When that warm weather comes around, you want to be ready to enjoy it. Upgrading the patio is a great way to do this. Think about how you’d like to spend your time outside and get everything you need – tools, furnishings and fun patio ideas that suit your home best. The more effort you put into creating the perfect outdoor living area, the more summertime you’ll feel like spending in it. Aim for comfort and attractive garden décor. Here are six great patio design ideas to get you started.
1. Renovate the patio or terrace
What’s your outdoor space made of and how well was it built to begin with? Look at its condition and decide if it could do with some sprucing up. Small repairs will generally cost much less that laying down a whole new patio, typically within a £2,500 – £5,500 price range for a 30m2 area.
A typical patio material – flagstone, brick, concrete, granite or paving – could just need patching up or a good clean. In the first case, the type and shape affects the price, whether for a single slab or a stretch of patio.
If yours is concrete, for example, and you want to stick with it, the cost can be lower than other materials. The simplest and cheapest slab design can start from around £8 per m2. A higher quality choice, however, could read £57 for the same area. If your budget is limited, you may want to buy a few slabs to fill in big gaps and turn to creative solutions like gravel or greenery for smaller problems.
When it comes to cleaning the patio, a trusty method is scrubbing it with a 3:1 solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean or a similar product. Have fun making the stone gleam through the soil and moss. For extra entertainment get yourself a pressure washer! Every bit of dirt will be history.
When new, a timber terrace can look amazing, but it has higher caring needs than slabs of stone. While it doesn’t have to be in perfect condition to enjoy the benefits of wooden decking, you can enjoy a summer barbecue more if the environment is clean and attractive.
Installing a new deck is expensive – 40m2 can be around £1,400 – £4,400. So, see what products and methods you can use to revive your terrace’s appearance. After sanding it down, try applying paint, stain or oil of a warm, natural shade. Add a decking protector to lock in the colour and keep the wood safe from rain, sunlight and damage from foot traffic.
If all you want is to clean the terrace, sweep it first of any leaves or debris. Then you can either just rinse it down with a hose pipe or take extra measures.
- Dip the broom in a solution of water and vinegar or one of the many wood-cleaning products available in local stores
- When you start scrubbing the deck, make sure to do it in the direction of the grain to get all the dirt out
- Once satisfied, use the hose to rinse off the solution, smell and dirt
Patio or terrace enhancements are best done in dry conditions. Also take care to use gloves if handling strong cleaning chemicals. Apart from these requirements, there’s no reason why you couldn’t do this job on your own. Experienced pros may have extra tricks up their sleeves, but the DIY route will save you money, which can then be invested in something else around the garden.
2. Buy or upgrade garden furniture
Outdoor furniture needs to be comfy and durable. You may just want to give your favourite patio table, chairs and sofa new looks. Make the wooden surfaces shine with some polish and change the colour scheme with different covers for your sofa and cushions.
Make sure you choose fabrics suitable for outdoor living. Woven acrylic and special waterproof covers are more resilient to heat and rain. When planning your ideal garden space, don’t forget to focus on patio ideas UK sun-lovers can enjoy – the occasional downpour is bound to happen.
An awning or canopy is a stylish way to keep everything dry at a reasonable expense. The range of designs available means there’s something for all houses and budgets. For example, a 7m electric retractable awning will cost far more than a simple but effective 3m one you can pull in by hand. The following table shows the cost differences you’ll encounter.
|Type of cover||Average price range|
|Retractable awnings||£120 – £3,000|
|Canopies||£512 – £5,000|
A good cover for rainy days is a must among great patio ideas for UK homes, but you will need to think about what will fit your patio and what you can afford.
Want an even easier and cheaper option? A garden umbrella can be just as efficient and attractive. Their cost is not that high either. The best choices from the likes of John Lewis, Wayfair or Marks and Spencer can cost around £100 – £300. Although their water and sun resistant qualities are more trustworthy, you can find such parasols at an even lower price.
See what additional features your outdoor space could use. Then search the market for some great buys that will inspire you to spend more time on your patio and the fresh air.
3. Add mood lighting
During the day, sunshine is all you need to have a wonderful time outside. However, evening parties on the patio will have to depend on your garden lighting. So, make sure you get the right lights for the right outdoor vibes.
Create a fantastic atmosphere with string lights. They look stunning and can also come with solar capabilities to save money on your bills. If there’s a brief walk to your patio or terrace, another great idea is to illuminate it with garden spike lights. A huge range is available between local and online stores.
Got bug problems? Go straight for the citronella candles. They create ambiance while keeping annoying insects away. Their smell – often combined with lavender or vanilla – masks that of food. So, if you’re planning sweet cocktails or a sumptuous feast in the garden, make sure to light a few candles.
4. Add colour and comfort with cushions
Contrast dark woods with brightly coloured cushions. Look at different hues and patterns until you find a theme that fits your intentions for the summer. Blues and greens are relaxing, while a fun design in orange and yellow is warm and exciting to the eye.
Find some eye-catching cushions and blankets to keep you and your guests comfy well into the night. Just remember to bring them in during the night to stop them getting damp or drizzled on.
5. Buy or make outdoor decorations
You don’t have to be a creative homeowner to have a blast decorating your patio or terrace. Check garden centres and charity shops for things to make that outdoor space pop. Corners, walls, tabletops and banisters are great places to add your personal touch.
On the other hand, if you like following DIY arts and crafts tutorials, you can end up with ornaments that are even more special – tailored to your exact tastes and space. Rope bowls. Floral candleholders. Plant pots out of boots. This part can be super fun and perfect to include in your garden patio ideas.
Finally, you could aim for enhancements of a larger scale. Garden landscaping ideas like flowerbeds, shrubs or ponds are great DIY ways to decorate the outside of your house. Applying your green thumb is fun and less pricey than hiring a professional. If you lack the skill or have tricky terrain, however, it may be safer to rely on a qualified gardener.
6. Keep cosy with patio heating
Summer nights in the UK are rarely as warm as its days. There are many clever ways to prepare for the chilly evenings beyond blankets. While getting a bunch of these for extra soft comfort is a great idea, you might want to invest in a decent infrared heater for outside.
Why not consider a chiminea or fire pit too? They can give your patio or terrace a rustic appearance and you can even toast marshmallows over them! These patio ideas may push up your budget. But careful investment in a few special garden features will make the patio that much more striking and fun to be around.
So there are loads of ways you can turn your terrace or patio into a great living space. If you require some help trying some of these ideas or fully landscaping your garden, use our service to get up to four quotes for the work.
Got fantastic patio ideas to add to this list? Tell us all about them @Quotatis.