Planning a new patio?

Planning a new patio can be a little daunting, especially if you plan to roll your sleeves up and do the work yourself. The difficult part for many people is knowing where to start and how to relay the vision in your head to a builder or landscaper.

If you are planning a new patio then this post will help arm you with the confidence to get what you want and most importantly, make sure its built to last…

Keep Control of Costs

Building a patio from scratch can be pretty expensive, so its a good idea to work out some initial costings from the get-go. Create a wish list and do some research to find out how much you will have to pay for each item and compare this against budget. 

If need be, phase the work over a period of time. This will help to ease the financial side. On the other hand you might decide to look at cheaper alternatives or revise the wish list.

Who will design your patio?

You have options for your patio design. A professional landscape architect or landscape gardener will take on the job of considering your wants and needs while delivering a patio design to your spec. However, this is the most expensive route. 

Alternatively, roll your sleeves up and design the patio yourself. At Lazy Susan we like to think everybody has a little bit of the ‘designer’ in them. Check out other patio designs that you like and base your initial concept on them.

Get some books on patio design and make use of your computer to research and download one of the many patio design programmes that are now available. You can use this software to browse different sample designs, find one you like, and then re-work it to fit in your plot.

Who will build your patio?

While you are designing your patio, its important to keep in mind who’ll be building it too. If you’ve got professionals designing it, they will most likely have suggestions about who’s best to build it.

If you are using a local building or landscaping firm to build, but you’re tackling the design, then its always a good idea to consult with them and get their opinions before you start. 

If the design and build are a DIY project, then one thing to remember is to do your research first. Keep the design within your DIY skill set and capability to actually build the patio. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Where do you build your patio?

Most of the time, patio designers will place a patio adjacent to a house with easy access from the home. But you should put your patio wherever it will be most convenient for you and how you use your garden.

For example, if you use it for outdoor dining, then you could consider having your patio close to the kitchen. Alternatively, if you want your patio bathed in sunshine, then you need position it accordingly. But most importantly, its your patio, so put it wherever it ‘fits’ and wherever it makes you happy!

How big should your patio be?

Your patio design should make your patio big enough to be comfortable and small enough to be intimate. Since a patio is really considered an ‘outside room’, try and think about how big you would want it to be if it was a room inside your home. There are some rules of thumb, but it is your patio design after all, so make it your own.

What type of patio furniture will you include in your patio design?

I know we are little biased, but it is vital you think about the type of patio furniture you want whilst creating your designs? This is the best time to identify the types of garden furniture you want, in terms of style, size and the number of pieces etc. This will help to shape the design and the size of your new patio.

Patio furniture ranges from very cheap to outrageously expensive. Price really isn’t what you are looking for though. You want good quality pieces of garden furniture that are going to last. And this does not mean that you need to spend a vast sums of money. Just buy smart.

Perhaps you want the basic patio set that will include a table and a few chairs to sit around it. This is probably the most essential place to start, think about how you’ll use your patio? Will you be entertaining family and friends, or is it just the occassional sunday morning coffee for two?

In your search for new garden furniture, you’ll find everything from Bistro tables to large 10 seater tables and range of finishes from cast aluminium to rattan patio furniture. Factors that will help make your decision are finding what best matches your patio, your budget, how long the furniture is made to last, and the level of maintenance required.

And please don’t be afraid to pick up the phone, get in touch via social media, or drop us an email, we are always happy to offer advice when it comes to buying the right outdoor furniture!

Check for underground utilities

It is also worth checking whether any existing services, such as water pipes, drains or electricity cables are running beneath the proposed site for your new patio, before any work starts.

If they do, then you may need to have a rethink or seek professional advice from a local surveyor. After all, the last thing you want is your newly installed patio dug up because of a burst water pipe.

Your final patio design considerations

Once you have decided on the location and chosen the style of patio you want, it is worth checking to see if you will need any form of planning permission from your local council to ensure your proposed patio complies with current building regs. 

You will also need to decide whether or not you are going to carry out the work yourself, hire a contractor, or even a combination of both. Doing the work yourself is cost effective – as long as you are competent to carry it out, are aware of any potential pitfalls, and that you have the free time to do it.

On the other hand, you might prefer to pay for the convenience of having a professional builder or landscaper do all the work. As a compromise, you could have all the heavy structural work carried out professionally, but then you can add the finishing touches yourself?

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