Love the idea of making the most of your outdoor space? A patio is an ideal way to provide a year-round outdoor space that enhances your home and makes the most of every ray of summer sunshine.
As you’ve probably seen from our Facebook posts, at Silk Services we create patios that are beautiful, functional, low maintenance and durable. We also help design them too, so here are our top 8 considerations for creating the perfect patio for your home.
1. What is your patio for?
It may sound an obvious question, but what do you want your patio to provide? Do you want a relaxing retreat for just the two of you, or an entertainment space for friends and family? Does it need to be accessible all year round, or by those with mobility issues?
2. Where do you want your patio?
This may also seem a basic question, but there really is no point in creating a stunning patio if it spends much of the day in deep shade (at least, not in the UK!) If you want a sun-drenched patio all year round, take time to discover where that is in your garden. It may be near the house, or it may be down the end of the garden.
So, your ideal patio might actually be in two parts – an easily accessible section near the house for shade, and a section in the garden for the sunshine and the views.
3. How private do you want your patio to be?
The most convenient location for any patio is next to the house, which usually will be fairly private too. However, if you’re considering a patio elsewhere, you might not want it to be overlooked by your neighbours. Consider screening more visible patios with plants or features such as pergolas or arbours, but do also consider how that might look all year round.
For more information and a site visit to explore your home’s patio potential, call us on 01962 771815. We’ll be happy to talk about any patio, terrace or any other garden landscaping projects you have in mind.
4. How big does your patio need to be?
How large should your patio be to provide the space you want. As a rough guide, a 3m x 3m patio is about right for a modest table and four chairs. However, you’ll need more ‘elbow-room’ if you want to add a bbq, patio heater, free-standing canopy, deck chairs, or want to decorate your patio with plant pots.
5. What shape do you want?
A patio can be any shape you wish, so don’t feel constrained to a traditional square or circle. We’ve built patios with smart, contemporary straight lines, and with gentle curves and changes in shape that tease the eye and draw you in to explore.
Your patio can mirror the outline of your home, and then you break up the straight lines by putting curving flower beds at the edges. If you’re not sure how this might look, you can trace the outline in a line of sand on the lawn. If it’s not right, just brush away the sand and try again. Once you’ve got it sort of right, remember to take a photo for reference.
6. Does your patio improve access?
We’ve built several patios recently that wrap around buildings on more than one side. This combines the practicalities of year round access to all parts of your home with the benefits of multiple location to sit on a bench and soak up the sunshine!
If you plan to use your patio or terraced area for entertaining, you’ll want a straightforward, uncluttered route from the kitchen to the outside. We can all imagine elegant bi-fold doors opening from a gleaming designer kitchen onto a spotless expanse of natural stone patio. In reality, a path or terraced area that simply links kitchen door to patio table is as much as we need for most of the year.
7. Pergola, cloth canopy or retractible roof?
Our British climate is often a tease when it comes to outdoor entertainment. Here in Hampshire, at various times you’ll probably need a canopy to shade you and your guests from strong sun, a waterproof shelter from sudden showers, a flat surface for a patio heater or freestanding fire pit, and somewhere to hang some lights.
The key to all year round usage is versatility, so it’s no use building a structure if it’s going to provide too much shade when covered in foliage, for example . Instead, think how temporary all-weather furnishings and moveable solutions will work for you, and then allow sufficient space in the design of your patio to accommodate them.
8. What materials to choose?
One of the most exciting parts of designing a patio is choosing your materials. However, the sheer range of natural stone, composites, tiles, concrete and other materials available can be quite bewildering. In general, we suggest you think about how you want your patio to look (light, dark, natural, high contrast). Then consider your budget; most natural stone is much more expensive than man-made equivalents that look almost identical!
At Silk Services, we can guide you through suitable materials for your patio project, including complementary materials for landscaping features such as access steps, border edges, retaining walls, and integrated seating. We can also advise on non-slip surfaces, and ways to improve drainage.
Inspired? Call us to discuss your patio project on 01962 771815.
Design tips for success
In our next blog, we’ll explore ways to integrate your new patio into your garden landscape with clever hints and tips from top garden designers.