By Alek. Patio. Published at Thursday, September 27th, 2018 - 10:13:28 AM.
Making the Right Choices When Designing Your Patio Area That time of year is fast approaching where we will be able to spend as much time as possible enjoying the warm summer sun on our patios. For many of us spending time relaxing in the garden or on the patio is the highlight of the summer months, watching the sun go down over the trees as we eat our tea on the patio is enough to make anyone forget about the stresses and strains of the working day that we may have just had. A patio is a simple feature of the home that requires very little maintenance if constructed correctly but getting the make up of the patio correct is an all important factor in getting the most out of the area. So what is the best way to construct a patio area and what should we ensure to add to the patio area to ensure that we get the most out of it? A patio is nothing more than an area at the rear of the house which is either paved in one type of stone or decked with wooden decking planks. Both patio flooring types have their plusses and minuses and depending on the lifestyle that you lead should guide you to what flooring type you should go for. Stone patio flooring is available in many sizes, shapes and styles from traditional York stone and Indian stone to a more modern coloured concrete paving slab. All stone options are very hard wearing and require very little maintenance other than a little weeding between the slabs occasionally and perhaps a coat of sealant once a year to keep the patio flooring looking its very best. Wooden decking is a more modern approach to patio flooring and can look very nice and clean when first laid. There are more options open to you when fitting wooden decking as your patio flooring as you can fit sunken lights into the decking and add walk rails to the exterior of the deck to create a balcony effect. Wooden decking does require more maintenance than stone patio flooring as you should apply a coat of wood preserver once a year and ensure that the decking is cleaned with a jet wash to remove and moss or algae that can make the surface very slippery under foot. When creating your patio flooring area you should consider which direction you would like the focal point to be. If the sun moves over your home during the day and is in the shade in the evening you would be best advised to place as many of the day to day living items such as patio gazebo, patio furniture and patio table in a position where they can receive the sun throughout the day with perhaps a shaded are to keep people out of the midday sun if they so choose. Adding a splash of colour to your patio area is a goods idea to brighten it up a little. Many people make the mistake of having the patio consisting of nothing more than a decking area or an area of stone patio flooring followed by the garden and walls. This can give the impression of being something of a bolt on and look very clinical and not very inviting. By adding a few plants in pots and flowers you can really add a splash of life and colour to your patio making it easier on the eye and more inviting for people to use. So there you have it, a few tips on how to design your patio area including which patio flooring is most suited to your patio area. Make the most of your patio this summer as you never know how bad the winter will be and how long it will be before you can sit and relax, enjoying your patio as the sun goes down.
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.
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.
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.
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