A patio can add value to your property and improve your enjoyment of your outside space, so it's important that you get the design right before the construction process gets underway. Read on for some helpful tips on designing your new patio.
Circulation and linking
When planning your patio layout, try to think of it as an extension of the rest of your property and incorporate links accordingly. For example, remember to include access from the patio to the garage if it's adjacent, or incorporate sliding or bifold doors if the patio links to your lounge or kitchen so that you can extend your indoor space outdoors.
Including permanent seating into your patio design can really help to maximise your outdoor living space. A built-in teak seat can offer somewhere pleasant to sit and enjoy your garden on a nice early spring or autumn day, even if you've stored away your other patio furnishings for the winter months. Why not consider including raised masonry planters to form seat walls with a bench fitted between them?
If you plan on using moveable seating and dining furniture, think carefully about the number of guests you would usually expect to entertain and the area you'll need to accommodate your furniture. Think also about whether you want a part of your patio that's dedicated to conversation and relaxation. How are you going to separate these areas, yet maintain the natural flow between them?
A good tip is to choose your furniture and fittings before you actually design the patio, and then work out how your outside space would work best around them.
Outdoor cooking and fires
If you're going to cook-out and eat on your patio, you'll need to position a built-in grill within convenient reach of kitchen access. In small gardens where space is at a premium, it might be better to use a portable grill to save taking up valuable space with a permanent structure that might only be used from time-to-time.
A permanent, glowing fire feature can provide a great after dark focal point for guests. Think carefully about its location though, and make sure you can provide screening to prevent wind interference and drifting smoke.
Planting, views and environmental concerns
If you intend to have planters sited on your patio or perhaps have a pergola with climbers growing on it, make sure that your patio is situated with an aspect that suits both the plants and your guests. For example, a south-facing patio will suit sun-loving plants and visitors alike, but neither will enjoy being exposed to a brisk east wind all year round, or a chilly, shady spot where the sun never ventures.
Stand on the spot where you plan to locate your patio and look at the view you and your guests will enjoy. If there's nothing particularly enticing to look at, think about incorporating a statue, a tree, or water feature in your garden. You'll also need to consider blocking out unappealing sights with hedging or screening.
There's a lot to consider when designing your perfect patio. Always consult your contractor for more advice during the design phase to ensure that the actual construction proceeds smoothly to a satisfactory conclusion and delivers the patio you've always dreamed of.