Published at Friday, October 05th, 2018 - 22:52:28 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.
Enjoy Your Patio Furniture Year Round If you enjoy spending time outdoors with family and friends, patio furniture is a very wise investment. The right furniture will not only allow you to entertain in your outdoor space, but it will also enhance the visual appeal of your yard or patio. Good quality patio furniture will enhance the value your property, not to mention your quality of life. The biggest impediment to enjoying your outdoor space is the weather, so its important to equip your yard or patio for your climate zone and seasonal weather shifts. Accessories like garden umbrellas and yard misters can stave off summer heat, while patio heaters, chimineas and outdoor fire pits ensure you can relax comfortably in the cooler months. Incorporating these useful patio products into your outdoor space will allow you to enjoy yourself year round. Patio Products for Sunny Days If you live in a climate zone where temperatures exceed 80 degrees, it is worth investing in some sort of shading. A good quality market patio umbrella will protect you and your patio furniture from prolonged exposure to direct sun, which can result in discomfort, sunburns and faded furniture. Garden umbrellas come in a variety of colors and patterns that can visually transfer your outdoor space. Power base patio umbrellas, such as the Milano Pro Offset Umbrella, are exceptionally easy to use and transport because they have a built in rotating device with foot pedal and two built in hand grips for easy lifting. These top of the line patio umbrellas will keep you cool while you enjoy your light meal or summer cocktail on the patio. If you want to spruce up your patio and extend your patio furniture usage into the night, consider purchasing the auto-tilt patio umbrella with LED lights that provide a soft night time glow. Patio Products for Chilly Mornings or Evenings Some of the most enjoyable times to be outdoors are dawn, dusk and nighttime. Early morning coffee on the patio is perhaps one of the best ways to start the day, and nothing beats a cool winter night, wrapped in a blanket under the stars. These moments, while beautiful, can be prohibitively chilly without the right patio products. An outdoor patio heater will allow you, your family and friends to comfortably enjoy your outdoor space, even when there is snow on the ground. There are a wide variety of heating devices available, ranging in size, composition and price. Choose from gas, electric and propane patio heaters depending on your specific needs. A high value option is the stainless steel outdoor heater by patio comfort. This heavy duty infrared patio heating device has easy on and off tank access and adjustable heat output, so you can set it at the perfect temperature for you and your guests. Hanging heaters are a popular choice among restaurants and hotels. These ceiling mounted patio heaters provide significant warmth without taking up valuable patio space. Wall mounted patio heaters are also an efficient patio heater choice. The Fire Sense wall mounted infrared patio heater operates at 90% efficiency and is substantially less expensive to operate than propane patio heaters. Whichever choice you make, turn on your new patio heater and stay warm while enjoying a relaxing drink or dinner outside. Using a fire pit is another way to stay warm while spending time on your patio at night or in the cooler months. Patio fire pits provide a traditional, rustic appeal as well as warmth to your patio and come in a variety of unique designs. Fire pits offer both style and functionality and often become the focal point of the social gathering. Choose a design that reflects your personality, style or heritage. All of the high quality fire pits bring warmth during the winter months, but can be used year round for enjoyment and décor.
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