As we head into spring and towards summer, our thoughts turn to the outdoor spaces of our home and making the most of them.
You may be considering a new patio ahead of the summer months to turn your garden into somewhere to entertain family and friends or simply to relax on a weekend.
We take a look at five tips for planning your patio.
Be mindful of drainage
How will the water run off your patio? Where will it go? If your patio is raised above the level of the garden, are there drainage points? Is the patio next to the house? If so, you need to make sure that any water runs aways from the house or any other permanent structure. Consider this before you decide on the final area for your patio.
Choose the right paving
A big part of planning a patio is choosing the paving stones that you will use. Your first consideration will be whether or not you like them and if they will look right in the space you have planned. There are a couple more things to consider before you make your final decision though.
Look at them when wet – wet stones may look a different colour to dry ones and you may not like them as much. If the wet stones are much darker and you aren’t as keen, bear in mind, you are going to be looking at a wet patio quite a lot!
Use the right size – too small a stone in a large area may look a little odd. It may also look odd if you use stones that are too large in a small area. The size of stone you use will also help to create the illusion of space. If the stones are too small, they could make the patio look too busy or crowded.
Get your budget right
When designing your patio, you need to consider your budget. Don’t try and do it on a tight budget after spending lots of money on the rest of the house. A patio is likely to be more expensive than you think and you don’t want it to look like you have done it on a budget. A patio is an investment. Consider everything that you will need from the cost of the materials, to how much it will cost to lay the patio and make sure you have enough money to do it properly, even if this means waiting a little while longer.
Conversely, expensive is not always best. Materials vary in cost and just because they are more expensive, doesn’t mean they are necessarily best. Take sawn limestone for example. It has to be sawn, sandblasted and brushed which makes it a more expensive option. A riven sandstone is a cheaper option and may be more suited to your project. Riven means ‘naturally split’ so it doesn’t have to go through the same process as sawn stones but still offers a premium-look.
Factor the house into the design
Let your house inform the structure, layout, size and design of your patio. Use stones that coordinate well with the exterior facade of the house. When it comes to the position of the patio, consider which part of the garden gets the most sun at which parts of the day.
If you are only going to use the patio in the evenings, where is the last place in the garden that gets the sun? Conversely, you may not want a patio that is in direct sunlight all day long and prefer to have some shade at peak times.
What is your patio going to be used for? Is it a place where you will entertain and dine? If you want a more cosy space, create intimate patio areas that can be used to relax with garden furniture and furnishing. For this to work you need to choose the right area of the garden to install your patio.
Are you going to plan borders around it to blend with the rest of the garden? If so you will need to plan those borders, the plants you will plant and whether you will have potted plants/trees on your patio. You can also look at furniture ideas to get an idea of what can be accommodated in the space including a dining table and chairs, recliners or some simple seating arrangements. It is a good idea to have measurements so that you can fit everything in and avoid the disappointment of your finished patio coming up smaller or larger than you imagined.
For all your patio paving requirements, and advice on planning your patio, the team at Sansums are happy to help. Discover more about our patio stones and supplies here.