By Alek. Patio. Published at Tuesday, October 02nd, 2018 - 02:17:28 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.
What Flagstone Pavers to Choose for Your Patio, and What to Think About When Creating Your Design! Every garden needs a patio, somewhere to sit and reflect, enjoy your garden, entertain and relax. Often, a patio will be the focal point of a garden so it is important to not only get your patio design right, but to also use the right materials! Bricks, concrete and pebbles can be used, but often the most popular choice is flagstones as they are generally flat and durable. Choosing what flagstone pavers to use can be a daunting task, as they come in such as vast array of sizes, shapes, colours and textures. Budget will obviously have a big bearing on your decision and you must make sure that whatever paver you choose you are happy with it, because you do not want to have to be taking up and relaying your patio if you can help it!! When purchasing your flagstones get them all at the same time, to avoid variations in texture and colour. Popular choices for flags include sandstone, limestone and granite. There are also a lot of imported stones available like indian stone, which is often a cheaper option to some regional stones like yorkshire stone. Take your time to choose your flagstone pavers. A lot of garden centres and builders yards will have them on display for you to view. Choose something that will compliment your existing style and features. You dont want to spend a lot of money on the in thing only to discover it has gone out of fashion in a few years time! The shape of patio that you choose will depend on your design and the shape and size of your garden. Patios should look natural and flow with the overall design of your garden. Patios can be raised, flat, square, rectangle, round the list is endless. Rectangle and square patios tend to be more traditional and fit into spaces well, so if you have a smaller garden it is often better to choose a patio with straight edges. If you have a bit more space, then you might want to consider a patio with curves to create a soft flowing look. Give consideration as to what you will be using your patio for, and what type and size of patio furniture or ornaments are going to be placed on your patio area. I have often seen people build patios which are going to be used as a family eating area, only for the whole patio to be swamped when a family table is placed on it, making it difficult for people to manoeuvre round the table and leaving absolutely no room for anything else such as pots, ornaments or seating. If you intend to entertain on your patio or eat as a family on it, make sure that your patio is big enough! There is nothing worse than designing and building your patio, only to discover it is too small as does not meet your needs! Another very important point of consideration in any patio design is where to place your patio. Patios really can go anywhere in the garden and more and more people are moving away from the traditional positioning of a patio, which is usually adjoining your house. Consider sunlight. Will the position you have chosen for your patio get the sun? Does that position get a breeze compared to other parts of your garden? Will you have to cross wet grass to get to your patio? Will your patio position be overlooked by your neighbours? Finally, how far is your patio from the kitchen if you intend to carry food and drinks to it? Make sure all these points are considered before choosing a location. There are so many aspects to consider when building a patio, but whatever you do, think about your design carefully and do not rush! Plan carefully so that you end up with a patio that you truly love and can enjoy!
Garden and Patio Furniture - What to Look For Garden and patio furniture can really add a lot of appeal to your patio but it is important to choose your outdoor furniture carefully to ensure you get the best looking and longest lasting furniture. This applies to furnishing a new patio or redecorating an established one. When choosing your patio furniture you should consider several important points. These are: • 1. Durability • 2. What the furniture is made of • 3. Color • 4. Size • 5. Does it complement your patio and home? Outdoor furniture can be made from many different materials such as plastic, wood, wicker and metal and comes in many different styles. Before you choose your patio furniture decide what sort of look you want your patio to have and how much room there is for furniture. This last point, how much room, is very important as you do not want all of the room on your patio to be taken up by furniture nor do you want a tiny setting in a huge space. The most economical way of buying furniture for your deck is to buy outdoor patio furniture sets. That way the pieces of furniture match each other and, because you are buying the furniture as a set then quite often the price is cheaper than if the components were bought separately. Durability is very important. The furniture is most likely going to stay outdoors. That means it will be subject to a variety of weather conditions like rain, dust, wind, sun etc. Even if your patio is covered the furniture will still be subject to weather conditions. If you buy cheap plastic or PVC patio furniture you will most likely have to replace it within a short space of time, maybe in 2 - 3 years. This type of furniture can deteriorate rapidly if left out in the weather. Metal patio furniture is very durable but may need some periodic attention such as painting and rust removal but can look great in the right setting. Wooden patio furniture is the most popular. Many