By Alek. Patio. Published at Sunday, September 30th, 2018 - 08:13:28 AM.
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.
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.
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!
Covered Patio Designs - The Must-Know Ideas For Best Results! Fortunately, there are some options to consider while deciding on covered patio designs. Here are some ideas regarding the category of patio covers. Patio Covers These are reliable and hard-wearing, since they are made out of canvas. They are very adorable which is totally waterproof. They are excellent for having quick outdoor shelter solutions. A lot of styles or colors are there which you can choose from. But you got to also consider the fact that these covers are by no means permanent solutions. After using, they need to be safely stored when being used. Retractable Awnings These are made out of canvas too. Similarly, they are also sometimes made of sail cloth. Fortunately, they are highly durable as well as resistant in terrible weather. They are meant to be joined to your house or patio frame. They are rolled out crossways the entire patio. They are highly popular since they can be stored easily and simply roll out whenever you want. The Arbor Here is the most generally used cover for your patio. It also comes with a constitution or framework which is made out of wooden or metal frames (i.e. steel or aluminum), which is built around as well as over your patio. And the top edge of your patio cover is opened by simply laying down well constructed matrix featuring extremely lightweight beams which provide sufficient hold up for the roof tiles which serves as efficient patio cover. But you must also understand the fact that, they are not that much hard wearing. They only safeguard you from the sun, rain or light wind. Sun Shade Sun shades will provide you with complete guard against the sun. Such covered patio designs are among the simplest ones to install. They sometimes require lesser chunk of work than what you anticipate! While there is a large variety of sun shades sold commercially, the price could also vary depending on the make and model. It is the best to have the nerve to spend a little bit more on tough sun shades. This means, you will be able to enjoy it over an expanded period of time. Patio Awning Patio awnings are made out of solid and hard wearing cloth, which provides you with full protection from the harsh sun and mild rain. There are permanent as well as short-term patio awnings. Good awning covering could last for some years. Though there are quite a few variations in each category, there are 2 main types of patio awnings. Here is a little something on that! Fixed Patio Awning - Fixed type of patio awning uses semi-permanent or fully permanent structure for supporting canvas overhangs. When it is assembled as well as put into the right place, the fixed awning generally stays right in place throughout the whole season. Retractable Patio Awning - The retractable version of patio awnings is more posh and pricier. But they are usually easier to be used and installed compared to the fixed type of patio awning. These patio awnings use mechanical systems for rolling up their canvas overhang and for protecting that canvas from getting faded and torn when not being used. There are many choices regarding covered patio designs, you can choose the one you like.
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