Patios are a great addition to many people’s gardens and landscapes. Whether you have a small garden or a huge open space to play with, adding space for a patio can add character to your home and give yourself your own space for eating, drinking, and quality time with the family.
For those looking to add a new patio space to their garden, you have a number of choices to make. How is it going to look? How much space will your new patio need? And often the most important question people should be asking is what kind of materials will you need to make it the way you want it to look?
When it comes to materials, patios are made of pretty much one of six basic materials. It's what you do with these materials that can give your outdoor surface an individual look or personal expression. The material you choose will be determined by personal preference, the location of the patio, your budget, and the size of the outdoor space, and what's available in your area. Before starting a patio project, check local building codes for setbacks and other requirements. Make sure to prep your patio area thoroughly prior to installation to allow for proper drainage and to make sure the patio slopes away from the house.
If you’re looking for a natural, weathered effect in your garden, then why not try using natural paving stones? There is a range of colours to choose from that aim to mimic a characteristic look and feel to your back garden.
If you’re looking to buy natural stone, look for flagstone, slate, or limestone for a more neutral coloured stone that can match most elements added to your garden. Take a look at our decorative paving section for some inspiration.
Adding brick to a garden really brings out the character and promotes a quintessentially British look. Whether you opt for a classic red brick or look to use lighter-toned brick, you can easily slot them into the area you’re paving with minimal fuss.
One thing to consider is that brick requires a bit more maintenance than using other paving methods. Like when used around our homes, bricks are great places for moss and other weeds to grow, so be sure to keep an eye on them if you add them to your patio.
For thousands of years, brick has been made by firing a mixture of clay and other materials in a kiln. It is sturdy, lasts a long time, and has a neat, classic look that goes with many landscape and architectural styles. Many homes are constructed of brick or mix it with other materials. Versatile, it can be used for patio floors along with pathways, for walls, and as edging. It works for both formal and rustic landscape or hardscape features and house styles. Brick bonds or patterns offer different looks. Popular patterns include herringbone, running bond, and jack-on-jack.
Small stones that come in bags can simply be poured into the areas you want them to be added to. It’s a very simple process that can make your patio built out in a day. Pea gravel is the most common of the stones you can buy, but there is a range of stone looks you can choose from to bring out your own unique theme to the patio. You could go for a more rustic, farmhouse look, a Mediterranean aesthetic, or go for a seaside theme - whichever you choose it’ll bring out heaps of character!
The huge benefit to adding stones is that they’re an easy draining solution, can battle much of the weather we have all year round and are a cheap investment that lasts.
Once considered a choice strictly for side yards or small areas, loose materials are gaining in popularity for patio surfaces, especially in regions that are experiencing drought. Why? Homeowners and dwellers are replacing thirsty lawns with more water-wise alternatives, which include loose materials. Also, they are easy to work with and fairly inexpensive.
If none of these ideas pique your interest then there’s always the option to add decking, cover sections of your patio in concrete, or spruce it up with woodchip and individual paving stones. There are heaps of ways to build your patio that don't have to follow the common ways of creating your new garden space.
Ultimately, it will be down to what your budget is, how much space you have to work with and what you’d like your garden to look like when it’s all done! It’s also about what you’ll be using the space for and how you can help give your garden the lease of life it needs, where your friends and family can enjoy your outdoor space for years to come.
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