Published at Saturday, October 06th, 2018 - 04:20:28 AM. Patio. By Alek.
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!
Patio Furniture - What Are the Best Patio Furniture Materials For You? Choosing patio furniture can be a little overwhelming because there are several material types and hundreds or possibly thousands of styles made from those materials. The type of materials that you choose should depend on your personal preference but also on the climate where you live, whether your patio is covered or uncovered, your budget and several other factors. By keeping in mind your priorities and carefully thinking things through, selecting the right patio furniture be straightforward and easy. When you are choosing new furniture the first thing that you need to do is pick a type of material. The most common materials are wood, wicker and rattan, metal, and plastic. Wood Wooden patio furniture is very popular and lasting. In general, wooden patio furniture can stand up to the elements like very hot sun or summer storms pretty well. However, if you decide to use wooden patio furniture you should treat it with a water resistant coating to protect it from drying out in the sun or becoming damaged from being out in the rain. It is a good choice if you do a lot of entertaining because its very strong and rigid, thus can accommodate people of all different sizes. Its also simple to change the look of wooden patio furniture with just a new coat of paint in the color of your choice. Good quality wooden patio furniture can be expensive but if you carry out regular maintenance of painting or protective coating on the wood every few years, the furniture will inevitably last for a long time. Wicker and Rattan If you like to change the decor of your patio frequently and dont want to have to buy new furniture every time then wicker & rattan patio furniture would be a good and decent choice for you. Wicker and rattan is the second most popular type of furniture that is made from natural materials. Both wicker and rattan furniture is durable, light weight and to a certain extent - flexible, making it great for patio furniture that needs to be brought indoors or moved frequently. Wicker is actually not a material by itself. Wicker is the end result of weaving rattan with other materials, usually bamboo slats, to make furniture. Rattan (originated from a Malay word - Rotan) is technically a tree, although it grows like a vine along the ground. They are usually found in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australia. The rattan vines are cut and peeled, then steamed to make them pliable, and then they are used as rattan weaving materials. Rattan furniture can be made of stripes of Rattan that are woven together when the wood is wet. It can also be strips of Bamboo or other materials woven around straight rattan slats. Rattan easily accepts paints and stains like many other kinds of wood, so it is available in many colors and it can be worked into many styles. Both rattan and wicker furniture is a less expensive alternative to hardwood, if you want to have furniture that is made from natural sources. These types of patio furniture dont require a lot of maintenance and can be used in or outdoors all year long. Its also possible to change the outlook of Wicker or Rattan furniture by giving the furniture a new coat of color. So, if youre inclined to change the decor of your patio frequently without buying new patio furniture every time, then wicker or rattan furniture would be the best choice for you. Metal Metal patio furniture is often a more economical choice compared to hard wood type especially for people who want the stability of wood but wouldnt want to spend too much. Metal furniture is also great for people that want furniture that has low maintenance costs because most metal furniture doesnt require the kind of maintenance that wooden furniture does. There are three main types of metal patio furniture that you can purchase. They are wrought iron, aluminum and tubular metal. Wrought iron is probably one of the most expensive types in the range. Wrought iron furniture is incredibly popular because its stylish and adds a very classic feel to a patio but its also popular because of its durability. Wrought iron furniture is heavy and requires little upkeep. For instance, just a simple new coat of paint every year or so will keep wrought iron furniture looking beautiful for years. Furthermore, wrought iron patio furniture is sturdy so that it can be comfortable and safe for people of all sizes. It is also heavy which is good in that it wont be blown away in strong winds but not to a point that it is too difficult to move. Aluminum is often used commercially because its so easy to maintain, light-weight and tough. Hotels, public pools, restaurants, resorts, and other types of businesses that deal with the public often use aluminum patio furniture for their outdoor patios. Aluminum is a very much lighter metal than wrought iron so if you will frequently need to move your furniture, aluminum may be a better choice. Most if not all outdoor bars and bistros will quite definitely choose aluminum furniture because of its weight & maintenance cost. Aluminum furniture can be a bit pricey for some people but the cost is negligible over time as aluminum patio furniture will last for a long time. Tubular metal patio furniture is the least expensive type and easily found at discount stores. It has some of the durability that other types of metal patio furniture have although it is not as strong as aluminum or wrought iron. Tubular metal doesnt require a lot of maintenance and can lasts for a long time. It can though become bent and damaged and can never quite be bent back into its original shape. It is also light enough to easily be blown away in strong winds. Plastic or PVC Patio Furniture Plastic or PVC patio furniture is the cheapest option and can be easily found at discount/bargain stores. Stackable Plastic or PVC patio furniture can be found at any discount store, sometimes even at the grocery store. They are easy to maintain because all you need to do for cleaning is simply to wipe the dirt off. It stands up well to any natural elements except strong winds and usually will only last for one season. They are not very sturdy and can break easily. There is a high possibility it becomes a safety issue if you have little children using it frequently because it tends to tip over or break. They also tends to crack and splinter very easily, which is dangerous even to adults. If you are looking for some cheap, quick patio furniture then plastic is the best choice but dont expect them to last.
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