By Alek. Patio. Published at Monday, October 01st, 2018 - 00:13:28 AM.
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.
Tips For Keeping Your Patio Area Clean And New Looking This Summer It looks like summer may have finally arrived for many of us now the temperatures are beginning to rise and the days are getting longer and the nights shorter, barring any global warming anomalies we hopefully will be in for a lovely bright sunny few summer months this year. After being cooped up in the house for what seems like an eternity over the winter months it is like breaking free to finally be able to go out and enjoy some sun on your skin and warmth on your bones. This is the time of year where we start working outside in our gardens, doing the maintaining of the garden, hedges and the patio area in readiness for the forth coming summer. A nicely kept large patio area is becoming one of the most wanted things that people look for when looking to buy a new property as more and more people are spending larger amounts of time outside in the garden, entertaining and socialising so it is vitally important to ensure that your patio or decking area is always kept well maintained. So what should you do to ensure that your patio is kept looking at its best? The winter months can take their toll on even the nicest and most well looked after patio area so making sure that you get to work on tidying it up as soon as the winter months have passed is very important, the longer you leave the job the harder it will be to get back to its original state and a well maintained, fresh looking patio area can complement the whole garden area and make it look fantastic. Depending on what type of patio area you have is going to depend how you have to look after it, the two main variations are wooden decking and any type of stone patio flooring. Both forms of patio are as popular as each other but either one can look better in certain gardens. If you have a raised patio area a wooden decked patio area with guard rails looks better than a stone floored patio area and likewise a level garden area looks better with a stone floored patio. Both wooden and stone patios have different maintenance needs but both need a similar amount of work to keep them in tip top condition. Wooden decking has a habit of getting very slippery if not maintained properly due to the build up of algae and moss, to eradicate this problem you need to make sure that you have a high pressure power washer with a suitable chemical additive to remove the build up and make the decking area less of a hazard. Because the decking is made of wood it will need an application of preservative every year to ensure that the wood is properly nourished, this can be a very laborious if you have a large area to cover but the rewards are appreciable when the task is completed. Even if you have a pressure treated decking area that has been impregnated with wood preservative it is always advisable to add an extra coat to keep it looking wonderful. As wooden decking is raised off the ground it is very rare to have problems with weeds coming through. Stone patio areas are available in many different types of stone, such as slate, Indian stone, York stone and concrete flags, all of which need similar maintenance. The first problem that most people encounter with their stone patio area is a build of moss and weeds between the flags, this is generally caused by the pointing of sand and cement that joints the flags together has developed cracks to enable weeds and moss to get a foot hold. There are three ways to clear this problem, firstly you can manually get down on your hands and knees and clean all of the joints and then re-apply the sand and cement, secondly you can apply a weed and moss killer and the re-apply the sand and cement when the weed killer has eradicated the moss and weeds of finally you can clear the patio area using a high pressure jet washer, this is the easiest method but can lead to removing more of the sand and cement from the joints. It is recommended to wash down your stone patio area at least once a month to ensure that not weeds, grass or moss can get roots set in and start to create a problem for you. It may be advisable to apply a coating to your patio flooring to protect the flags from the elements and keep it looking fresh; this usually needs to be applied once a year although there are products on the market which claim to do the job for up to 5 years. So there you have it, a few handy tips on keeping your patio flooring and patio area nice and clean that will hopefully help you to enjoy your patio area as much as is possible this summer.
Patio Bar Stools Provide the Outdoor Seating and Backyard Design Finishing Touch Space is quite an issue in almost every household nowadays. And if there is a problem, the homeowner always finds a solution. Not enough work space in the garage? Well, just buy a new work bench with lots of shelves and provisions to accommodate tools. Insufficient storage area for mower and other garden tools? Well, you can buy an affordable outdoor vinyl shed. Crowded patio during parties? Well, would you extend your patio just to provide more space? The answer to that is a big NO. Having a crowded patio during patio parties is really a headache, and especially when it suddenly rains and all your guests who are frolicking in the garden would need to seek shelter in the patio itself. For some people, the logical solution to this issue is to simply extend the patio. That would be the perfect solution if you are a millionaire with ample amount of money at your disposal. However, it is not the most pragmatic solution. Why extend your patio and spend unnecessary money when you can have more space in your patio if you have the right patio bar stools. Benefits of Patio Bar Stools: Regular chairs consume a lot of space because of their bulky construction. Patio bar stools, on the other hand, have a narrow built. Thus, they can allow you to have more space in your patio bar. And that is not the only advantage of having stools for your bar. If you have the right patio bar stools, you can heighten the aesthetics of your outdoor bar. It would certainly be awkward if you have regular chairs or stools in your bar. Having matching patio stools would give your bar a more elegant look. Another benefit with having patio bar stools is that your guests would feel more comfortable while they are having their favorite drinks in the bar. Stools for the bar are not just built to provide more space and beauty to the bar design, but they are also made to give maximum comfort and convenience to guests who are fond of drinking. Patio stools are built with foot rests so that drinkers can casually seat on them. Also, some patio bar stools are equipped with arm rests that can hold a glass of beer or wine. Other patio bar stools come with swiveling mechanisms that allow the stools to be turned from side to side with ease. Materials and Types of Patio Bar Stools: The cardinal rule on choosing an outdoor bar stool is that it should match your patios design. Wooden stools are perfect for traditional wooden patios. But if you have a casual-looking patio, you might as well get casual stainless steel bar stools. Stainless stools are definitely a great choice for your home bar. For one thing, you can be sure that it will last for a long time. The problem with these stools, though, is that they are hard to move around because of their heavy construction. If you still want to have the casual look that a metal stool would offer, then you can settle for stools made of aluminum. Known for being ultra-light, you will have no problems moving them around. And because it is non-corrosive, aluminum patio stools would last for a long time as well. Ultra-modern chrome and vinyl padded patio bar stools and exotic rattan and bamboo stools are also available for homeowners with modern-looking and exotically designed patios.
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.
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