The patio can be defined as a paved recreation area that is usually found to the rear of the home. It may or may not be physically attached to the house. Patios are great for outdoor entertaining but they can also be used as an exercise area, for family meetings or just for relaxation.
With careful consideration, you can have a patio that can be used year round. Because there a lot of options to consider, including size, choice of pavers, and roof coverings, it may help to talk to a professional such as a landscape architect or garden designer to ensure that you end up with something that meets your needs.
The most important thing to consider is what you will be using your patio for. If you plan to entertain, you will need room for a barbecue and patio furniture, as well as enough space for people to comfortably mingle. If you are using it primarily for relaxation, ensure that it has enough space for comfortable furniture, such as a daybed, and that it is suitably protected against weather.
The garden is another consideration when designing your patio. There is an abundance of choice available, from potted plants, which can be easily moved as needed, to garden beds full of luscious, shade-giving plants. If you cook a lot, it may be worth putting in a fresh herb garden.
Patios are typically paved, and there is a wide range of paving available. If you have a smaller garden, large-format pavers in a light colour will make the space seem larger. Larger gardens can use almost any type of paver. Timber decking is also a popular choice as it is natural and earthy while still looking very contemporary. However, timber will need to be sealed or oiled regularly to keep it looking its best. Whichever flooring type you choose, you should make sure that it complements your existing home.
If you decide to cover your patio, there are a variety of choices available. Where light is a consideration, clear PVC roofing is ideal. You could also use deciduous climbers over a frame in order to provide shade in summer and sun in winter.
Patio umbrellas are also available and these can be fixed or mobile. Mobile patio umbrellas can rotate through 360 degrees and, as such, can be moved according to the sun’s rotation to ensure that you are in shade at any given point of the day. Patio umbrellas can also be collapsed, for days when you want to fully enjoy the sun.
Expect to be charged on a per square metre basis for the construction of a patio. This could range from $180 per square metre to $900 per square metre - with budget materials at the low end and top quality pavers and timber at the top end of the range. One element that can affect the budget significantly is the type of roof you specify, with corrugated steel, tiles, polycarbonate and shade sails all viable options.
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