By Alek. Patio. Published at Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 - 23:27:28 PM.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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