Are you looking to create a fabulous, yet functional outdoor living space that can be used throughout the year? Then you have come to the right place. We have helped thousands of homeowners to plan their patio layout and design their perfect patio.
The most important thing that you need to decide on is the best location for your patio. You want to take the location into careful consideration when designing a patio layout. Think about what the space will be used for. Is it a space for quiet moments of reflection after a stressful day? Perhaps you want an area to entertain guests, or install an outdoor dining area? Maybe you want some outdoor space for the children, or somewhere for you to enjoy the summer sun?
Think about what you will use your patio for, and then ensure that the sun shines on that area at the right time of the day. Entertaining spaces with plenty of sun in the middle of the day, or for zen spaces, some later evening sun may be the way to go.
An additional consideration is if you are planning to have a BBQ or a hot tub in the space, for example, then make sure it is near enough to the equipment you require. If it needs access to power or gas, then make sure you place the patio where there is the necessary access.
Once the location is decided, then planning the layout is a bit easier as you will need to design the layout around the location you are installing it.
What Size Should My Patio Be?
The first thing to do when deciding on size of your patio, is to think about what you will put on your patio area. If you are using the space for outdoor dining, then think about how much space the table and chairs will take up. Will you have a BBQ or fire pit on the patio space too? If you are having a hot tub on the patio area, how much room is needed around the hot tub? Are you using the space for sunbathing? How many sunbeds or loungers do you want in this space? Once you know what's going on it, make sure you leave plenty of space and clearance around any objects going on the patio. You don't want it to feel cramped.
The size of your patio will be dependent on the size of your garden, but also what you want from your garden space and patio layout. Some homeowners prefer an even mix of patio and grass. Meanwhile, others may go for all patio, or mainly grass for example. Take the time to think about what you want from your outdoor space. How much of your garden do you want to be a patio?
You also need to consider how many people you will regularly be entertaining on your patio space. The general rule of thumb is 2.5 square meters per person. So, if you plan to entertain 6-8 people on your patio space, then you will need a patio layout to meet around 15-20 square meters so that there is enough space for everyone without feeling cramped.
How To Plan The Overall Patio Layout
A really good way of planning your patio layout is with pen and paper. Grab a pen and paper and draw out - to scale - exactly what you want on your patio and where you want those things. Leave more room between furniture and plants than you think - an ideal space between objects should be 1m wide minimum, so slightly bigger than smaller to stop the space from feeling cluttered. Everything should be considered, including plants. Where will they go and how much space will they take up? While a potted plant might be small, it should still be drawn on so you can get a feel for the available space.
If pen and paper aren’t your thing, another great way to visualise the size you might need is to grab some rope or a string line and physically mark out the area. Using the rope to mark out the perimeter, place the items where you would like them on the patio. Look at how much space you are left with and if any other items can be added.
Designing A Patio Layout With Zoning
Just as you have rooms and areas in your home, the same can be done with your patio plan too. If you have a dining part of your patio, then this should be nearest to your home for example. Will you have a cover such as an awning or pergola for your patio area? Make sure this doesn’t block out light into your home, so consider where it is placed. If you are creating a patio space to relax and unwind, you’ll want calmness and tranquillity? This could be designed with sweet-smelling climbers or pretty, colourful blooms surrounding it, for example.
If you are using your patio area flexibly, then you may not need to consider zoning in your patio layout. However, if you have different uses and spaces in mind for your patio plan, then think about the zoning. Effective zoning can be achieved by using different levels, or even something as simple as potted plants or a trellis to zone the patio area physically.
The Positioning Of Your Patio
When thinking about where to position your patio area, there are three things you will need to take into consideration. You will need to think about how you will be using your patio. You will need to think about where it will look best in your garden too. Finally, you’ll need to think about how overlooked the space is by neighbours and how you feel about that.
For example, if you are using the space as an outdoor dining area, then a shady spot will be ideal. However, if you love the sunshine and topping up your tan, then you’ll need your patio to be in the sunny spot of the garden. If you want to dine outside and required a bit of shade to enjoy the space, but your whole garden is flooded with sun, why not consider garden shading for set areas of the garden?
Generally speaking, a patio space will be just outside the backdoor. This is often done for convenience. However, if you have a large outdoor space, or multiple gardens, you may prefer to have the patio placed somewhere else. Alternatively, if the patio is for catching the rays, then you’ll want to put the patio where the sun is.
Dependent on what you are using your patio space for, you may want privacy in this area. There are lots of different privacy ideas for your patio if this is something you require. This could include well-placed planting, fencing, shading or another garden privacy ideas that give you the secluded space you are looking for. Feel free to speak to our team about a secluded patio plan for your garden privacy.
The Materials For Your Patio
The way that you design your patio reflects the style of your home and your personality. While it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the latest trends and paving products, your patio needs to meet your unique tastes and the style of your home too. For example, if you have a modern home, you may want to use contemporary paving materials for your patio area. If your home is an older property, rugged flagstones could work really well as the base of your patio area.
One thing to consider when designing your patio layout and considering the patio materials, is cost. Look at your budget and the size of your patio area. Then look at patio stones that come within your budget. Once you know your budget, you can think about the style and finish you want from your patio area. Choose colours and materials that reflect your home and your own preferences. This way you will have a patio space that you’ll love for years to come.
How To Budget For Your Patio Layout
As with any big decisions, money will be a major factor. The hard landscaping of the patio is the costliest part of the patio plan. While these costs of labour are pretty much fixed, there are ways that the overall costs of designing a patio layout can be increased or decreased. For example, by swapping materials of the paving stones, you can save a significant amount. Different design elements such as railings, pergolas or walls will also change the price of your patio plan too.
There are some really high-quality natural stone paving products out there. However, they will all vary in price. Indian sandstone or limestone tends to be a more cost-effective option, whereas a natural slate or granite will be toward the top end of a budget.
When you are creating your budget for designing a patio layout, remember it’s not just the patio stones you need to budget for. There will be the cost of the materials for the base too. Plus, the labour cost for laying this base. You will need to budget in the labour for laying the patio as well. One cost that many people forget is the labour cost for preparing the ground for landscaping. Make sure you take all of this into account when designing your patio layout and the materials you will be using.
If you need help creating a patio plan for your outdoor space, speak to our team. We can help you design the right patio layout for your garden, choose the position and set your budget. You can view our selection of paving stones to choose the one that best suits your tastes and is within your budget. Our patio paving experts will then give you advice on how to maintain your patio to keep it looking as good as new for years to come.