22 November 2011

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PATIO SLABS - PLANNING YOUR LAYOUT

Written by Bill Garnham, Posted in Guides

10 essential tips before paving a patio

patio slabs

This is a list of the most important things to consider before you lay your patio. I hope it helps you!

PLANNING YOUR PATIO

1) Always start with pencil and paper, preferably graph paper and make it vaguely to scale. Take your time, don't hold back, let your ideas flow, get feedback from friends and family, and bear in mind the following :

2) WHERE you put your patio and WHAT you use your patio for, are the most important questions you need to answer.

3) If your patio is to be attached to the house it should be seen as an extension to your interior living area and therefore should complement it. If it is away from the house then be aware of the landscape around about and whether you want it to blend in or to be a statement.  

4) Be aware of the elements. Where does the weather come from and do you need shelter from it? This will be relevant for any planting you are planning as well as comfort for yourselves. So think about shelter, drainage (away from your house), irrigation for plants, and orientation. Shade from the sun in summer is important so you must be aware of the sun's position throughout the day and plan your areas accordingly. Shade for lunchtime and teatime; sun for breakfast and evening drinks.

5) If want to do a lot of partying and eating outside, you should locate it as near as possible to the kitchen and an electric point.

6) A patio can be a space to take time out and relax. Walk around and spend time to find the best place. Take into account neighbours, noise and unpleasant odours and site accordingly, making use of any natural screening and views. Remember that the environment changes with the seasons and what may be the best spot in the summer is not necessarily the best in the winter.

7) What do you want the patio for ? Make a list of all the functions you want your patio to perform and adapt your design to these.

8) If children will be using the patio, bear in mind their safety and enough space to play.

9) Allow enough space for the patio. Generally people under estimate the amount of room needed. If possible, lay out your furniture first, allowing space for moving about, serving tables, barbecues, play and planting.

10) Be aware of existing features and use them to advantage. The less stuff you have to move about the better! Designate an area for material that needs to be taken away or a place for a skip with easy access for the skip lorry.

I hope this proves useful to you. If you have any more suggestions, please leave a comment.

For more information check out the PAVING EXPERT

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About the Author

Bill Garnham

Bill Garnham

Bill works freelance on design and internet solutions for small business and heads the design and marketing department at DT Stone, a company that supplies natural stone flooring and paving. He is very keen on DIY, and having struggled on many projects, he likes to share what small amount of expertise he has gained over the years to help people avoid the same mistakes!