varieties of wood are used for making outdoor furniture and some are more durable than others. This means that outdoor furniture made from the less durable varieties will need regular attention like painting, staining or oiling. With some woods, e.g. pine, this maintenance may be as regular as every year. The more durable timbers are jarrah and teak and usually a quick oil or stain every 2 to 3 years is ample. Sometimes, wicker furniture is painted. However, it does not need a great deal of attention. The color of your patio furniture is very important as it needs to harmonize with your patio. Most wooden patio furniture is stained or oiled and so retains the natural grains of the timber and, because of its natural look, often blends in to most patio styles. Metal or iron furniture will only come painted for durability reasons. However, the right metal furniture can look good in many styles of patio. For that tropical feel, wicker garden furniture can look great. Wicker furniture is usually left in its natural state and can add an earthy relaxed feel to you patio. The size you choose is very important. When deciding on size, you need to leave room on the patio for people to move around. This is most important if you entertain regularly. Your guests should be able to freely mingle. A good idea is to make a diagram of your deck to scale and then cut out some pieces of paper to represent your furniture. By placing these cut-outs in various positions on the patio drawing you will be able to see if you have sufficient room. Choose furniture that will not clutter the area. If room is limited then choices like extendable tables and fold up chairs can be the answer. Excess chairs can be folded and stored until needed. Tables can be extended when necessary. Your final choice in patio furniture should look good in its final place and complement your patio. For example, wood outdoor furniture looks great in natural settings with lots of plants. Wicker garden furniture looks great in those lush tropical areas. It is a good idea to note the style of your house and then find patio furniture that will suit that style. There are so many styles and varieties in garden and patio furniture now available, that anyones taste can be satisfied.
Natural Stone Patios - The Best Way to Set Landscape and Swimming Pool Areas in Stone Swimming pool and other backyard patios can be largely overlooked when it comes to landscape and swimming pool designs. To the average homeowner, swimming pool patios and dining patios are valued but seriously underestimated in terms of their power to really define an outdoor living space. Natural stone works great for patios, considering it lasts longer than pavers and does not fade in color or become slippery like stamped concrete. In general, natural stone patios provide a number of opportunities to transform the most functional aspect of a landscape and swimming pool into an art-form that enhances the overall ambience. The choice of stone is the first task in defining your outdoor living space with a patio. Swimming pool patios should stay relatively cool in the hot sun, keeping in mind that you will have to walk barefoot on this surface. A grey Tennessee Crab Orchard is a popular choice for pool patios because it stays relatively cool in the sun. The color is also rather neutral, allowing the adjacent pool and landscape to really show off. For dining patios, a more formal natural stone can be utilized. Bluestone works perfectly for formal patios. Sandstone also brings formality, yet remains somewhat neutral in doing so. Pool patios can also feature these more formal stones as well. A sandstone swimming pool patio with bluestone accents can really highlight a formal swimming pool and landscape. After you choose the stone for your pool or dining patio, the next task is to determine the pattern. Around natural pools, especially pools with waterfalls, natural stone set in irregular patterns works beautifully; the natural stone patio, set in an irregular pattern, can enhance the rugged look of the pool. For formal pools, the patio can utilize the same stone and set it in a regular, geometric pattern. Any stone patio pattern can be slightly modified for a custom design. In a very subtle way, an altered pattern can offer a frame for patio furniture, for example. Finally, with the stone and pattern set, finishing touches can be applied. Small accents in any patio can tie the entire yard together. For example, a sandstone outdoor living room patio can lie adjacent to the bluestone dining patio. A slight bluestone accent in the outdoor living room can blend it with the dining patio, while still allowing it to distinguish itself as a separate outdoor "room." Accents can also blend the patio with aspects of the home and other architectural elements of the back yard. Brick can even be scattered about a natural stone patio for sharp, distinct color and contrast. To summarize, upgrading to a natural stone patio can take your swimming pool and landscape to the next level of design and style. First choose the stone for your swimming pool or dining patio. Choose a stone that fits the style of the backyard area, while paying close attention to the functional needs of the surface. Next, decide on a pattern for the stone. Remember, regular fits formal, irregular for natural. Finally, get creative. Ask your swimming pool and landscape design company to spice things up by using a combination of materials to create accents that bring unique style to the patio design. Detail, color, and creative subtleties make for the most definitive, eye-catching natural stone patios.
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