Top tips for plan­ning a deck or pa­tio

If you don’t have a nice eat­ing and en­ter­tain­ing area in your gar­den, now’s the time to create one

Rutherglen Reformer - - House & Home -

Where your gar­den gets the sun at dif­fer­ent times of the day could make a big dif­fer­ence to how much you’ll use your new deck or pa­tio.

The usual place to put it is near the house, so it’s con­ve­nient for al­fresco din­ing and en­ter­tain­ing, but there might be a bet­ter spot else­where.

While most of us want a sunny deck or pa­tio, some peo­ple pre­fer one with shade, which might mean putting it at the op­po­site end of the gar­den to the house.

When de­cid­ing on the lo­ca­tion of your pa­tio or deck, think about things like drainage ( the man­hole, or at least a rod­ding point, still needs to be ac­ces­si­ble), where the doors to the gar­den are, and if the pa­tio or deck will be over­looked.

Also con­sider wind di­rec­tion, traf­fic noise and what you’ll be look­ing out on.

Deck­ing is a good way to make slop­ing gar­dens us­able, as an al­ter­na­tive to creat­ing tiers. By ex­tend­ing the deck out from the house to cover the whole gar­den, you’ve solved the prob­lem of an awk­ward, hard-to-use and even po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous ( if you have small chil­dren) out­side space. Deck­ing can also be the best way to cover some­thing that’s al­ready there, such as con­crete or a dated pa­tio, be­cause you can go over the top of it. With small, court­yard gar­dens, deck­ing or paving the whole space makes sense if they’re too small for a lawn.

It’s im­por­tant to have a pa­tio or deck that’s in pro­por­tion to the size of the house, and to use colours and ma­te­ri­als that work well with the build­ing, un­less you want a de­lib­er­ate con­trast.

While it should be in keep­ing, your de­sign can also be cre­ative. Deck­ing can be built on dif­fer­ent lev­els, with things like built-in benches and planters that make it more prac­ti­cal and in­ter­est­ing.

You can do a sim­i­lar thing with paving – an easy way to add in­ter­est is to in­cor­po­rate a circle or other de­sign into your pa­tio us­ing a paving kit.

Be­fore you start build­ing your pa­tio or deck, check if any per­mis­sions are re­quired. If your home is lease­hold, for ex­am­ple, you may need the freeholder’s con­sent and also plan­ning per­mis­sion be­cause flats and maisonettes don’t have per­mit­ted de­vel­op­ment rights. For ad­vice about plan­ning per­mis­sion, go to plan­ning­por­tal. gov. uk, or ask your lo­cal coun­cil for spe­cific ad­vice about your home.

HOW-TO TIP

Gar­den wood, such as fenc­ing and sheds, of­ten comes pre­treated, but some pre-treat­ments make the wood so orange that cov­er­ing it with a nicer colour isn’t easy.

Ap­ply­ing pale gar­den-wood paint, such as cream, can even turn the wood pink – sev­eral coats are usu­ally nec­es­sary for it to get near cream. Do a tester patch and if this is the case, con­sider switch­ing to a stronger colour that will cover in fewer coats. Al­ter­na­tively, use a pale ex­te­rior wood paint, such as Du­lux Trade Weather­shield Quick Dry Ex­te­rior Satin in Pure Bril­liant White (£47.76 for 2.5ltr, Du­lux) – this cov­ers ex­tremely orange gar­den wood in two or three coats.

DECK­ING can be the best way to cover an old pa­tio

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