to blow out more sand than is necessary while doing your cleaning. 4. Now this ones on the "level" With the patio now cleaned, look around and inspect the condition of the pavers. Over time, paver stones can settle or shift, making them unlevel. If you have some bricks that are out of place, using a screwdriver and a stiff putty knife, pry the uneven stones out. Once removed, you can add a little sand, smooth it out with the blade of your putty knife, and re-install the bricks. A couple of taps with a rubber mallet to make things perfect and voila, the bricks are level once again. 5. Its time to fill this joint The last remaining step in getting the patio ready to seal is to re-grout the joints between the stones with fresh sand. This step isnt hard, but it does take a little time so be patient. To do this, I use a fine grade of run-of-the-mill play box sand. Pour a small amount on the patio and begin sweeping it into the joints using a push-broom. Sweep in both directions; back-to-front and left-to-right to insure the joints get completely filled. As the sand gets used up by filling the joints pour a little more onto the patio and keep sweeping. 6. Break time This is the part youre going to love. Go take a break! Remember when we started I said to take your time? Well now its very important that you take your time. After all of the cleaning that we did, the ground under those pavers is soaking wet and needs to dry out. Give the patio a couple of good, hot sunny days to dry out before applying any sealer. If you dont, you could end up trapping moisture under the sealer and the whole project will turn a milky-white color...yuck! 7. Take a look at Waterborne Sealers Its time to pick out your sealer now and the choices are solvent-based products or water-based products. I hate solvents! "Why?" you ask. Heres why: 1. Theyre bad for our environment. 2. If they get on my grass or flowers, they kill them. 3. They smell terrible. 4. Everything has to be cleaned up with messy solvents. Water-base sealers are a much better choice. Besides being both easy to use and easy on the environment, they offer another amazing advantage. They "stabilize" the sand. When cured, water-based sealers such as Defys Epoxy Fortified Paver Sealer, will harden the joint sand and lock it into place. This prevents it from washing out during future rains. 8. Read the can, follow directions Every manufacturers product can be little different so always read the directions. It only takes a few minutes but it will ensure that you have all the right information before you get started. Pay attention to details such as how many coats of sealer to apply, how long to wait between coats, how to properly apply the product and how to clean it up. There are any number of variations to these questions and more. Read the label first and youll be likely to get it right the first time. 9. This sprayin stuff is easy Now the fun stuff begins...applying the sealer. To do this, I love to use a garden-type pump up sprayer but Ill warn you in advance, dont buy a cheap one! The better sprayers (they usually cost over $50 bucks) have a metal fan-style spray tip and do a much better job than the inexpensive weed sprayers. When youre looking for a sprayer, the key here is to look for a "fan-style tip". The patio edges can be cut-in using a 4" nylon brush and then youre ready to start spraying. Water-based sealers normally require two coats to be applied. Once youve cut-in the edges, spray the entire patio with the first coat. Then wait for the sealer to dry enough that it can walked on, and do the same thing all over again...two coats! If you get things on too heavy and the sealer starts to puddle, use the brush to get rid of the puddling by simply brushing it out. If you want to see what this process looks like, you can visit defyinfo.com where you can find a streaming video detailing each of the steps that weve taken. 10. MORE is definitely NOT better Ok, if a little is good then a lot must be better, right? No! Remember, were sealing concrete paver stones and these stones are sitting on a bed of sand. When the sand gets wet and then the sun comes out, these pavers need to breathe, meaning they need to let any water vapors pass through them. When too much sealer is applied, the water vapor can no longer pass through, which results in a white "blushing" effect or even potentially peeling. Dont be fooled, I know how great this stuff can look if you really lay it on, how cool that high gloss finish is. But it will blush and peel. Limit your application to two coats and you wont have a problem. 11. How about a little maintenance Ok, great job, now just one more thing. How about a little maintenance? Blow the leaves off when they fall to keep them from staining. Rinse the dirt and debris that seems to just show up over time. And as the weather begins to dull down the finish and the patio loses its luster, simply rinse it off and apply a light maintenance coat. Catch it before the patio gets too weathered and its really that simply. So thats it. Thats everything. Eleven keys to sealing your patio. Go ahead and try these eleven keys for yourself. See what the results are when you set out on your next project to do it like a pro. You might just surprise yourself!
What Difference Does a Professional Concrete Patio Company Make? Many families enjoy patio time more than time spent inside the house. A patio is the place for parties, playing, pet activities, and special celebrations. Although patios are so important to our home life, they need special and different kinds of maintenance as it is more exposed to internal dirt and to the changing weather. Professional concrete patio companies understand this and have been learned how to anticipate problems and correct them before they even start to pour concrete. When looking for a good concrete patio company, you should make sure that they are bonded and insured. Now what kind of problems do patios typically face? The better companies use experienced help and superior products and make sure that the preparation work is done properly. References are a good idea when choosing a professional patio company. Sub-standard concrete patios due to lack of professional eye: Homemade patios may be less expensive than the patios made by the professional patio makers. This is because homemade patios will show some problems in drainage, as well as seepage onto adjacent floors. Just because mistakes were made in the concrete work. One often has the problem of dirt blocking the patio drainage: Dirt getting into the drainage is inevitable. Many factors, natural and artificial, can bring dirt that can block patio drains causing any number of problems. Again, in order to avoid further hassle and accidents, it would be better to seek some professional help from patio experts. They can performs various ways of clearing the drains, including landscape changes, irrigation lines, grade work, leveling, lawn corrections, and light excavation at very reasonable prices. So have your patios dirt free and your safety ensured. Plummeting of Bricks and Stones: This can be caused by the age of the patio, by soil, or by poor drainage. The problems mentioned above can cause shifting and sinking. A professional concrete patio company is able to stop these problems in a variety of ways. One of which is to properly apply sand and gravel But again, you will have to know the accurate amount of sand or gravel to be used and you are to know the other factors too. Therefore, seeking professional help is a very good idea. A dirty patio: Moss, mildew, and stains can be stubborn problems that develop over time. Sometimes this can be fixed by a good hard scrubbing but other times the scrubbing will damage the patio. It seems like a small problem, but professional advise and practice may save you money in the long run. These are a few of the problems but others exist that we have not even mentioned. A1 Tractor and Concrete Services can help you solve your problems with concrete patios in Dallas TX. They provide fast and effective solutions at affordable prices. A1 Tractor and Concrete Services is also fully insured and bonded. A1 Tractor and Concrete provides concrete patios in Ft. Worth TX And all the DFW area. They are handle projects both large and small. They have been installing concrete patios in Dallas TX for over 30 years.
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