Published at Saturday, October 06th, 2018 - 02:50:28 AM. 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.
Natural Stone Patios - The Best Way to Set Landscape and Swimming Pool Areas in Stone Swimming pool and other backyard patios can be largely overlooked when it comes to landscape and swimming pool designs. To the average homeowner, swimming pool patios and dining patios are valued but seriously underestimated in terms of their power to really define an outdoor living space. Natural stone works great for patios, considering it lasts longer than pavers and does not fade in color or become slippery like stamped concrete. In general, natural stone patios provide a number of opportunities to transform the most functional aspect of a landscape and swimming pool into an art-form that enhances the overall ambience. The choice of stone is the first task in defining your outdoor living space with a patio. Swimming pool patios should stay relatively cool in the hot sun, keeping in mind that you will have to walk barefoot on this surface. A grey Tennessee Crab Orchard is a popular choice for pool patios because it stays relatively cool in the sun. The color is also rather neutral, allowing the adjacent pool and landscape to really show off. For dining patios, a more formal natural stone can be utilized. Bluestone works perfectly for formal patios. Sandstone also brings formality, yet remains somewhat neutral in doing so. Pool patios can also feature these more formal stones as well. A sandstone swimming pool patio with bluestone accents can really highlight a formal swimming pool and landscape. After you choose the stone for your pool or dining patio, the next task is to determine the pattern. Around natural pools, especially pools with waterfalls, natural stone set in irregular patterns works beautifully; the natural stone patio, set in an irregular pattern, can enhance the rugged look of the pool. For formal pools, the patio can utilize the same stone and set it in a regular, geometric pattern. Any stone patio pattern can be slightly modified for a custom design. In a very subtle way, an altered pattern can offer a frame for patio furniture, for example. Finally, with the stone and pattern set, finishing touches can be applied. Small accents in any patio can tie the entire yard together. For example, a sandstone outdoor living room patio can lie adjacent to the bluestone dining patio. A slight bluestone accent in the outdoor living room can blend it with the dining patio, while still allowing it to distinguish itself as a separate outdoor "room." Accents can also blend the patio with aspects of the home and other architectural elements of the back yard. Brick can even be scattered about a natural stone patio for sharp, distinct color and contrast. To summarize, upgrading to a natural stone patio can take your swimming pool and landscape to the next level of design and style. First choose the stone for your swimming pool or dining patio. Choose a stone that fits the style of the backyard area, while paying close attention to the functional needs of the surface. Next, decide on a pattern for the stone. Remember, regular fits formal, irregular for natural. Finally, get creative. Ask your swimming pool and landscape design company to spice things up by using a combination of materials to create accents that bring unique style to the patio design. Detail, color, and creative subtleties make for the most definitive, eye-catching natural stone patios.
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