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Terraces And Patios

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 16 May 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Property Renovation Renovate Walls Homes

As long as you’ve got a reasonable amount of space then a patio or terrace can spruce up a garden area and turn it into a valuable asset for a very reasonable sum of money. A patio can open up a garden and blur the line between it and the house, which is all the rage in design circles. If the garden is on a hill, then terraces can make it more usable by giving you more flat areas that can be used for lawns, flowerbeds or areas for children to play.

Patios

A patio is an area of hard-standing just outside the back of the house, usually paved, where you can put things like a barbecue and garden furniture without the hassle of everything sinking into the lawn, damaging both the lawn and the furniture! Quite often it will also be a place to hang washing as you can go outside and come back in without getting mud all over your shoes. To make it long lasting you need to put down a good layer of hardcore and concrete before laying paving stones or bricks.

Taking care to make sure that these supporting layers are flat will make levelling the paving all the easier. Note that in fact you should aim to have the surface slightly off level, sloping gently away from the house to give water somewhere to go. If you don’t have a large spirit level for this job you can make one by securing a smaller spirit level to a long batten.

Dwarf Walls

Patios often have low walls surrounding them, purely as a decorative feature, and as there’s no structural element to them, it’s a good place for the novice to try out brick laying. Make sure you leave some gaps or drainage channels for water, and consider putting in some lighting to extend the summer evenings into dusk.

Terraces

Strictly speaking, a terrace is a flat area that has been made on the side of a hill by building the hill up or digging part of it away, sometimes a combination of both. Doing both is often the easiest option as the material that you have to dig out at one point can be used to build up the other side. This lessens the chore of carting the rubble and topsoil away and disposing of it.

In contrast to a patio, a terrace doesn’t necessarily need a hard covering like stone or brick, it could be laid to lawn. But it will almost certainly need a retaining wall, and here’s where you’ll need the advice of a reputable garden landscaper at worst, and a structural engineer at best, if the hill is very steep. Each level will need a wall to stop it migrating downhill to join it’s neighbour.

Decking Takes Off

For the durable layer, whether for a patio or a terrace, the recent rise in popularity of decking has been phenomenal. This is largely because it’s cheaper and quicker to lay than a conventional hard surface. Despite the fact that there’s a bit of a decking backlash in the home and garden media, for a development project, decking is almost certainly the best route.

Go for Outstanding Results

If you are renovating to make a profit, then consider what you’re doing carefully and what the return on your investment will be. Look at other gardens in the area and assess what you need to do to make yours stand out in the selling contest. If the garden would otherwise be just a lawn with some tired borders, or a sea of mud (if you’ve had a lot of building work done) then some hard landscaping could be just the thing to make your project stand out.

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Latest Comments
  • dilem
    Re: Adding A Porch
    We have a terraced house on which we would like to add a porch hoping it will reduce traffic noise coming from the road. There are exactly two…
    3 September 2019
  • Holland&holland
    Re: Getting a Renovation Grant
    Were in the process of placing an offer on a very large welsh property. Built in the 1700s by a very well known architect. Its in a…
    26 April 2019
  • Junick
    Re: Getting a Renovation Grant
    I own a cottage that we bought as a garage/store. It has no electric or water to the property but it was owned at one time by the…
    4 April 2019
  • Art
    Re: Adding A Porch
    Just bought new house need to build porch.. please contact on 07445430526
    3 April 2019
  • Ang
    Re: Getting a Renovation Grant
    Hi We are buying a semi detached stone cottage built around 1814. It is not habitable . Are there any grants we can apply for ,…
    1 February 2019
  • Sheza
    Re: Renovating a Pond
    Hi I have a raised pond on my decking and I’m thinking of ways in how I could add to it so it’s bigger but I’m currently struggling in how I…
    26 January 2019
  • Dav
    Re: Adding A Porch
    Hi I've build a porch to the front of my home, it a detached house with a garage that comes out 600mm passed the front of my house which is included…
    13 January 2019
  • Mitch
    Re: Getting a Renovation Grant
    @Vicky - you won't get a grant for this sort of revovation. No one is going to pay you to renovate your own home, sorry. Not these…
    17 September 2018
  • Dan
    Re: Adding A Porch
    Hi I’m thinking of building a porch on the front of my house and I was wondering if I can join it to my next door neighbors house because I’m in a…
    16 September 2018
  • Vicky
    Re: Getting a Renovation Grant
    Hi I am looking for funding to reinstate a farm house that is over 100 years old and has been derelict for 30years. Do you know who I…
    15 September 2018