By Alek. Patio. Published at Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 - 12:18:28 PM.
Paver Patio Design - 3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Designing a Paver Patio In the past a patio was just a patio; a concrete slab at the rear entrance of your home with just enough space to put a patio table and maybe a small BBQ grill. The terms "Outdoor Living Space" or "Outdoor Rooms" werent even heard of and the only people that had these types of outdoor spaces were the rich and famous. Today, with the demand for homeowners wanting to spend more time outdoors these terms have become more a part of daily life. This demand has not only forced landscape contractors to be more creative with their designs, but has created an industry within itself. All of your big box stores are catering to this industry with patio furniture, stainless steel grills, pre-built grill stations, portable fire pits and it is not unusual to see contractors who specialize or only design and install patios. Due to the increasing popularity of brick paving stone or "pavers", homeowners are no longer satisfied with the standard rectangle concrete slab. Pavers allow patio designers to be much more creative in implementing you patio ideas. They can utilize radial and circular designs, different patterns, borders and colors. Also, the introduction of patio block has changed the way patios are designed and used. Each manufacturer has a different name for them, but in a "nut shell" they are stackable blocks that can be used to create seating walls, columns, grill stations, outdoor bars and kitchens. If you can imagine it, you can build it with these blocks. If youre looking for a nice patio; one that you can not only show off, but also one you can use; there are several guidelines to follow to improve your chances of success. There are three questions that you should ask yourself. If you answer these questions honestly you will be able to create a patio design that is not only functional, but also beautiful. "What is my budget?" Some homeowners feel that this is a loaded question, but it is one that a good contractor will ask and one that needs to be addressed. It should be asked, not to prequalify you as a potential customer or to run the price up, but to bring the project into perspective. As a homeowner, you should not be afraid to tell your contractor your budget. A good contractors price is his price and he will design to your budget. "How will I use my patio?" Other than budget this is the most important question to ask yourself. If you plan on entertaining, you may consider seating walls around portions of your patio for overflow seating or an outdoor bar. If you have children you may want to invest in a fire pit area, either a portable or built-in. These are great to spend quality time with your children. Do you like to grill out? Perhaps adding a BBQ grill station or outdoor kitchen might be a nice addition. However you choose to use your patio, you need to convey these uses to your designer so they can incorporate them into the patio design. Make sure your designer draws your patio design to an identifiable scale. Have them draw in your patio furniture and accessories so you can get an idea if, and how, they will fit on your patio. These questions will help you decide what size of patio you need to install. Remember, bigger doesnt mean more functional. Also, keep in mind, if your wants exceed your budget, using brick or concrete patio pavers will allow you to seamlessly add on later. "What do I want my patio to look like?" This is another important piece of the puzzle and one that you should also spend time with. A good patio designer will integrate your uses into a pleasing design. One that will accentuate certain features of your home while expanding your personality to the outside. The most difficult part of a patio design idea is the marriage between functionality and aesthetics. Brick and concrete patio pavers give you a lot of design flexibility. Radial designs typically will soften corners and create interesting curves. Square and rectangle patio designs, whether parallel with the house or on a 45 degree angle, are used to accentuate dimensional features of a home. Using different colors and/or styles of pavers in different areas will help define space on your patio. For example, a circle pattern may define a fire pit area. "Do your homework!" The more time you invest at the front end of your patio project, the easier and more enjoyable the installation will be. Spending a few hundred dollars on a formal design may end up saving you several thousand dollars and aggravation. There are also websites with large libraries of pre-designed patios that you can browse and purchase for a fraction of the cost of a custom design. They typically provide you with additional information such as; material list, color palettes and product details, helpful installation tips and how tos. Remember, do your homework and enjoy your patio!
