By Alek. Patio. Published at Monday, September 05th, 2016 - 10:49:53 AM.
Why Would I Choose GRP Patio Canopies For My Outdoor Space? Patio canopies are one of the cheapest, easiest and quickest ways of extending the usefulness of your homes outdoor space, and adding value to your home. Not only that, but patio canopies also let you stick two hot digs up at the weather, as you enjoy a family barbecue, al fresco lunch or evening nibbles with friends regardless of what the weather decides to do. If this wasnt enough, consider the benefits of having an outdoor space you can rely on for getting the children outside to play, away from their rooms and the computer, yet somewhere safe where you can keep an eye on them. Watching your children happily playing outside through sound proof double glazed patio doors is definitely a great way to enjoy them after hours of having them hurtling round the house like jet planes in a hurry. Patio canopies let you use your outdoor space in a way that is much more flexible, much more relaxing, and much more predictable. If theres one thing that can be said for the British weather its that it is interesting. Unpredictable is another word, and highly frustrating are a further two. The weather forecasts in this country may be something of a national joke, and you may well find yourself shivering inside with the heating on in summer or going for a warm sunny walk in winter, or even going shopping in shorts and t-shirt in the morning to get the things you need for a barbecue, only to spend the afternoon wrapped up indoors looking at the rain put a damper on your plans. Patio canopies and patio roofs give you the chance to do what you want, when you want, enjoying your outdoor space when it suits you, rather than when the weather graciously permits you to step outside for two minutes as though on parole. Patio canopies help to protect your patio doors, and depending on the size of your patio and the patio roof you choose, you could be looking at a substantial outdoor area that is now safely protected. Of course, its easy to think of being protected outside from the elements as being solely about keeping dry from the rain. However, increasingly were aware of the bright sun and the damage it can do to your skin and eyes if you sit outside for too long, exposed. Patio canopies and patio roofs offer a degree of shade, helping to reduce the risk, and at the same time increasing the comfort of sitting outside for longer. Whether you enjoy entertaining friends or family outside for al fresco evening meals or drinks, or simply enjoy the chance to sit outside and have a little lunch, or a drink and read the paper, patio canopies and patio roofs allow you to plan what you want to do when you want to do it. If youre considering having a patio canopy or patio roof fitted you may be wondering what the best option is as far as material is concerned. Do you go for a fabric canopy, a wooden beamed construction or a GRP, or Glass Reinforced Polyester patio canopy? Each of these three types of patio roofs offers benefits, but in terms of cost, convenience, maintenance and durability, each varies quite considerably. Firstly, cost: GRP patio canopies are certainly the cheapest, with fabric canopies close in comparison. Timber based constructions will always be much more expensive because of the nature of the materials as well as the labour required to build it. From the point of view of convenience, timber based patio canopies will take a long time to construct, will require building work to your property and in some cases even planning permission. Fabric patio roofs and GRP patio canopies will both be very quick to install, or self supporting and require minimal labour. Maintenance is often overlooked, but its important to remember that youll be responsible for maintaining your patio canopy. Fabric canopies will tend to fade, wear and even rot if not looked after carefully, and replacements or repairs may be necessary ever few years. Timber is strong, but because of the widely varying temperatures in this country, as well as a distinct dampness, external timber can easily start to warp, split or crack, and regular varnishing and repairs will be needed. GRP patio canopies need an occasional wash - just point the hose pipe at them and theyll come up looking as good as new. GRP doesnt warp, twist, crack or fade, and so is largely maintenance free. Finally, as far as durability is concerned, GRP patio canopies are good for many years longer than either fabric canopies or timber based patio roofs, needing very little maintenance, and providing a trouble free outdoor experience. Why not find out more about the range of patio canopies available by clicking the link below and visiting a site that specialises in custom made patio canopies and patio roofs for UK properties?
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!
How to Design a Patio Area? Plants and flowers have an astounding effect in converting your patio into a more attractive and appealing retreat for a relaxed evening. A beautifully designed and comfortable patio reflects the tastes and aesthetic sense of a homeowner. Patio gardens do not require much space, and can thrive without ample maintenance needs. Patios with some natural light can easily sustain decorative flower plants as well as edible items as vegetables. There are several ways to design your patio with a thriving garden paradise. Advance planning A proper measurement of the perimeter of your patio, amount of sunlight available for the plants, moving space required, and maintenance needs play a vital role in designing a garden patio. • Decide on the purpose of the patio garden, do you plan a decorative showpiece with ornamental plants or as a kitchen garden with herbs, fruits and vegetables. • Measure the exact space available at the patio. • Visit the patio at different times of the day to find the amount of sunlight available to it. • Decide on the graph and placement of plants, considering the moving space requirement. Choice of plants You can make a subtle difference between your lawn and patio, by creating a border of plants with containers or adding raised planters around the edge of the patio. Choose plants that either spill over the patio or grow in a graduated manner along its borders. When purchasing plants, check for sunlight requirement, soil preferences and hardiness specifications. Design of the patio garden The landscaping of a patio mainly depends on the floor type, space available and design of the patio. A vertical garden can be an excellent idea for a totally cramped space. You can create beautiful borders or fences using the concept of vertical gardening. The first step to patio designing starts by creating a focal point for the garden. Wooden wagons can act as a centerpiece of your patio garden. They provide a tinge of depth and height to your patio, apart from adding a striking backdrop for your plants or for elevating plants of your preference. Wagons look best when decorated with bedding plants, tiny potted plants, large bushy plants and hanging greens. You can avail this core to create unique gardening conditions like preparing the soil for acid-loving shrubs and so on. If the patio has some steps nearby, plan a terraced garden. This will help you choose plants of varying height and colors. Use garden boxes to design a patio with railings. Garden boxes aid the growth of plants in an attractive form without much maintenance requirements. Choice of containers Container gardens are the perfect place to exhibit the designer in you. Not limited to stationary plants, you can mix and match plants, colors, flowers as well as textures and move them around till you get the perfect look. Containers placed on pedestals can also set the framework for vertical gardening. There is a plethora of container choices available in the market, and you can choose the perfect color and design to aid your landscape. Select containers with large drainage holes to allow water to seep out and prevent rotting of the roots. The size of the containers also plays an important role in the design of the patio. While larger containers require less water than smaller ones, they can restrict the moving space. Varying the type of containers used in a patio produces a countless range of possibilities for a patio. • Choose containers of different bright colors to add a dash of liveliness in the garden space. • Rustic pots planted with ornamental plants or grass can create a personal design for your home. • A topiary in a Versailles tub can also add to the beauty of the place. • Metal containers are a popular choice for plants as they are versatile. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and range from contemporary styles to rustic cottage designs. However, choose galvanized containers to prevent rusting. • Water-filled containers are the best place for aquatic plants like an arrow-head, ferns, brass lilies and water hyacinths. However, remember to take proper care of the water plants as they tend to entice insects to the patio. You can also get more creative by using cracked pots, bathtubs, rusted wheel barrows, kitchen sinks and wooden planters. You can stagger the pots to add depth to your patio. You can vary the size, shape and color of plants to enhance the beauty of the place.
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.
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