Published at Friday, October 05th, 2018 - 16:43:28 PM. Patio. By Alek.
How to Create the Perfect Patio Experience By taking time to plan and design your patio, you can create an area where all the different features combine to produce a unique space that possesses character, comfort and charm. In effect, transforming a popular garden feature into an outside room. To create the perfect patio for your garden, consider the size and position of the patio area carefully. Most people prefer the patio to be close to the house but you may wish to choose a location in a sunnier part of the garden or a position offering a better view. By placing the patio near to trees and shrubbery, you create a naturally sheltered area similar to an arbour. But this type of location can bring problems. Firstly excavating the footings for the patio may cause damage to the roots of the trees and shrubs that were the chief attraction of that particular location. Close proximity to trees and shrubs will almost definitely result in the unsightly problem of leaf mould forming on the patio creating a slippery and hazardous surface. For a patio that complements the house and garden, proportions are all-important. When deciding on the size of the patio, you must also think practically about how it will be used. If you want to put a table and chairs on it, you will probably need at least 3m x 3m but to accommodate sunloungers and possibly barbeques a larger space may be required. So its worthwhile deciding on the type of patio furniture you will be using at this early stage. Shape is another important factor in your patio planning. Dont be constrained by the traditional rectangular template - a curved patio is often more space efficient and can blend more harmoniously with the rest of the garden. Experiment with shapes and geometric patterns to highlight garden features or mirror flowerbeds. Mark out the patio area with a hosepipe or string line to help you visualise the space. Once you have decided on the shape and size of your patio there is another important feature of the design to consider that many people overlook - colour. The variety of stone available to the patio builder is matched, if not surpassed, by the rich diversity of colours in which stone paving materials now come. A quick glance at any paving stone suppliers catalogue or website will vividly illustrate this. We will look at the colours available later, but at this stage it is a good idea to consider whether you want the colour of the patio to complement or contrast with the colour of the walls of your house. Then there are the questions of patterned or plain and mix or match? Are you going to use stone of the same colour or do want to create a pattern on the patio surface? Matching different materials is yet another option worth considering. A patio constructed of two different types of stone can be very effective, as can the inclusion of an area of decorative gravel in the design. But if the mix and match approach appeals to you take care, for not all materials will work well together. As with so much connected with design, personal taste plays a significant and overriding role. Nevertheless, it is a generally accepted rule that natural stone does not work well with reconstructed materials. The patios perimeter also offers the opportunity for other design elements that can enhance its overall appearance. Firstly, you may want to build a low ornamental wall around the perimeter of your patio. Once again it is at the design stage where you should be looking into the height of the wall, the type and colour of the brick you are going to use and whether the top of the wall will be finished with coping or incorporate areas for planting. Another option worth considering is having contrasting edging at the patios perimeter, which can be in terms of both colour and material. A patio constructed of slabs can be given an elegant block edging, providing a simple but effective counterpoint to the main patio area. Whatever design you are looking for, it is advisable to produce scale drawings to visualise the finished patio. Scale drawings can also assist in calculating the quantity of materials needed. Patio slabs Stone slabs or flags come in many shapes, sizes and colours. The main types of stone are natural stone and reconstructed stone. Natural stone is what its name implies and is the more expensive of the two; but natural stone slabs can vary in size and thickness and consequently will require a higher degree of expertise to lay. Reconstructed stone slabs - sometimes described as reconstituted or artificial stone - are concrete units where a specific concrete mix has been designed to resemble natural stone. A wide range of natural stones can be imitated including Bath stone, Portland stone, Stainton stone and red terracotta. A word of caution on reconstructed stone slabs. Although they are the less expensive option, the quality can vary greatly and the cheapest stone slab often bears little resemblance to the natural stone it is trying to imitate. So its advisable to look around to find the best supplier. Traditionally the most popular stone for building patios has been sandstone, as it comes in a wide range of attractive colours and textures. But there are other interesting and decorative alternatives. Travertine is a hardwearing stone common to southern Europe. The largest building in the world constructed predominently of travertine is the Colosseum in Rome. A noticeable feature of travertine stone is its naturally pitted surface that is excellent for simple, rustic designs. But its the colours of travertine stone that make it so attractive to patio builders. In addition to grey, beige and white there are rich browns, reds and golds that are ideal for creating a patio with a Mediterrannean appearance. Another stone favoured by professional patio builders is granite. The reputation granite has for toughness and durability often overshadows its natural beauty. Natural granite slabs are usually dark and silver grey, or pink. But its beauty is heightened in the sun as it sparkles and glints providing a glamorous sophistication. When looking at the variety of stone available you will soon discover that patio slabs can come with different finishes offering another dimension to patio design. These finishes are produced by specific operations: acid-etched, smooth or coarse ground, grit or sand-blasted, rubbed or polished, giving the stone a different appearance and character. A riven surface refers to stone that has the appearance of having split away from the main rock mass resulting in a rough, textured appearance. Tumbled stone has a distressed look marked by rounded edges and a well-worn quality. Polished stone has a smooth surface imparting a refined elegance, while in stark contrast slabs that have been shot-blast have a coarse, roughened surface. Block paving and setts? Although the patio slab or flag is the most popular stone material for building patios other materials are available, namely block paving and setts. Block paving comprises of rectangular shaped blocks similar to bricks. The most common size for block pavers is 200mm x 100mm with a depth of around between 50mm. They can either be made of concrete or clay and come in a wide selection of colours. Clay paving blocks are more expensive than the concrete variety but both can be tumbled or polished Paving blocks are usually laid in one of three patterns: herringbone, stretcher bond and basketweave. Whatever stone material you decide to use, accurate plans will help you estimate the quantity of materials needed and get quotes. Remember to check that there are no underground pipes and cables in the area. If the patio is to butt onto an exterior house wall, it must be below the damp proof course.
