Patio Ideas and Inspiration for Summer Living
The best time to start planning and building your outdoor dream patio is before summer gets into full swing and you want to spend time outdoors.
Design a patio that can be used throughout the year and that offers shelter and shade during the day.
South Africans are lucky to be able to spend so much time outdoors throughout the year. Our winters might be chilly, but being able to be outdoors during spring, summer and autumn mean we have plenty of time to lounge outdoors. The ideal way to chill and relax outdoors with family and friends is to design a patio that adds extra living space - outdoors!
What could be more enjoyable than spending hot days under a cool shade while sipping your perfect beverage whilst relaxing in the garden? And the best way to make the most of it is to design a patio that will serve your needs through spring, summer and autumn. We look at ideas and inspiration for patio designs - ones that will not only be perfect for summer lounging, but where you can spend time during spring and autumn.
You don't need to spend a fortune to build an outdoor patio. Shop around for the best prices on materials or obtain at least 3 quotations for the work to be done by a professional contractor.
Abutting the patio against existing walls reduces the supplies and materials needed as well as the overall cost.
Floored by Options
If the area designated for the patio doesn't already have any type of flooring down, you have plenty of options to choose from. Most would throw down a concrete slab and leave as is or stain or paint on a design, or even lay tile over the top. Then there is the option to simply pave the area. Another idea for patio flooring is to build a low deck using composite or hardwood decking planks.
Whatever option you choose will no doubt be determined by how much you have to spend, and you can always make do for now and install more expensive flooring later on.
A Shady Spot
No matter the season, spending time outdoors means you need to find a shady spot that offers respite from our hot sun. The easiest way to do this is to incorporate a roof design that provides shelter and shade. The roofing options for a patio will depend on what you can afford or what you can DIY if you have the skills.
A DIY project gives you the freedom to build a patio at your own speed and purchase necessary materials and supplies as your budget allows. Building a DIY patio for your outdoors might save you some money, but you should only consider this as an option if you have the skills and tools to undertake the job. If you don't think you can handle it yourself, it would be better to have a contractor do the job for you.
A fabric gazebo offers the perfect patio solution for those renting a property or for anyone who doesn't want to go through the process of having plans approved.
Roofing for a new patio can be anything from fibreglass or polycarbonate roof sheeting over a basic framework, or a full-on tiled roof over roof trusses. The former will be the most inexpensive option while the latter will cost significantly more, but the choice will depend on budget and skill set.
Allow for Services
If you intend to use the patio all year round, you are going to need to arrange for electrical points for lighting and accessories and plumbing if you plan to add an outdoor kitchen. Consider that you might want to have a fan outdoors or have ambient lighting to set the mood. You may even want to be able to roll out the TV if you are planning a sporting afternoon with buddies. If you are going to the expense of adding a patio, make sure it has all the mod cons you need to fully enjoy it - all the time.
Even if you don't currently have anything outdoors that requires an electrical point, this may change in the future and it's always a good idea to plan for any eventuality. Foresight is always better than hindsight!
When deciding on materials to use for an outdoor patio, also factor in any additional cost for maintenance in the future and the estimated lifespan.
Make it Comfortable
While the patio may be outdoors, that doesn't mean you don't want it to be a part of your living space. If you decorate a patio as you would an indoor room, with comfortable furniture and decorative accessories, you will make more use of the area when the weather is good.
Seating should be comfortable and allow plenty of space to sit for anyone who might pop in for a visit. You will also want to incorporate other pieces of furniture such as a coffee and side tables, a storage ottoman or two for putting away cushions and provide extra seating or even a dining suite that allows for dining al fresco.
Furniture and accessories for an outdoor patio should be suitable for exterior use and be able to withstand the elements. Otherwise, you will need to keep outdoor furniture covered and protected.