Covered Patio Designs - What Options Do You Have? Almost certainly, one should prefer to relax in the shade rather than being totally exposed. If not, you can immediately skip this section and proceed to the next. Nowadays, covered patio designs come in many different shapes, sizes, colors and styles. You may choose among the wide variations that vendors offer, reinvent on your own or even make some combinations. Each will surely have different styles and tastes but most importantly, is what you like. Having a covered patio would definitely be wonderful. Therefore, if you have decided to have one, start looking for a good variety of covered patio designs. Putting up one will somehow help you realize the relevance of spending quality time with your loved ones and the importance of establishing good relationship. Anyway, bear in mind that there are many different options to cover your patio. There are some patio covers or fabrics that will be better for shade than rain and visa-versa. Here is a brief list of some of the ways to cover your patio. 1) Arbor An arbor provides the least amount of guard from rain and sun in any covered patio designs. Usually more of an aesthetic choice than a practical one. Arbors come in a variety of different designs. Even if you know how to build an arbor, many homeowners consider DIY arbor kits for convenience. These kits come complete with all the required materials and instruction guide. Even with a DIY arbor kit, some homeowners may still find it difficult to construct an arbor. For this reason, you may need to hire a professional to complete your project. After the arbor structure is complete, the you can paint the arbor in your favorite color. 2) Sun Shade A sun shade provides full guard from the sun. This covered patio designs is the easiest to install and often requires minimal work on the part of the homeowner. While there are a big variety sun shades available in varying price levels, it is best to consider spending a little more on a durable sun shade so you can enjoy it for many years. 3) Patio Awning A patio awning is made of a solid cloth that provides full guard from the sun and some protection from the rain. There are both permanent and temporary patio awnings and a good quality awning covering should last for a couple of years. Although there are several variations within each type, there are two main categories of patio awnings. Fixed Patio Awning - A fixed patio awning makes use of a semi-permanent or permanent structure to support a canvas overhang. Once it is assembled and put into place, a fixed awning will normally stay in place for an entire season. Generally, fixed patio awning is usually less expensive than other types of awning. They are quite easy to build or readily available DIY patio awning kit. After the fixed patio awning is installed, they require no maintenance other than removing debris or dirt caught by the canvas roof. They are unlikely to break or need constant maintenance compared to other awning types. Retractable Patio Awning - Although retractable patio awnings are more expensive, they are generally easier to use and install than fixed patio awning. Retractable patio awning make use of a mechanical system to roll up the canvas overhang, protecting the canvas from fading and tearing when not in use. A retractable awning allows you to decide when you want to use your awning with minimal fuss. Retractable awnings can use electricity or manually powered to move the canvas overhang. Needless to say, electric retractable awnings are much more expensive. However, they are extremely easy to use and encourage responsible use of the awning. During bad weather such as heavy winds or hailstorm, either type of retractable patio awning can be removed to prevent damage. Patio awning is another common covered patio designs that many people prefer to use. 4) Patio Roofing If you live in a particularly rainy or hot (tropical countries) of the world, knowing how to install a patio roof can increase the usefulness of the patio. In addition, a roof can also be constructed over an existing arbor, if you find that the arbor does not provide enough protection. Professionally designed and built roofs can be quite complex but the main advantage is that it can convert a patio into a true outdoor room. Roofs may also be constructed if the patio is adjacent to the house in order to help shade part of the house as well as the patio itself. If you really have interest in a covered patio roof designs, it is best to discuss your options with professional roof builders who has experience with outdoor planning. Other covered patio designs that you can choose for your patio are, • Umbrellas • Offset Umbrellas • Sail Shades • Trees • Gazebos • Pergolas • Corrugated Metal Roof • Traditional Roof • Aluminum Patio Covers You may realize the significance of coming up with just an extension or what really a particular covered patio can do? Well, it would be so much better to experience a change or effect on your own.
Building Your Patio - How to Select the Types of Patio Materials? Nowadays, there are ample patio materials to choose from for your patio surface. Some of the more popular are available at landscaping centers or home improvement depot. They can be used for the simple and complex projects alike and are not confined just to the patio. These new types of patio materials can also be used for driveways, walkways and retaining walls along with permanent fixtures such as, plants, flowerpots and patio furniture. The materials you choose should always blend with the surroundings and other materials used in the garden or landscape, while providing the right surface for the intended use of the patio. Consider the long term practically and maintenance of patio materials carefully.... Most people only think about materials in terms of the cost but that should not be your only consideration. You dont always require the cheapest patio material. On the contrary, you also need to think about what patio materials are going to last for a long time and what kind of maintenance each type of material needs. When you are figuring out your budget for the patio, you must take into account the maintenance costs of each different type of patio material. You may find that you are better off choosing a more expensive but durable patio materials up front rather than choosing a cheaper one that has a higher average maintenance cost. Also, make sure that you include into your budget for any additional walkways or paths that need to be built. When you are choosing the material to use as a foundation for the patio, think about the long-term practicality of the material before you make a final decision. Here are some common patio materials you can choose from. 1. Real Stone Stone has the most natural outlook, most durable but also the most expensive type of patio materials. It require good skills to install because each stone greatly varies in shape and size. Additionally, mortar compound is used to adjoin these stones and settle as they dry. It is designed to wear well in high-traffic, need little maintenance and could last for decades. 