Practical advice: planning your patio

When extending your home, don't forget to consider the patio. An important part of 'bringing the outside in', the patio will have a big impact on the new space is used in summer

Thinking about a new patio? More often than not, when committing to an extension of any variety; conservatory, garden room or orangery the surrounding areas require attention. This isn’t just because it can help to ‘finish’ the look of your extension externally but often, the extension was designed with the idea of ‘bringing the outside in’ in mind and needs to complement the finish of your chosen extension internally too.

Time and time again we see the inevitable grey square slabs placed in a rectangular shape by the back door, but there are so many more options for materials and configurations than most people realise. Before contacting a professional, gather inspiration for your new and improved outside space from a number of different sources. Visit builders merchants, display centers and request product brochures. Flip through home improvement and interior design magazines, and utilise online sources; houzz.co.uk, and houseandgarden.co.uk and of course pinterest.co.uk are all great resources. Doing this can help shape a clearer idea of your requirements when you approach a contractor, even though your initial ideas may ultimately change and evolve as the project progresses.

During the planning stages there are four elements to consider; style, size, shape and function.

Look closely at the style of your existing house and/or the plans of your new extension, and then choose a paving style which will suit. For example, is your house buy hydrocodone online no membership modern where materials like concrete would be in keeping? Or would more traditional, recycled cobbled paving or red bricks be better?

Stone flooring - could be extended to the outside space

Size and shape can be influenced by the position of the sun in your garden at various times of the day. Would a re-location, re-shape or an extra couple of metres added to your patio make the most of the last few hours of sun in the evening? As a rule of thumb, 3m x 3m is a sensible minimum size for a patio, giving enough room for a table for four or even six people – anything smaller could feel cramped.

Finally, and probably most importantly take some time to consider the functionality of your outside space. Is it a family eating and gathering space, or an ‘outdoor room’ for dinner parties and entertaining required? Perhaps creating split levels, raising planting areas or adding a water feature would add areas of interest, define zones, or create a secluded and private area to relax.

Once you have created a ‘wish list’, it’s time to set a budget. With a budget in mind, your contractor will be able to advise accordingly with design and materials to best suit. If you are planning to extend your home and garden we would love for you to get in touch to discuss your ideas.