Seven Best Shopping Tips For Buying Outdoor Patio Sets - And Getting Money Back! Practical ideas for buying outdoor patio sets... When shopping online for outdoor patio sets, consider buying a complete patio set package, when you buy separate pieces, you may have a hard time at a later date, to actually find exact match pieces for your original purchase. When you purchase separate pieces at first, trying to save a little money, you may find out later that maybe a package deal would have been a better practical choice. # 1 Shopping Tip - Design your patio space... A practical idea for all patio furniture shoppers is to sit down and design a simple patio area layout, make a drawing of what you would like your patio furniture to consist of, how many people would be using the patio furniture on a regular basis, and how much actual space do you have for the furniture you are thinking of buying. Having a basic vision of how you would like your new outdoor patio area to look is very important, are you able to see your family and friends sitting at your new patio set and relaxing?. # 2 Shopping Tip - Fitting your family, friends and guests to match your patio furniture set... Measure the square footage of the patio area you have, then determine how many patio chairs will be required for the patio area you have, always remember to have a couple of extra chairs, so plan accordingly. Determine what size of table will be the best choice, making sure you have plenty of room to move the chairs around, not having to squeeze or fall over a guest that is relaxing. Most often all dimensions, and product information is described in the details section, of the product of choice page. If you are not sure, email the supplier with your specific questions. # 3 Shopping Tip - Using the internet to find practical patio sets... Shopping and making your purchase online gives you control of what product choices you really want. Never having to put up with sales pitches or being pressured to buy now and save. Most sales people are paid by commission, and never really having your interest in mind. Online purchases are guaranteed, if you are not happy with your product purchase, you have the option of returning it. With credit card payments you always have a way of getting a refund, also available are other secure payment options. # 4 Shopping Tip - Materials of practical choice... This is the big decision, you need to decide on what material your product of choice is made of, do you want recycled plastic which is virtually maintenance-free and available in many colors, this plastic product is available in a natural wood look. Metal patio furniture often comes powder coated, or a sealed coating depending on the manufacturer, also available is aluminum, wrought iron and other metal choices. If choosing wood materials like cedar, pine, teak or other hardwoods some maintenance will be required to keep a fresh look. Many practical colors, styles and textures of patio sets and outdoor furniture is available, this is where you will need to do some research, spending a couple hours on the net will give you a much better idea of what is really practical. # 5 Shopping Tip - Comparison patio sets shopping... By now you have a better idea of what to look for, and how to start the process of finding good deals at fair prices. After you have decided on what style, color and price range for your patio set, it`s time to do some comparison shopping. Search the net for products that are exactly what you want, if you look at different suppliers selections, you can find match products. Keep notes, drink a couple cups of java and enjoy the easy online shopping process. #6 Shopping Tip - Shipping to your door... Most online suppliers have a good reputation, offering low cost shipping or free shipping for most patio furniture orders. When shopping online, go to the suppliers shipping page and see if they offer free shipping, if not email the supplier and ask for free shipping. Many times if your order is $200.00 or more, you may receive free shipping. Many suppliers will have your order shipped to you after final payment is done, normally within 10 business days. The real benefit buying online is that you can order your product, and never have ask a neighbor or friend for the use of their truck to haul the furniture you ordered. #7 Shopping Tip - Saving Money by Thinking... Saving money is very important, here are some easy ways to get a better deal. Having already mentioned asking for free shipping, even if the supplier has not offered or will grant your email request for free shipping, you can scan the net and find a supplier that will. Most average patio set orders are approximately $600 and up, this gives you power to find a supplier that will accommodate your request, chances are you can get what you are after. By buying online, consider a savings of approximately $50.00 if you were to purchase your patio set at your local furniture store where you live, do they always deliver for free, it is very doubtful that they would on a average cost patio set order of $600.00, if you live out in the country forget a free delivery. If you do proper research and find exact match or comparable items that you want, you can ask the supplier for a 10% - 15% discount on your order, depending on what size order you place. If you purchased a patio set for $1000.00, your discount at 10% would be $100.00 in your pocket. Check with your local state tax authority, and ask if any sales taxes apply for your online out of state purchase, this could save you another 9%. Shopping online is a smart way of finding great deals at affordable prices.
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