2. Stone Veneer Stone veneer generally contains most of the benefits and advantages of real stone and it is comparatively a lighter type of patio materials and less expensive. Stone veneer can easily be cut with most common types of saws. Generally, most people will lay out their veneer pieces ahead of time so they can cut pieces to fit in odd spots in advance. It is also as durable as most other patio materials. It requires very minimal maintenance. In addition, stone veneers are much easier to find in the market. 3. Plain Concrete Plain concrete sometimes also known as cement is probably the easiest material in terms of upkeep and maintenance. Plain concrete is the most affordable material available. You can begin with plain concrete for your patio and when you are ready for a change, you can basically lay new patio materials over the existing the concrete flooring. Hence, you can treat it merely as a foundation layer for other patio materials discussed within this page. Furthermore, plain concrete can be a strong foundation and certainly prevent surface cracking. 4. Stamped or Colored Concrete This material is gaining popularity and very practical. It often can be molded or stamped to look just like other types of patio material such as brick, cut stone, irregular stone, cobblestone, etc. It comes in various textures and colors and is cheap. Stamped or colored concrete is a very practical solution when working on a budget. Although you will most likely pay more for colored or stamped concrete compared to plain concrete, the amazing transformation will be well worth the investment. A good and creative contractor can render endless array of decorative effects, from rustic earth-toned sidewalks and patios that harmonize with the surrounding landscape or garden to vibrant multicolored concrete floors that double as works of art. 5. Brick Brick is one of the most popular choice for patios because it is easy to install, looks great and is preferred by most DIY enthusiasts. This type of patio material offer a very traditional look in terms of warm, earthy colors and last a long time. Bricks can be installed on sand base or concrete pavements regardless of whether you use mortar or not and extremely durable in cold climates. It can have a variety of patterns as well because of its uniform shape and size, thus add a lot of personality and individually to your patio. The color of brick looks extremely nice and attractive on a patio especially if it is surrounded by a garden. 6. Tiles Tile is an extremely versatile patio material that any patio utilize it will be one of a kind. Please ensure that the tile is designed for outdoor use. Furthermore, unglazed tile is less slippery than glazed tile when wet. It comes in many different shapes, colors, textures. The endless varieties you can choose from is one of the many reasons why it is a good choice for patios. There are various types such as, • Machine-made quarry tiles • Fired terra-cotta tiles • Molded paver tiles • Synthetic-stone tiles They can be used virtually on any type of surface. Tiles are very comfortable to walk on and relatively smooth which makes it safe to use. Hence, there will be little fear of people tripping on any part of it. In addition, patio furniture will sit squarely on the tiles surface, that may not happen if you use another type of patio materials. Its your choice after all All the above mentioned are excellent patio materials to be use for your patio. In addition, you can even use a combination of different types of patio materials to make your patio comfortable. Also, you have to consider the drainage properties of each material. For instance, individual stones, bricks, or pavers will let water through more than a whole slab of concrete. In addition, you may also want to choose the material colors that you can match with your favorite patio furniture and combining different materials is also possible as long as they are properly matched. In any case, it is best to seek professional assistance and advise when using any of the patio material discussed above. Choosing the right patio material will be an added investment to your patio... Bear in mind that your patio is an investment so an up-front higher cost can actually be a better expense in the long term. No matter what patio materials you choose, make sure its easy to clean and maintain so that it will stand up well to the climate that you live in.
How to Create a Comfortable a Patio Garden If you enjoy sitting out on your outdoor patio, enjoying those warm summer nights or cool fall days, you might want to consider adding a little more character to your surroundings by creating a patio garden. Patio gardens have become very popular and are not that difficult to create. All you will need is, of course, a patio, potting soil, flowers and plants, rocks or shipping peanuts, water features, flower pots, planters and other accessories you may wish to add to your backyard patio garden. The first step toward creating your patio garden is to record on paper how much sun hits this area at different times of the day. You will need to keep track of this for several days in a row in order to get an accurate idea. The second step is to survey your outdoor patio and determine how you will be able to use this space. If you have a large backyard patio, you will able to use larger pots that are placed strategically along it in different locations. If your patio is relatively small, hanging baskets will work nicely and beautifully. You may even choose to use both, hanging the baskets along the outside, provided you have a cover over your patio, and placing the pots in various locations on the patio. What are the suitable patio plants for my patio garden? Based on the amount of available space, you can choose a wide variety of flower pots and potting soil. You can purchase these items from your local discount store or home depot. You will be surprise that choosing pots of varying shapes, colors and sizes can make a garden that much more interesting. Next, place the pots on your patio, arranging them while they are still empty. You may even want to move them around until the look is one you desire. Now it is time to decide what types of plants and flowers you will grow. This will most likely be based on how much sun your patio area receives since some plants and flowers require shade and others need full or partial sunlight. If you are unsure of what types to plant, consult with someone who works at your local gardening store. If you are creating a vibrant patio garden, bright colors may be used. If, on the other hand, you are going for a more soothing effect, you may choose paler colors. You may refer to our patio plants section to see some examples and pictures of some common patio plants. Once you have chosen the plants and flowers, it is time to take them home and replant them. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions included with them and please seek the assistance of a gardening professional if you are unsure. When you have planted your purchases, you might want to consider adding patio accessories and decorate your new patio garden with some simple patio ideas. Furniture, wind chimes, special patio string lights, fountains all make great accessories. Again, the accessories you choose will depend on the amount of space your patio takes up and how much you want to use on your new patio garden.
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