patio design ideas
Patios have become an essential ingredient in any garden, providing a place to entertain, dine and relax. They often form the transitional area between house and garden, so should be hardwearing, attractive and use sympathetic materials that will blend with their surroundings.
Three things you should consider when choosing what material to use are, its appearance, whether it will be a practical choice of surface and the cost.
The appearance of the finished patio is often the first priority for many people. There are many choices of material available now, including natural stone flags, man-made slabs, slate pavers, bricks, crazy paving, concrete pavers and granite setts.
All of these are also available in a wide variety of colours and surface finishes too, making the choice even more difficult! But try to choose materials that will complement the style and age of your house. Often, a combination of two materials can look great.
| The surface must be a practical choice, a textured finish would be sensible if children or the elderly often use the garden, or if the patio is in a shady spot, especially under trees. |
Uneven edges may be considered hazardous and crazy paving or natural stone is often un-predictable, with an uneven surface.
How much your patio will cost to install depends on many factors. You will always have to prepare a base for any product, and this cost will remain constant. The price of each unit of paving will vary according to the quality of the product.
Natural stone is the most hardwearing and will look good the longest, so will be most expensive, whereas your local DIY supplier may have cheap precast concrete slabs, but they may break easily when laying and colours will fade with time.
compare patio paving costs
Prices for a square metre will vary, but as a guide to material cost...
• cheapest concrete slabs
• quality concrete slabs
• natural stone slabs
• slate and granite slabs
• concrete pavers
• tumbled concrete blocks
• clay pavers
• granite setts
approx £7-£10 m²
approx £20-30 m²
approx £30-£40 m²
approx £40-£50 m²
approx £10-15 m²
approx £70-£80 m²