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  • Planning your Patio Renovation

    May 23, 2017 | Blog
  • With all this sunny weather we’re having recently You might be thinking of inviting friends over for a barbecue or inviting friends over for drinks on the terrace but if your backyard looks a little gloomy you might consider whether it's time to revamp your exiting patio or install a new one.

    If you looking to revamp your patio I recommend using a landscaper or a builder such as PD Construction to install it as I have seen many poor attempts by owners, friends and family to lay expensive stone and slabs to disastrous effect. The best way to find a contractor is by recommendation and reviewing their work as I have also seen works carried out by so called professionals that leave a lot to be desired.  You can see our past patio work at PD Construction and we’re happy to provide reviews from our clients.

    If you intend to design the patio area yourself creating a drawing of the layout is a good idea. Start by getting a sheet of A4 graph paper and then can map out your patio area to scale, probably 1:50 is the best to use. This means that one centimetre on your graph paper represents 50 centimetres on the ground in your garden. Two centimetres equals one metre and so on.

    If you are replacing an existing patio and intend to keep the same dimensions but just want to up grade the paving materials you’ll need to measure your existing patio this will help you figure out where to locate the new area and how large an area you’ll need.

    Most people place their patio by the house usually by the external patio doors. If your house is North facing this is not necessarily the warmest place to sit. Look away from the house in this case and find a location that can still be easily accessed while benefiting from a bit more sunshine also keep in mind when you will be using the area, there’s no point having the sun on it all day when you’re not home and then being in the shade when you actually want to use it.

    The size will depend on how you intend to use the space. If you have an existing table set, the size of area will need to accommodate that plus some space for freedom of movement in and around the patio. Otherwise design it to suit your requirements.

    Shape is the next thing to consider. You can choose shapes such as square, circular, rectangular or triangular depending on where the patio is located.  During this process it’s a good time to go look at some paving materials as it might influence the shape you choose.

    There is a range of patio centres and builders merchants around Dublin that supply a vast array of paving materials. Most of the suppliers will have display area set out to show off the different materials, how they can be used and give you some ideas on how they can be laid out. These materials will range from granite, limestone, sandstone and man-made slabs. 

    While cost will be one factor, personal preference is another. I prefer natural stone paving, that is to say granite, limestone or sandstone. While granite comes in silver grey and oatmeal buff, sandstones and limestone come in a range of colours. Bear in mind all paving will discolour once laid from general use and atmospheric pollution. Granite and limestone tend to clean up better with a jet wash than the softer sandstone does.

    Once you have decided on size, shape and material think about the design pattern of how the slabs will be laid. I like granite, because it is cleaner cut and it’s best laid in a formal style. That is to say using one size of slab and repeat laying it either with pointing joints staggered, like with brickwork, or straight. 

    The pointing joint is the gap between the slabs that is filled with a hard setting mortar or pointing compound, this stops weeds growing and I think is essential.

    Sandstones and limestone can be laid formally or in a random rectangular pattern. This is where larger random sized stones spiral off a smaller keystones to create a patchwork of paving slabs. This involves some cutting with a stone saw but works very well on large areas as it breaks the look somewhat.

    Don't be afraid to use bricks or granite sets as an edging material to give definition and contrast.

    Also, a paved or bricked patio space that ends abruptly will feel out of place with a larger landscape around it. A better solution is to use materials to gradually transition -- and reinforce a connection -- between the two.

    Small shifts in color or material supply welcoming visual interest underfoot on a patio. Consider a border, or use different sizes of stones to delineate seating or eating areas .

    A few other things to consider when designing your outdoor living space is are things like exterior lighting which has many functions such as ensuring safety along walkways, offering ambience as natural light fades--and should be an integral part of any patio design. A pendant fixture above this table can cast light on diners lingering after the sun has set.  

    Also, look at using tall trellises which is an excellent way to establish gentle borders around a patio; they also provide a place to encourage flowering vines to reach high--just make sure to pick a vine that suits the area's light conditions. A fragrant vine can cast a sweet scent to a passerby. For a more defined, denser border, place the trellis's slats closer together.

    In the absence of a change-up of fabrics or hardscape, plants can be a welcome way to add living décor to a patio space. Intermix grasses and foliage-focused plants for variety in both hue and style. Even a small fountain or birdbath lends a soothing sound or draws birds and butterflies. Petite water features can also act as a charming focal point.

  • Call to Start Your Outdoor Renovation Project

    Ready to add a patio to your yard or update your existing one, give PD Construction a call. We're happy to provide references for all of our work and we'll give you a free quote.  Our company prides ourselves on our quality of work and being a general contractor that you can trust.  Call today for your quote at 085 737 8410.