Planning and creating a patio is a real big project. The possibilities are almost limitless. Therefore, there is a great risk of not taking into account important points during its layout. And once the terrace is in place, it’s hard to go back. Whether you want a lot of space to barbecue in the summer or to play, whether you want to expand your living room or kitchen to the outside, it is all possible. On the condition of course of thinking it correctly and planning it.
Therefore, you need to think in advance what your patio is going to be used for and how you will primarily use it. What is the surface to consider? In what material do you want to make your terrace? Ultimately, these questions also determine the price you want to put on it. For this reason, too, careful planning of the patio and calculating the costs involved.
1 – Over- or underestimating the size of your patio
In general, depending on the number of seats you want, there are around ten square meters for a table and four chairs, while double the amount for a large living room with table and twelve chairs. The terrace is the link between your eventual garden and your apartment or house, so it must be of an appropriate size. If it’s too small, the seating area may not fit quite there. Conversely, surfaces that are too large can quickly seem uncomfortable – not to mention the higher costs.
2 – Choose the wrong location for your terrace
Just as important as its size is the location of the patio. Most of the terraces are on the south or west side of the house, as this is where there are the most hours of sunshine. This is the place where you can sunbathe or spend a balmy summer evening. A north side terrace should be avoided.
3 – Do not provide a slope for rainwater
Rainwater should always be able to drain from your house, otherwise damage may occur. When planning and, above all, during construction, you should therefore consider a slope of 2% from your home, regardless of the type of surface you have chosen for your patio.
4 – Use the wrong material for the surface of your terrace
Even if your patio flooring is a matter of personal taste, each material has its advantages and disadvantages. And of course its price, which can vary considerably. In general, it is better if the surface is easy to clean, the material should be suitable for the house and garden and be as flat as possible. What are the most commonly used materials for the patio?
- Wood: it’s a classic, it returns heat, it’s easy to install. However, a wooden deck requires regular maintenance and can turn gray over time, depending on the type of wood. Typically, this is softwood, hardwood, or tropical. In addition, a concrete foundation or a load-bearing sub-structure is necessary for this type of terrace.
- The mixture of wood and plastic: it is therefore a much more robust material than wood. But it can quickly get very hot in direct sunlight and be particularly slippery in rainy weather.
- Concrete: A wide variety of shapes and colors are available at a relatively affordable price.
- Stone: it is a robust, durable and natural coating. Make sure you have the flat side of your paving, otherwise your table and chairs may rock severely.
5 – Do not provide any electrical outlet on your terrace
Whether it is for an electric grill, a plancha, the lighting of your end of the evening or even for the charging cable of your laptop, tablet or smartphone, you must think about equipping your terrace with an electrical outlet or a double socket if you want to connect several devices in parallel. It’s always more convenient to have an electrical outlet close at hand rather than pulling an extension cord inside your home.
6 – Do not consider the importance of plants on your terrace
The orientation of the terrace and therefore the number of hours of sunshine play an important role in the choice of your plants. Each has specific requirements. Annuals, for example, must be – as their name suggests – replanted every year. You can provide wall bars, trellises or pergolas because your flowering plants thus receive more sun than on the ground and are also more visible.
7 – Do not think about protecting yourself from the sun on your terrace
A parasol is the easiest way to protect yourself from the sun on a patio, even more so if your patio faces south or west. Your parasol should rest on a stable foot to withstand wind and weather. Allow a good square meter of floor space for an open parasol. If you turn to an awning or a pergola, you will increase your shadow zone, and in case of rain your protection zone. And why not opt for a “hard” roof, in aluminum or in wood? You also have the option of installing a veranda or a simple glass roof – which protects you against the elements, but not against solar radiation (on the contrary: glass can even have a greenhouse effect.)
8 – ignore the vis-à-vis
Have you thought about a breeze for when you plan your sunbathing? Something that gives you privacy but also doesn’t have to obstruct the view of your own garden. Hedges and other trellises or climbing plants are particularly suitable. Panels made of wood or other materials also prevent unwanted views.
9 – Install too little or too much furniture on your patio
Your furniture should match the mood you want to give to your patio. You have an infinite choice of garden furniture, whether in wood, plastic or fabric. How about a metal and glass table on a natural stone patio? The important thing is to plan the overall size of your terrace and to choose your furniture accordingly. For example, a comfortable lounge chair can take up a lot of space on your patio.
10 – neglect the lighting of your terrace
Even if your patio faces west, there comes a time when it is more difficult for you to read or play games. Quite simply because darkness is on your patio and you find yourself in the dark. Hence the importance of planning the lighting of your patio. Even though candles create a cozy atmosphere, they often do not provide enough light. Opt for LEDs as wall lights or recessed spots: it is both an efficient and energy efficient light source. Also look at what is being done in connected equipment: there are many so-called smart solutions.